Xenonauts 2: Embracing the Spirit of Old-school XCOM with a Fresh Twist

XCOM is a well-known game, but Xenonauts from 2014 really stayed true to the original X-COM game from 1994. Xenonauts added even more layers to its tough turn-based fights, mixing detailed tech upgrades with exciting tactical battles. Now, Xenonauts 2 is here, building on that legacy. It dives deeper into strategy, detail, and challenge to pay respect to the original games that came before it.

Xenonauts 2
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Imagine a world where the Cold War never ended, and the year is 2009. Global geopolitical tensions escalate, and UFO activity intensifies alongside it, pushing society to the brink. In this chaotic setting, you command a multinational special forces team with a crucial mission – protect Earth and eliminate the alien invaders. The equipment at your disposal may seem outdated, like M16s and M9 Berettas, a stark reminder of a world unable to progress amid continuous turmoil. But as you delve deeper into the conflict, you uncover and adapt alien technology, opening up new possibilities. Narratively, Xenonauts 2 strikes a balance between charming humor and dark, foreboding moments, keeping players engaged throughout the journey.

Embracing Xenonauts 2: A Welcoming Experience for Newcomers and Veterans Alike

If you’re new to the world of Xenonauts or even the XCOM franchise, there’s no need to be intimidated. Xenonauts 2 excels in its ability to explain and present its intricate systems seamlessly. Unlike its predecessor, which offered a challenging, trial-by-fire experience, this sequel takes a different approach. It introduces a comprehensive tutorial that guides you through the gameplay, ensuring you won’t feel lost.

Xenonauts 2
(Image Credit: Google)

One of the standout features is the fantastic nesting tooltip mechanism. This smart tool allows you to quickly grasp essential terms and processes within the user interface. The game presents a wealth of information to internalize, and you’ll likely find yourself referring to the tooltips throughout multiple campaigns, especially given the game’s unforgiving difficulty level.

Whether you’re a seasoned veteran of XCOM or a complete newcomer, Xenonauts 2 welcomes all players with open arms, making it an enjoyable and rewarding experience for everyone.

Xenonauts 2: Mastering the Art of Dual-layered Tension and Strategy

The game expertly maintains a constant and gripping tension through its two interconnected layers of gameplay: the intense squad-based battles and the high-stakes global strategy.

Imagine being in the war room of your base, a crucial part of the game. Here, you control the geoscape, a world map showing alien actions and what your base sensors can see. UFOs move quickly in the skies, and you have to choose if you send jets to stop them. But it’s not easy, and sometimes you’ll have more dangers than ways to stop them.

(Video Credit: GameTrailers)

This macro-level combat system operates on automation, relying on random outcomes influenced by your technology, skill, and the number of air responses. While there’s an option to observe these encounters in real-time from a two-dimensional overhead display, it’s worth noting that this feature may still be under development in the early access version. For now, the observation offers an abstract view of the fight. Nevertheless, the game’s primary focus lies in the ground battles, where you’ll engage in more intimate and tactical encounters.

Xenonauts 2’s dual-layered approach weaves an enthralling web of tension and strategy, providing players with an immersive and thrilling experience that will keep them hooked throughout the game.

Xenonauts 2: A Symphonic Symphony of Squad-Based Strategy

At the heart of Xenonauts 2 lies a meticulously crafted system where every element revolves around the enthralling squad-based conflicts. Your time spent managing your soldiers back at the base, meticulously upgrading their equipment, and carefully choosing research projects all culminate in the pulse-pounding turn-based combat on the battlefield. The joy of planning and strategizing for upcoming challenges is perfectly balanced with the thrill of confronting disorienting and exhilarating scenarios when you drop into the tactical layer.

Xenonauts 2
(Image Credit: Google)

The game has classic features like seeing enemies, taking cover, and chances to hit. But it also brings in new ideas that make you change how you play. You can destroy the environment, breaking walls and making new routes on the map. The way you use action points is detailed: you have to think about which weapon to use and when. It gets intense deciding if you should take a risky shot to save points or aim carefully, or even shoot to hit many enemies at the same time.

Xenonauts 2
(Image Credit: Google)

The complexity deepens with considerations for the morale and panic of your troops, not to mention the added responsibility of protecting or defending neutral civilians during missions. Even seemingly straightforward tasks can quickly evolve into intricate and challenging encounters, pushing your strategic prowess to the limit.

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In Xenonauts 2, you’ll find a harmonious blend of strategic brilliance and intense action, making it a symphonic masterpiece for any fan of squad-based strategy games.

Xenonauts 2: A Rich Tapestry of Varied Missions and Evolving Gameplay

Xenonauts 2 delivers a captivating array of mission types that add depth and excitement to the combat experience. While the standard scenario involves hunting down and securing a downed UFO, there’s room for creativity as you can achieve victory by either eliminating all enemies on the map or by strategically holding the alien vessel for consecutive turns. As the campaign progresses, new mission options emerge, some of which are part of the intriguing main storyline. These include investigating and raiding “Cleaner” outposts, clandestine human factions opposing your cause, as well as missions involving data theft or eliminating VIP targets. The dynamic variety, combined with the adaptability of different maps, ensures that campaigns continually evolve until their hopefully favorable outcomes.

(Image Credit: Google)

Xenonauts 2 stands out from its predecessor with its enhanced variety and unpredictability. With an abundance of new alien types, additional equipment, and expanded research options, the game keeps players on their toes. Notably, the sequel’s skirmishes now unfold in a fully 3D environment, granting the ability to rotate the camera, providing new perspectives and tactical advantages.

