XCOM: Chimera Squad (opens in new tab), a new entry in the beloved real-time strategy series, launches exclusively for PC on April 24
In a press release from 2K and Firaxis Games accompanying the first batch of gameplay images for the upcoming title (seen below), the developer describes Chimera Squad as neither a sequel nor an expansion pack. The game also comes with a "special limited-time introductory price" of $9.99/£8.50, which suggests it won't be quite as long or hefty as its predecessor, 2016's XCOM 2 (opens in new tab).
Set five years after the events of that sequel, Chimera Squad promises to bring a suite of fresh mechanics and ideas to its tried and tested tactics formula. For one thing, your Chimera Squad of the title - an elite peacekeeping group attempting to suppress underground forces unhappy with Earth's tenuous coalition between aliens and humanity - is now made up of humans, hybrids, and alien agents, each with their own unique personalities and traits.
The many ways the video game community is helping coronavirus relief efforts (opens in new tab)
There's also a new Breach Mode combat phase, allowing players to get the drop on their foes by coordinating a synchronised assault on their position, while Interleaved Turns now allow for an "automatic initiative system" which queues units up for subsequent actions, adding a new strategic layer to consider in every fight.
Firaxis promises that there's also plenty of the class customisation, progression systems, and side missions that you can get expect from a typical XCOM game in Chimera Squad, which is Firaxis describe as a more action-heavy and faster paced twist of the series' traditional gameplay.
If you purchase your (digital only) copy of XCOM: Chimera Squad from Steam before May 1, you'll be able to get a $10/£8.50 discount on its RRP, which will hop back up to $19.99/£16.99 following that deal period. With this, and the impending arrival of XCOM 2 on Nintendo Switch, it's certainly a good time to be a fan of strategic alien-smashing.