Looks like expansions are a big thing this year at Gamescom.  First we announced the new Diablo III expansion and now we get another one for XCOM: Enemy Unknown, titled Enemy Within.

We’ve been hearing rumors for some time now about a new XCOM in the works, but didn’t have much to go on aside from a mysterious “Enemy Within” title.  That left fans with a lot of speculation, was it an entirely new IP?  Was it a mini expansion like Operation Slingshot?

Luckily for fans, it looks like they will be getting a full on expansion to Firaxis’ popular game XCOM: Enemy Unknown.  But don’t expect just a few missions and it be done, this looks to be the biggest expansion release for XCOM: Enemy Unknown.

First thing to note is that the game will add another 40 maps to the roster, upping the original 80.  This means fans will see more variety in settings, such as alien crashes in rural neighborhoods or farms.

farm crash

Along with new maps, Firaxis is also adding access to localized voice files.  This means that your soldiers will finally speak their own language. While that seems like a minor detail, it’s small things like that which help immersion.

But that’s not to say all the changes are simple aesthetic upgrades.  XCOM: Enemy Within will include new enemies, one of which is known as the Mechtoid.  The Mechtoid serves as a regular sectoid (the little grays) inside of a mechanized suit.  They gain bonus attributes, such as the ability to fire twice in one turn as well as gaining a damage absorption shield if they are mind melded with another sectoid unit.

Mechtoid

We keep getting prettier, they just keep getting uglier.

It looks like they may be the inspiration for the new player unit, the Mec Trooper.  Mec Troopers are obtained the same way psychic troopers are, that is to say a player must build the appropriate facility and subject their soldiers to the mech process.  But unlike the psytroops, doing so will override their initial class and they will lose any associated perks.  The plus side to this is that Mec Troopers have their own set of abilities and upgrades.  They will have access to an area of effect heal that can heal all units within an area, jump jets, specialized armor and other features.  While they will be unable to use the basic weapons as other soldiers, they will have access to their own arsenal through a weapons tree.  Did I mention they get a flame thrower?

FIRE

It’s like I’ve always said, if at first you don’t succeed, use more fire.

As overpowered as the Mec Trooper sounds, players may want to hold off on converting their entire army into walking tanks.  Doing so will stop soldiers from using another newly implemented feature, genetic enhancements.  Each soldier will have five slots where they can apply enchantments: brain, eyes, skin, chest, and legs.  Within each of those slots players will have the choice between two upgrades which can be swapped out at will if the player has enough funds.

While not much information has been given yet, Firaxis did reveal two of the upgrades available.  For the brain slots players will be able to choose between either a Neural Dampening or Neural Feedback.  Dampening allows a soldier to become immune to panic as well causing them to get knocked out if their mind controlled.  Feedback on the other hand will cause direct damage back to anyone who attempts to use psi-attacks on the soldier.

mech upgrades

Who needs genetics when you have metal.

For the leg slot players will have the choice of Muscle Fibers or Adaptive Bone Marrow.  Muscle Fibers will give players increase leg strength, allowing them to climb buildings without the use of a hook shot, which seems like an excellent deal for snipers.  Meanwhile, Adaptive Bone Marrow will give a unit the ability to regenerate some health over time if they are wounded.  Decisions, decisions.

Speaking of decisions, Firaxis will also be overhauling the ability tree as well.  In the original XCOM: Enemy Unknown, there were certain abilities that were better than others so to counteract this, Firaxis has adjusted several of the these to provide more interesting choices.  Changes have been made such as reducing the aim penalties for Snapshot down to 10 from 20, or making it so Squad Site only affect a sniper’s Headshot.  Changes like these make the decision between abilities a lot more difficult.

While they haven’t mentioned anything tactics of gameplay, it does look like Firaxis is overhauling the game with the introduction of several new enemies, weapons, troops and abilities.  Expect the new expansion XCOM: Enemy Within to release on November 12 as a $30 expansion for PC or a $40 stand alone for both Xbox 360 and PS3.

Source: IGN

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Enrique C
Editor-in-Chief

There's no problem that can't be fixed with fire. Doesn't matter what game. If that doesn't work, use more.