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XCOM Legends is a free-to-play gacha strategy game set in the world of XCOM 2

XCOM Legends is a new free-to-play strategy game which has quietly added another XCOM installment to the Android library.

The game was spotted over the weekend thanks to gameplay uploaded by YouTube channel Android IOS Cabogame (recorded through a VPN redirected to the Philippines), and without a peep from IP holder 2K or parent company Take-Two. Some XCOM fans seem to have taken the video as an official reveal, or they've at least taken offense to it, judging from how many dislikes it's racked up.

XCOM Legends is currently unavailable in most regions, so 2K is calling this a "soft launch" for now, per a statement sent to Eurogamer. Its Google Play store listing describes it as a turn-based RPG set 20 years after Earth's surrender to the aliens. Between that context and a few familiar faces, it looks like we're squarely in the world of XCOM 2. 

Legends has a single-player campaign and PvP in which you form squads of five and duke it out in linear sequences of shootouts. Your squadmates' abilities, including the spectacular ability to move around the battlefield and away from the exposed locations the game automatically drops you into during stage transitions, are all cooldown-based judging from the early footage. 

The store listing for XCOM Legends invites prospective commanders to "collect legendary heroes" of multiple races, and the video above confirms that to do so you'll need to try your hand at the game's gacha system, here known as the Archway. Once that little detail clicked in my head, the other gacha features here – base-building, equippable runes, etc. – started to make more sense. 

XCOM Legends is seemingly the first game from developer Iridium Starfish, which has no other games listed on the Google Play store or its website. According to Legends' store listing, the studio is headquartered at Take-Two's New York office, and the only reason I looked that up was to confirm that this whole thing wasn't a hallucination on my part. It's not the first XCOM game on mobile platforms, though. You can play XCOM: Enemy Within, the XCOM 2 Collection, and the XCOM board game on Android as well. 

Mainline XCOM developer Firaxis has "several" new games to show this year.

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.