Firaxis have finally blown the lid off XCOM: Enemy Within, which has been revealed as a major expansion for last year's sensational XCOM: Enemy Unknown (my personal GOTY). Enemy Within promises a "massive amount of new content" including maps, enemies, abilities, weapons and gameplay elements when it releases on November 15th.
We'll also be able to construct a genetics lab to tinker with our operatives' DNA. And mechs. Get all the details below.
Here's the list of key features in handy bullet-point format:
- New Soldier Abilities: Research a new alien technology to advance the capabilities of operatives:
- Gene Mods: Construct the Genetics Lab to physically enhance operatives' abilities, including augmentations to the chest, brain, eyes, skin and legs.
- MECs: Build the Cybernetics Lab to enable the construction of the new Mechanized Exoskeletal Cybersuit, or MEC. The new MEC Trooper class has specialized abilities and each suit can be upgraded with new weapons including the flamethrower, grenade launcher and more.
- New Weapons and Equipment: Give operatives an extra tactical edge with new projects from the engineering team in the Foundry;
- New Enemy Threats: Adopt new tactics to counter the threats from a host of new enemies, including the Mechtoid;
- New Strategic Resource: A valuable new alien resource, known as Meld, has been discovered. Secure it on the battlefield and use it carefully back at base to unlock new research and upgrades;
- New Tactical Challenges and Maps: Face new tactical challenges, on nearly 50% more maps;
- New Multiplayer Maps, Units and Abilities: Create custom squad from a wider array of options and dominate opponents in intense, one-on-one, turn-based matches.
Other improvements include a retooled voice bank with more varied soldier accents, ferocious new foes and MECs (mechs) to take them down. Training your soldiers to use these exoskeletons takes a lengthy, expensive and incredibly painful amount of invasive cyborg surgery - but allows you to field colossal walking tanks as a result.
"The incredible critical and consumer response to XCOM: Enemy Unknown inspired us to offer new content that would deepen the strong bond that has been created for our XCOM brand," said Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K. "Firaxis Games is renowned for delivering massive, highly immersive PC expansions in the Civilization series, and XCOM: Enemy Within builds on that lineage and expands the experience for console gamers as well."
"We promised gamers that we would deliver the same Enemy Unknown experience on both PC and console last fall, and we're doing it again with Enemy Within," said Ananda Gupta, lead designer at Firaxis Games. "The Commander Edition of XCOM: Enemy Within expands the already amazing XCOM experience for our console fans who are looking forward to even more of the game they love. It's also a great point of entry for new fans just joining the XCOM fight."
In terms of release plans, Enemy Within will be made available on PC and Mac as a downloadable expansion that requires the original game to play. However, it will also be launched as an XCOM: Enemy Within – Commander Edition on PS3 and Xbox 360, which includes Enemy Unknown and all previously released DLC into the bargain. Price TBA, and from what I can tell, standalone Xbox Live and PSN versions haven't been confirmed.