It's happening. We suspected it would but that hasn't prevented a swift happy dance before posting of the news could commence.
XCOM 2 [official site] is coming in November of this year. No underwater shenanigans and no race into space. Instead, Firaxis are proposing a grim future in which the alien invasion was eventually successful, leaving humanity as second-class citizens on their own planet. A couple of decades after the war, XCOM re-establishes itself as a hidden force of freedom fighters, striking back against the new world order. Procedural levels, new soldier classes, a mobile base, deeper modding support and more more more. Screenshots and details below.
I'm going to quote directly from the press release so that you can have unfiltered knowledge and I can get back to unfiltered celebrating. I'll quickly say this though - I'm glad that this seems to be a sequel that builds on the qualities of its predecessor in sensible ways. I think everyone wanted randomised maps and it's great that we'll finally have them. I was unsure about the classes when XCOM was announced but they're the cornerstone of its tactical combat and the cleanest way to expand on that combat.
And the setting makes perfect sense, hopefully allowing for the recognisable environments that are part of my best memories of the series (chrysalids in city streets! Cyberdiscs fucking up a petrol station! Floaters in a cafe!) while showing the effects of two decades of alien influence.
And the mobile base might just be the key to a smarter strategic game? Hope springs eternal.
XCOM 2 transports players 20 years into the future, where humanity lost the war against the alien threat that has established a new world order. The secret paramilitary organization known as XCOM is largely forgotten, and must strike back to reclaim control of Earth and free mankind from the aliens’ rule. XCOM 2 is currently scheduled for release in November 2015. The game will also be coming to Mac and Linux via Feral Interactive.
In XCOM 2, the roles have been reversed, and XCOM is now the invading force. They are hampered by limited resources and must constantly evade the alien threat in their new mobile headquarters. Players must use a combination of firepower and stealth-like tactics to help XCOM recruit soldiers and build a resistance network, while attempting to expose the evil alien agenda and save humanity. XCOM 2 will introduce gameplay features such as procedurally-generated levels, which will make each experience unique to the player, as well as offer a much deeper level of modding support. Additionally, XCOM 2 will offer a variety of new content including five updated soldier classes, increased soldier customization, more alien and enemy types, evolved tactical combat and more.
November seems an awful long way off all of a sudden.