In August, Firaxis will release a massive expansion to last year’s XCOM 2 called ‘War of the Chosen’, and the company has recently profiled the three new resistance factions players will be able to recruit.
The first of the these new factions is the Reapers, which is designed as a hard-hitting stealth unit. Unlike typical XCOM soldiers, Reapers can remain hidden after opening fire against enemies, making them a powerful force. In addition to this core skill, the units also have access to Claymore mines that can either be laid as traps or attached to the opposing forces before being set off by any soldier. The Reapers’ skill trees can extend to improve either their stealth or explosive abilities, making them a powerful, versatile force.
Next, the Skirmishers are Advent defectors who make use of unique grapple abilities to engage in close-quarters combat. While XCOM’s grapples enable soldiers to move about the battlefield quickly, Skirmishers couple this ability with the ability to draw enemies towards them, or launch electrical attacks. Their primary weapon is bullpup rifle, which has a short range, but can be fired twice in a single turn. The Skirmishers’ skill tree, meanwhile, can be upgraded to react immediately to enemy attacks and movements, giving them access to a multitude of moves in any given turn.
Finally, the Templars are a group of rogue soldiers with Psionic powers far beyond anything that players have had access to before. The primary weapon wielded by the Templars is the Psi-Blade, which requires fast-paced close-combat tactics to be used effectively. Killing enemies grants the selected unit a resource called Focus, which modifies and increases the power of the selected soldiers other attack and defence abilities. These powers include the option to tether enemies in place, summon a copy of the soldier, and create a psionic storm that deals massive damage to surrounding enemies.
Each of these new factions has skills that threaten to unbalance the core gameplay but the new threats posed by the swarms of Lost and the alien trio of The Chosen should still prove a challenge, even with the aid of these more powerful unit types. ‘War of the Chosen’ is reportedly the largest expansion that Firaxis has ever created, and will release on August 29 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Firaxis also recently revealed that the game will cost USD$39.99/£34.99/ €39.99.