Reviews for XCOM: Enemy Within (NA)

85

Good addition to a Great Game

TheBulletMagnet | March 5, 2014 | See all TheBulletMagnet's reviews »

Enemy Within is a good add-on to the game which helps expand on the early game with a number of balance changes which give the player many more options in a game that was limited before.

EW adds 1.5 new soldier classes to the game which does add to the options that the player has. The MEC soldier, created by surgically removing the limbs of a soldier that is squaddie or higher, which gains a number of powerful weapons and abilities at the cost of being unable to take cover and being dependent on MEC suits which must be manufactured at high cost. Gene-mods are a modification that can be done to soldiers that give them bonus abilities like dealing damage to enemies who use psi powers on them or being able to jump onto buildings.There have a number of balance changes to the existing classes which for the most part fail to address the extreme imbalance. Squad sight is less of a game breaker but is still infinitely better than snap-shot. The gene-mod Mimetic-Skin completely breaks the AI as they are unable to deal with invisible soldiers.

The item system was given a much needed overhaul. Deep pockets, an ability for support soldiers, has been turned into an upgrade for all soldiers so they can all carry two items. EW adds a number of new items that are of mixed use. There are a number of grenades including a grenade that hits a larger area but is blocked by cover, a grenade that lures aliens to a place, and flashbangs which can be used to cripple the victims accuracy and movement speed.

The new enemies in the game do add quite a bit to the game. There are two new aliens: mektoids and seekers. Mektoids are fit in between cyberdisks and sectopods as a high damage, high durability enemy that can't take cover. Seekers are an enemy that turns invisible and attaches itself to a soldier and chokes them but end up not being much of a threat. EXALT, a new enemy faction made up of humans, is a mixed bag. EXALT soldiers stop scaling quickly into the game leaving them fodder for your soldiers.

EW does address some of the key bugs with EU but does not do away with them completely. Aliens can occasionally teleport directly into your squad and there are a number of line of sight bugs that prevent you from getting line of sight and critical hit bonuses.

Overall Enemy Within is a good add-on that addresses many of the base games issues. The late game is still lacking a strong late game and has significant balance problems. The game also continues to be let down by some terrible bugs.

85

A Good But Short Addition

fortunateandy | Feb. 6, 2014 | See all fortunateandy's reviews »

The expansion is great and burdensome at the same time. Play on easy mode and you can almost be a juggernaut with the new stuff from the expansion. On hard mode or Ironman mode you will have an extremely difficult, and fun, and frustrating time trying to beat the game while keeping every country from leaving you. The new types of units and missions are a great addition to the gameplay and story, respectively. But pace yourself as if you finish the expansion's missions before dealing with the secret base then you might find the expansion to be a bit lackluster as the expansion' missions has no prerequisite for you to finish certain main story missions before you can do another expansion mission. I wouldn't recommend buying this expansion unless it's under $15.00

90

Highly recommended.

jurassicutility | Feb. 5, 2014 | See all jurassicutility's reviews »

Opening fanboy statement: This expansion is so freaking good, and well worth the $30 starting price.

Just wanted to get that out of the way, because the new expansion is very much an expansion. This isn't some rushed, unsatisfying cash grab like many DLC packs seem to be. It adds a ton of new content, and addresses a number of niggling issues that myself and other XCOM players had with the base game. For example, 40 new maps have been added, and are able to rotate in and out with the old ones. This alone makes a huge difference, and is one of the main reasons get the expansion. The original version had, I think, 80 unique maps? It always felt like a lot less, because those are split between 3 or 4 basic mission types, and you'd end up seeing the same maps again and again during the course of a single play-through. The new maps are excellent, and comparing them with the old maps really makes me appreciate how much effort went into designing them. The maps are nicely large (a lot of the old maps are rather small and claustrophobic), and you see a lot awesome new settings like farmlands from the old, 1994 X-COM and even a base-defense mission.

