Humanity is ‘Always the Underdog’ in XCOM 2

Firaxis wants players to feel continually challenged throughout the game.

XCOM 2 game director Jake Solomon has said that humanity is "always the underdog" in XCOM 2 during a new interview with iDigitalTimes

The team at Firaxis is placing emphasis on unpredictability in combat, saying "We want the ability for combat to turn from great to a big challenge, or from a sure-lose situation to snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. That’s important. But I don’t want to be a game of information warfare. I think that it can be perceived as unfair if the information exists in some form but the player has to either understand how the aliens work or some more-esoteric way of finding that information. I think what the game is saying is that the best way to play is to do things that are difficult to get your information. Instead, we want to be transparent with information and make the aliens behaviors themselves unpredictable or add other elements to combat to make it unpredictable."

Solomon hopes to continually challenge players in the game, even in the latter stages when they've gathered plenty of support.

XCOM works best when the player is under pressure. In Enemy Unknown, at a certain point, the difficulty kind of inverted, to where you were kind of mopping up every mission,” Solomon continued. “We really want to make sure that in XCOM 2 it never really flips like that. We want the player to be under pressure the entire game. It kind of fits, thematically, the idea of you being a resistance group. You never actually rise to the point of taking back the governments, necessarily. Instead, you’re always the underdog. Even when you build up a lot of support around the globe, you’re always an underdog.” 

He added that winning XCOM 2's campaign will be similar to a science victory in Civilization. In Civ when opting for that victory condition the completion order and success of building a spaceship varies between every campaign and in XCOM 2 the order in which the story's pillars are tackled will vary based on numerous factors. While there are certain events you'll encounter in every playthrough, the path players follow is entirely up to you.

XCOM 2 launches for PC on February.