The Long War is one of the great mods, expanding Firaxis' XCOM reboot in ways that called back to the campaign of the original game while also building on what was brilliant in the new version. The team behind it formed a studio and are now working on their own aliens vs Earth game, Terra Invicta, as well as Firaxis-approved mods for XCOM 2 [official site]. The first set of mods arrived on launch day and two more appeared a couple of days ago. One of them is good, the other is spectacular.
Here's the simple description, from Firaxis: "XCOM soldiers will have new laser-based weapons to equip, as well as a complete reworking of classes and Abilities to employ in XCOM 2."
The laser weapons are a stepping stone between magnetic and beam research, adding some visual flair with their red streaks of burning light. By bulking out the research tree, they're also likely to extend campaign length, as well as providing a reward in the long slog between higher level weapon tiers.
It's the new class abilities that really stand out though, in what's being called the "Perk Pack". It's so much more than that, adding three new class variants in the form of assault, gunner and shinobi, as well as a complete overhaul of the promotions. There are now three perks to choose from at each rank, with more than 70 entirely new or reworked perks, as well as ten new PCS items to equip.
This adds breadth to the game rather than length. The Broad War, let's call it just this once and then never again. The Wide War.
Alec revisited the game recently, on the back of the latest DLC release, and I've already reinstalled, keen to see how I manage on a higher difficulty having completed the game a couple of times already. I'll be taking these two mods along for the full campaign.
There's more to come from Long War Studios as well. Lead designer John Lumpkin told Eurogamer that there's more XCOM 2 to come: "right now our day-to-day focus remains our XCOM 2 mods. We still have the alien pack plus one more mod to go. Then our intention is to get rolling full time on Terra Invicta."