After XCOM was defeated during the first invasion, Central was forced to retreat underground. Technically, Bradford was already underground, deep in the XCOM base – but, more specifically, he went on the run.
As XCOM 2 Lead Producer Garth DeAngelis describes Central, he was "sort of the organizational mastermind of XCOM: Enemy Unknown" and "lived to build XCOM."
"He was always behind the scenes and always loyal," DeAngelis added during a recent livestream. "Because he lived in the underground base and he wanted to see XCOM thrive, what happened was XCOM was betrayed and lost very early in Enemy Unknown. He became a broken man."
"He's older, he's more grizzled, he's more hardened and he's been sort of wandering aimlessly. He didn't get captured by the aliens. He didn't fall under the aliens' sway, but he's been living on the periphery - on the run - with remnants of a resistance movement. He hasn't had motivation until the inciting incident of XCOM 2, which the player will have to learn about when playing the game. But there's a very cool reason why XCOM wants to redeem humanity."
You’ll be able to discover that “cool reason” when XCOM 2 launches February 5, 2016.