XCOM 2 was made significantly more difficult late in its development cycle after playtesting suggested it was too easy, says the game’s lead designer. “I remember saying ‘you know what, we’re going to make the game a lot harder. We’re going to go back and make the game a lot harder on every level, because this game is not engaging people the way it should,'” Firaxis’ Jake Solomon told RPS. “Of course it triggered a fairly mad rush to balance things out, but I think when the game got more difficult then you started to see people engaging, you felt that spark of life.”
However, he acknowledged that some players might be struggling with the game as a result. “There were definitely moments of ‘is this too much?’ and how do we cater to people that maybe don’t want that experience?”
Solomon also felt that the presentation of the game’s difficulty settings might be to blame for this frustration. “I made a mistake, I think, by calling the lowest difficulty Rookie”.