Unlock “Second Wave” Difficulty Options in XCOM: Enemy Unknown

If you’re one of those people that has already battled through one campaign of the newly released XCOM: Enemy Unknown, you might be feeling like taking a second stab at it and doing things a little differently. One way of doing that would be to implement the “Second Wave” modifications that were discovered by a nosey player.

They are all disabled at default, and were seemingly removed from the game at some point, but PepprmintButler noticed hints of it in the PC Demo and did some investigating. After a bit of tweaking he was able to get the options enabled, offering quite a slew of new difficulty options, each of them easily selectable individually or together for quite a different XCOM experience.

The added options do the following:

  • Damage Roulette – Weapons have a much wider range of damage
  • Red Fog (not working) – Any wounds taken in combat will degrade a soldier’s stats for that mission
  • New Economy – The funding offered by individual council members is randomized
  • Not Created Equally – Rookies will have random starting stats
  • Hidden Potential – As a soldier is promoted, their stats will increase randomly
  • Absolutely Critical – A flanking shot will guarantee a critical hit
  • The Greater Good (not working) – The secret of psionics can only be learned by interrogating a psionic alien
  •  Marathon – The game takes considerably longer to complete
  • Results Driven – A country will offer less funding as it’s panic level increases
  • High Stakes – The rewards granted for stopping alien abductions are randomized
  • Diminishing Returns – The cost of satellites increases with every one that is built
  • The Blitz – The aliens will target a larger number of cities every time they launch an abduction attack
  • More Than Human – The psionic gift is extremely rare
Interestingly a lot of these options seem like they make the game more similar to the original XCOM.

If you want to have a play with any or all of them, you can do so by grabbing this easy install mod, here. 

Thanks to PCGamesN for the heads up.

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