Every once in a while, a game (or game addon) releasing imminently comes to my attention seemingly out of nowhere. Often it’s simply the case it just wasn’t one of interest — until all of a sudden it is. More rarely, a franchise I have quite an active interest in manages to do it though. And today? Steam brought two such of the latter kind to my attention.

Two!

One in particular I’m fairly excited about, to put it mildly. The other I’ll need to take more of a cautious look at. (Pfft; who am I kidding? I already know I want them both.)

Remnant: From the Ashes — Swamps of Corsus

Oh boy. Ohboyohboyohboy. I didn’t give Remnant nearly enough attention here, but I really quite liked it. It was one of the few games that managed to hold the collective attention of my entire gaming friend group until we’d finished the whole thing. Not just the campaign; but even the optional dungeons found in the adventure mode.

More. More is what we wanted. And there were kind of tentative words bandied about DLC coming at some point this year given the surprising success of the game — but with no announcements forthcoming, surely it had to be a while off yet?

Well… Not so as it turns out. The announcement came out today, the DLC itself comes out April 29th.

The asking price of the DLC is only going to be $10 USD, so I’m not expecting to be anything approaching a full expansion size. But expanding on the story of the Iskal and Corsus is very welcome. The Iskal in conversation with the ‘Fairy’ Queen (not nearly as pleasant in person as the name suggests; although I suppose at least she isn’t hostile) — as a great unifier. A bringer of peace and oneness.

Through journals and observing what happens to some of the creatures that you do kill in the zone, it is strongly implied that the Iskal is far from a benevolent force. Instead it is likely to be some form of parasitic hivemind; taking over hosts to ‘join’ the Iskal.

Frankly it was one of the more interesting stories of the game, but it was not delved into in the base game. Sounds like it will be now!

But I’m also quite excited by the addition of the Survival game mode. Because it isn’t ‘survival’ in the genre sense of hunting food and water, building a shelter etc. Oh no. It’s more akin to a rogue-like experience. Or from the official description:

Fight for your life in this new rogue-like game mode! Start off your adventure with nothing but a pistol, some scrap and the skin on your back. Travel randomly through corrupted World Stones to different biomes, scrap-up gear, fight insanely-difficult bosses and test your endurance on how long you can resist The Root’s influence.

I see a resurgence of Remnant play time in my future. :D

XCOM: Chimera Squad

Hmm.

Well… After watching the gameplay overview… It’s certainly an interesting twist on the mechanics established in the XCOM / XCOM 2 games thus far. Although not a main numbered entrant to the series (and priced accordingly, in fact, VERY low, with $10 USD for a limited time at launch, moving up to $20 afterward).

One of the major differences is, for the first time, bringing alien units into the fold.

The story is set 5-years after the events of XCOM 2, assuming a successful removal of the alien overlords. The experience of XCOM: Chimera Squad will be a lot more localised within a single city — City 31; where the remnants of the aliens are (for the most part) attempting to acclimate to the new world order and get on with their human neighbours.

This one launches April 24th; and given the (perhaps insanely!) low price point, it’s pretty likely I’ll be giving this a go. I have to wonder how many of the mechanic adjustments here are precursors, or at least experimentation for, the next major numbered entry. I also want to know where this game takes the story, being such a direct continuation of XCOM 2 it is, despite standing so far to the side!