XCOM: Enemy Within Is An Expansion, Out 15 November

By John Walker on August 21st, 2013 at 10:00 am.

Ah well, not a full sequel then. But a hefty expansion, nonetheless – Firaxis style. (Actually, it’ll be a standalone game on consoles, but not PC, oddly.) Rather obviously XCOM: Enemy Within will have new maps (40 of them), and new soldier class (stompy mech) and multiplayer stuff (cuddles), but also introduces a rather significant new mechanic, changing how you approach the game.

In development since last October, the idea here is to create something that’s not just a bunch more content, but rather rethinking the game and changing how it plays this time out. So this time, rather than just taking on alien tech for your team, you’re taking alien tech in your team. Augmenting your soldiers. Genetically.

Each soldier will have new upgrade slots, for brain, skin, chest, legs and eyes, with an array of genetic additions to enhance them – transhumanist boosts and tweaks, such as health regen and blocks against enemy psi attacks.

Mech troopers are interesting, too. Once you’ve built the facility, any of your current soldiers can abandon their current class and step into the suit, along with a new set of abilities to progress through. And they’re countered by a new alien class, the Mechtoid.

We’ll have lots more detail about the game soon, when Adam speaks to the team to demand every scrap of information. Meanwhile, here’s the pointless teaser trailer:

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120 Comments »

  1. Haplo says:

    I WANT THIS YESTERDAY.

    • nFec says:

      DO WANT

    • El_MUERkO says:

      My first thought was SSSWWWWWWWWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!. There has been no second thought

    • fdisk says:

      My feelings exactly; November feels so far away now! It’s going to be like an early Christmas for me. I’m definitely taking time off work just to play this, that’s how much I f’ing love new XCOM.

    • Master Realtor Marklew says:

      Right now, I’m staring at my signed and authorized vacation request form, with 18/11/2013 written on it. 16 is a saturday. Gotta remember to thank myself from a few weeks back!

      Will the mech suits have their own tech-trees or will they be dependent on the wearer?

  2. rustybroomhandle says:

    My wallet-muscle is tentatively flexed.

    • Rich says:

      My wallet just made an angry hissing noise and scuttled off into cover.

  3. FunnyB says:

    Hmmm… Isn’t this the same teaser trailer they released a few months ago, but with the added Enemy Within tagline at the end?

    I knew that teaser was about an expansion, and not the iOS port as some people claimed…

    • Triplanetary says:

      The iOS announcement trailer will be mostly the same, but with the added line, “We have a new mission for you: to figure out why you’d want to play this game on a 10-inch screen with no mouse or keyboard.”

  4. Jonfon says:

    The genetics bit looks very Syndicate-y too (the original one), which is probably a deliberate move by Firaxis.

    Looking forward to this as a catalyst for Second Playthrough.

  5. unangbangkay says:

    Now the sagely Chinese engineer-man will REALLY have something to worry about when he wonders “what we will become” etc.

    Also regarding this part of the article:

    “Once you’ve built the facility, any of your current soldiers can abandon their current class and step into the suit, along with a new set of abilities to progress through.”

    The EG quote begs to differ:

    “Your sniper or whoever will become a mech trooper, which is a new class with a new training tree straight from squaddie down to colonel. In addition, every time you upgrade a cybersuit, the suit itself has tactical systems that you can select. The mechs really have two families of abilities, then: the kind that the soldier has trained and then the kind that are on the mech.”

    Who’s got the right of it?

    • Asurmen says:

      That doesn’t sound like it differs at all. The EG quote says the same as John, e.g. you abandon your old class to become the mech trooper class, which has its own skill tree just like all the other classes. Can you have still have psi abilities on the mech trooper is my question.

    • cwoac says:

      Aye. The EG article is stating that the mech itself will also have (in effect) a skill tree.
      Possibly you will be able to switch guys between mech suits?

      • FhnuZoag says:

        It sounds like basically a D&D style prestige class concept. Which is pretty cool.

      • bills6693 says:

        Looking at the interview footage (link below), they show some in-game stuff. It looks like its not a mech the soldiers climb into and pilot – they are literally turning them into a mech – their body from the neck down is robot. Bit weird having a human head on basically a robot, but yeah… in answer, it doesn’t look like you’d be able to switch soldiers around, unfortunately.

