Just when you thought your Iron Man run couldn’t get any more punishing, Firaxis has detailed the new Dark Events coming to XCOM 2. These are randomised events controlled by Advent, the traitorous human operatives working with the alien invaders. In keeping with XCOM 2’s procedural and randomly generated nature, they throw in curveball modifers to missions designed to always keep you guessing.
The Dark Events can vary from something as simple as stronger enemy infantry, all the way up to more deadly modifiers such as deploying a UFO which mercilessly hunts down your team mid-level. The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry, and that seems to be precisely the case with these Dark events, which add an additional layer of strategy to XCOM 2, ramping up in frequency as you gain more control of Earth.
Other Advent Dark Events include the horrifying prospect of hiding additional Faceless among the human population, or arming Advent troops with Viper rounds - a type of poisonous ammunition made from alien Viper venom.
“These are just a few instances of Dark Events, and XCOM 2 will feature a wide array of modifiers that ADVENT will be able to employ as it successfully achieves more and more Dark Events throughout the XCOM 2 campaign; however, players can combat Dark Events through Guerilla Ops that will be surfaced on the Geoscape,” write Firaxis. “Left alone, Dark Events will greatly inhibit XCOM’s ability to defeat ADVENT.”
It would be fair to say XCOM: Enemy Unknown’s gameplay became somewhat predictable towards the latter half of the campaign, but these randomised events should go some way to ensure XCOM 2 has greater staying power. The only proviso is you have fair warning going into a mission rather than find out half way through, which could prove pretty galling if you were to lose a well-trained squad member.
Standing out from the crowd in a packed Q1 2016 launch schedule, XCOM 2 is out on February 5th.