Firaxis Games shed some light today on something previously shrouded in mystery in its upcoming turn-based strategy game, XCOM 2. Dark Events, as they are called, were first teased in a 12-minute preview for the game released back in August. But it wasn’t until today that Firaxis detailed just how these Dark Events affect gameplay.
Set 20 years after the events of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, XCOM 2 depicts a nightmare scenario: humanity has succumbed to alien invaders. The once-mighty XCOM defense force has been reduced to a mere resistance movement, and Earth is now controlled by a puppet government called ADVENT, which spins propaganda for the aliens and carries out their will. XCOM 2 once more hands the player the reins of the Commander from the first game, and it is their job to build XCOM back up to its glory days and drive back humanity’s oppressors once and for all.
Dark Events are in-game modifiers that can randomly appear within what Firaxis calls the “Strategy Layer” of XCOM 2, which is the interface located in the human insurgency’s home base that allows players to allocate resources, train troops, and manage funds for the benefit of humankind. In the game’s lore, Dark Events represent actions taken by ADVENT to cripple XCOM’s progress. Their actions range from the minor (improving the gear of ADVENT soldiers in a mission) to the major (deploying UFOs that can attack the player’s troops during a mission, or even slipping in aliens known as the Faceless that disguise themselves as innocent civilians), and they appear in greater frequency as the player progresses throughout the game. Players can combat Dark Events by deploying Guerilla Ops in hazardous regions, or by spending Intel resources to uncover hidden Dark Events scattered throughout the game.
With a greater array of traps and deceptions than ever before, XCOM 2 is shaping up to be an even more dastardly – and addicting – experience that its predecessors. Dark Events will be just one force to keep players constantly on their toes, with surely more to be announced as XCOM 2’s release draws near.
XCOM 2 is set to release on February 5, 2016.