Firaxis is having, not quite a Beyoncé moment this morning, but a pretty darn close moment with XCOM: Chimera Squad, a new installment in the acclaimed strategy series that is coming to PC ten days from now on April 24.
Set after the events of XCOM 2, Chimera Squad follows a group of 11 squadmates with distinct backstories and abilities as they undergo tactical missions with a new strategies that are unlike previous games in the series made possible by each character having their own designated combat roles and powers. This squad is tasked with dealing with various baddies across a city, and managing the general outlook about the state of things with each mission you complete. Finishing combat encounters help lower the “unrest” levels in different city districts, which is part of the game you’ll have to manage as you prioritize missions and keep the public calm. Failing to do so will result in a non-standard Game Over as the city you’re protecting falls to anarchy. Because who needs citizens to be feeling stressed out about how their governing powers are handling things in times like this?
It’s worth noting that when the game launches in the 24th it will be during an XCOM series sale, and Firaxis and 2K are including the game among those discounts, meaning if you buy Chimera Squad before May 1, you can get it for $9.99, half of its usual $19.99 price tag.
You can get a sense of the Chimera Squad’s dynamic in the animated reveal trailer, where the characters are all getting chummy with one another after they’ve completed their mission, below:
Then also you can see the game in motion, with a full gameplay breakdown of all its new team-based and management mechanics:
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At the moment, XCOM: Chimera Squad is only coming to PC, but the series has a pretty sizable presence on consoles as well. For example, XCOM 2 is available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but it did take a few months to make it there. Meanwhile, the Switch is getting an entire XCOM 2 Collection next month, which will bring the game and its add-on content to Nintendo’s platform at the end of May. So while Chimera Squad might not be on your platform of choice right now, maybe keep an eye out for a console announcement in the coming months.
While Chimera Squad is a standalone spin-off, the series has kind of lived off of expansions and one-offs like this for the majority of its life. In fact, XCOM 2 is the only “numbered” game in the series, so while some might be looking for a definitive sequel in the form of a hypothetical XCOM 3, that doesn’t seem to be the series’ MO at the moment. But that doesn’t mean we won’t see a proper sequel in the future, as Firaxis has been hiring for major positions like World Builders as recently as November.