2K and Firaxis have announced a surprise installment to the XCOM series with Chimera Squad, a standalone entry title which also comes out next week.
In a release, 2K stated XCOM: Chimera Squad will keep the turn-based experience while adding new mechanics from its last sequel. The overall gameplay also pushes the narrative forward, which is set five years after XCOM 2. With a peace treaty set humans and aliens, both are also living together on Earth following the invasion. A sanctioned team named the Chimera Squad investigate and tackle a looming threat spurring within a society at risk once again.
The backdrop also serves as an opportunity to introduce 11 new agents players can use for their “species-specific” attacks on enemies. Encounters are also more sophisticated and frequent as players survive in spontaneous encounters. The combat relies more on teamwork this time around for chaining different agent classes together for deadly combos. To test new abilities and experiment, XCOM: Chimera Squad will also let players automatically order agents individually. This also lets them create different units while seeing which ones are the most liable.
A selection of other side missions and challenges will also fill hours of gameplay, all in a centralized HQ hub within 31 and its different locales. It’s also where players can also access Breach Mode, a fast-paced combat mode which skips right to the action while testing agents in a series of in-and-out objectives.
“With XCOM: Chimera Squad, we felt there were exciting gameplay opportunities yet to be discovered within the XCOM universe,” said lead designer Mark Naruta, adding its new surprises help make the game accessible. “Gameplay like Breach Mode, interleaved turn order, and the introduction of agents as fully fleshed-out characters will revolutionize how the game plays while still retaining the combat experience that makes the XCOM series so loved by gaming communities around the world.”
Interestingly, new players and veterans won’t have to wait too long for Chimera Squad as they arrive on April 24 at $19.99. A limited offer gives early buyers a half-off price until May 1, 2020. The game comes out as a digital download for PC on Steam, without a confirmation for other current systems.