    • Triplanetary says:

      But the key point is that the soldier will keep his or her original class abilities when they transform into Ripley vs. Alien Queen, which is not what it sounded like when John used the word “abandon.”

  6. Totally heterosexual says:

    Woaaah. That looks ace.

  7. TormDK says:

    My wallet is ready!

  8. Lars Westergren says:

    Nice. Have they fixed the teleporting aliens bug yet? That killed my ironman+classic playthrough very near the end, and I don’t want to invest that amount of time and emotion if it might happen again.

    • coldvvvave says:

      I know this is a bad thing to do but for gamebreaking bugs on Ironman there is forced exit before the next turn and continuing from last one. It’s game’s fault after all.

    • bleeters says:

      Having some kind of indication as to whether taking up a position will give line of fire/cover against aliens other than running up there and wishing on a star would be nice, too.

      Oh, and if aliens couldn’t shoot through ship hulls, walls, buildings, cliff faces and other solid objects from time to time because reasons, that’d be swell too.

    • Oasx says:

      I have started playing the game recently and can confirm that enemies will still randomly teleport around the map.

  9. Lambchops says:

    That’s good, I enjoyed XCOM but beyond miserably failing with an Ironman playthrough didn’t really feel much need to replay it so more content can only be a good thing.

  10. Drake Sigar says:

    Think I’ll create a Top Gun/Wing Commander league of ace mech jocks with ridiculous nicknames.

  11. Bracknellexile says:

    It’s an expansion on PC, not a new standalone, and yet they’re STILL playing the digital oceans game! The trailer on the XCOM site says Nov 12th, the one here says Nov 15th :(

    I guess, once again, the PC players are being held hostage to the physical releases for consoles.

    • JoeGuy says:

      It still has to release on the same day with the console versions or we’d always be getting the digital version weeks early compared to disc.

  12. mpk says:

    I hope that it’s genuinely 40 new maps and not just 10 maps which you can view from four different angles, which seemed to be how the first game dealt with map variety.

    Also, I hope that the new skill trees and implants inject some much needed variation into the different classes, instead of just having a binary choice at each level.

    Also also, can they get rid of the cutscenes that play every single time an enemy appears?

    • mondomau says:

      If that 47 new maps equates to ’50% more maps’ quoted elsewhere, then I’m afraid it may be the latter.

    • Grygus says:

      This may not make you happy, but there exist mods to take out the little cut scenes.

  13. mondomau says:

    From what I can gather from the videogamer,com video and the Neogaf thread, this adds items, maps and missions to the original campaign, so it’s more of an enhancement than an expansion. Kind of explains why they went silent on previously hinted at mod support post-release.

    Still, if it’s as good as it looks and they don’t gouge us on the price (US price $30 dollars – if it converts directly to pounds, they can eff right off), then consider me sold. Would be nice if they also took the opportunity to fix some of the horrid design problems / glitches, like the teleporting aliens and random save corruption while they were at it.

    • Bull0 says:

      It fits the previous format for Firaxis expansions pretty tightly – look to the Civ 5 expansions. They’re all £20 at launch. I don’t understand your point about expansion versus “enhancement” – everyone calls big content packs and gameplay changes for a previous game, all packaged up as a retail unit, an expansion. We’ve been calling them that since the 90s.

      • mondomau says:

        Yes, I too, remember the 90s. My ‘point’ ( I have no axe to grind here, call the thing whatever you like. ) is that it seems like an expansion to the game core mechanics, not the actual campaign itself – which is fine, I am happy with that and I will probably buy it. The statement was more a realisation than a quibble over terminology.

        As for the price, £20 may or may not be reasonable, depending on the content (I don’t give a shit what previous firaxis packs have gone for, I will judge this one on it’s own merits) – I was just worried that since they are playing the oceans game on the release date, they might also try and for the $1 = £1 shenanigans that goes on from time to time. Happy to be proved wrong!

        • Bull0 says:

          So when I said the Civ 5 expansions are £20, I wasn’t saying ‘Therefore that is a fair price for this product I know next to nothing about’. Why would I? That would be crazy. But it seems like a good hint at what they’re likely to want for this, which was your question, right?

    • Reapy says:

      I was hoping for tweaks to make base building interesting and less choose your own adventure style strategy map. Also, would like to see weapon choice less clear while upgrading from laser to plasma. Still worth a bookmark for a sale possibly.

