Chimera Squad promises to put a fresh twist on the X-COM formula

Credit: 2K

Ahead of a surprise release on April 24, developer Firaxis and publisher 2K have announced a new installment in the XCOM franchise.

Set several years after the events of XCOM 2, Chimera Squad promises a slightly more subdued-scope and a slew of mechanical changes that fundamental alter the flow of the series' trademark tactical turn-based action.

Where previous XCOM games saw you wage war against alien invaders and oppressors, Chimera Squad sees you try to maintain the fragile peace between the alien and human citizens of City 31.

Credit: 2K

Firaxis say that the game will offer 11 unique alien and human agents, each with their own personality and unique abilities. Akin to something like Fire Emblem, some of these agents will complement one another - allowing for powerful cooperative actions. On paper, this promises to be a pretty big departure from the series usual M.O - which has often favored emergent and player-led narratives than anything so prescriptive. 

The other big departure here concerns the pacing of the game. Chimera Squad promises to introduce Interleaved turns where units act in a turn-order based on their initiative stat. There's also a new Breach feature that lets you choose how you want to approach combat encounters. You can find out more about the mechanical changes that Chimera Squad will be introducing to the series' familiar formula by watching the gameplay video below:

"With XCOM: Chimera Squad, we felt there were exciting gameplay opportunities yet to be discovered within the XCOM universe,” said Mark Nauta, Lead Designer at Firaxis Games.

“Gameplay like Breach Mode, interleaved turn order, and the introduction of agents as fully fleshed-out characters will revolutionize how the game plays while still retaining the combat experience that makes the XCOM series so loved by gaming communities around the world.”

XCOM: Chimera Squad is set on launch on PC through Steam on April 24th. You can preorder the game by clicking here.

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