XCOM 2: War of the Chosen – E3 2017

The latest expansion to XCOM 2, XCOM 2:War of the Chosen, is coming to PC, Xbox One, and Playstation 4 on August 29. Shown off at the PC Gaming Show, War of the Chosen will add three new recruitable factions, as well as the Chosen, one of the most powerful enemies that Commanders have ever had to face.

The Chosen are a powerful enemy that you will fight throughout the game, and who will grow alongside you and your soldiers. Rather than simply killing them for good like the standard Sectoid or Faceless, the Chosen will be back, mission after mission, gaining new abilities in order to defeat you. They’re also a challenge off of the battlefield—the Chosen will capture, interrogate, and kill soldiers in order to get information on you, and use that information to take down your global network.

There are three Chosen that you’ll have to contend with throughout the game: the Assassin, the Hunter, and the Warlock. The Assassin is an honour-bound warrior, skilled with close-combat and stealth tactics. She can disappear at will, meaning your overwatch might not be quite as good as it usually is. The Hunter is a long-range fighter, using sniper tactics to pick your soldiers off from a distance. Finally, the Warlock is…well, a warlock. Magic and stuff.

Along with the three Chosen, XCOM 2: War of the Chosen adds three new factions battling ADVENT. The Reapers, the Skirmishers, and the Templars will be invaluable companions in your fight against the aliens. The only issue is that they don’t really like each other, so you might have some trouble getting them to work together. Like the Chosen, each faction will have its own abilities, except this time they’re in your favour. This makes it really important to pick the faction you want, and get them on your side. Their soldiers can turn the tide of a battle against powerful foes.

The Reapers are stealth saboteurs, a great way to pick your enemies off one by one. The Skirmishers are former ADVENT soldiers who left to fight in the resistance, so you’d better believe they have a lot of your enemies’ abilities. Finally, the Templars are psionic soldiers who can build up their powers over a number of attacks. They grow stronger throughout the mission, and will eventually be able to use an ultra-strong attack against your foes. This of course brings a new layer of strategy into how to use them. Is it better to wait while they reach their maximum potential in a mission before unleashing them, or should you use a slightly less powerful attack sooner to pick off a pesky enemy? That’s up to you.

The Chosen aren’t the only new enemy you’ll be facing in War of the Chosen. The Lost are heavily mutated, zombie-like humans who live in humanity’s former great cities. Turned into monsters by the aliens’ weapons of mass destruction during the events of the original XCOM, the Lost wander around aimlessly until they are disturbed. Drawn to the sound of combat, the Lost will move towards your battles and pose a new threat to both you and the aliens. Although a single Lost is pretty weak, they’re almost never alone. Huge swarms of the monsters will converge on you, throwing the battlefield into chaos and ruining your perfectly planned tactics. When they come at you from every angle, cover is a bit useless.

XCOM 2: War of the Chosen will launch for PC, Xbox, and Playstation on August 29.