1 October, 1979: Unidentified forces presumed of extraterrestrial origin arrive in Earth orbit. Panic spreads across the globe as attempts at communication fail and attempts to engage the invaders are met with heavy losses and little success. The only successful interception is conducted by unmarked interceptors that prove at least partially resistant to extraterrestrial weapons. The victory is claimed by a clandestine organisation known as the Xenonauts, who establish communication with the nations of the world to offer protection in exchange for funding and the freedom to operate in their territory.
For humanity, a glimmer of hope remains – if they can withstand the attacks long enough to unravel the secrets of the alien aggressors, the Xenonauts may yet find a way to defeat the alien invasion. Should they fail, millions of years of human history will be brought to an abrupt end.
Xenonauts-2 and Xenonauts are strategy games in which you control a multi-national military organisation attempting to defend a Cold War-era Earth from alien invasion. They are split across a tactical level where your team of (persistent) soldiers battles the alien ground forces and recovers their technology, and a strategic management level where you co-ordinate your interceptor squadrons to shoot down incoming UFOs and research the captured alien artefacts to learn about your foes and unlock new upgrades and equipment for your combat units.
The franchise has been heavily inspired by the classic X-Com strategy games. The first Xenonauts is a direct spiritual success to UFO: Enemy Unknown (1994), but Xenonauts-2 takes the franchise down its own path and offers a new twist on an old formula!
- Ground Combat: Experience tense turn-based combat across varied and fully-destructible battlefields against a multitude of different alien species. Missions include everything from capturing crashed UFOs and alien bases to defending cities (or even Xenonaut facilities) against alien attack!
- Strategic Management: Manage the defence of the planet on the strategy layer, balancing the needs of your funding nations with your own. Your funds are limited – are you going to spend them on new combat equipment, more scientists for the research effort, or expanding your interceptor squadrons?
- Research Tree: Harness the alien technology and turn it against them! Explore an extensive research tree that unlocks upgrades and equipment for your soldiers and interceptors, whilst also slowly revealing the intentions and origins of the invaders.
- Persistent Soldiers: Your soldiers gain rank and improve their abilities from mission to mission – assuming you can keep them alive!
- Emergent Simulation: Missions are not pre-scripted but are based on your actions; e.g. shoot down a Scout UFO over the Arctic and you will get a mission to capture a crashed Scout UFO in the polar tileset. Launch a mission at night-time and you will be fighting with reduced sight range in the darkness. The game never plays out the same way twice!