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XCOM: Enemy Within

XCOM: Enemy Within

XCOM: Enemy Within

XCOM: Enemy Within is a stand-alone expansion pack for the strategy video game XCOM: Enemy Unknown.


1 Gameplay

2 Development and release

3 Reception

4 References

5 External links

XCOM: Enemy Within Gameplay

Much of the gameplay from XCOM: Enemy Unknown remains the same. The player manages the XCOM headquarters in real time, but much of the game is broken up into turn-based battles. Like the numerous expansions of the Civilization series the pack retains the core storyline but adds a broad variety of content.

A new resource, called "Meld", is introduced. XCOM operatives will be forced to advance swiftly in order to secure Meld canisters with delay-activated self-destruct systems; some of the alien's more sophisticated cybernetic units also grant Meld when killed. Meld is a nanomachine paste required for newly introduced XCOM transhuman technologies.

Alien robotic units have gained an increase in effectiveness, as well as two new designs. The Seeker is an airborne machine with a cloaking device and a strangle attack, and the unit has an innovative AI that focuses on seeking out separated XCOM troopers. The Sectoids (weak, early-game enemies), on the other hand, get a new lease of life with the Mechtoid, a Sectoid implanted into a large, heavily-armed suit of powered armor.

Alien autopsies and Meld allow XCOM scientists to modify operatives of existing classes to give them superhuman abilities, e.g. to leap several stories, to sense nearby enemies, or a backup heart. Alternatively, they can be modified into the brand-new class "MEC Trooper", which is capable of wearing Mechanized Exoskeleton Cybersuits into battle; however, they are rendered otherwise useless, as the cybernetic modification includes amputation of all four limbs. MECs are large bipedal combat platforms with a cyborg pilot in their upper torso; while staggeringly and exponentially expensive to deploy and upgrade, they are more robust, better-armed and more mobile than conventional operatives. Additionally, XCOM's more basic S.H.I.V. robots receive upgrades as well.

A new enemy faction is introduced, EXALT. A covert paramilitary group, EXALT seek to embrace the aliens' technologies and outlast their invasion in order to rule the world afterwards, hindering XCOM's war effort with a variety of underhanded tactics. The player is actually not obligated to actively engage them, and they will not seek open combat either; to root out their cells around the world, the player would have to perform Intel Scans and send soldiers on Covert Missions. EXALT's main base is located in one of the countries of the Council and with each successful covert operation, hints are given about which country it is, and the player has the option of launching an assault to take it down for good. However, performing a raid in the wrong country will lead it to withdraw from the Council. When forced to fight XCOM head-on, EXALT deploys troops that mirror those of XCOM, with the same combat roles, squad tactics and equipment.

Enemy Within re-introduces the Base Defense mission. Without forewarning or a chance for the player to select and arm up a squad, XCOM headquarters fall victim to a number of acts of sabotage caused by multiple instances of mind-controlled personnel, followed by an alien assault. Failure of this mission leads to immediate defeat.

Operation Progeny, originally scheduled to be released as a separate DLC, is included. It allows EXALT to make an inferred early appearance and includes three missions over the course of which XCOM recovers four talented psionics from alien captivity, including the one responsible for the base attack.

Thanks to collating localization voice files, XCOM soldiers can now be customized to speak in one of several languages.

47 new maps are added and the old ones have been reworked.

XCOM: Enemy Within received generally positive reviews from critics. Ben Reeves of Game Informer lauded the game, advising that "anyone who loves an intense firefight should test their mettle on Enemy Within," although also noting that "Despite Firaxisí improvements, the developer wasnít able to fix the line-of-sight issues" of the main game and that "acquiring new squad members still feels unbalanced; since you can't assign your soldiers' roles, and they only learn their specialty once they've ranked up, it's easy to end up with holes in your squad". Eurogamer's Stace Harman echoed similar statements, stating that despite its flaws, "Enemy Within is an improvement on an already excellent game," Destructoid's Chris Carter proffered similar praise, headlining his review with "It almost feels like a sequel." Regarding all the new content, he thought that it was "a really weird way" to approach an expansion due to its blending of old and new content, but summarized his review by saying, "If you haven't played the newest XCOM yet, now is a perfect time to do so with the Enemy Within package." Matt Lees of VideoGamer.com similarly summarized his review with, "The best game of 2012 is back, and it might be the best game of 2013."

IGN's Dan Stapleton criticized the late-game, stating that all the new content and unlockables make the later half of the game too easy; however, Stapleton still ultimately awarded the game a 9/10, calling it "an amazing expansion to a brilliant tactical game", and that it "is best enjoyed in Iron Man mode on Classic difficulty to enhance the emotional highs and lows of victory and permanent defeat." Conversely, GamesRadar's Ryan Taljonick argued that "Enemy Within's new additions don't make the experience any easier the added benefit of having access to gene mods and MEC Troopers is offset by new alien types and a whole new faction of fanatical humans. If anything, saving the world is harder than ever." Although GameSpot's Leif Johnson applauded the game, he was critical of the expansion pack's pricing disparity between PC and consoles: "All of is certainly enough for PC players to fork out the $20 for the upgrade, but unfortunately, console players face the more daunting task of buying Firaxis' new creation for almost the price of a new game."

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