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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 Within, 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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  • So this is similar to the expansion that Dragon's Dogma Dark Arisen recently did. Ya know I think this may actually work better than the old ,"sell the expansion separatley",because it extends the installation base. I hope this trend continues, although I have to say I'm not crazy about Street Fighter 4 getting so many versions (which I realize other entries have done before as well) and I would feel betrayed if they released several expansions that required me to pay a full price-tag several times for content I may have. That would be bad buisness. So that brings me to my question: Is this also available as a separate download? Either Way I guess it doesn't affect me since I haven't gotten to play this game yet.
  • So, after spending more than $75 bucks on the game and DLC as it released, they want me to buy all of that again on a new disc in order to experience the new content? That's an awesome deal for newcomers. For me, that's like a giant middle finger. I mean, why wouldn't this be available as an add-on? The only reason I got is that they're counting on fans to not mind the practice and getting more $$$ out of us. Well, I'm not supporting this cash-grab practice. Allow me to digitally add it to the content I already bought, or my wallet and I will have to pass.
  • 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"

    THANK YOU. I always hated that this wasn't a feature.

  • Eagerly Awaiting.

  • These sound like some great additions!

  • The wait begins

  • Sounds good.. I still need to play The Bureau which is sitting at home while I'm stuck playing Splinter Cell!

  • Awesome,enemy unknown is a great game.

  • just when i thought XCOM wasn't getting anything new BAM. Great news indeed, I am excite

  • I have been waiting for this news... as i said about 1 year ago.

    "If firaxis makes a proper add on for this game,ill buy it.This is one of the very few games i want more off"

    and what i have read so far of this add on,its gonna be a day 1 buy for me.

  • I'm glad to hear it's getting it's own disk. I may pick that up.  I'm never a big fan of expansions. It's just my psychology.  When I finish a game, I tend to be "done" with that game and move on to the next challenge.

  • Only one problem, the main title has 0 re-playability.

    The higher difficulties only mean you miss more 70% shots than you would on standard diff.

    I loved my first play-through of Enemy Unknown but when you boil it all down there's simply not enough variety in what unfolds for me to continually play it over and over.

    Definitely gonna pass on the new coat of paint. Expecting it's just the same old same old with 3 new unit types....yippee.