XCOM 2’s latest expansion takes cues from Shadow of Mordor

Of all the unique features Monolith’s 2014 action-RPG Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor had, none stood out as much as the game’s unique Nemesis System, a system which could procedurally generate unique enemies that the player could fight and even build up rivalries with. For XCOM 2’s upcoming War of the Chosen expansion, Firaxis is implementing a similar system via the titular new ‘Chosen’ enemy type.

Similar to Shadow of Mordor’s orc lieutenants and generals, who could be altered with both positive and negative traits as well as unique banter based off their encounters with the player, War of the Chosen’s new Chosen aliens will remember their previous run-ins with the player’s anti-alien squads and will gain unique perks and abilities as a result of these encounters.

Speaking with Kotaku at E3, XCOM 2 designer Jake Solomon said that the team at Firaxis was directly inspired by what Monolith had done with Shadow of Mordor and the Nemesis system when it came time to design War of the Chosen:

“We used as a jumping off point. You’re playing that game, you’re developing these relationships, and it’s just so gratifying to have a game acknowledge what you’re doing as a player. Even to the point where, another element that inspired us from Shadow of Mordor . In XCOM, you fight these Chosen aliens multiple times, and as they get stronger, they gain procedural strengths and weaknesses.”

The War of the Chosen expansion for XCOM 2 will launch on August 29 for PC (a console release date hasn’t yet been confirmed). Meanwhile, Shadow of Mordor is getting a sequel called Middle-earth: Shadow of War which is set to launch on October 10 for PC and consoles. You can watch War of the Chosen’s official announcement trailer below.