There's also a new kind of resource called "meld", which is required to unlock a lot of the games new research paths and soldier upgrades. Each mission in the game starts out with two meld canisters, and there's a time limit on each of them before the meld disappears forever. This is kind neat, because the lure of meld may cause you to take risks that you normally wouldn't take, or go through patches of the map you normally wouldn't explore. The temptation may be to simply send a single soldier after meld canisters so you maximize the ground you cover while minimizing risk, but there's a new enemy type that's there to address that. The enemies in question are these weird, squid like things that turn invisible when you spot them, and only become visible after they sneak up on one of your soldiers and starts strangling him or her. This seems like a neat idea at first, but I feel the implementation leaves a little to be desired. The only way to pre-empt a strangling attempt is to keep all your soldiers close together and set everyone to 'overwatch' so that you can hopefully finish off the enemy right after it reveals itself and before it latches on to your soldier. Once it latches on, it does 2 damage every turn, starting with the first turn. In the early game, when the accuracy of all your soldiers suck, these enemies appearing is like the game saying "hey, one of your soldiers is just going to take two damage here, and there's nothing you can do about it". So, slightly annoying, but I like that they're there.

There's also a new human faction called EXALT that fights for the alien side, and it seems like they're meant to play the same role that alien bases play in X-COM: UFO Defense. During the course of a month EXALT will form cells in one of your funding nations, and if allowed to exist, will drain your remaining cash reserves each month. You can assign a single soldier to go on infiltration mission, which occurs off screen, and then later roust out the cell in a proper mission after a set period of time. Again, I think the implementation of this new mechanic leaves something to be desired, but it does add an interesting permutation to the strategy layer of the game. Basically, it encourages you to spend money as soon as you get it, because it's become a bit of a 'use it or lose' affair.

The research and upgrade paths that meld unlocks are a real highlight. Meld allows you to research gene modification and/or cybernetic augmentation. Pro-tip, one of the first things you should research is cybernetic augmentation. Enemy Within is actually significantly harder during the first few months than Enemy Unknown due to some not so obvious tweaks to some of the game parameters. I think the accuracy and critical hit rates of aliens have been bumped up on Classic Difficulty and I lost two Ironman Classic mode games in row, before I realized the reason I kept having to fight Mutons with default rifles by the third month was because they increased research times. Having a mech-trooper will really even the odds, because they have a punching move that does 12 damage and has no cool-down (that's enough to one-hit kill a Muton every turn!), and a move that destroys cover, and is unlimited use. The research requirements are also low, too low in my opinion, and you could easily have a mech-soldier by the second month. Gene-mods also seem pretty neat, which can grant soldiers abilities like being able to jump over buildings or chameleonic skin that allows them to become invisible in high cover.

Ah, so let's see. What else is there? Bug-fixes: a lot of the remaining issues that people would complain about incessantly like the teleporting aliens issue and the flanking bug are now gone. New mission types: The new "Site Recon" council mission is amazing, and is one of the best missions in the entire game.

One thing I've heard that's kind of a shame is that they didn't change the ending sequence at all. The final mission was kind of a push-over, and it would've been nice if they'd added a harder post-mission or something, but overall I'm really happy with what Firaxis managed to provide with this. I'd recommend buying the expansion if you're a really big fan, but you might be better off waiting if you merely liked XCOM: EU as opposed to loved it. Like I said before, I think it's worth $30, considering how much new content there is, and the number of game hours a quality replay will give you. I paid $22 after preorder bonuses, and felt it was a good deal. $15 dollars would be a steal.

94

Loved it!

Revelation44 | Feb. 5, 2014 | See all Revelation44's reviews »

Great addition to the base game, Enemy Unknown! Introduces a new human enemy, the Exalt. You have to find their base and eliminate them or they cause havoc. Game play is enhanced from the original by adding in new MEC suits and Gene modifications to make your soldiers totally different and more powerful. Lots more maps and extended fun makes this a must have! By the way, it gets easier as you advanced and your soldiers get stronger (if they last that long!)