  14. Bull0 says:

    Although John hasn’t missed much there’s a 15 minute chat with the lead designer and lead developer which goes into some detail here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCSoqdOZ0-M&feature=youtu.be

    • Snidesworth says:

      Beat me to it! Very useful interview there, goes over some additional game options towards the end too (such as Sid-approved variable cover bonuses and a savescummer option).

    • Upper Class Twit says:

      Awww man, this looks pretty awesome. Especially the part where the Mech suit super punches the sectoid into the truck so hard that it explodes.

  15. plaYer2k says:

    That it was going to be an expansion was obvious when the ~40 new achievements with pretty generic names on steam popped up.

    I just hope that those new modifications offer more customization than the original game to specialize your troops even further and that they finally fix some gamemechanics like the teleporting aliens (which is changeable with mods).

  16. Christo4 says:

    If they don’t fix the stupid panic system i’ll pass.
    I tried to play through it 2 times and i quit because of that stupid system.
    I have no problem with panic, but when all your soldiers have over 10 battles and they are veterans, while they are all full HP and no one was dead/unconcious, a single shot from an alien SHOULDN’T MAKE THEM SHOOT THEIR TEAM-MATES.
    You can panic when half your team is dead and you haven’t killed one alien, but from a single fkin shot when everyone is alive and more than 5 aliens killed?
    Hell no. Uninstall.

    • mlaskus says:

      Panic can be disabled or modified to be less punishing with mods. Try looking for one that appeals to you at XCOM Nexus.

    • Milky1985 says:

      Were you shooting mutons by any chance, you know the ones with the special ability to cause panic ….

      Or was it a massive heavy shot on a guy with low will, because he has been repeatedly wounded? Just because they are veterans doesn’t mean there “will” will be high.

      But hey rant away, there could be reason for the panic that make perfect sense in the gameplay.

      • Christo4 says:

        I know that there can be different reason for panic and that it is very unlikely that the situation that i said above happens, but i was playing on classic ironman and i was a bit later in the game (maybe mid-game?), don’t remember what shot the soldier but i know that it didn’t hit and it happened at least twice (the whole panicking and shooting team-mates). Hence why i tried it 2 times but eventually quit.

        • Milky1985 says:

          Again what was the soldiers will, that’s the important thing here. It doesn’t matter if he was a vet, a vet with low will can actually be more of a hindrance to the team because of this.

          Beside panic sometimes works in your favor, been a few times my soldiers have panicked then killed the thing that panicked them :p

          Of course there is also the panic train, soldier kills teammate, more panic, more teammate kill, its just part of the game, it can be avoided but not 100% negated.

          • Christo4 says:

            I still think it’s poorly implemented in the game. No matter the will, as long as he is a VETERAN, a SINGLE shot that missed shouldn’t cause him to panic and shoot his team-mates, with the possibility of causing as you call it a panic train

          • Milky1985 says:

            ” No matter the will, as long as he is a VETERAN, a SINGLE shot that missed shouldn’t cause him to panic and shoot his team-mates”

            Right, so the stat that chiefly dictates how strong minded a person is should be ignored in your eyes just because hes a high rank? Sorry but with that the discussion is over, as that is really really stupid.

            The reason is that the “Will” stat goes down each time a soldier is critically injured, its not a stat that only goes up as you seem to be expecting. He might be the best soldier but if he got there by having to be rescued then his mind isn’t all there.

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            Yeah dude, you gotta pay attention to the stats. If his will is like 30 you probably shouldn’t even have him out there.

    • JoeGuy says:

      They are adding in an upgrade to be immune to panic and psi control.

      • bleeters says:

        Immune to psi control, you say.

        Yes, I will have some of this. Psionics sapped so much of my enjoyment for the game.

  17. Cross says:

    I have a sinking feeling the MECs will leave the SHIV even more disused and underpowered.

    • Drinking with Skeletons says:

      I don’t think there’s a good answer for what to do with SHIVs. The limit on the number of soldiers you can have on the field + the cost of building a SHIV means that there’s no good reason to bother. I think they would need to dramatically lower the cost to buy a SHIV while raising the price of recruiting soldiers enough that there might occasionally be a time when the cost-to-benefit ratio for the SHIV comes out. Even then, there’d still be no reason to use them late-game because they are relatively weak; they need some kind of modular upgrade system to bring them up to par with soldiers, or at least not significantly weaker (as they are now).

