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XCOM: Enemy Within

How Firaxis' Expansion Aims To Change Your Strategy

Firaxis’ XCOM Enemy Unknown was one of the best games of last year, but its Slingshot DLC left some strategy fans still hungry for more. The company’s first expansion, Enemy Unknown, is a meatier extension to the game, and it looks to shake up the way you play.

Our Gamescom 2013 demo started as we landed on a hydroelectric dam and began fanning out across the map. Unfortunately, two of our rookies were quickly taken out by a Thin Man and a Muton. This wasn’t an uncommon event in XCOM Enemy Unknown, but what followed was an exciting twist of events that left us hungry for more. Here’s a breakdown of how Enemy Within looks to shake things up.

More Maps – A few fans complained that there were not enough maps in the original XCOM, but Enemy Within still adds over 50 percent more maps to the game. In addition to the new Dam levels, players will also get to encounter farms, and discover crashed UFOs in new urban centers.

Mechs – Mechanized soldiers are a completely new class in the game. Player will be able to turn some of their existing soldiers into Mechs who have a powerful new attacks such as skill that lets them expend all of their ammo at once in order to destroy a piece of cover. We used this ability on the cover that the Muton and Thin Man were hiding behind in the above scenario and almost knocked them both out in one blow.

Gene Soldiers – In the original game, you could turn some operatives in to psychic warriors. With Enemy Unknown you’ll be able to do more crew customization by turning some of your muscle into cyborgs. After being trained in the cybernetic labs, gene mod soldiers can be augmented with new hardware that lets them jump higher, blend into environments, and even sense where enemies are hiding. One of our Gene mod soldiers has a mod that creates psychic feedback, so whenever an alien tries to possess him, the psychic energy bounces back and does damage to the attacker.

Mechtoids – Your forces aren’t the only ones with new units; the aliens have a few new toys of their own. Mechtoids are powerful new enemies alien Mechs that will be able to go toe-to-toe with your own mechs. We won’t spoil some of their surprises, but they will cut your forces in two if you’re not careful.

Other Fixes – Firaxis has also made dozens of other little bug fixes and upgrades to the existing game code, improving line of sight issues, the rollout of new squad members, and rebalancing some of the class skills. The studio even added a button that unequips all your unselected soldiers so you can quickly find whatever weapon or piece of equipment you need for your loadout.

Enemy Within is such a meaty addition that it will come on its own disc for consoles, but will also include all the content from the original game as well as all the previous DLC. Firaxis teased that there might be some new additions to the game’s story, and we can’t wait to see what that might be when the game comes out on November 12.

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Comments
  • Sweet!  My favorite game of last year gets a meaty new content update 3 days prior to next-gen starting...  Now I've got a reason besides GTA5 to keep my PS3 plugged in next to it's new sibling for the foreseeable future.