XCOM 2 War of the Chosen Originally Featured Giant Mechs, Confirms Developer

Developer confirms XCOM 2: War of the Chosen originally planned to include giant mechs and aerial combat.
War Of The Chosen Alien Fighting Human
Image: 2K Games

Jake Solomon, a designer for the XCOM series, shared an interesting update about the development of XCOM 2: War of the Chosen on Twitter. The tweet unveils that the well-received DLC campaign originally had a significantly different direction.

According to Solomon, the original concept for War of the Chosen revolved around large mechs operated by multiple soldiers working together. There were also plans for a customizable interceptor system and aerial combat mechanics. The early iteration was codenamed “Ozzy,” possibly referencing heavy metal music and its association with giant robots.

The development team faced difficulties when adding these features. The camera system from XCOM 2 – meant for ground-level tactics with human-sized characters – wasn’t right for the large mechs. The 30-foot machines blocked the player’s view and made gameplay worse. Making these big mechs move around the game’s maps was also hard.

In response to the limitations and significant development resources required, Solomon and the team quickly changed direction. They decided to drop the mech concept and instead introduced the well-known “Chosen” enemies, who would act as Nemesis-style foes throughout the campaign. This change also brought in the opportunity for voice actors from Star Trek: The Next Generation to bring their voices and personalities to these new adversaries.

Having Star Trek actors help with a Sci-Fi game is always a win. Still, I would have liked the mechs a lot; I feel like the game doesn’t really let humans progress very far. After a certain point, you’re just trying to never make a mistake so you don’t lose squadmates that took you a while to level up. Also, the game gets harder over time, so losing squad mates after a certain point is an endgame situation.

It would have been nice to have mechs to balance that out instead of an enemy that just made things harder. Solomon’s tweet at least tells us that this was a consideration at one point. It also lets us see how the development went, trying out ideas and improving on them before finalizing a product. The story also shows how technical limitations can greatly affect a game. After all, the expansion was named after this new enemy.

The War of the Chosen expansion for XCOM 2 was well-received overall, so it was a good idea. To be honest, I’d like another XCOM where they bring the Mech idea to life.

Jorge A. Aguilar

Jorge A. Aguilar

Jorge A. Aguilar, also known as Aggy, is the current Assigning Editor.

He started his career as an esports, influencer, and streaming writer for Sportskeeda. He then moved to GFinity Esports to cover streaming, games, guides, and news before moving to the Social team where he ended his time as the Lead of Social Content.

He also worked a writer and editor for both Pro Game Guides and Dot Esports, and as a writer for PC Invasion, Attack of the Fanboy, and Android Police. Aggy is the former Managing Editor and Operations Overseer of N4G Unlocked and a former Gaming editor for WePC.

Throughout his time in the industry, he's trained over 100 writers, written thousands of articles on multiple sites, written more reviews than he cares to count, and edited tens of thousands of articles. He has also written some games published by Tales, some books, and a comic sold to Telus International.

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