XCOM: Enemy Unknown served as a rejuvenation of the XCOM turn-based strategy franchise, and put the series back on the map in a big way. Considering the success of that reboot, no one was surprised when 2K Games finally confirmed that a sequel was on in the pipeline, in the form of XCOM 2.
Since its announcement, XCOM 2 has been a major focus for 2K Games, and one of their most publicized titles. Fans of the franchise are eagerly anticipating the game, and had hoped to get their hands on it as early as November of this year. Unfortunately, plans have changed, and the wait for XCOM 2 will be a little longer.
As announced today by Firaxis, the studio behind the rebooted XCOM franchise, the game has been delayed from its original release window of November 2015 to February 5th, 2016. This delay has come about in order for the studio to better refine and polish the experience for players.
Firaxis has issued a statement regarding the delay:
“We’ve set a high bar for the sequel and the entire team has been working hard to make sure we deliver a great follow-up to Enemy Unknown. We just need a little more time to make it the best possible game. With XCOM 2, we want to have more depth, more replayability, and more investment in your soldiers and this extension will give us the time we need to deliver on our promise to you. We appreciate your patience and continued support as we move towards February.”
This delay is unfortunate, but in the long run, it should be good for the game. After all, XCOM 2 is looking to be a marked improvement from the already impressive Enemy Unknown, and fans would probably rather wait a bit longer for a better game than get a rushed product that is plagued with technical issues.
XCOM 2 is shaping up to be fairly ambitious and not just a by-the-numbers sequel. It will incorporate plenty of new gameplay elements, such as new classes and enemies, as well as a focus on procedurally generated maps and destructible environments. Obviously developing complicated gameplay mechanics like this takes time, and it’s good that Firaxis has decided to delay the game in order to deliver the best product possible, as opposed to releasing one that doesn’t live up to the expectations gamers have for the franchise now after the incredible XCOM: Enemy Unknown.
While Firaxis says that they aren’t even discussing PS4 or Xbox One versions of XCOM 2 right now, this delay is potentially bad news for console gamers that are fans of the franchise as well. If in fact a port of XCOM 2 is going to come eventually, this delay of the game on PC means that a theoretical console version is now even further off in the distance.
XCOM 2 is coming February 5th, 2016 for PC, Mac, and Linux systems.