Into the Nest: XCOM 2’s Archon King Exposed

May 10 2016
EN - Into the Nest: XCOM 2’s Archon King Expose

The Alien Hunters DLC for XCOM 2 introduces three new Ruler aliens. In this blog series, we go into more detail on each of these Rulers and talk with the XCOM 2 team about the new threats they present.

The Archon was designed by the aliens in XCOM 2 as a god-like visage, a kind of regal figure that wouldn’t scare humans but rather elicit wonderment. This design, along with the Archon’s unique move set, makes it a great choice for the Ruler class.

“The approach was, what if this Archon wasn’t hiding anything?” Jake Solomon, Creative Director on XCOM 2, asks. “What would his moves be? What would he look like? The Archon King looks evil and his abilities are faster and more brutal than the regular Archon’s.”

“We really wanted to push in the opposite direction of the core Archon,” Art Director Greg Foertsch adds. “They are supposed to be angelic and god-like, but with the Archon King we really wanted to make him the devil. He is more clearly evil and filled with rage. Unlike the regular Archon, the aliens are not trying to mask what the Archon King really is.”

The Archon King’s move set include:

  • Devastate, an upgraded version of Blazing Pinions that can disorient, stun, and/or knock unconscious each target
  • Icarus Drop, a direct attack that allows the Archon King to fly to a target, lift them straight up into the air then slam them into the ground on the next action
  • Huge amount of health that will take multiple engagements to deplete
  • Will summon a portal to flee battle after devastating your soldiers or being chased off
  • Stalks your soldiers across multiple missions 
  • Rulers take a turn after every soldier action

“Devastate is a similar attack as Blazing Pinions. Like Blazing Pinions, the Archon King calls out several missiles that rain down and cause lots of damage. The biggest difference here has to do with how our rulers take their turns. Rulers get their turn after every soldier action. If the Archon King queues up Devastate, the missiles will rain down after one soldier action,” Solomon says. “In other words, choose one lucky soldier to move out of range and have your other units prepare for some damage.”

So, what if you knock your soldier loose while the Archon King is holding them mid-air? “It takes two ruler turns to perform this action, so you can save your unit by causing some damage to the Archon King.” That soldier will take some damage from the fall, but Foertsch says “it’s an awesome looking ability” and he recommends “seeing it once and then never letting it happen again.”

The Alien Hunters DLC is available standalone for $9.99 or as part of the XCOM 2 Reinforcement Pack. Alien Hunters adds new gameplay highlighting an elite alien hunting unit of XCOM as it tracks down three “Ruler” aliens, plus a new story mission, more powerful weapons and armor, and additional soldier customization options. Alien Hunters launches on May 12 (May 13 for Asia).  

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That’s it for this update, Commander. Be sure to follow XCOM on Twitter and Like XCOM on Facebook to keep up to date with the latest information on XCOM 2. If you’re looking to enlist with the Resistance, follow XCOM 2 on Steam Community and join the 2K Forums!