XCOM 2 [official site] looms, but despite its many enticing changes it seems unlikely it'll take Firaxis' X-COM reboot much closer to the Golloptastic source material. As such, complicated, hardcore and remarkably extensive mod Long War is, I suspect, going to remain your best bet for a game which furthers the uncompromising, unsympathetic spirit of the original games. It expands so many elements, introduces many more, remixes almost everything, makes an XCOM campaign ten times longer and, if you so wish, repeatedly bloodies your nose in the process. And now, several years and 15 major releases later, it is more-or-less finished. Next, its makers will turn their hands to their own "grand strategy alien invasion game."
The team behind it are now "winding down developing Long War and [will] start setting up to develop our own original games", writes the projects' Johnny Lump on Reddit. Over on the mod's forum, he expands that
"Finally, the mod is done. It's still a Beta while we make sure we didn't miss any critical bugs or have balance way out of wack. While we appreciate thoughtful and even-handed feedback and ideas, no more major work on the mod is planned. (We do have three or four voicepacks still in the pipeline.)"
He also reveals that the working title for their next game is Terra Invictus, and that "it is probably best described as a grand strategy alien invasion game." XCOM on a much larger scale, perhaps? There'll be Kickstarter for it at some point, and apparently you can email them if you want to be first to hear when that happens.
As for version 15f of The Long War, here are the major changes and additions:
Dutch Male voicepack (Euro 2) by Benjamin Smit
Resp implant confers +1 hp
All suppression-based reaction fire will get the opportunist bonus (not just LMG/SAW-series) and ignore cover
Improved Fusion Core council request rewards
Rework Jaeger tree to make ITZ spec perk, Squadsight to TSGT, VPT to MSGT, Remove LEU and replace with LnL at MSGT.
Rework of Goliath tree. Welcome Covering Fire, Rapid Fire, and Extra Conditioning. Farewell Platform Stability, Bring 'Em On and Ready for Anything.
Rework of Shogun tree
Alloy Carbide Plating now grants flat +4 hit points
Attempted to set autopause before a mission expires one hour earlier
The seven special soldiers will have 0 defense rather than random value
Smoke will now help against reaction fire
Aliens will stack terror and infiltration missions on the same country less often in non-DW games
There are also a whole bunch of bugfixes, naturally. I haven't played The Long War since something like version 9, so many of those names and terms don't mean much to me, other than that oh boy, I really must make time to go back to it while I count the days and hours until XCOM 2's November release. Though I do have concerns that it tilted too far into hardcore, what I've experienced of it so far clearly proved that the mod is a monumental undertaking and in many ways a triumphant reworking of a game which (disappointingly) wasn't intended to be reworked in the first place. The persistence and dedication is remarkable, and by all accounts it paid off. Go see.