The 'aliens have taken over the world' premise of XCOM 2 is a pretty cool one, but it does kind of invalidate our hard-earned victories in the first game. In fact, as it turns out, expansion packdidn't happen at all.
"It's funny, because we talk about lore in Firaxis games, and the narrative isn't exactly what compels us forwards," Xthe game's senior producer Garth DeAngelis. "But when we do talk about this timeline, again, it's like Enemy Within never happened. Because you lost. You lost within the first third of the game."
So all those cool robot guys and weird, genetically twisted supersoldiers never actually existed. Which is kind of a bummer, but some of those elements will bleed into the sequel. While the 'Meld' resource that players used to upgrade their troopers won't return in XCOM 2, there will be a similar system where you only have a certain amount of time to recover weapons and other items in the field.
"We have a whole new weapon upgrade mechanic in XCOM 2, and there's looting," explains DeAngelis. "You can now pick up loot from fallen enemies. Weapon fragments self-destructed after a certain time, so we're building off the meld mechanic—you have X number of turns to get there, where you can pick up a specific item from a fallen Advent captain for instance. It might be a laser sight or a stock or something for your gun, but it'll self-destruct if you don't get there within a certain amount of time. If you get it, it's an optional thing, you can bring it back to base and do some cool things with it."
I'm pretty sad that the exploits of Major Bap Skagsby and his team of international heroes from my Enemy Within campaign has been rendered meaningless, but everything I'm hearing about XCOM 2 so far sounds great. The game's out this November.