XCOM: Enemy Within Reviews
New abilities, tough enemies and more maps make XCOM: Enemy Within a superb expansion, but the ending needs an upgrade.
Enemy Within is an improvement on an already excellent game. For every decision that must be made there are several factors to consider, rarely enough money to pay for everything, and uncomfortable consequences to be faced for failure. All of this is exacerbated still further when playing on Classic difficulty or with Ironman mode enabled, where you're constantly worrying about what to do next or second guessing the action that you've just taken. Much like the genetic modifications that it champions, XCOM: Enemy Within is an experience that gets under your skin.
The fantastic Exalt missions, gene mods, and MEC Troopers are an excellent reason to play more XCOM.
Enemy Within is a worthwhile expansion to both XCOM vets and newcomers. All of its new additions bring a great deal of extra challenge and strategy to one of 2012's best games.
Enemy Within isn't easy, but its complex strategy and clever enemy AI provide a highly rewarding experience
XCOM: Enemy Within is a feature-packed expansion that makes a great game even greater.
Enemy Within adds a ton of new maps, mission types, and soldier abilities without losing the balance and unrelenting tension that make it XCOM.
Enemy Within doesn't fundamentally change the XCOM experience, but it does add a number of new challenges and strategies for veterans of Enemy Unknown. This expansion may be a little too much to handle for newcomers, but the XCOM faithful will find a whole new series of important decisions to obsess over.
It's more of what you love for a very reasonable asking price.
If you haven't played the newest XCOM yet, now is a perfect time to do so with the Enemy Within package. For all the XCOM veterans out there, you'll find a solid amount of new activities to engage in, as well as an unprecedented amount of squad customization. In other words, this is now the definitive Enemy experience.
It would be hard to recommend a player try the expansion without playing the original first, but fortunately running the game on Steam requires ownership of Enemy Unknown and the console release will include both old and new versions. Enemy Within isn't the definitive version of XCOM, but it's a smart and satisfying extension of a game ideal for enticing players back for a second, third, or fourth playthrough.
Ultimately, Enemy Within is a clever, well-designed expansion that gives the original game much more than simply new missions or a shiny new veneer. The game feels and plays just like the vanilla, but with myriad new choices, challenges, customization options, and other additions that make an already very good game much, much better and more fun. For anyone who found themselves hopelessly addicted to Enemy Unknown last year, Enemy Within should give you plenty of reasons to return.
Like most expansion packs, Enemy Within is targeted towards the experienced. But Firaxis once again manages to balance XCOM's disparate elements, resulting in a challenging and satisfying experience.
One of the best games of 2012 is back, and it might be the best game of 2013.
This time around, the repeat journey was absolutely worth it, and I'm glad if surprised to end 2013 finding that XCOM was my greatest timesink for a second year running. It won't, naturally, change the minds of anyone who felt XCOM was a betrayal of X-COM, but if like me you're contented by the Gollop and Firaxis efforts co-existing and doing their own thing rather than replacing each other, this really is an excellent add-on despite a few pulled punches.
For a game which already hinges its entertainment on balancing the gameplay, Firaxis has done a great job in making numerous changes but keeping that edge-of-the-seat philosophy the same. The gameplay is fresh, the content is numerous and the new challenges should entice both veterans of Enemy Unknown and rookie strategy gamers as well.
Like the soldiers in the game, XCOM: Enemy Within takes everything introduced in Enemy Unknown, polishes it, enhances it, and redeploys it into the field. It's stronger, it's meaner, and it's awesome. The new additions force your hand to make tactical decisions that can and will lead to the death of soldiers that you'll become attached to now more than ever.
Firaxis has done it again, and when I thought after losing an entire squad of my best soldiers was enough to make me quit the game forever, I realized I still had enough Meld to make another mech trooper. Yeah, I had to keep playing. If you're looking to get back into XCOM, you just found the one reason to.
Enemy Within is a solid expansion to an excellent game, with options like MECs, medals and gene mods that make you want to stomp aliens all over again in exciting new ways. The first two thirds of the campaign are definitely improved, but EW doesn't solve the problem of slogging through the endgame.
A worthy expansion that refreshes and improves XCOM: Enemy Unknown in just about every way that matters.