Earlier this month, we caught word that Firaxis Games, the developers behind the well-received strategy game XCOM: Enemy Unknown, were working on a follow-up to that game titled XCOM: Enemy Within. However, further examination of the rumor and a set of PC achievements pulled theories in a different direction, suggesting that Enemy Within is actually DLC content for Enemy Unknown.
Now, thanks to an official Gamescom 2013 announcement from Firaxis Games, we know that XCOM: Enemy Within is, in fact, an expansion for XCOM: Enemy Unknown. For the PC, the expansion will be sold as a digital download and will require Enemy Unknown, but for the PS3 and Xbox 360 the expansion will be sold as XCOM: Enemy Within – Commander Edition and will include both the main game and this expansion.
Like any good PC expansion, Enemy Within will include a wealth of new content including new XCOM troops, new enemies, new missions, 40 new maps, and new multiplayer content. And most importantly, the expansion releases on November 12 for $30 on PC and $40 on consoles.
As far as that new content is concerned, we know that Enemy Within will include a new class, the Mech Trooper. Unlike the main classes, however, soldiers must be “moved” into the Mech Trooper class by the player, at which point they give up any current abilities in favor of a new skill tree. The only stipulation is that the player must build a special facility for the Mech Trooper class first.
Some of the abilities that the Mech Trooper has access to include an ability called Collateral Damage – which lets the soldier specifically target terrain – a jump jet system for greater movement options, an AOE healing ability, and an ability called Damage Control that reduces damage for one turn.
It is believed that the Mech Trooper class’ origins come from one of Enemy Within‘s new enemies, the Mechtoid, which is described as a cross between the standard sectoid and a robot. These mechtoids will apparently be very formidable opponents in battle, as they have the ability to fire twice in a turn.
Rest assured that even though the Mech Trooper is a major selling point for the expansion, the basic classes are not being left in the dust. Enemy Within introduces a new genetic enhancement system — available only to the basic classes — that gives soldiers upgrades to their brain, eyes, skin, chest, and legs. The one caveat to the enhancements is that a soldier can only have one (of a possible two) enhancement attached to a single body part.
So far, we only know about two of the five genetic enhancements:
Brain — Neural Feedback: inflicts damage on an enemy that is attempting a psychic attack.
Brain — Neural Dampening: soldiers are immune to panic and will fall unconscious instead of surrender to psychic attack.
Legs — Muscle Fiber: soldiers can climb walls without a skeleton suit.
Legs — Adaptive Bone Marrow: limited health regeneration if a soldier is wounded.
Some other additions for Enemy Within include a new material called Meld that drops when an enemy dies but self-destructs after a specific amount of time, new grenade types like the stealth and needle grenade, and some much-needed balance changes for some of the soldier abilities.
And finally, for multiplayer Enemy Within is bringing eight new maps, although some of them are recycled from the Enemy Unknown campaign. The expansion also adds an option for multiplayer that allows players to customize their squad offline rather than spend pre-match time doing it.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown was our favorite game of 2012 and so it’s no surprise that we’re greatly looking forward to the release of Enemy Within later this year. While a lot of attention has been placed on the quality (or lack thereof) when it comes to DLC, Enemy Within sounds like the type of substantial offering fans would hope for. And who doesn’t want to pilot a mech?
What do you think of these first details about XCOM: Enemy Within? Will you be picking up the expansion?
XCOM: Enemy Within releases November 12, 2013 for the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3.