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XCOM: Chimera Squad is a standalone followup to XCOM 2

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Humans and aliens are working together in the new XCOM: Chimera Squad game, but you know not everyone is happy about that. Publisher 2K Games announced today that developer Firaxis is launching the new standalone XCOM game for PC. Chimera Squad picks up five years after the events of XCOM 2. And you can start playing April 24 for just $10.

In XCOM: Chimera Squad, players command an elite squad of humans and aliens. Your mission is to take out an underground threat to City 31, which is a beacon of peace and harmony. But some people always seem to have a problem with peace and harmony, and it’s your job to take them out.

“We’re inspired by our passionate community and excited by the opportunity to create a dynamic, innovative, and unique XCOM experience for both fans of our games and new players in XCOM: Chimera Squad,” Firaxis president Steve Martin said.

To ensure that as many players as possible can get into XCOM, Firaxis is positioning Chimera Squad as a standalone release. This is despite its $10 introductory pricing, which suggests it is more of an expansion to XCOM 2.

“We know fans have been eager to dive back into the world of XCOM,” 2K marketing boss Melissa Bell said. “XCOM: Chimera Squad offers tremendous value and we’re intentionally lowering the barriers of entry for new fans to the franchise with a game XCOM veterans will really enjoy.”

XCOM: Chimera Squad

The most notable new feature in Chimera Squad is its focus on characters. The titular team comprises 11 distinct agents that have set personalities and abilities. This is significantly different to the procedurally generated soldiers in previous XCOM games.

The idea is to combine the special skills of each unit into synergistic attacks. And you’ll need to rely on these tag teams to survive because Chimera Squad also uses interleaved turns. This means turn order isn’t based on one squad and then the next. Instead, the order alternates based on an automated initiative roll.

XCOM: Chimera Squad is a standalone followup to XCOM 2 2

Above: Squad.

Image Credit: Firaxis Games

Another big change is Breach Mode, which is a new round that starts before the combat. In this phase, players use different character abilities to enter strategically enter a battle.

“With XCOM: Chimera Squad, we felt there were exciting gameplay opportunities yet to be discovered within the XCOM universe,” lead designer Mark Nauta said. “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.”

But if this all sounds strange, you don’t have long to wait. The game is coming out in under two weeks. So you can see for yourself.

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