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        The only way I’d use a SHIV is if the game allowed 6 soldiers +1 slot for SHIV

        • Drinking with Skeletons says:

          That could work, but I don’t think they could provide an explanation that’s better than “because it’s a videogame.” The first thing every player would ask is “why can’t I bring another soldier?”

          • Nick says:

            Shivs aren’t as big as soldiers right? It could have a special folding comparment on the skyranger that wouldn’t fit a human. The real question is “why can I only have one skyranger?”.

    • Phendron says:

      I found the hover SHIV made a great scout and damage soak, since you wouldn’t risk losing a huge investment in a veteran soldier if they over extended into an ambush.

      • Upper Class Twit says:

        Aye, I actually found the early game SHIVs useful for exactly those reasons. You could park them out of cover and have them eat plasma, while you’re soldiers moved around and flanked. It was even better with SHIV suppression. I’m honestly surprised everyone, including really good players like Beaglerush, regard SHIVs as so useless. Maybe they’re not as effective on the difficulty above classic?

  18. SanguineAngel says:

    as I recall, what we really cried out for was regional maps and regional accents for the DLC. Is there any indication of this?

    • mondomau says:

      Don’t forget fixes to bugs that have been in since day one.

    • Bracknellexile says:

      The video Bull0 linked to above mentions that they’re opening up all the language packs to all players so German soldiers can speak German, etc. if you choose to customise them that way. It won’t be regional accents speaking English, it’ll be native dialogue.

      • Bull0 says:

        Which is nice of them, and (arguably) more realistic, but i’d kill for some stereotyped an probably offensive international accents speaking the english lines.

  19. cpt_freakout says:

    Sounds good! The only downside so far (I guess) is that modders will have to patch their stuff up, and that might take some time with new game mechanics and a new solider type. I wish they introduced more aliens, though! I know it would be balancing hell, but I think it would definitely be worth it.

  20. lowprices says:

    EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-

    *Ahem*. What I meant to say was “Oh good. I very much enjoyed XCOM: EU and am looking forward to something that significantly expands the game.”

  21. gladius2metal says:

    the game was fun, but always felt a bit weird… and I finally understood why it felt so weird, because it is inherently “broken”. I only realized that, when watching the Iron Man Impossible Series from Beagle(rush)

    Basically, aliens are in static until you find/encounter them, before they don’t move, hence to beat the game one way is to have one of your squad mates lead all the way and use all your other guys to follow his move every step. With this “approach” you can mostly avoid triggering more than one alien pack…

    This is also nicely put in the strategy guide (this is the first point!)
    ” Tactical Advice (for Impossible Ironman)
    * Don’t use shotguns (if you are running in that close you are probably about to reveal more enemies and die). ”
    http://xcom.wikia.com/wiki/Impossible_Difficulty_Strategy_Guide

    yeah, your *chance of failure* increases in this game if you do recon!

    Maybe, this fundamental flaw was addressed here on RPS, but I can’t remember it. For me that is clearly a broken – because utterly stupid – game mechanic. Recon/revealing an enemy shouldn’t be punished… aye, yeah, fuck battlefield awareness.

    • Milky1985 says:

      “Basically, aliens are in static until you find/encounter them, before they don’t move,”

      Factually Incorrect, some are static i agree, but some also patrol, if they didn’t move , how would they walk into you while you are on overwatch….

      Also played a few times when i have seen aliens move out of view range (as in can see 1 alien from a squad move about), and the times you “hear” them move about, the little sound animation can come from different locations.

      Oh and the time the cyberdisc on the battleship slingshot mission wiped me, by coming in between the two doors i was getting ready to go through, killing my best man and causing a rookie panic.

      And the piece de resistance to this was impressive, my squad managed to be surprised by a sectopod. Yes the massive hulking robot thing managed to get into the middle of the entire squad without anyone seeing the bloody thing. That somehow worked out well, 3 cheers for shotguns oddly :p

      Its true conservative play is better so anything to change that up a bit is good (its how i play, move forward very slowly, try to get the enemies to see you on there turn, not the other way around) but they do move before you can see them.

      • gladius2metal says:

        yeah, I didn’t add the patrols, but basically it comes down to: you get punished for recon.

        also “kopema” has a great point here:
        “Yeah, it’s crazy that taking ONE STEP in the “wrong” direction will alert another squad of enemies. But apparently they don’t notice any of the shots and explosions.”

        and why is something not mentioned in THIS article? I think these are major flaws of the game that should be addressed.

