For starters, the upcoming expansion adds the Reapers, the Skimishers, and the Templars. All three factions will have a Hero class soldier to help accomplish the new missions, and according to the developer, all three have their own unique abilities and “contrasting philosophies” to provide new gameplay opportunities.
“ADVENT, in its bid to recapture the Commander, responds by deploying a deadly new enemy force called the ‘Chosen.’ The expansion also includes other new enemies, missions, environments and increased depth in strategic gameplay,” Firaxis says.
The Chosen are a ruthless batch, the fiercest conglomerate of enemies XCOM has faced to date, with each member posing as a threat and employing unique strengths as they are individually introduced with each campaign. But these Chosen also have unique weaknesses players can exploit in order to complete their objective.
Be warned: the Chosen are out to kidnap the Commander, and will stop at nothing in doing so, including interrogating and killing XCOM soldiers, and storming XCOM’s global operations to achieve their goal. To fight back, players must hunt down and destroy strongholds held by the Chosen.
During the reveal, Firaxis introduced a new alien race called the Spectre that can create “dark copies” of XCOM soldiers. There’s a new “enhanced” strategy layer too, enabling engineers, scientists, and soldiers to take part in Covert Actions. That means if the task at hand is completed successfully, players are rewarded with a boost in faction favor and supplies.
“Engage in tactical missions across new environments from abandoned cities devastated by alien bioweapons during the original invasion, to underground tunnels and xeno-formed wilderness regions,” Firaxis adds.
With this expansion, Firaxis is targeting replayability, better customization, and better socialization. For instance, players will benefit from perks and new abilities as soldiers develop bonds with their fellow teammates. There’s also “advanced” campaign options to better adjust the game’s difficulty and length, and new modifiers by way of the SITREP system for a unique challenge during each mission.
On the social front, the expansion provides new community challenges for climbing the global leaderboard ladder for the top spot. Players can also create unique resistance posters to share with friends by customizing and posing their soldier, and then adding elements like backgrounds, filters, and text.
The War of the Chosen expansion is listed on Steam here for an unknown price. It requires XCOM 2 to play, which made its debut in 2016 and serves as the sequel to 2012’s XCOM: Enemy Unknown. To see the upcoming expansion in action, check out the announce trailer above. Meanwhile, for more E3 2017 coverage, tune in here.