Behold! It's the XCOM 2 E3 gameplay demo

XCOM 2 snake
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XCOM 2 is set 20 years after the events of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, which according to canon ended with the Earth's surrender to the invading aliens. Humanity now lives under the oppressive control of Advent, but XCOM still exists—no longer as an elite military force, but as a band of underground resistance fighters, forced to conduct a guerrilla war against a vastly superior and heavily entrenched enemy.

The ten-minute gameplay video released today features a four-man team on a mission to disrupt the unveiling of a giant statue commemorating the 20th anniversary of "Unification Day." Gameplay is similar to that of the original, intercut with brief cinematic interludes that add a little extra narrative heft. XCOM 2's new aerial drones are on full display, as are melee weapons, although I remain unconvinced that swords have any place in a proper gunfight.

The video ends on an interesting note, with 'victory' in the form of a job done, half the team dead, and the survivors hauling ass before they end up the same way. It's not exactly a fist-pumping moment of triumph, but such is the nature of resistance campaigns. (Or at least that's the lesson I learned from Red Dawn.) XCOM 2 is due out in November.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.