UPDATE, February 5: Xenonatus 2 Steam Early Access release delayed, demo and open beta details shared.
Xenonauts 2 is no longer aiming for a late March Steam Early Access release, publisher and developer Goldhawk Interactive has confirmed. Fans, will however, get a chance to play the Kickstarter-funded strategy game before its new, unannounced release date comes around.
A Xenonauts 2 demo is currently available as part of the Steam Games Festival, which ends on February 9. The demo can, however, only be accessed by users who don't already own the title and features one level of tactical combat.
"Based on community feedback as well as our own schedule, we’ve decided to push the Early Access release of Xenonauts-2 back a few months. We know this will be a disappointment to those of you who have been waiting a long time for this, and we apologise again for the delays," the developer said in a post on the game's website.
"However, we have managed to secure additional development funding and this gives us a lot more flexibility in terms of when we launch. Ultimately, this is the best decision for the game and one which will enable us to come into Early Access with something much more polished and complete."
If you don't get around to playing the demo, you'll be happy to hear that a Xenonauts 2 open beta is also scheduled to kick off in March. It will "contain a significant amount of the content" planned for the Early Access release. While entry might be initially gated, the open beta will eventually allow everyone to get a better taste of what the title has to offer.
The most recent Xenonauts 2 closed beta update introduced building adjacency bonuses. Meant to add some additional nuance to base planning, the feature increases the effectiveness of buildings when built next to other buildings of the same type. Drop a Living Quarters next to another Living Quarters and you'll get a bonus to your available living space.
Xenonauts 2's visuals are also slowly improving in closed beta V17. The MARS vehicles come with updated art on the strategic layer and a new model on the tactical layer. Fire animations have also been updated. Smoke, explosions, and more are slated to receive improvements over the coming months.
Some new research art has also been added. Meanwhile, the team is working on a new dropship and inventory art for vehicle weapons. Stability wasn't overlooked either, "upwards of a hundred bugs or small stability issues" having been fixed every month since August.
The update post also delves into the developer's future plans. They prioritize implementing the final two UFOs capable of producing crash sites. Their 2D art and basic models are done, work focusing on texture work and setting up their tactical combat encounters. Further optimization and AI improvements are also on the way.
Closed Beta V17 will be pushed to the live Steam and Gog.com Xenonauts 2 branches, provided new issues don't pop up over the coming days.
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