XCOM: Chimera Squad Really Leans into the Series’ Horny Undertones

Torque the snake lady is lewd, and so is every game developer.

XCOM, like all video games, is inexcusably horny. It has been since at least XCOM 2 — when the series introduced big tittied, all-female snake soldiers with prehensile tongues that squeeze your guys up real tight. Firaxis, developer of Civilization and the modern XCOM games, has mostly tried to deny knowledge of this fact. Even as the game’s official Twitter account continued to post low-key horny fan art from the game. And I’m happy to report that the latest installment, XCOM: Chimera Squad, just drops the pretense altogether. This game absolutely fucks.

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There’s a lot to unpack about the above image and the design of the Vipers in general: from the obvious bondage, to putting feminine traits on a monster, to the extra thick part of the alien’s tail where a human’s hips and butt would be, to the way her snaky coils prop up the XCOM soldier’s breasts.

None of this is new. You can find people lusting over the Vipers (in much more explicit ways) since they were announced as part of XCOM 2. And indeed, this specific fan art dates back all the way to 2015.

It wasn’t even the only horny thing happening in XCOM back then. The entire premise of those games involved alien “Elders” subjugating other species with mind control and forced transformations (that just so happen to also give them huge tatas). You can trace both back to transformation fantasies and hypno fetishes. Snakes even feature prominently in the latter

There are also the lithe, nude, and oiled up Sectoids that dominate your squad with their own psionic powers. More subtly, Chimera Squad also sports characters like Zephyr: a human-alien hybrid and wife material with big, bare biceps that she uses to beat enemies to death. Less subtly, Verge, your own slightly-less-nude Sectoid operative, dangles his bare toes in front of the camera any time you inspect him back at base.

And of course you can recruit your own tsundere Viper, Torque — finally giving a very normal, human lady voice to a Viper, that she uses urge her prey to “just go to sleep” as you spam tongue attacks and body binding. Sometimes she even talks about swallowing Canadians during the war before the events of this game. They were maple flavored. So, you know, you’ve got your vore.

Chimera Squad is just a cavalcade of kinks. Even the very monsters, or in this case aliens and hybrids, share the spotlight.

A Slightly Higher Quality Image of the Waifu Club. from r/Xcom

It’s even undeniably canonical this time, as Reddit users have pointed out. There’s in-game art advertising Viper sex workers, or at the very least promotional material playing off the desirability of the snake women. Maybe it’s just a nod to the XCOM community of lamia lovers, but it is there.

And all of it is wrapped up (pun intended) in imagery of humanoid monsters, or in this case aliens, which is increasingly common erotica fodder. Queer folks in particular often find something to identify with in monster fucking. Fantasies and fan art surrounding it can be a way to appropriate the way society treats their bodies and desires. Other times it’s a good, fictional way to sidestep the baggage that comes with our patriarchal world. You can dream of a cute boy with a big honking dick that’s just as much of an outsider as you, because he’s literally a fish.

Dicks aside, I doubt Firaxis will ever go — or be allowed to go — whole hog with the fuckiness of XCOM. It’s still pretty tough to spot unless you have my level of internet brain poisoning. And mainstream games in general still view sex as something more shameful than mass murder. But honestly? Leaning into it is probably the smartest thing the series could do, and Chimera Squad is an obvious step in that direction.

Consider how turn-based tactical cousin Fire Emblem exploded back into relevance the moment international players realized they could make their units kiss. Mix that with the interspecies romantic hijinks of Mass Effect. Now there’s a franchise with a ravenous fanbase just waiting for something to fill that void, almost as much as they wanted Garrus to fill all of theirs. Intentionally or not, XCOM has dipped its alien toes into a formula that feels totally right. And it seems ready to go even further.

XCOM: Chimera Squad is clearly an experiment. It launched at an introductory price of $10 and sports a crew of entirely unique, named soldiers (just like Fire Emblem) for the first time in franchise history. If Firaxis wants to rocket the series into super-stardom, though, there’s only one course: let the snakes fuck.

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Steven Strom

An obsessive writer broadcasting to you live from the middle of nowhere. Thinks cute things are good, actually.

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