New Enemies And Giant XCOM Robots At The Firaxis Strategy Masterminds Mega Panel - XCOM: Enemy Within - PC -
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XCOM: Enemy Within

New Enemies And Giant XCOM Robots At The Firaxis Strategy Masterminds Mega Panel

This afternoon, members of the XCOM: Enemy Within team gathered to reveal more about the development of the upcoming XCOM expansion. The most important thing to know about Firaxis is that its expansions touch every part of the core experience. Enemy Within introduces new enemies, new solider abilities, new maps, and a flamethrower. Yes, the flamethrower matters.

The panel consisted of Ananda Gupta, lead designer on Enemy Within; Steve Ogden, Firaxis art director; and Garth DeAngelis, senior producer on both XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Enemy Within. The hour-long event was moderated by Rev3 executive producer Adam Sessler, who is also a fan of the game.

The trio reiterated some of what we already know about Enemy Within before leading into the big announcements. The single-player map count has been bolstered by 60 percent. Eight new multiplayer maps join the five from Enemy Within. Soldiers can be augmented with either cybernetics or genetic modifications.

All of that is great on paper, but when you see a 20-hit point MEC soldier punch the everloving crud out of an opposing Mechtoid, it all comes together. We got to see that more than once, and the crowd was cheering for more each time it happened during the live play-through.

We also got to see some of the MEC weapons in action. Each soldier starts with a minigun, but after lasers are researched, rail guns can be researched and implemented. Flamethrowers damage all organic enemies in a cone in front of the soldier. Unfortunately, MECs are invulnerable to fire.

Gene mods are equally important, as some can allow soldiers to jump to vantage points, improve hit chance on a second shot after missing, or sense enemies through their skin. The latter will be crucial as players encounter the new Seeker enemies.

Described as flying shark spiders, they are typically found in groups, but their AI is designed differently than other aliens. They will work to pick off lone soldiers by strangling them. Not only does this make incapacitate your team member, but even after being freed by an ally, they must spend a turn catching their breath. A battle scanner will also work to alert troops to the presence of Seekers.

Another change to the battle system is the impact of being "close and personal." Within four spaces of an enemy, the first standard shot refunds the action. This is useful if a Mechtoid should get support from a Sectoid's mind-meld. Instead of just boosting hitpoints, the buffed Mechtoid gets a psionic shield. Killing the supporting alien won't cause fatal feedback either. Mechtoids are serious threats, rivaling Cyberdiscs, Chrysalids, and Mutons.

If you've never played a Firaxis game's expansion, you're in for a treat when it arrives on November 12, 2013. On PC, it will be a digital upgrade for $30. For consoles, it will only be available at retail for $40, complete with Enemy Unknown, all the previously released DLC, and the new content.

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  • I can already tell I'm going to hate those Seekers...
  • Noooooooooo I dislike the new aliens so much I hope my mecs are supper buff

  • Wow. This is going to be tougher than I anticipated.

  • I was really hoping to just be able to buy the expansion since I already have the game. I also had this problem with DD: Dark Arisen. I'll probably be picking it up anyway. On a side note, I missed the hell out of Sessler. But perhaps not quite as much as Morgan Webb ;)
  • I wish this would come out on the Ipad version of the game :(

  • Am I the only one who thinks they look like sentinels from Matrix?

  • This is going to be fantastic.  New enemies, new tactics.

  • Sweet.  I never got around to getting this game when it first came out, and since this will have all the dlc bundled with the game for consoles, I'll just go ahead and pick this up.

    I got the original X-COM games on sale through steam last year, great games.  Looking forward to playing this.

  • Spider shark! HELL YEAH!!!

  • Yay! :D

  • I loved X-COM Enemy Unknown, and this looks like it's gonna be an excellent addition.

    PS: Two of the photos are upside down.

  • Can't wait to eventually get my hands on this expansion pack. Xcom: Enemy Unknown was one of my favorite games in recent years (partly because I haven't had the money to buy a lot of games in recent years, but mostly because it's just so darn good). The developers seem to be bringing a ton of cool new ideas to the game. The new enemies and unit options should hopefully shake up the campaign and add new layers of fun challenges.

  • Uh oh... I sense a new syfy movie: Spidershark!

  • And it sounds like there's enough extra content & changes to justify my spending $40 on it. I'm a sucker for mecha, though. Plus there's nothing else coming out I want to get after that until I get my PS4 next February (when I get my tax refund).