Thursday, November 28, 2013

X-Com Enemy Within [Review]

 Early in November, I picked up the expansion pack for X-Com: Enemy Unknown. The base game was good, it hailed back to the same feeling as the original X-Com and X-Com Terror From the Deep. Both where much better than the 3rd X-Com game, whose name escapes me and was not worth the effort of even looking it up in Google. (Yes, the 3rd game was that bad.) 

Thankfully, Enemy Unknown was good. Enemy Within just makes it better.
So here is my rating:
4.0 Stars
So here we go. What does Enemy Within add? First off it increases the number of enemy types in several ways. It adds 2 new alien baddies, the stealth strangler called a Seeker, and a Sectoid in a suit of mecha armor called (imaginatively) a Mectoid.
Stealth Alien Tentacle Monsters.

El Banditos, aka: Exalt.
In addition to the new alien baddies, there is a whole new subplot with new human enemies, Exalt. A group of humans that are seeking to use alien tech to achieve transhumanist goals. You fight them, since they are rivals in acquiring alien tech, but I wish there were other options. I wish there was some way to ally with them, they are doing what you do... just perhaps slightly more extreme in their methods. (Despite the fact that you will probably blow up lots and lots of buildings and gas stations through the course of the game...)

Exalt is pretty straight forward, they have four classes of badguys: Assault, Support, Sniper, Heavy. And amazingly they are armed just like you... only they tend to come in large packs, and have upwards of 15 of them on the map. So, yeah they are like your X-Com soldiers, only more numerous... and just as deadly. So play carefully when you are up against them.

Of course Enemy Within adds to the toys your X-com forces get to use. You get a whole boatload of new support equipment such as new grenades, reaper rounds, and a few other things. There are new foundry Projects including one that allows EVERY soldier to equip two support items.

Extreme Voluntary Augmentation: MecTrooper.
But the biggest thing is two new Trooper types: MecTrooper and Genetically Modified Trooper. The mechtrooper brings big bad power armor to the battlefield. They get benefits depending upon what class they were before being augmented. I personally like to augment my soldiers that are wounded, because of the little cheat that skips their healing days and replaces it with only 3 upgrade days. Big guns, big weapons, fast, but cannot gain cover defense. MecTroopers cannot become psychics.

Glow my brain, please.
There are also genetically modified troopers. They can get abilities that give them hyper sense to detect hidden enemies, jump extreme heights, heal on the battlefield, aim better, and even generate psychic feedback against those aliens that would try and mind control your soldier. They cannot be combined with MecTroopers, but they can become psychic soldiers.

There are also new council missions, new mission types, new helmet and hair styles, an option to have soldiers speak in their native tongue (unless they would be speaking Chinese or Japanese - seriously, why not include those languages?), and a few other tweaks. 

I've beaten the game on normal several times... and right now I'm getting my ass handed to me on 'Classic' constantly. It reminds me of how lethal the old Terror from the Deep was.

The expansion, Enemy Within, is really good. But it only rates at four stars since it really is the same game, just with more. And it still has some of the failures of the original Enemy Unknown like the fact that there are no regional tile sets. A city in Japan looks exactly like a city in Mexico or a city in Russia or a city in Europe. This is wrong. There needed to be some tiles they could use to simulate an authentic regional feel. The other area the game falls down in is replay value. The only reason to play it again is to challenge yourself on a higher level.

Still it is a lot of fun, and the expansion gives you a lot more options. Is it worth it, yeah.
This was a ball-buster mission.

No comments:

Post a Comment