Xenonauts 2 gets biggest update yet, adds new UFO, missions and weapons

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It will break existing save files, though

Image credit: Hooded Horse

Xenonauts 2 received its biggest update yet last night, adding a bunch of new things to the early access X-COM-like that will be sure to please your rude Chief Science Officer Gaius Baltar James Callis whatever his name is SMUG FACE. Alongside a brand-new Cruiser UFO to pilfer for new technology to help fight back against your alien invaders, the Milestone 3 update also brings new story missions, weapons and vehicles, extending the campaign’s play time from 180 in-game days all the way up to 260.

Developers Goldhawk Interactive stress that it’s still not possible to fully complete the campaign just yet – that will come with Milestone 5, they said in their latest Steam blog post, as there are still two more UFO types they’ve got waiting in the wings before that. But the additional 80 days of in-game playtime should give the current early access campaign quite a bit more meat on its bones.

When the new Cruiser UFO does eventually show up, it will have two different interior layouts, so if you encounter it a second time (or play through the campaign again), you may not be able to use quite the same strategy as before. If you do manage to successfully infiltrate it, you’ll gain access to a bunch of new weapon types, including two types of fusion weapon, as well as a new interceptor and dropship, and an improved version of your robot buddy MARS (appropriately named ARES).

There are lots more smaller improvements in the Milestone 3 update, too. Aliens can now suffer bleed wounds, for example, as “community feedback suggested it was unfair” that they couldn’t before (too right, I say), and the developers have made better efforts to help tutorialise specific mission types. Crucially, there have also been “significant AI upgrades”, meaning that enemies are now more intelligent and, I quote, “civilians are now much less suicidal” (with the specific detail that AI units “will no longer just stand in fire / smoke until they die or pass out”). Hmm. Yes. Quite.

Generally, I’m all in favour of having smarter alien baddies to blast at, though one thing in the patch notes does give me pause. It says the AI can now open doors, even if the tile on the other side is blocked by another unit. Basically, camping around door entrances is a sure-fire way to an early grave with Milestone 3, though judging by how well that’s worked out for me on previous occasions (terribly, the worst, everyone died), I should probably have learned my lesson by now anyway.

A UFO ambush goes extremely wrong in Xenonauts 2
Never again. | Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Hooded Horse

Just be aware that by updating to Milestone 3, you will break your existing saved game. As such, if you want to keep playing your existing campaign, you’ll need to switch over to the legacy branch where Milestone 2 is still available (and the devs have full instructions on how to do that here).

For now, Xenonauts 2 continues its early access journey on Steam and GOG and the Epic Games Store and is currently on sale until March 4th.

Por Ovnis

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