A small some-more than a year after a release, XCOM: Enemy Unknown stays one of a best plan games in new memory. As we wrote in my initial review, developer Firaxis did a unusual pursuit holding a themes and mechanics of Julian Gollop’s humans-versus-aliens classical and modernizing them yet betraying a punishing inlet of a franchise. Enemy Unknown had a gentle UI, adorned visuals, and prolongation values of a witless movement game, yet a heart and essence were pristine hardcore strategy.
As an expansion, XCOM: Enemy Within doesn’t do many to change that bottom line. It’s apparent that it comes from a many some-more assured place—success seems to have done a group reduction wavering about exploring some of their zanier, some-more strange ideas—but in a end, it’s essentially a tweaked, somewhat softened chronicle of a same unusual experience, not a thespian evolution.
There are new maps (dozens), new story missions (around 10, if we count a enclosed Slingshot DLC), and new aliens (just two, yet they’re doozies). There’s also an wholly new subplot centered around holding on an classification of alien-sympathizing terrorists famous as EXALT. These missions are a quite engaging change of pace, given they underline reduction required objectives and tellurian enemies that act in astonishing ways, relying on gadgets and positioning in a proceed that lends pointy contrariety to a mostly blunt-force plan of a aliens.
This territory of Enemy Within happens to be home to a singular biggest goal in XCOM history, a marathon bottom invulnerability that assigns we a many incomparable yet totally randomized patrol of soldiers and redshirt guards. In a diversion that’s barbarous for gripping we on your toes, this gauntlet takes it to a whole new level. I’m a small unhappy it was usually a one-off, rather than a steady pointless occurrence, yet it’s unequivocally something to demeanour brazen to on destiny replays.
The biggest changes, though, are indifferent for infantryman progression—and, really, it’s usually one of a 3 title additions that has a thespian outcome on gameplay. The new genetic enhancements and medals, yet neat, are unequivocally usually teenager buffs to assistance make your best soldiers even improved on a battlefield. Only a integrate open adult new tactics. The mech suits, on a other hand, will expected change your whole fight plan from a belligerent up. They’ve got some-more health and firepower, yet they pierce solemnly in a early diversion and can’t take cover, so we unequivocally need to tailor your whole proceed to their specific pros and cons to make a many of what they have to offer.
If you’re disturbed that bringing walking tanks into a conflict will dull XCOM‘s infamously pointy teeth, you’re partially right. With that good large pool of strike points, they’re positively reduce risk, and even with a some-more severe set of enemies, they can make a fight on Normal noticeably easier—albeit during a responsibility of a some-more formidable plan covering that requires clever apparatus government early on. What’s more, Firaxis has tweaked a aloft problems to make them even harder, so you’ll roughly positively need that additional boost to prevail. Knowing that, we indeed consider it’s a masterstroke to make a reduce problems somewhat some-more approachable; as someone who’s been too frightened to excavate into Classic or Impossible, my smoother Normal playthrough has me prickly to finally make a burst up.
But even with all these changes, Enemy Within doesn’t remove steer of what done a bottom diversion a fun to play. This is an enlargement in a truest clarity of a word—not an addition or a side story, yet a some-more strong chronicle of a same core experience. A playthrough of Enemy Unknown and a playthrough of Enemy Within have a same commencement and end—the latter is just blown out in a middle, charity some-more to do while we rigging adult for a endgame and a larger accumulation of ways to get there.
That creates a preference to recover as a standalone enlargement both a best and misfortune thing about Enemy Within. On a one hand, anyone who missed out on final year’s diversion can and should make this their entrance point. On a other hand, if you’ve already bought and beaten it, it competence be tough to clear repurchasing a same diversion all over again. If you’ve already picked adult all a DLC, it becomes an even thornier prospect. The $40 pricetag—cheap for a mint disc-based diversion yet a small adult there for any DLC or appendage content—certainly doesn’t assistance matters.
Still, even if a recover plan competence lift a few eyebrows, there’s no doubt this is a decisive chronicle of Firaxis’ stellar reincarnation of XCOM. All too often, expansions and re-releases can seem like a collection of disjointed, tacked-on calm that’s usually there to pad out a categorical game. Enemy Within takes a conflicting approach, focusing on engaging ideas that feel like healthy extensions of a already rock-solid design—and that’s precisely because it succeeds.