XCOM: Enemy Unknown’s Free Second Wave DLC Releases Today

Firaxis Games has released a free update to XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Titled Second Wave, the update is designed at increasing the game’s replay value by introducing 16 game-altering options, from a mode that increases how long it takes to complete the game to various difficulty tweaks.

Speaking with Polygon, Lead designer Jake Solomon explained the value in allowing players to customize their gaming experience. “If people pay their hard-earned money for a game,” he said, “they should be able to play however they want.”

Second Wave’s 16 options are:

  • Damage Roulette: Weapons have a wider range of damage.
  • New Economy: Randomized council member funding.
  • Not Created Equally: Rookies will have random starting stats.
  • Hidden Potential: As a soldier is promoted, stats increase randomly.
  • Red Fog: Combat wounds will degrade the soldier’s mission stats.
  • Absolutely Critical: A flanking shot guarantees a critical hit.
  • The Greater Good: Psionics can only be learned from interrogating a psionic alien.
  • Marathon: The game takes considerably longer to complete.
  • Results Driven: A country offers less funding as its panic level increases.
  • High Stakes: Random rewards for stopping alien abductions.
  • Diminishing Returns: Increased cost of satellite construction.
  • More Than Human: The psionic gift is extremely rare.
  • War Weariness: Funding goes down over time.
  • E-115: Elerium degrades over time.
  • Total Loss: Lose all soldier gear upon death.
  • Alternate Sources: The power source cost to build facilities increases dramatically.

The last four options on this list are unlocked only when the game is completed on Impossible difficulty.

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