Revealing new classes in the upcoming sequel to the critical and commercial smash of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Gamespot’s Kevin VanOrd chats with XCOM 2 lead producer Garth DeAngelis. In the interview, DeAngelis details in depth on the “Don’t call them the sniper” Sharpshooter class. Specifically, Deangelis wants to return the long-range class down to earth.
“The sharpshooter is an evolution of the sniper. The sniper was a very powerful unit in Enemy Unknown. As you know, it was the long-range, high damage dealing unit. They could become demigods by the end of the game, when you’re flying all over the place.”
Firaxis Games is well aware of the sniper’s influence on the battlefield and the unbalanced nature of the class’s leveling. The studio wishes to rid away of the one-sided affair of perk distribution where the best perks involve a sniper.
“…now we have an appealing second perk tree that was not just purely, ‘let’s max out our sniper, and make them this long-range, high damage dealer.’….You can choose to specialize in the sniper rifle or you can actually specialize in pistols. Pistols now have become this very appealing weapon that the sharpshooter can use in new and interesting ways, unlike any ways that you used in Enemy Unknown. The perk tree is broken up in that way. There’s some pretty interesting decisions early game where it’s not a no-brainer to just go down the sniper path.”
Surely a new game comes with new abilities. For the Sharpshooter class, the “Double Tap” returns to add more salt on your enemy’s wound in the form of “Death From Above”. Additionally, “Fan Fire” allows your pistol to turn to burst fire in a turn, allowing multiple shots.
“There’s a new sniper ability called Death From Above, which allows you to get an extra action when you kill an enemy at a lower level than you… Then if you have the pistol ability, Fan Fire, you can then use that free action to use Fan Fire with your pistol after using your sniper rifle. What Fan Fire does is it lets you shoot three times at a single target.”
As some already know, XCOM: Enemy Unknown can be a very brutal game; although, there comes a decline in difficulty in the campaign that makes play a breeze with enough preparation. Deangelis acknowledges the steamrolling late-game play entailed in an XCOM campaign, and he wishes for more of placing the player in a state of comfort out of creative intention.
“In XCOM, you want the player to feel like they have surpassed the enemy by the endgame. we don’t want the player to feel like they’re always step behind…At some point in an XCOM campaign, we want you to feel like you are running wild. You are overrunning enemies.”
Changes like these in XCOM 2 make for a better, balanced game; we’re sure a portion of the audiences wishes to plow through every bit of occupying Chryssalids not with their boot, but through the safety of a scope. New classes aren’t the only exciting precedence about XCOM 2.
2K and Firaxis anticipates XCOM 2 to release November of this year on the Mac and PC.