    • kopema says:

      Yeah, it’s crazy that taking ONE STEP in the “wrong” direction will alert another squad of enemies. But apparently they don’t notice any of the shots and explosions.

      With all the effort to find genetically superior warriors, you’d think humans’ sense of hearing would be the most amazing “super power” they’ve discovered so far.

      • Svant says:

        This was the real dealbreaker for me, it was so utterly stupid and extremely lazy. I just cannot fathom the design decisions that lead to this except “SHIT DO SOMETHING QUICKLY!”. I mean someone capable of opening a door should be smart enough to realise it is simply a horrible way to design encounters.

    • JoeGuy says:

      They are fixing that with 50% chance for aliens to react to you when they are first revealed instead of just taking cover, so they could gun a soldier down for example if you move without taking cover early parts of the map.

      • kopema says:

        So there’s still ZERO chance you can see them without alerting them at the same time? That’ll make the approaches even more tedious than they already are.

        That’s my big problem with most “strategy” and “tactical” games, aside from the Total War series. You have no clue where the enemy are until you’re in striking range. This makes every encounter a mutual ambush; basically, what soldiers in Viet Nam called: a clusterf*k.

        So the idea of enemy “patrols” is really a moot point; for all practical purposes, they don’t exist until the encounter starts. And letting the other side get the jump on you for a change will just take away some of the limited tactics the game had to begin with.

        • FhnuZoag says:

          You can see them without alerting them by making use of cloaked units, using Battle Scanners to scout ahead, or using explosives to destroy concealment.

          • bleeters says:

            None of those worked when I tried it, but then it’s been a long while now. Maybe I was just doing it wrong, too. That said, all of those require using up a fairly limited supply of various equipment (not to mention that cloak suits take a long, long time to research) and knowing roughly where aliens are in the first place, and the I-heard-something system was rarely that precise.

            Besides, isn’t it faintly absurd that blowing open a wall with a bazooka lets you take enemies unaware, when just being in their general vicinity doesn’t?

          • kopema says:

            You know who I like more than the smartasses who use exceptions to prove rules or – infinitely worse – to “disprove” a generalization?

            Pretty much everybody.

    • xao says:

      Recon isn’t punished. Getting caught while snooping about is punished. It’s possible to see an alien without triggering its group (just did it last night). Generally speaking though, if you can see an enemy, they can see you, which seems reasonable as we’re talking about heavily armed and armored soldiers, not pathfinders or ninja. Which is why you use Battle Scanners and Ghost Armor if you want to get the drop on someone.

  22. Penicillin says:

    Fantastic! Here are 3 things I’d also like to see incorporated into the expansion:

    1. A complete re-write of the soldier inventory / loadout menus. The system in the base game is awful. Having to click through dozens of soldiers, guessing and checking, to find the gun you want, unequip it on him and assign to someone else is a complete chore.
    2. An option in the menu to disable all cut-scenes. Watching the Skyranger takeoff and land gets really old after about the 10th time.
    3. A feature that indicates which enemies you will have line-of-sight to upon making a move. It was very frustrating having to “guess” which tile to run to on your first move, only to discover after getting there, that it wasn’t a viable position for engaging the enemy afterall :(

    If we could get those things, the game would be about perfect.

    • Milky1985 says:

      “A complete re-write of the soldier inventory / loadout menus. The system in the base game is awful. Having to click through dozens of soldiers, guessing and checking, to find the gun you want, unequip it on him and assign to someone else is a complete chore.”

      One of the previews is saying there is a button to do that now, apparently makes all soldiers not in the squad put there items back in the hold.

      your 2nd point is a partial one, apparently there is an option to disable the beginner VO, so less engineer and science officer talk, but imo the cut scenes are not that long, the skyranger flying one is basically a loading break in disguise.

      3rd point, yeah thats needed, get screwed over by that myself, doesn’t have to be “which enemies can shoot me”, just “which enemies can I shot with this gun”

      • stkaye says:

        I think that 3 is arguably a legitimate gameplay component. You’re supposed to balance cover with optimal firing positions, and it wouldn’t be quite right to be certain about what shots will be possible from a given vantage point before making your move. It’s easier to estimate after playing for a while, which is probably as it should be. Right now I can predict it properly about 80% of the time, and that seems about right.

