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Behold! It's the XCOM 2 E3 gameplay demo

XCOM 2 snake

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 Chalk
Andy covers the day-to-day happenings in the big, wide world of PC gaming—the stuff we call "news." In his off hours, he wishes he had time to play the 80-hour RPGs and immersive sims he used to love so much.