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XCOM Enemy Within was one the biggest highlights in the gaming calender of 2012. But it did fall apart every know and then, because the game just outright refused to follow it's own rules in many scenarios. The stress of the early hours can quickly evaporate if you're playing it on normal difficultly (which you should not be doing, go Classic all the way).
And remember that feeling of pulling off mission after mission flawlessly, without losing a single squad member to the aliens? That is gone like a fart in a hurricane. The entire premise of the expansion, Enemy Within, is a simple one: Undermine the player's game plan time and again and force them to to adapt and sacrifice.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... d9CmpLZVMI
The actual enemy within is a human faction by the name of Exalt. Covert human operatives who've decided to side with the invaders and there plan for genetic perfection. You'll be fighting the insurgents in covert operations which are the two new mission types in Enemy Within.
Covert Extraction sees you sending a soldier in civilian gear to infiltrate an Exalt cell and recover them once they've hacked a com relay. Data Recovery has your solder on the inside of an Exalt base, where he/she doesn't need to make it out alive, but you need to protect two different assets for extraction. One can be sacrificed to protect the second, but you'll get less money if you do so.
Exalt will also launch attacks to hinder your progress, fail to respond to these and there will be some dire consequences. These attacks come in some pretty nasty variety:Propaganda attacks to raise panic, Research hacks slow down your research progress and Sabotage sucks money straight out of XCOM.
Offensive options are also available to deal with Exalt. For a fee that increases each time you use it, you can scan the world for Exalt activity. Exposing cells like this will open up an option to attack it preemptively, though stalling is a valid tactic if your not up to facing them just yet.
Engaging with Exalt in this way or through the covert ops will also yield clues as to where they are located. With enough of these clues you can eventually accuse a country of harboring the rouge faction.Guess right and you'll be allowed to launch an attack on Exalt's home base, accuse wrongly however and the country will pull out of the XCOM project.
The other side of Enemy Within involves firepower, and lots of it.Mechanized exoskeletal cybersuits are now available to the player and look as enticing as you'd imagine. They can take a lot of hits, and dish out just as much as much with the help of the imposing weaponry they're armed with. They're slow though, so putting them in strategically unsafe positions is a bad idea.
These are only one part of the genetic modifications that you can use on your soldiers. Mecs being cybernetic modifications and the other being genetic modifications.
These can serve a variety of purposes. Snipers for instance, would benefit greatly from enhancements to the legs, enabling them to jump to high ground easily and without the use of ladders. Defensive modifications also serve a important role, with brain implants rendering soldiers immune to enemy psi abilities.
All this opens up the chance to turn soldiers into a new hybrid class entirely, severely opening up the amount of tactics that players can have at their disposal.
The catch though is that gene modification is a pretty hard thing to gain access to. A new recourse called Meld is the key to all these wonderful enhancements. Meld is strewn about the battlefield and you'll need to move pretty fast if you want to grab it, for it disappears within a few turns.But rushing around the battlefield has become significantly more dangerous due to the presence of Mectoids, the alien counterpart to the Mec.
All in all Enemy Within looks like the ideal expansion for XCOM, adding some much needed depth to an already fantastic, albeit moderator shallow title. Enemy Within will be available on the 12th of November for PS3, Xbox 360, PC and Mac.
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