        • Bull0 says:

          Yeah, there’s a bit of skill involved in trying to determine if a potential spot will give you LOS to a given target. I’d miss that if it went and they started holding my hand too much with that stuff.

        • bills6693 says:

          I’m not so sure. The problem is that there are a load of hard-coded rules based on what type of cover is where. However because its based just on ‘hard cover’ / ‘soft cover’ positions, on a grid, rather than on what you can actually see, its confusing. There may be a wall in the way, but based on the various rules which allow shots when various things are met like side steps etc, you could still shoot the enemy even though the camera shows clearly no ‘actual’ LOS.

          I think since you can just have the rulesheet alt-tabbed (or shift tab steam overlayed I guess), you can work it out every single time 100% accuratly – there is no aspect of chance/luck, its all based in hard set rules, so why hide it from the player?

    • kopema says:

      1. Yep, the soldier swapping is a little bit of a pain. But it’s a LOT better than the original X-COM’s inventory management. (You had to go through each soldier after each mission and reload his ammo for him.)

      2. I’d actually like the between-mission cutscenes if they gave USEFUL intel, specific to each mission, and let you set up crew and loadouts after that.

      • gladius2metal says:

        1. the original was painful, because there was proper inventory ;) not a mini handbag simulation mini game…

      • bleeters says:

        Yeah, I’d agree with the second point. At the very least give us a satelite photograph of the area we’re being deployed to so I can determine whether I’d benefit more from snipers or shotgun-assault, because there were certain maps where one of the above were essentially useless.

        For all the XCOM punishes you for making wrong choices, it doesn’t do anywhere near a good enough job of giving you the information needed to make that choice without guessing blindly what might work.

  23. Bluerps says:

    Oh my, that looks amazing!

  24. Tom Walker says:

    Oh man, I just removed XCOM from my local content as I thought I’d finally run out of excuses to play it again.

    Hope I don’t have to complete it again to make this bit worth having.

  25. Drinking with Skeletons says:

    Are there going to be changes to the strategic side of things? This was easily the game’s fatal flaw. Here’s a good breakdown:

    http://scientificgamer.com/the-trouble-with-xcom/

    • Drinking with Skeletons says:

      According to the Eurogamer interview, this looks like a strictly tactical-side expansion. Baffling. Unless they mix alien appearance/phase out rates significantly, it’s still going to be the “focus on satellites above all else, play conservatively, wait until you’re ready to do the alien base, take your sweet time until the game becomes boring” approach that has undercut the game since launch.

      I’m guessing the genetics stuff will make labs more desirable, but focusing on engineering will probably still be more valuable for all the reasons it’s always been.

      A step in the right direction, but so far I’m not as impressed as I’d like to have been.

      • stkaye says:

        It’s that difficulty curve that gets me. I had a really terrible time at the beginning of my first playthrough – but by the mid-game, I couldn’t believe how difficult I had initially found it. This article is good – having meaningful time limits on missions and real ramifications for not playing aggressively would probably make the game’s core mechanics work just fine.

    • kouru225 says:

      The IGN article specifically mentioned that they were withholding information of the strategic changes for now, but refused to discount base defense.

  26. Drinking with Skeletons says:

    Can I just say that, all the game’s flaws aside, I continue to love the design of the sectoids? The ET-inspired glowing heart? The Gollum-like emaciation? They somehow manage to be both adorable and menacing! And giving them a new robo death suit so they hopefully stick around in the game longer? YES.

    • stkaye says:

      There’s a ton of top-class visual design in this game, you’re right.

  27. catigator says:

    I doubt they’ll fix the most glaring problem though; the hostage rescue missions were awesome since you actually had to take some risks and be fairly quick, but most normal missions just turned into a mindless slog since the optimal strategy was to advance like one space each turn. Such a shame, since the hostage missions were great…

    • C0llic says:

      While you have a point, I think the tension added by playing iron man on classic or above let me overlook this.

      The main thing dragging the game down is the front loaded campaign difficulty, the slow loss spiral you can’t recover from following a spell of bad luck (i’m talking iron man here, when you lose too many good soldiers), and the bugs. Primarily the one involving teleporting nasties.

      That said, I could overlook all of that with just some more maps to add variety. It seems we now have that. Given this is a dlc and not standalone, I can only hope they are available in the standard campaign as well.