90

One of the best expansions out there

taigatsu | Feb. 4, 2014 | See all taigatsu's reviews »

Before downloadable content became so prevalent in gaming, an expansion pack meant a product that expanded the scope of the original game and often provided new ways to play. XCOM : Enemy Within certainly falls within this definition. New mechanics, more build options, a greater variety of foes & several new set piece missions all add up to an expansion that definitely makes re-visiting XCOM worthwhile.

Having the option to upgrade your troops along the new MEC and genemod trees opens up new playstyles, and you always have the freedom to mix and match different type of units in your squad as you see fit. The new enemy types force you to rethink your tactics as you learn to cope with adversaries that will turn invisible, flank you more aggressively, utilize the same skill sets as your troops, or just shrug off everything you can throw at them. More maps means avoiding the tedium of running the same mission for the 100th time. One of the biggest game changers is meld, the new resource. If you want to upgrade your new units, you'll need to capture it before it expires, which means switching from the overly cautious playstyle that dominated the original game to one willing to take more risks and advance aggressively.

Enemy Within does everything that a good expansion should do. It builds on what made the original game so fantastic, and takes it in new and interesting directions. It improves on the original game in almost every manner and makes for an even more gripping game than the original.

95

If you own the base game, buy this expansion.

StormGryffen | Jan. 7, 2014 | See all StormGryffen's reviews »

Enemy Within gets rid of the few small faults I perceived to be within the base X-Com: Enemy Unknown game and enhances an already very solid gaming experience. The base game, as my review for that game opines, lacks map variation and the feeling of having enough research and equipment options for your troops to make them feel very specialized or varying. Though the base game contained many specialty paths for your troops, it felt to me like the training options and equipment research variation in the base game was just satisfactory enough to provide a few options. This expansion “fixes” and improves the main game in every way – Gone is the tedium of seeing the same few maps too often, and gone is the feeling of having somewhat limited troop options.

The expansion adds two new paths for your troops that require an investment of a new resource along with some cash and time investment. MEC research allows you to turn some of your troops into cyborgs – and genetic enhancement research allows you to splice some human weaknesses out of your troops and add some alien advantages. Though a trooper can’t be both a MEC AND a genetically engineered trooper, these systems add a lot of variety to the game. The game also adds some new equipment and research options, and a lot of new maps that make the game feel far more varied and option-packed.

Additionally, X-Com: Enemy Within adds a new faction to battle in the early to middle game. EXALT is a faction that will constantly raise panic across the world until you’re able to infiltrate enough of their group with operatives to find their weak spots and put them down. EXALT provide and additional challenge, and adds a new kind of mission to the game, where you need to infiltrate them with operatives and then extract those operatives in a certain manner to retrieve necessary data on the organization. During extractions, your infiltrating operative can hack enemy communications using satellite towers, thus disrupting them, but the operative is only able to use a pistol for the extraction mission and often starts separated from the extraction team you’ve sent.

In my opinion, this expansion addresses the few weaknesses in X-Com Enemy Unknown and gets rid of them while providing fun and engaging new options and challenges. It takes the base game from a rating I’d say was around 80 and brings it to 95.

90

Very good expansion

Knctrnl1 | Jan. 3, 2014 | See all Knctrnl1's reviews »

The Genetics lab and MECs add a lot to the game play and actually had me replay the game some more to try the different combos. This added a lot more variety to the squads. Meld for me was a problem to keep up with the demand. The XALT missions are like rescue missions but can be a bit rough. 1st time in one took massive damage as they had rocket launchers which I was not expecting. The missions definately seem a lot harder then the basic playthrough.

Now for the downside the price for this expansion is way too high so waited for the winter sale and discount coupon. For that price it is absolutely worth it.

So for a final verdict buy it on sale and it is definately worth the addition. Base game was very good and this only adds more choices and gameplay.

90

Amazing Expansion to an already robust game.

Coolicy | Dec. 27, 2013 | See all Coolicy's reviews »

This Expansion Requires the base game XCOM Enemy Unknown to play.

