XCOM 2 and Civ BE: Rising Tide PAX 2015 Panel
Rising Tide expands Civ BE like XCOM Enemy Within expanded XCOM Enemy Unknown with new technology that ties into the base game, expanding on the military aspect, adding new powers and units that don't replace current items just augment them by adding in hybrid affinities and cities that can be built on water and can float around to get more territory, as it can either move or build units.
Some of the new units that were mentioned are, the Purity-Supremicy "Golem" which is a large walking tank that can turn into a siege wall, the Purity-Harmony "Immortal" which is a sort of advanced scout with bio-infused armour and looks almost angelic that has no terrain penality and the Harmony-Supremicy "Aquilon" which is a flying aircraft carrier and the artists were told "Think of a meat-zeplin", to which Soloman said "Not the first time that phrase was uttered at Firaxis"
The XCOM 2 panel started off with the phrase "breaking the rules" when it comes to games, which this sequal does do with some of the units, Jake Soloman expanded upon that with a quick overview of how they expanded some aliens and replaced others, to which he mentions the Muton, a few people went "wooo" and Soloman said "Take them away, they are sympathisers"
One thing I will note here and make it very visible as it's own line is that in the XCOM 2 panel on each alien shown, except on the Beserker, Crysalid and the sneak peek at the end is that Soloman and Gregory Foertsch said a lot about the blending of human DNA with the aliens for this expansion, and it does work very well.
The first alien we see is the Sectoid, gone is the old small "grey" that we saw in the old X-COM's and even XCOM 1, to which Soloman said "cute little pot bellied aliens" and Foertsch said that with XCOM being built off UFO lore they had a good baseline for the Sectoids, this one is now 7 foot tall grey being with large eyes and a very open jawline, and will go back to the original Sectoid "scamper" with movement. A new power of the Sectoid is the ability to "reanimate" the dead, they can control 3 corpses at once, if the controlling Sectoid is killed however the zombies drop back dead.
The Muton is updated as well, slender, less armour in places to allow for better and more human movement of the armoured beast, it is around 8 foot tall, as Foertsch mentioned, this is going a little bit backwards with the armour changes but in this case pushed the scale and added a more muscular frame, plus they like to get close and melee your troops, but Mutons do have a counter attack for any melee attempt, the video for this showed a few Muton melee attacks and some Rangers attempting to melee a Muton and getting reverse attacked, as Soloman said "That was a sequence of brutality."
The Chryssalid, to which a large amount of groaning was heard from the audience as the concept art was shown, Soloman leads off with explaining how do you "improve" the Chryssalid (his terminology there) and Foertsch mentioned that this is the first time seeing the concept art and that the new one is just the old one looking more metal with larger spikes and with a more subdued colour scheme and looking more poisonous, which they did, it now can burrow underground to become ".. the worst proximity mine imaginable" and can coccoon others which when the coccoon pops open 3 more Crysalids appear, Soloman said after a few groans and signs from the audience "I obviously made a good decision" and then "Your tears are like candy to me."
The Beserker, a rebuild on the old one, she is no longer wearing armour but you can see obvious ports and mechanical bits thoughout her body to mostly push the differences between the two, she is even bigger than the Muton and without armour the thicker skin is how the armour, Foertsch mentioned this is where they would be held and then roided up before being released, one counter to that is that when she does enter a rage that she will attack anything organic nearby, so will attack ADVENT soldiers as well as Operatives, the video shows the Beseker just smashing Operatives.
The ADVENT Mech is up next, and this one is a red painted one which Soloman mentions is a "level 2" and now is less 'human' than the XCOM ones but this one is a very angular and robotic enemy, no human parts at all and comes with the default heavy rifle and a missile launcher that fires 3 shots at once from the back and can clear out cover.
The ADVENT Stun Lancer is a new operative, which it is mentioned that ADVENT employs both male and female troops in battle, this one is an insane person who will just run though open fields to hit your operatives with a stun-weapon, they won't take cover, if you are lucky it will only be a one-turn stun, unlucky will be fully unconscious, and Soloman joked about "mind controlling them."
The XCOM Heavy Trooper is up, they come with default a mini-gun, the sub-class grenadier is shown with a rotary grenade launcher that can blow up cover and shows off the new destruction mechanics as well, due to it being a sub-class not much is shown, but it does give us a great addition to the XCOM lineup
After a discussion of the lore and story of XCOM, Soloman mentioned that there is going to be an XCOM novel penned by Greg Keyes that bridges between XCOM 1 and XCOM 2 and that the way they did XCOM was to not detract from the "aliens beaten we won" gameplay, but expand on the majority (as shown by Steam's achievement tracker) the "XCOM lost" storyline we are shown a portion of the new and highly advanced customisation options for XCOM 2's character creation.
Soloman mentioned that the monocle was added as a joke and is still there, as well as that soldiers can be saved and reappear in later games as scientists, rookies, friendlies you rescue or antagonists, also that you can share with other people, Soloman mentions about one of the people he created is based on his wife, and the joy of "supplies for the ship or saving the wife." This montage also shows the default XCOM weaponry as well, including a better shot of the Gremlin, a new support robot tha can remote hack or provide a cover shield for operatives.
A sneak peek shown with a bit of a tounge-in-cheek showing Bradford playing Civ Beyond Earth on the Advenger's computer to be interrupted by the councilman stating that there is a new enemy, which we see briefly in a very bad quality video of a new unit the "Faceless" which is going to add a very intresting enemy to face with your Operatives.
Civ Beyond Earth Rising Tide is out October 9th and is on Steam for £24.99 but has 10% off until release. XCOM 2 is out Febuary 5th 2016 and is on Steam for £39.99 with a pre-order bonus of the Resistance Warrior pack.