After seeing Battleborn, I was shuffled over to a well air-conditioned room to see XCOM 2 from Firaxis. And there are no surprises here, XCOM 2 is bigger and better.
Here’s why: The hook is that the game takes place 20 years later, after Earth lost the battle with the aliens and they have now fully taken over Earth. They have created their own militarized police force to corral the humans wherever necessary.
The gameplay is very familiar, and remains turn-based strategy. When concealed, there is an aura that vignettes the screen. New classes like the playable Specialist and enemy Viper make an appearance to provide new ways to play, and new ways to react to them, respectively. The specialist has a drone, and that drone can be used to hack enemy turrets. Anything else that it can hack, was not shown in this demo. The hacking can be accomplished only if you have a tech score high enough to complete the hack. Once successful, you now have full control of the drone and it becomes a playable character (so to speak), among the other cast of characters.
If any player becomes fully incapacitated, they can now be carried to the extraction. And that’s where the gameplay demo ended.
XCOM 2 isn’t radically different, but you can tell you are on the underside of the coin. It’s not quite scrappy, but you feel like the underdog in a different way over the original. It’s more XCOM, with the right tweaks to feel new and fresh.