When XCOM 2 was first announced, developer Firaxis noted the game would be PC-only. A big part of the reason why was the ability to allow for mods, or player-made alterations that can add elements, change rules, or totally rework the game. And a big part of why Firaxis thought mods were important was XCOM: Long War, an awesome and popular mod for the last game in the XCOM series.
Firaxis announced today on the XCOM website that it’s partnering with Long War Studios, the team behind Long War, to have them create more mods for XCOM 2. The difference is, this time, the modders have access to the game before it’s released, with a close relationship with XCOM 2’s developers. That should mean even bigger, better mods—and they’ll be released alongside the game on Feb. 5.
For those unfamiliar with Long War, it makes absolutely massive changes to 2012’s XCOM: Enemy Unknown and its expansion, Enemy Within, extending the game by leaps and bounds. In Long War, it takes much longer to win, with more missions, more soldier classes, more upgrades, and more weapons at players’ disposal—along with tougher, smarter aliens to fight.
Basically, Long War is XCOM, but better. XCOM Creative Director Jake Solomon even once called Enemy Within “a 20-hour tutorial for The Long War.” The mod has been pretty successful among XCOM players with more than half a million downloads, and that’s good news for Firaxis: Popular mods mean more people buy their game in order to try the mod. Firaxis hasn’t revealed exactly what Long War Studio is creating for XCOM 2, or whether it will be free (like normal mods) or paid content. A 2K representative told us that more information is set to be revealed during a Firaxis panel at the upcoming PAX South convention, which takes place on Jan. 30.
In the meantime, XCOM players on PC can download Long War right here.