The sequel to X-COM: Enemy Unknown assumes humanity does not win

Console gamers might be disappointed.


Dennis Scimeca

Internet Culture

Published Jun 1, 2015   Updated May 28, 2021, 5:05 pm CDT

Even if you worked your tail off to beat X-COM: Enemy Unknown you still lost, and haven’t realized it until now.

The turn-based, squad-level-combat game X-COM: Enemy Unknown, released in 2012 pitted humanity against a coalition of alien species and ended with a human triumph over the invaders. X-COM 2, announced today by 2K Games takes place in a world where humanity lost, and 20 years later the Earth is ruled by an alien junta.

X-COM 2 may be ignoring the narrative of the previous game, but the Extraterrestrial Combat Unit in Enemy Unknown was a very small, elite unit versus a full-on military force. Switching the player over to a band of resistance fighters in X-COM 2 should have zero effect on all the basic game mechanics that made Enemy Unknown so satisfying.

Procedurally generated levels and modding support are among the X-COM 2 features being trumpeted by 2K Games in today’s announcement.

IGN is reporting that X-COM 2 will be a PC exclusive. A reference to modding support excludes console versions—modding on PlayStation and Xbox platforms is usually forbidden—and players who try to mod multiplayer modes on console games usually wind up banned.

Nothing on the X-COM 2 website specifically excludes an eventual release on consoles, however and it’s difficult to believe that X-COM 2 will not appear on at least the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, considering how popular Enemy Unknown was on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

“We can confirm that X-COM 2 is being developed for Windows-based PC, and will also be coming to Mac and Linux via Feral Interactive,” a representative for 2K Games told the Daily Dot in response to request for comment about possible console development. Note that this is not a straight “no.” 

X-COM 2 will be released in November.

Illustration via 2K Games

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*First Published: Jun 1, 2015, 5:06 pm CDT