What appears to be an integral gameplay mechanic of Xcom 2, the anticipated sequel to Firaxis’ re-imagination of the Xcom franchise, has been revealed today. The ominously named “Dark Events” are methods for the enemy to disrupt the player, while simultaneously giving the player the ability to prevent the growth of ADVENT’s strength.
“Dark Events aim to hinder XCOM’s progress in XCOM 2. As you, the Commander, start to reclaim Earth from ADVENT, Dark Events will surface. These Dark Events initiate random modifiers to your gameplay experience, and run the gamut from something as small as improving ADVENT soldiers’ gear in the field to more dramatic gameplay changes such as deploying a UFO that will hunt the Avenger.”
Even more Dark Events are planned, with Firaxis mentioning that some may increase the presence of certain enemy types, others may increase enemy numbers on certain mission types, while some may be more subtle by providing passive benefits to enemy units.
These Dark Events are supposedly random, which would provide a much more dynamic gaming experience than could be found in the original Xcom: Enemy Unknown, where failing to meet an objective did not have significant long term consequences beyond the loss of units or equipment.
Xcom 2 is scheduled for release on February 5, 2016.
If Dark Events work out well, they could provide an element of risk-reward that was absent from the original Firaxis Xcom. Giving players the choice of risking their team to hinder ADVENT or choosing to deal with the consequences of ignoring a Dark Event could lead to interesting decisions that the rather generic ‘kill all aliens’ missions of nearly every encounter in the first Xcom simply did not have. That these events are also random could mean every playthrough might have a unique spin on it, or at least better replay value.