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Genetically Modified Ops: XCOM - Enemy Within

I'm fairly sure that this is the most shooty-bangy XCOM trailer that I've ever seen. It's far more energetic and noisy than the videos for the never-born FPS ever managed to be, and if I didn't know anything about Enemy Unknown, I'd assume this was an advert for some kind of third-person alien-punching game. There's even a bit at the end that has two mechanical monstrosities punching each other, as if this were Revenge Of The Rise Of The Robots, the sequel that nobody wanted. Has a trailer for a turn-based game of tactics and base-building ever before featured such blatant pandering to the robot fight fan demographic? Not to my knowledge. I'm very much looking forward to playing the expansion, mind.

Maybe I'm being squeamish, partly because of attachment to my XCOM soldiers, but the mechanical augmentation really does disturb me. Does XCOM just lop their limbs off and chuck them in the bin? What happens to the soldiers when the war is won? A veteran cyborg, his joints rusted and stiff, slumps against a storefront. "NEED MONEY FOR REPAIRS/FOOD", he has scrawled on the cardboard, using the thick hydraulic fluids that bubbles from his shattered left arm as a form of ink.

He once fought creatures from other worlds but there's no fight in him anymore. There's no gratitude either, from this world, only fear and disgust. He worked as a janitor in a local gym for a while but the customers complained that he unnerved them. Not just his modifications but his manner. Haunted and hollow.

The management found an excuse to fire him (too many mops snapped into splinters) and he lost his temper, punched a hole through the wall and had to serve time. Now he spends his days and nights on the street, trying to forget even as the world tries to forget him.

Cripes. There's an Enemy Within interview here.

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Adam Smith


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