"Few games struck the perfect mix between challenging and engaging quite like XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Between its limited resources, hard-to-replace soldiers, and increasingly powerful alien forces, players were on the edge of their seats until finishing the final mothership assault."
I guess Firaxis never actually played EU then. The only challenge was in the early missions, and only if you were playing on Classic or Impossible. Soldier were easy to replace, you just had to rotate in squaddies and give them easy kills. I particulary like how they avoided claiming that EW was at all balanced, by specifying EU-specifically.
"XCOM 2 will introduce procedurally-generated levels that make every mission unique, even when objectives are identical."
I remember Firaxis saying something similar with the Slingshot DLC, where we were getting "new maps". There were two maps that had insignificant alterations to already exisitng maps, and one without any changes. Procedural generation being "unique" is easy, since a single prefab element being moved a tiny bit will qualify. I hope this is well done, with enough elements and intelligent semi-randomization, but will wait for actual proof that they are living up to the impression they are trying to sell. I will not be surprised if they quickly become highly repetitive due to insufficient lego blocks to combine.
"At the head of a group of hardened resistance fighters rather than an elite military unit, players will take control of a different sort of XCOM that doesn't have access to the advanced technology that gave it a fighting chance in the last game." (http://www.pcgamer.com/xcom-2-details-emerge-and-its-bad-news-for-humanity/)
"We?re outmatched ? even more so than before, as we?ve lost the home-field advantage, and the aliens have become even more powerful." (http://ca.ign.com/articles/2015/06/02/xcom-2-welcoming-our-new-alien-overlords?page=1)
So we are going to be facing Beserkers, Elite Mutons, Advnaced Floaters, Ethereals, and the various bots at the start of XCOM2, while only armed with knives and 9mm handguns. Then we are going to move onto the tougher aliens? Riiiiight...
All I am seeing right now is a lot of PR-spin. While I will be pleasantly surprised if they manage to come up with a decent game design without losing key elements of the series (research/manufacturing), I will not be surprised if this is far less impressive than the Firaxis hype machine would have us believe. Remember that Gupta's claimed that Meld was going to put a much needed spark of organic urgency into the maps. I guess that is why he no longer works for Firaxis, so perhaps they are learning. Then again, the rest of the people at Firais agreed with Gupta's design, and they are the ones working on XCOM2.
The only ray of pure hope is their promise that they will be embracing modding. If they give full access to the core game, then we should be able to correct most shortcomings. Of course that will take some time after initial release.