Recently it was announced that there would be an expansion pack to the hit XCOM: Enemy Unknown video game from publisher 2k Games, which is a reboot of the original X-Com franchise from the 90s. Since that announcement was made, the somewhat regarded third-person shooter, XCOM: The Bureau has been released. In celebration of the news of the expansion pack, as well as the launch of The Bureau, we’ve compiled a list of features that we would love to see in the sequel to Enemy Unknown should it ever be released.
Real Time Missions
This is a feature that wasn’t introduced until later on in the X-Com franchise initially, but it is still something that we feel should be included as a part of the XCOM experience. How real time missions would work, ideally, is that both the Alien team and the Player team would no longer take turns doing things in the game, but instead would be making decisions at the same time, dynamically.
This would mean that players would no longer be able to sit around and think about the consequences of their actions, but instead would have to think quickly and make tactical decisions on the fly. This would create a more dynamic, fluid and engaging game where the stakes would be even higher. Moreso, missions would be quicker and more action packed, making this a welcome addition.
Much like the classics, this would be an optional gameplay mode, leaving turn-based an option for players that prefer a more chess-like game.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown prided itself on the fact that you would feel a sense of responsibility towards your squads. And, well, this is true. You do feel compelled to keep them alive, and you feel terrible when you get them killed. However, after a while, it becomes apparent that they’re just actors in a game engine, rather than actual characters.
What would make this better? if they actually reacted to each other dynamically. I’m not talking about full-blown conversations, but maybe give them a random personality trait that would work well with some or badly with others of differing personalities. What if you’re on a mission and all of your squaddies hated each other? What if they were all best friends? What if these variables had actual gameplay consequences? Would a player care more for some members and less for others? XCOM would be the ideal franchise to test these concepts.
The Ant-Farm XCOM base is a great idea and it completely worked for the first game in the reboot XCOM franchise. However, if the game is to grow, then so must the amounts that a player can control. What’s a better way to do this than to add more controllable bases.
Now, while this may seem like something that you’d immediately think of as the ability to stick another full-fledged base somewhere else on the planet and control it like you would your primary base, and that would be cool, but we were thinking of something a little bit different. What if, say, you’re able to go to the alien homeworld and then capture one of their bases? It’d be swell if you could control a base like that further down the line.
So while the concept can be used in a few ways, extra bases do seem like something that would be great to have. So long as they’re intelligently implemented.
This is something that was lifted straight out of X-Com Apocalypse really. That game was a hotbed of good ideas, and this one was my favourite of them. However, we would love to see this utilised a bit differently in an XCOM sequel.
What we would love to see is a rise in anti-alien organisations dedicated to protecting Earth for profits or other agendas. Some may even want to assist the alien scum. This means that in missions, you would encounter other organisations troops who may or may not be helpful towards your organisation. Even further, you would have to game the U.N. Council into giving you funding over these other teams.
Of course, there should always be the option to act aggressively towards them and proactively take out and capture their resources. Maybe even have the ability to game organisations against each other. That’d be cool.
These are the main things that we believe would absolutely make the XCOM experience an unforgettable one. These are features that are sorely needed in either a sequel or something else down the line. Of course, this is not an all-encompassing list and we left a lot of great ideas out. There may be a follow up to this list later on down the line.
All that we can say to Firaxis and 2k is this: Make the sequel to XCOM: Enemy Unknown, should there be one, really great!
Which features would you love to see in an XCOM sequel?