An agent is a Reclamation Agency operative who executes regional peace-keeping duties in XCOM: Chimera Squad. Squads of agents embed within locales, living as part of the local populace and working to keep their communities free from dangers in the wake of the War for Liberation.
History and overview
Director Kelly conceived of the Reclamation Agency as a post-war organization providing squads of specialized agents to support a local community's citizens, leaders and police force. As a peace-keeping agency working semi-autonomously under XCOM, Reclamation requires agents with different skillsets than XCOM soldiers. During Reclamation Working Group meetings, Kelly rejected the elite XCOM soldiers John Bradford recommended as agent candidates; in her words, "They're perfect soldiers. But Reclamation Agents aren't fighting a war, they're keeping the peace." Kelly sought to recruit agents who understood the changing face of the post-war world.
Society after the defeat of ADVENT faces numerous challenges. Along with the fear of the Elders' return, people are processing the unmasking of ADVENT's deceptive propoganda. Societal integration between humans and aliens is hampered by skepticism from alien detainees with no place to call home who see little difference between the Elders and the Global Council. The Old World's global economy and financial system have collapsed, replaced with local economies. There is fear and controversy about psionic powers. Hybrid populations worldwide are affected by an incurable wasting disease known as the Fade. There is an ongoing risk of potentially devastating leftover ADVENT military tech falling into the wrong hands.
Kelly needed agents with the skills to live in communities facing these challenges, anticipating threats and intervening as needed. Despite Bradford's objections, she recruited both human and alien agents. She has staffed the first Reclamation squad, Chimera Squad, with agents recruited from a variety of species and backgrounds, such as those of former XCOM, ADVENT, and alien service. Everybody in Reclamation understands that Chimera Squad is a test of the viability of Kelly's ideas about the need for and effectiveness of embedded peace-keeping agents.
Agents in XCOM: Chimera Squad differ in-game in several ways from soldiers in XCOM and XCOM 2. Unlike XCOM soldiers, Reclamation agents do not have classes. Instead, each agent has a unique set of abilities. Aside from armor tinting, agents are not customizable. Their appearance, names and biographies are preset. Agents in Chimera Squad are not expendable. If an agent dies on a mission, the mission must be reloaded or restarted (or the game ends in Hardcore mode). Unlike XCOM soldiers, Reclamation agents can be aliens.
Chimera Squad agents serve as peacekeeping forces in City 31, dealing with situations that the local police cannot handle. Chimera Squad agents have a variety of duties. A squad of four agents can respond to one target on the city map per day, after which the day automatically advances. There are two types of targets: missions are tactical combat targets and situations are non-combat strategic targets. There are a variety of mission types:
- Investigation missions advance the game story and are marked purple on the map. Investigations have three stages: an initial groundwork mission; operations, hidden missions gradually revealed over time; optional lead missions which accelerate the reveal time; and a takedown mission to complete the investigation.
- Side missions are marked yellow on the map. They are optional and provide rewards including resources, items, and lowered unrest.
- Emergency missions show up in districts with severe Unrest problems. They are marked red on the map.
In addition to targets, agents can oversee Assembly projects to get new and better equipment. Agents can also perform solo Spec Ops that help Chimera Squad and City 31 by improving unrest, gaining resources, or gaining temporary mission advantages. Agents can be assigned to solo training to heal scars, improve stats, and add new abilities. Each agent has a unique set of training upgrades that they unlock with promotion.
XCOM: Chimera Squad starts off the player with four Chimera Squad agents. If the tutorial is enabled, these will be Cherub, Terminal, Verge, and Godmother. If the tutorial is disabled, the player will be allowed to select their starting agents instead. New agents will be recruited into Chimera Squad as the game progresses; this takes the form of the player being presented with an option to pick one of 3 randomly-selected Agents at key campaign milestones, up to a maximum of 8 Agents.
XCOM: Chimera Squad features 11 unique Agents:
Chimera Squad agents have six ranks:
- Agent Cadet
- Deputy Agent
- Field Agent
- Special Agent
- Senior Agent
- Principal Agent
Agents earn XP for promotion on combat missions. Agents increase their stats with promotions. Promoted agents also learn one new combat ability; agents promoted to Field Agent and Senior Agent can select between two new abilities. Agents can train with XCOM experts to gain +2 HP; agents who achieve the rank of Special Agent and Principal Agent unlock more training options to improve their stats and learn additional abilities. As agents achieve higher ranks, they unlock more advanced solo Spec Ops.
All agents have six core stats:
Psionic agents have a seventh core stat, Psi.
Agents have four equipment slots. Their loadout can be managed in the Armory or when selecting a squad for a mission:
- Primary weapon: each agent can equip a specific weapon type which can be upgraded in Assembly and equipped with mods.
- Body armor: armor can be upgraded in Assembly and equipped with mods.
- Breach item: items can be equipped to provide additional options during the breach stage of combat.
- Utility item: extra items such as grenades, ammo, medikits, and other items acquired via XCOM Supply, the Scavenger Market and mission rewards.
Injury and death
If agents in XCOM: Chimera Squad die, the mission must be replayed unless the game is being played in Hardcore mode, in which case the game ends and the save file is deleted. Agents who are knocked unconscious and start bleeding out during combat receive a scar that lowers a core stat. If an agent is left behind on a mission while bleeding out, they can receive a deepened scar which increases the stat penalty. Regular scars can become deepened scars if an agent is scarred again. Agents have a small chance to be scarred if they are wounded below half hit points. Scars are permanent until they are removed by a training program.
The scars an agent can receive are:
- Weakened: HP penalty
- Jittery: aim penalty
- Hobbled: mobility penalty
- Shell-shocked: will penalty
- Sluggish: dodge penalty
- Blunted: crit chance penalty
- Confused: armor penalty
- Unfocused: Psi penalty