Shock Tactics is an XCOM clone with an exploration twist

Shock Tactics is a very XCOM-like turn-based tactical combat game that puts players at the head of a team of mercenaries exploring a newly-discovered alien world on behalf of the Free Space Pioneers. Naturally, exploration is only part of the job, and you're not carrying all those guns because they look snazzy: You'll have to square off against pirates, hostile aliens, and the troopers of the Imperial Consortium as you set up outposts, establish dig sites, and seek out powerful alien tech to upgrade your base, weapons, and armor. 

Battles in Shock Tactics will take place on procedurally-generated maps built on three different environments, populated by "smart enemies that employ a large array of tactics." Character movement is based on action points, with an "interrupt system" that will halt movements when new enemies are spotted, "so you can asses the situation and spend your remaining action points accordingly." But don't dawdle too much, as some objectives are time-sensitive, and you don't want to get tangled up in enemy reinforcements.

"Shock Tactics is our own vision of modern-age strategy games. The very aggressive turn-based gameplay forces players to get rid of familiar habits and defensive tactics and deal with new, more active ways of fighting enemies,“ said Leonard Kausch, game director at developer Point Blank Games. "We can’t wait until the players finally can see the results of our development.“ 

The website at doesn't have a lot more to say about it, but you can get a deeper insight into what the developers have planned at the Square Enix Collective, which Shock Tactics passed through in mid-2015. The XCOM influence is obvious, but that's not necessarily a knock against it: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all. Shock Tactics is expected to come out early this year. 

Andy Chalk

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.