Reviews by Louist

75

Good, but not great.

Louist | Nov. 27, 2013 | Review of XCOM: Enemy Within (NA)

Enemy within adds a great amount of new content, most of which provide you with a number of new options in customizing and equipping your troops and expanded tactics in combat. The reworked ability trees added some interesting balance changes to classes. The storyline missions are well-crafted and entertaining, especially the base-defence mission. The new maps are fantastic. They feel bigger, taller, and more detailed. Overall, It's a polished piece of work, and I'd recommend it for any fan of Enemy Unknown.

However, I can't give the game full marks. Dealing with the new exalt faction becomes a chore and a money-sink very quickly. It feels like they're included to artificially extend the game. If they provided some challenge in combat, I'd be fine with a little padding, but they're too tame, and facing them in combat is surprisingly dull. The final mission against them, especially, was anti-climatic and one-sided, even if the unique map was beautiful.

There's an issue with balance overall. Enemy Within is an noticably easier game, especially in terms of combat, and it only gets easier the further you progress. Some new alien enemies offer new challenges early on, but those challenges quickly fade. By the time you're fielding a MEC or two, and your other troops have the more useful genetic modifications, every mission becomes a cakewalk. A large part of the problem, I think, are the MECs themselves. They're simply too powerful, with a number of high-damage area-effect abilities, a huge amount of hitpoints, an area-effect healing ability that puts the support class to shame, and an area-effect EMP that makes sectopods downright trivial. There's essentially nothing that poses a challenge to them.

Again, it's a good expansion, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Enemy Within. But it becomes too easy, too early, and Exalt is particularly underwhelming.