      • kopema says:

        Yeah, in pretty much any game I like to have a learning curve. In Enemy Unknown, one wrong move in the strategy screen early on and you’re screwed. And I don’t mean one common-sense boner; I mean one “wrong” move according to the hidden game mechanics and incomplete building descriptions.

        Then later on, once you’re up to speed and loaded for bear, the game goes into Coast Mode where you have more time and money than you know what to do with. Kinda wish that was the other way around.

    • xao says:

      Actually, they’re specifically addressing that problem with the genetic augmentation system. The gene mods will require Meld, a new resource available for a limited number of turns on some (all?) maps, giving you a reason to push harder.

  28. C0llic says:

    Finally!

    Now when this dlc/expansion actually does well (which it will) unlike the first, perhaps Firaxis will give us more content that XCOM players actually want. Instead of limp, tacked on mission arcs and ‘hero’ characters that don’t add anything to the core game.

  29. strangeloup says:

    Hm. The expansion is called Enemy Within.
    One of the main features is enhancing your soldiers with alien tech.
    What’s the betting that at some point, that goes spectacularly, horribly wrong?

    • Jonfon says:

      “It’s bad news Jackson. I’m afraid that Muton Spleen we inserted into you may have contained one or two Chrysalid embryos in it. On the plus side if you head on down to Mission Control I believe the Colonel and your squad mates are throwing you a baby shower”

    • Haplo says:

      Nonsense.

      Using fundamentally untried and untested science to integrate the technological or genetic material of an incomprehensible, powerful and ancient alien race willy-nilly into our last, best hope for mankind in a hope to push them to newer heights as yet beyond the grasp of mortal men has never ever, ever gone wrong.

      Why, with an attitude like that, you might as well say that leaving our military in the hands of heuristic amoral computer intelligences is a wrong move, or exclusively recruiting children to pilot our war machines is a poor idea.

  30. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Hmm, the Sectoid mech-suit appears to be at least 40% knees.

  31. fish99 says:

    I keep reading this game is fundamentally unfair, which is why I haven’t played it yet despite owning it.

    • Jonfon says:

      Seems extreme. Just don’t play it on Ironing Man difficulty and if it cheats you can thus decide to reload if it irks or hurts you.

      • fish99 says:

        It’s not like I’m boycotting it or something, I’m just saying when I’m looking for something new to play on my Steam list, I look at this, remember the comments I’ve read about it being unfair and buggy (and there’s more in these very comments), and pick something else. I do have a lot of unplayed games.

    • kouru225 says:

      Only if you’re a professional sore loser.

      • fish99 says:

        I’m not. Unfairness is rarely a good thing in games though. I’ve beat plenty of hard but fair games.

  32. nimzy says:

    Getting awfully close to the state of affairs in X-Com: Apocalypse

  33. frank3n says:

    Jon Bailey’s voice can have my baby. Or something like that.

  34. Asurmen says:

    You’ll have to go into more details about the first 3 points and the item slot thing to me. I thought range did affect all weapons? I’ve had some dire percentages with all weapons bar sniper rifle get better if I move closer even when the same cover is between soldier and target. Area suppression is available to Heavies through skill choice. As for suppression for all, what would you give Heavies and Support as compensation?

    The rest I agree with.

  35. X_kot says:

    Those soldiers didn’t ask for this…

  36. Strangerator says:

    Channeling Deus Ex a little towards the end of that trailer, but I’m optimistic.

    Having 40 extra maps will be nice, although I’m a bit concerned that the “mech” class will either be so good that other classes get ignored, or that guys in mech suits will never be able to take cover, and so will get plastered by enemy fire almost immediately.

    Also, health regen seems like it will replace the Support class, especially if you can still wait several turns while the aliens do nothing. I’d really like to see the aliens take a more active role.

    One way you could fix things is by allowing the aliens to increase in awareness as the turns wear on. So maybe by turn 3 aliens are already taking cover positions and by turn 5 they are camping on overwatch.

    • bills6693 says:

      There is an actual interview (link in a comment above somewhere), which talks about something pretty important. Basically there is a new, vital resource for mechs and advanced tech etc. It is found in canisters on the battlefield with self-destruct timers on them. So you can’t just sit around healing, and you can’t just ‘move two tiles, overwatch’ your way through the game, if you want these resources which you will need.

