The story-driven Slingshot pack adds armor decoration options for mid- and late-game armor as well as three missions starring a new central character, Triad operative Zhang. According to Ananda Gupta, the lead designer of the Slingshot pack, the purpose of the DLC is to add a miniature story arc to a game propelled by strategy and emergent narrative. “There are these external [narrative] moments on the strategy layer where you’re talking to personnel at base and you hit these key moments in the game where the invasion is progressing,” Gupta says. “But we’ve never done designed storytelling in combat. We thought it would be cool to touch on that in DLC outside the core scope of the game and give players a designed character that can enter their squad of player-driven characters.”
Zhang is a Heavy soldier with slightly better stats than the average XCOM trooper--but he’s still totally mortal. If he dies in any mission after being recruited, he’s gone for good (because that’s how XCOM rolls). However, completing the Slingshot pack gives players early research access to the Blaster Launcher, a highly devastating weapon perfect for transforming aliens into piles of organic goo.
No information regarding pricing or release date for either DLC pack has been announced so far, but be sure to check back for updates in the near future. In the meantime, let us know in the comments below if you like this direction for XCOM DLC. Do you find story-driven missions interesting? Or would you rather see new weapons, armor, and base facilities? Either way, you’ll soon have even more reasons for leading crusades against alien invaders.