If you are one of the strategy-heads who got swept away by last year's surprise hit, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, then chances are pretty good that you have been itching for some additional content to sink your teeth into these past few months. Never fear, for 2K Games and Firaxis Games have announced that the “Second Wave” content pack is now available on PC, Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3.
XCOM is all about choice, warfare, sacrifice and consequences. Players build and control an elite squad of class-based soldiers who grow stronger with every encounter. Depending on which game mode you're playing, however, the death of those teammates you've grown to know and prize can be permanent. And XCOM can be tough as nails, which means that you will become intimately familiar with that stinging rage that accompanies the sudden death of your very best sniper.
To keep things nice and varied, the Second Wave content pack allows players to finagle a selection of gameplay modifiers after you've completed the campaign. So the next time you go through XCOM, you can spice things up a bit with any of the options from this free add-on. Speaking of those add-ons, here's a list provided by 2K.
-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.
If you're looking to add these alterations to your own XCOM experience, just fire the game up and let the free update patch itself in. You can dive in starting today, so step lively, soldier.