Into the Nest: XCOM 2’s Berserker Queen Exposed

May 09 2016
EN - Into the Nest: XCOM 2’s Berserker Queen 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.

“A Berserker isn’t complicated. She’s powerful and runs right at you.”

Jake Solomon, Creative Director on XCOM 2, offers a very succinct and apt description of the Berserker. With roots in the previous game, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, she became one of the studio’s favorite units.

Solomon admits it’s this favor and her overall lack of complication that helped the team choose her for Ruler status. “The idea of creating a ruler alien out of the Berserker just sounded fun. We’re putting brute strength on top of even more brute strength.”

The Berserker Queen’s move set includes:

  • Quake, an area-of-effect attack that can disorient, stun and/or disable targets
  • Faithbreaker, a mass panic attack where any wounded target caugh within must make a panic check
  • 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 solder action

The increased power and new abilities come courtesy of those powerful gauntlets fixed on the Berserker Queen’s arms. “The Berserker is already such a powerful creature. They have these plates of calcified skin that serve as their armor and accentuates their muscles. We went big on the design for the Berserker Queen because that’s the most fitting. She is literally being pumped full of chemicals to make her even more menacing and powerful,” Art Director Greg Foertsch says. “The chemicals are even starting to stain her skin with a toxic yellow/green residue. As if that wasn’t enough, she now has additional power provided by mechanical fists with spikes and a protective helmet with horns on its head.”

A potential point of strategy for players is that the base Berserkers, as well as the Berserker Queen, aren’t necessarily ones to play well with other enemy units. “The Berserker Queen will find the biggest cluster of your soldiers and do the most damage possible,” Solomon says. “Sometimes that’s just in raw damage and other times it’s with the Faithbreaker attack, which causes mass panic among your units.”

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!