In this new set of linked Council missions, you will meet an enigmatic Triad operative, divert an alien ship’s course, and do battle with the aliens in the skies over China. The content pack also includes new customization options and a new soldier with a unique voice and story.
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XCOM: Enemy Unknown's Slingshot DLC adds a few more run of the mill missions, and gives you a Triad member as a unique solider. It's not worth it's standard price, but if you enjoy XCOM: Enemy Unknown and can get it on sale you wouldn't be any worse off for it. It adds a little more to do during a play through, just what it adds is nothing particularly special. Buy it if you want some more missions, but if you chose to skip it rest assured you aren't missing out on anything.
This DLC is exactly what I don't like about the new XCOM. It's a series of three missions that take place in China where a triad member defects to XCOM with a piece of alien tech. There are no weapons, soldier type or aliens and instead is based entirely around a three mission story. If you complete all three levels then you get the loot you would from capturing a battleship which can allow you to completely break the tech tree with top tier equipment. The reception of this was so bad that the planned second DLC ended up being merged into Enemy Within. The difficulty of the missions is poorly balanced as the first mission has a number of relatively powerful enemies that have scripted spawns so it is a total breeze on repeat plays. The subsequent levels have a massive difficulty spike with the second level potentially being the hardest level in the new XCOM including Enemy Within.
It's easy to take a quick look and dismiss this add on. A trio of new missions, a hero unit and a couple new options for appearance doesn't seem like a lot for a DLC pack. The missions themselves aren't particularly noteworthy. In the base game, they come so early that they actually provide a higher risk than some players might be comfortable with, although this has been remedied for owners of the new Enemy Within expansion. The hero character himself has unique dialogue in combat, but behaves just like any other unit. The biggest reason to get this DLC is if you're the kind of person who bought the Elite Soldier pack; it offers multiple new ways to kit out your soldiers with new hats, helmets and armor skins. You're not missing much if you skip the missions, but for anyone who is looking for even more ways to add some personality to your operatives, this add on is worth it.
Having immensely enjoyed the main game, I bought this add-on to extend the fun. The problem with this DLC is that it initiates at the start of the game in exchange of the typical council missions so you cannot add this to your current game progress; you have to start afresh. The actual missions with the exception of the third mission are completely new and offer a refreshing change of pace to the other missions in the main game. The third mission you are likely to have played or to play again if you encounter a battleship UFO in the main game with the difference being in the slight change in the layout of the level. As you begin these missions relatively early on in the game, these missions are quite challenging. But the rewards are plentiful once you complete them and can offer a relatively good position to tackle the rest of the game with plentiful resources and an experienced heavy solider. The problem is that until you complete these three missions, you cannot play normal council missions even if you choose to skip it making you lose out on a good opportunity to reduce panic or gain rewards from these council missions. It would have been good if the game offered a choice between the DLC missions and normal council missions. Furthermore the game is relatively short, you can complete the three missions easily within a hour or hour and a half. To me, it's therefore not worth dishing out more than £5 for - I would suggest purchasing it if a) only if you plan on doing another playthrough and b) you can get it in a sale.
Slingshot is one of those “take it or leave it” DLC’s that doesn’t add a lot of content but enhances the game a little. You get a new heavy soldier who has a unique health bonus and if he survives the final mission of the game you get an achievement. You get a little variety thrown in by way of some new missions that are each a one-time deal, and you get some UFO parts earlier than you would if you didn’t have the expansion. In my opinion, the expansion is worth five US dollars or so and adds just enough to be new and interesting but it isn’t a must-have. Like all expansion content mission sets that have been released for the X-com reboot thus far, you can disable the new missions on subsequent play-throughs via the advanced options menu.
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