XCOM Enemy Unknown is a fabulous turn-based + base management strategy game, and Enemy Within is an amazing expansion adding to that awesome package. The expansion contains an optional "operation" similar to Operation Slingshot, and adds lots of new options for you to manage your resources on. There are three biggest changes to the basic formula, the addition of Gene Mods to your soldiers, a new Mech Class, and the introduction of a new human enemy that uses different tactics from the aliens. Both Gene Mods and Mech Troopers have their pro's and con's, and really encourage careful resource management.

This fundamentally changes the game even for veterans of Enemy Unknown. I breeze through Classic Ironman in EU, but I struggle on just regular Classic in EW. Especially on harder difficulties, the new additions requires more thinking and planning on both the field and at base.

This also adds many added elements from the old XCOM game that old fans will appreciate. I'm sure that this expansion will please new and old fans alike. GET IT!

90

A worthy expansion

koztah | Dec. 4, 2013 | See all koztah's reviews »

When Firaxis' take on X-COM originally was released, I was tickled to finally have a new turn-based strategy game to play and while fun, it was disappointing that it didn't evoke the same tension during combat as the original, and the lack of complexity in the base management/research sections. I was hoping that an expansion would remedy this, and that never happened. Not even with Enemy Within.

But Enemy Within does make the game better, and takes Firaxis' reboot in its own direction. It isn't quite the X-COM we knew and loved, but it's an excellent game in its own right if a bit on the easy side. The expansion adds new maps (which was sorely, sorely needed), new ways to modify your soldiers, new gear, new facilities, and a continuation of the campaign. It does everything expansions were expected to before they started being called "DLC." There is no nickle and diming here, this is a proper release and well worth the investment.

75

Good, but not great.

Louist | Nov. 27, 2013 | See all Louist's reviews »

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.

91

Great expansion

Qwertyfour | Nov. 26, 2013 | See all Qwertyfour's reviews »

XCOM Enemy Within is a great expansion that actually justifies its price point. Unlike Brave New World which largely feels like a milestone update in beta games, Enemy Within adds a significant amount of content. Almost 50 whole maps are added, the new resource completely varies up the pacing of missions, and the new augmentations make the game incredibly fun. For $30 dollars (or even less on sales) you will definitely get your money worth because the new research system will take more than 30 hours. The game is much more harder as well which makes it ever more satisfying. Overall this is a great DLC that you should definitely buy after beating XCOM

98

A HOME RUN

analytalica3 | Nov. 17, 2013 | See all analytalica3's reviews »

XCOM: ENEMY WITHIN is an amazing expansion to an already amazing game.

Remember the first time you played Enemy Unknown? How you slowly progressed through the tech tree, discovering laser and then plasma weapons, while the enemies got harder and harder? Well Enemy Within brings that incredible feeling back. The inclusion of Meld as well as the newly designed levels drastically change up the gameplay from that of EU. Augmented soldiers are a joy to use, especially the rocket fist. Balance changes, a new enemy faction, and all sorts of new little details and features make Enemy Within feel like a brand new game.

But beware: Even with all the new toys, it's much harder than before. Thin Men will oneshot you in full cover and multiple Mechtoids can show up on the same level.

GOOD LUCK COMMANDER

80

New School Old School

Tremis | Nov. 16, 2013 | See all Tremis's reviews »

The XCOM franchise is an old one, but has stood the test of time in most aspects. One aspect that was sorely needed in terms of a reboot was the control scheme which this new addition improves upon. However, I miss the feeling of the previous game in terms of art direction. Maybe it was the old sprite work, but something feels missing from this one. The story missions also feel a bit forced and I wanted a bit more customizability out of the box for the characters and equipment. That said, I have not yet finished this game and it may grow on me. Decide for yourself on this one.

93

Refreshing

Malerick | Nov. 12, 2013 | See all Malerick's reviews »

XCOM Enemy Within helps breath new life into Enemy Unknown. New class types add combat variety, and the Exalt missions are a great change of pace. The most interesting change for me is the Meld mechanic - the time limit to gather the Meld forces me to abandon tried and true Move-Overwatch tactics and play more aggressively. My main concern for the new soldier abilities is that they almost seem 'too' powerful; but honestly I don't really care, since my MEC soldier can punch sectoids to death.