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New XCOM Game Lets You Squad Up With Aliens

A new XCOM game has been unexpectedly announced. It’s called XCOM: Chimera Squad, and it looks set to offer a new sort of XCOM experience.

The first notable difference is that you can now have aliens in your squad. The game is set five years after XCOM 2, with humans co-existing with alien soldiers who were left on Earth after the defeat of the Overlords. In peaceful City 31, you’ll control Chimera Squad, a special team comprised of human and alien agents, and deal with factions who want to destroy the peace.

Instead of recruiting soldiers, you’ll have 11 agents who each have unique abilities. The Viper, for instance, has a tongue pull, and you also unleash combos with the right combination of agents.

Battles are now divided into stages called encounters, and each is kicked off with a Breach phase. Like the name implies, you’ll use the phase to breach into the battle zone and soften up enemies, with some areas having multiple breach points to choose from. You’ll also get to use skills unique to this phase.

Chimera Squad‘s turn-based action features Interleaved Turns, or alternating activations in tabletop parlance. There will be a Timeline that displays the order in which agents get activated, and the player and AI will activate a fighter in alternating order. Some agents and enemies will have abilities that can manipulate Timeline placement, and a once-per-mission ability called Team Up lets you send an agent to the top of the queue.

As for the metagame, you’ll have to prevent City 31’s overall Unrest bar from reaching a critical level. There are several districts with their own Unrest bars, and whenever one of these is maxed out, the city’s overall Unrest will increase. You’ll have to juggle between missions that provide tasty rewards and missions that lower the Unrest level.

These are the key bits, but the video above details a bunch of other stuff too, like building androids to fill in for unconscious agents or sending a lone agent out on a Spec Ops mission.

I’d thought that the modern XCOM games just weren’t for me after playing XCOM: Enemy Unknown‘s demo and failing to feel any interest, but I’m really digging XCOM: Chimera Squad‘s sci-fi law enforcement concept.

The game will be out on 24 April, just next week, and it’s also RM29.50 currently thanks to a generous 50% discount that lasts until 2 May. Check out the Steam page here.

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