      It’ll force people to be moving forward and being more risky a lot. And in that, I can see the support being vital – both healing soldiers that ran forward for the supplies, and also using smoke grenades to cover soldiers caught out in the open. I would probably end up taking 2 supports per mission, and having no sniper – on ‘assault’ support with supression, better overwatch, more smoke grenades etc, and on medic support.

  37. Zogtee says:

    “…but rather rethinking the game and changing how it plays this time out.”

    I guess actually fixing the game and it’s glaring flaws wasn’t an option? Aliens spawning inside walls, the teleporting nonsense, the mad clipping issues, etc?

    And still no mod tools. Hey, modders are great! We love them! But no mod tools.

  38. buzzmong says:

    Hmm, unless they make some big mechanic changes I’ll be waiting until it’s in the bargin bucket.

    Top of my lists for things I’d like to see:

    1) Rework of all the class skills.

    Some of them are mandatory, like squadsight, two shots with the machine guns, 3x medkits, revive and a couple of others, while others are questionable at best.

    2) Fix/Remove the economy+Satellite meta game.

    Due to that mechanic the game’s difficulty is running into a cliff on the higher difficulties, requiring lots of luck and all your missions to go perfect, up until you’ve got about 7/8 satellites in the air.
    At which point the difficulty falls away completely as you’re pulling in enough money and intercepting enough UFO’s to not get shafted by the “pick one of three” encounter events.

    It also means on higher difficulties your sole focus is on getting satellites up ASAP otherwise you will lose the game very quickly.

    3) Fixing the flaw in the logic where if you happen to discover an alien group at the end of your turn, it gives the aliens two free turns.
    Aliens get a free move/shoot first when “discovered” which happens *during* your turn and it’s technically still your turn if you discovered them using your last action point.
    The result is them getting two consecutive turns which you as a player never get as you don’t get a free move if an alien happens to roam into your view during their turn.

    More maps are nice though, and some new weaponry would be nice along with more variation. Ballistic -> Laser -> Plasma (+ Alloy Cannon) is boring and none of the tiers offer interesting tactical choices, they’re just more powerful. The Arc Thrower should be in the pistol slot or even a primary weapon rather than an item too.

    Also, I hope that health regen is a trade off between another powerful ability, or it’s limited in scope. The game would become quite easy if you could just run around the map and hide to regenerate.

    • bills6693 says:

      Semi agreed. I know I’ll be buying this anyway (in a rare non-bargain waiting experience). But I do agree with many points.

      1) A rework on skills to give more variation and flexibility would be nice. I disagree on some of those being vital, but only when you are making a very specific class – a combat support there to chuck smoke grenades and give suppression and overwatch, for instance. But yeah its pretty set in stone which ones you will take 80% of the time.

      2) Agreed, its terrible currently. Sattelites should be significant to getting those UFO missions, and the UFO missions should be what generate the new resource. But panic should be less harsh from the choice-of-3 missions and less dependant on sattelites. It should have other factors.

      3) Yes please. This whole system is just flawed. Its your turns, when you discover the aliens, you should have the leg up on them. The whole vision thing should change I think. You should be able to be shot at when you can’t see them, and shoot them without them seeing you. And like I said, I think it should just be turn-by-turn.

      To be fair to firaxis, look at how much they have improved civ V from two of these types of expansions. It started off OK, it is now AWESOME! Hopefully they will really be improving this already good game more.

    • xao says:

      Of the listed skills, I’d argue that only Bullet Swarm and Field Medic are essential. Snapshot and Rifle Suppressions (the alternatives to Squadsight and Revive) both have uses.

      Aliens don’t actually get a free turn upon discovery, they just get a free move, so in the worst-case scenario they get a move and a half. If you’re exploring new territory with your last TU…

      The addition of Meld as a resource makes hiding out a suboptimal strategy, even with the regen abilities.

    • kouru225 says:

      The IGN article mentioned a total reworking of many of the skills.

      • bills6693 says:

        Indeed, the IGN article mentioned many exciting things. Both skills are being reworked in some cases – nerfing squadsight, changing a few things around etc. Also a ‘second wave’ option to randomize the skill trees. So you could have a heavy with squadsight and smoke grenades, etc. Could be interesting!

  39. Panda Powered says:

    Panzerkleins wooo!

  40. leQuack says:

    How nice of them to wait untill after The Bureau released