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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Announcements – Fallout 4 and XCOM 2

Last week, 2K teased us with the word ‘Advent’, and an advertisement for a seemingly utopian society. As details were released, it became apparent that  a supposedly near-future government called the Advent Administration offered a better life for citizens through genetic enhancement. Meanwhile, hackers text and images are hacked and replaced, revealing that Advent isn’t as omnibenevolent as it seems.

Now, a week later, and suddenly we’re hit with…a trailer. And not just any trailer – what we have is the world premier of XCOM 2, sequel to 2K’s critically acclaimed XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Welcome back, Commander.

The trailer hits us with a few bombshells – XCOM is no longer the planetary defense force for the entire of earth, defending it from invasion. Instead, the aliens are already here, and have a foothold within our society. Effectively, what happened was that the XCOM of the first game failed, and the world leaders surrendered to the alien forces. Now, you control the remnants of XCOM, as you must fight for humanity’s freedom as the Advent Administration seeks to completely subjugate humanity.

Meet the new and evolved Sectoids…ugly as sin, and just as deadly

The trailer effectively introduces new enemy and character types – Evolved Sectoids, new serpentine Vipers and ADVENT soldiers (what I assume to be genetically augmented humans) are among your gallery of foes, and new soldier classes seem to range from Grenadiers (packing a grenade launcher) to some kind of techy-techy people (sporting drones to provide assistance). One of the things to note about your units is there is also new melee weaponry, specifically a sword – this was something which caught my eye in the previous game. Primarily, the enemy are engaged through ranged combat, and it wasn’t until Enemy Within that with the use of MEC suits that your characters could engage aliens in close combat. Now it appears you can gear your soldiers up with weaponry which allows even the most unprepared soldier to do some damage up close and personal.

Whilst not shown in the trailer, these pictures give us an idea of how the final product will look like…and it looks fantastic.

You also catch a glimpse of your new base, a converted alien supply craft which is more mobile than the HQ you were situated in in the previous game – which is a logical step, considering how you want to be one-step ahead of a world conquering organisation.

Additionally, it appears that this is a PC exclusive, so until further announcements it seems that this will  be one to look out for on Steam…and with a November release date, it’ll arrive just in time for the Steam Winter Sales too. I think I just heard my wallet sigh in relief.

Now, we could end it there…or we could more onto the other announcement, which arrived mere moments ago. War…war never changes.


And Fallout never looked so good.

So, what can we take away from this? Well, the first minute and a half spends time dipping in and out of a town, switching from pre-to-post-Fallout. We are introduced to Vault 111, a new Vault which you can bet your ass will be the starting place for your character. We see that ‘blinking to the sunlight’ trip, similar to the Fallout 3, and are given a few shots of some new locations, from what looks to be the outskirts of a city(looks like a museum area too) to a beached ship (with thrusters…can’t wait to meet the folks who thought THAT was a good idea), a city street illuminated by a street lamp (although my attention was on the guy walking beneath that light…looks a lot like the Mysterious Stranger) to several shots of various locations to be found in this vast open world. We also catch a glimpse of some of the people you will encounter; the magnificent monstrosity known as the Deathclaw, new ghouls, a rusty old Protectron, an Eyebot, Brotherhood of Steel soldiers and more creatures which crawl the wastes.

One of the final scenes of the trailer appears to be a workshop, sporting a defunct Nuka Cola dispenser, laden with various weaponry, and even a Power Armour suit…could this mean that our Wanderer will get his own home to call his own? Given how Bethesda allowed the character in Skyrim to find a place to call his own, it might not be so far fetched…would make a change from lugging around a suit of Power Armour all around the place. It also seems that you will, somewhere along the line, find a trusty companion in the dog which has been present throughout the entire trailer…wonder if he shares a similar name to the other canine companions who have joined Fallout players over the years…

A little digging later, and I found out that previous theories about the game being set in Boston rang some truths – in the trailer, we see the Capital building of Boston with it’s unique “Golden Dome”.

No release date yet, but we can take a sneak peek at the box art – and it looks like its headed for the current-gen consoles and PC.

All in all, both of these games look amazing. Despite being lacking any gameplay elements, the XCOM 2 trailer sets up the scene perfectly for those who have played the series before and those who haven’t. You’re fighting for humanity at a time when all seems lost, and as this mysterious Advent  Administration seeks to tighten its hold on humanity. Fallout 4 focuses on showing the world of Fallout using in-game graphics to give us a taste of how the world of Fallout will look on the Now-Gen consoles. Whilst it only hints at the massive story which lies ahead, it is enough to get me waiting with bated breath for the next batch of information…which, as it turns out, will be at E3 on Sunday, June 14th.

Daniel Delargy
Daniel Delargy
I read. I write. I play.

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