I haven't put a lot of time into this game yet, but so far have been impressed. This follows pretty much the same story line from "Enemy Unknown". Way more options for your squad members. There is a new meld resource which challenges you to explore faster to find it before it is gone. It adds a new layer to the game having you split up more to find this each map before it runs out.
Randomizing the upgrade tree is a cool option to have. You can now have a sniper with assault skills and heavy skills which are randomly generated as you lvl. 2 skills per class will pop up per level and you choose which one. lvl 2 could b 2 assault choices, lvl 3 being 2 sniper choices and so on. It is something you can turn on or off. You can turn soldiers early on into giant mech soldiers who are much tougher or mess with there DNA to give so many more options outside of the normal upgrade tree.
This is a total standalone version that does not require enemy unknown. The is one huge issue with this game which is why I could not give it higher than a 8 rating.
You can be flying into china but yet like before there is never anything that distinguishes that you are actually in china. you will see the same map later for china when you are in germany. They do have over 40 new maps so you are much less likely to run into the same map like before, but i would of loved to see some changes with how the maps look based on the country you are in. Keep the same map for china or germany, but maybe have the windows to have the appropriate language or change the types of cars you see on the road to give it a better feel for where you are.
Other than that it is an amazing game. The UFO's land in way more spots and you randomly start maps in different spots to give the same map a new feel. The soldiers speak their native language as well. Would of liked to see a change from the storyline a lot more considering it is a standalone title. If you like thinking games than you will like this.