XCOM inspired Xenonauts 2 has been announced

Xenonauts 1 was a turn based strategy game released back in 2014 and heavily inspired by the old XCOM series. Rather than simply copy the XCOM formula Xenonauts developers opted to go for a much more in-depth tactical experience and even though it definitely had some flaws it was a pretty fun game.

While there were rumors of Xenonauts 2 being in development for many months now, it has only recently been confirmed by the developers themselves. Xenonauts 2 is set to launch sometime in 2017 with an Early Access release coming in the next few months. Here's the currently known list of features:

Game Engine – using Unity3D will give us a much more capable platform for development than our previous engine, so expect fewer bugs, improved performance, better modding support, etc

3D Graphics – moving from 2D sprites to 3D graphics will improve visual fidelity, but will also be valuable for gameplay – it allows for things like rotating cameras, vastly improved animation, physics objects, accurate projectile tracking, etc

Ground Combat – we will be retaining the Time Unit combat system, and will enhance the interface and giving the player additional tactical options: destructible UFOs, better use of terrain verticality, human psionics, etc

Geoscape – we want to add a lot more strategic choice for the player with regards to the research tree and how they choose to expand their organisation (there was definitely too much strategic railroading in the first Xenonauts)

Air Combat – redesigned to be turn-based and to feature larger numbers of combatants, with the goal of making it a less frequent occurrence but more tactically involved when it does happen

Aliens – we are visually and mechanically redesigning all of the enemies, and creating a more intelligent and challenging foe by developing gameplay systems that allow the aliens to respond and adapt to your tactics and technology

Xenonauts 2 won't be a direct chronological sequel, rather it will cover similar events in an alternate timeline. This time around you're still going to be fighting off an alien invasion during the Cold War but with a bit of a twist the developers weren't willing to announce just yet. What this means in gameplay terms is that you won't be starting with any of the cool tech you might have uncovered in the first game.

The developers have also said that many of the issues from the original game were caused by their lack of experience, funding or because they were trying to remain faithful to the design of a game two decades old. Now that they have plenty of experience and income from Xenonauts, the sequel is going to be significantly improved and expanded in scope. One example of this is the reworked aerial combat which has been absolutely awful in every single XCOM game to date.

While there isn't much information on Xenonauts 2 just yet its expected to hit Early Access in the next couple of months. You can keep up with further developments over at the Xenonauts 2 website.