Firaxis has decided to follow XCOM 2 with a new standalone game XCOM: Chimera Squad. While not XCOM 3, XCOM: Chimera Squad is a standalone addition to the XCOM series. The game was announced on April 14th, with a new trailer on the XCOM youtube channel. The game will be digital-only and is currently on Steam for $19.99 but there is a sale on the game until May 1st, dropping the price to $9.99. The game is slotted to release on April 24th.
XCOM: Chimera Squad deviates from XCOM 2‘s formula aligning itself more closely with The Bureau: XCOM Declassified. Along with the price point, XCOM: Chimera Squad, just like The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, will use a pre-built squad of eleven characters with unique abilities instead of randomly generated soldiers to train individually. Players will need to maximize the synergy between the eleven characters to be successful.
A small gameplay teaser was added in addition to the reveal trailer. One significant change in the mixing of player and enemy turns. Previously, the players would move all their characters in one turn followed by the enemy, now player and enemy turns will be happening together as Wasteland intermixes their turns. Players can choose what order their characters turn will be during breach mode, but not how they are intermixed and turn order can be changed.
Another change is that each mission will have 3 distinct encounters to each of them. The first encounter is called breach mode. Players can choose from various entry points to the primary set piece of the mission. Each breach point offers a perk or disadvantage and some are only accessible by certain agents and the last encounters play out in a traditional XCOM fashion. An operator can be downed and stabilized, but when an operator dies the mission is failed and must be restarted, unlike previous games which would continue as normal. Of course, every mission begins in the XCOM headquarters. Like in XCOM: Enemy Unknown, the player must juggle unrest across City 31, the world map which the game is in, and conduct research along with managing finances.
The story for XCOM: Chimera Squad is set after the fall of ADVENT, as a result of the events of XCOM 2. Humans and remaining aliens try to form an uneasy alliance inside City 31, where the player commands Chimera Squad. Chimera Squad is comprised of former XCOM soldiers and some aliens and they juggle the unrest and prevent the fall of City 31. Since Chimera Squad has aliens in it, some of the eleven operators are alien. So far, the player can control a Viper, Sectoid, and Muton who all have the abilities from the previous game such as tongue grab and mind control.