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According to the announcement on the newly launched website, we'll be getting a sequel to Goldhawk Interactive's XCOM-inspired strategy/RPG Xenonauts sometime next year, and it'll pack a variety of graphical enhancements, interface tweaks, additional strategic depth, more challenging alien adversaries, and more. Here's the full announcement in its entirety:
Xenonauts 2 entered full production at the start of this year and is currently slated for a 2017 release.
We are planning a full announcement for the game in the next couple of months that will be complete with a website, concept art, the universe lore and our full vision for the gameplay. However the excitement created by the imminent release of XCOM 2 has also generated interest around our plans for the Xenonauts franchise, so we felt this was a good moment for us to confirm that we are working on a sequel and release a few high-level details about the game.
Xenonauts 2 will not be a chronological sequel, rather it will cover similar events taking place in an alternate timeline an alien invasion occurring in a Cold War-era Earth. This means humanity does not start with the advanced alien technology unlocked in the first game, and we also have the freedom to subtly alter the story, setting and enemies in order to make a more interesting sequel.
We will cover our planned gameplay changes in more detail in our full announcement, but we have these broad areas of focus:
'¢ Game Engine using Unity3D will give us a much more capable platform for development than our previous engine, so expect fewer bugs, improved performance, better modding support, etc
'¢ 3D Graphics moving from 2D sprites to 3D graphics will improve visual fidelity, but will also be valuable for gameplay it allows for things like rotating cameras, vastly improved animation, physics objects, accurate projectile tracking, etc
'¢ Ground Combat we will be retaining the Time Unit combat system, and will enhance the interface and giving the player additional tactical options: destructible UFOs, better use of terrain verticality, human psionics, etc
'¢ Geoscape we want to add a lot more strategic choice for the player with regards to the research tree and how they choose to expand their organisation (there was definitely too much strategic railroading in the first Xenonauts)
'¢ Air Combat redesigned to be turn-based and to feature larger numbers of combatants, with the goal of making it a less frequent occurrence but more tactically involved when it does happen
'¢ Aliens we are visually and mechanically redesigning all of the enemies, and creating a more intelligent and challenging foe by developing gameplay systems that allow the aliens to respond and adapt to your tactics and technology
Some of the issues in the original game were caused by our lack of experience / lack of early funding, whereas others were caused by the constraints remaining faithful to the design of a game dating back to 1994. The experience and income we have accumulated from the development of Xenonauts mean that we can make a sequel that significantly improves and expands on the first game and this time we can be more innovative than before.
The community that came together around Xenonauts was an invaluable asset through the development process and we will be making every effort to keep them involved with the sequel. An Early Access phase will allow players to snag the game at a discount and shape the development process with their suggestions and feedback on the alpha builds, but this will probably come a little later than it did for the first game people expect more from Early Access games these days! Anyway, we'll give more details about our plans when we put out the full announcement for Xenonauts 2.