However, as time flies by, some of these improvements may start to feel somewhat lacking. While Goldhawk took strides in modernizing the graphics with vibrant character models and sharp special effects, the overall loop of Xenonauts 2 remains strikingly similar to the 2014 title. The complexities and grit of various systems and subsystems endure, and the storyline can feel like a broad rehash. Players expecting a significant leap akin to what was seen between XCOM: Enemy Unknown and XCOM 2 or XCOM 2: War of the Chosen might not find such a drastic transformation here.

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It’s essential to keep in mind that Xenonauts 2 is still in its early access phase. Some aspects, like the detailed aerial combat layer, are unfinished, and certain sections of the story contain placeholder text. Nonetheless, the delightful turn-based combat, which feels fully featured and potent, remains the primary attraction of the game. While Xenonauts 2 may stumble over some rough edges throughout the campaign, it retains its captivating appeal and strategic brilliance.


In conclusion, Xenonauts 2 does not attempt to revolutionize the tactical gaming genre; instead, it carefully modernizes its old-school predecessor while staying true to its roots. As a sequel to a heartfelt tribute to a ’90s classic, it resides comfortably in a unique niche of gaming. While the enhanced variety and challenging scenarios might not push the boundaries significantly beyond what was achieved in 2014, it’s important to recognize that the game was already in an excellent position to start with.

For fans of classic tactical gameplay and those who appreciate a nostalgic twist, Xenonauts 2 delivers a satisfying and compelling experience. Its improvements, though conservative, breathe fresh life into the beloved franchise. The game may not reinvent the wheel, but it masterfully captures the essence of its predecessor while offering enough novelty to captivate both new and veteran players alike.

Ultimately, Xenonauts 2 stands as a testament to the enduring appeal of old-school tactical games, proving that sometimes, it’s the subtle tweaks and staying true to one’s origins that make a sequel worth celebrating.


What is the Story of Xenonauts 2?

Xenonauts 2 is a strategy game developed by Goldhawk Interactive and serves as the sequel to the original Xenonauts. The game’s story revolves around defending Earth from an alien invasion during the Cold War era. Players take on the role of the commander of an international organization known as Xenonauts, tasked with countering the extraterrestrial threat. Throughout the game, players must manage resources, research alien technology, and engage in turn-based tactical combat against the invading forces. The story unfolds as the players uncover the true intentions of the alien invaders and work to prevent global catastrophe.

How Long Has Xenonauts 2 Been in Development?

As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, Xenonauts 2 had been in development for several years. The exact development timeline may vary, and I recommend checking more recent sources for the most up-to-date information.

What is the difference between XCOM and Xenonauts?

XCOM (X-COM) and Xenonauts are both strategy games with a similar premise of defending Earth against alien threats, but they have some differences:

Developer: XCOM is developed by Firaxis Games (for XCOM: Enemy Unknown/Enemy Within) and 2K Games, while Xenonauts is developed by Goldhawk Interactive.

Art Style: Xenonauts has a more retro-style look, reminiscent of classic strategy games, whereas the modern XCOM series features a more contemporary graphical design.

Setting: Xenonauts is set during the Cold War era, while the modern XCOM games are set in the near future.

Combat Mechanics: Both games involve turn-based tactical combat, but there are differences in gameplay mechanics and how actions are executed in each game.

Base Building: Base management is a significant aspect of both games, but they have different approaches to base building and resource management.

What are the new features of Xenonauts 2?

As of my last update, some new features in Xenonauts 2 included improved graphics and visual effects, enhanced AI for both friendly and enemy units, a more dynamic Geoscape world map, expanded base management mechanics, additional alien types and weaponry, and an improved user interface. However, please note that the game might have received further updates and changes since my last knowledge update.

Will Xenonauts 2 ever come out?

As of my last update in September 2021, the game was still in development, and its release date was uncertain. The development of games can be complex, and sometimes it takes longer than expected to complete and release them. I recommend checking more recent sources or the official Goldhawk Interactive website for the latest information on the game’s release status.

Is Xenonauts 2 playable?

As of my last knowledge update, there might have been playable demos or early access versions available for Xenonauts 2, but the full game release was still pending. Again, I recommend checking the official website or game distribution platforms for the latest information on its playability.

What year does Xenonauts take place?

Xenonauts and Xenonauts 2 are set during the Cold War era, which typically spans from the late 1940s to the early 1990s. The exact year in which the games take place might vary depending on the in-game events and the player’s progression.

How long is Xenonauts 2 demo?

The duration of the Xenonauts 2 demo can vary depending on the content included in the demo version and the player’s playstyle. Demos are usually designed to provide a taste of the gameplay and mechanics rather than the full experience. It’s best to refer to the official sources or game platforms offering the demo for specific details on its length.

How much is Xenonauts 2 release?

As of my last update, the official release price for Xenonauts 2 had not been finalized. Game prices can vary based on factors like platform, region, and the edition of the game (standard, deluxe, collector’s edition, etc.). To get the most accurate and up-to-date information on the game’s release price, I recommend checking the official website or game distribution platforms

Is XCOM 3 happening?

As of my last update in September 2021, there had been no official announcement from Firaxis Games or 2K Games about XCOM 3. However, the XCOM series had been well-received, and it is plausible that the developers may continue the franchise with a third installment. For the latest information on XCOM 3, I recommend checking official announcements or recent gaming news.

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