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With XCOM 2 releasing in just two days, there’s a lot of eyes on the turn-based tactics genre. So perhaps now is the best possible time for Goldhawk Interactive to announce Xenonauts 2, a retelling of sorts of the first cold war-era title.

The base story is mostly the same – the aliens attack earth in the 1970s and humanity has to fight back. However, there seems to be one key difference to the plot. The goverments of earth aren’t prepared this time around. There’s no laser weapons or research lined up, the extraterrestrial invaders must be felled with standard issue service rifles until you can scramble the tech to research better weapons.

Of course, more than the story has changed in Xenonauts 2. The game will now be developed in the Unity3D engine, not only replacing the sprites with 3D models, but also allowing the player to rotate the camera and track projectiles more easily. Of course, with a new engine comes with your basic improvements to performance, less crashing, and even better mod support.

The original Xenonauts

The original Xenonauts

The core combat on the ground is mechanically the same, bringing back the time units of games of old, but it’s now improved by even more additions to its strategic depth. The air game is also getting a total overhaul to be more of a strategic affair, the opposite solution to the air game getting axed completely for XCOM 2. Difficulty also seems to be on the rise with better alien AI, including the ability for the hivemind to recognize and adapt to your tactics – truly a commander’s worst nightmare.

While Xenonauts 2 won’t be releasing until 2017, Goldhawk is promising more details later down the line, including an early access release. Until then, you can keep your eyes peeled on the official site.

Our Take

Man do I love the current state of tactical games. In a few days we’ll have XCOM 2, and a year after that we’ll likely have our hands on the sequel to XenonautsXenonauts was a fantastic strategy title, staying very faithful to the original UFO: Enemy Unkown while XCOM: Enemy Unknown took the series into a more streamlined direction. While it is nice being able to have a speedier way to get through turns, I do appreciate a return to the days of time units and your attacks being much more than ‘that thing that ends the turn’. Lets hope Xenonauts 2 can live up to the high standard set by the original.

Are you interested in Xenonauts 2? Did you enjoy the first Xenonauts? If so, do you prefer it to the new XCOM? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Perry Ruhland

Staff Writer

Aspiring author. FPS connoisseur. Tactical games journalist. Digger of giant robots. Professional hater of fun. No matter what role Perry's currently playing, it's a safe bet to assume that he's doing it fairly poorly - but still managing to turn it into some sort of article.