on 20 November 2013
was really looking forward to this one, and have to say that the improvements they have made to the game make it much more engaging;
+the awarding of service medals with additional perks and the ability to decorate your soldiers with them
+MEC units for new and varied tactical battles
+reworked levels and 47 new ones some of which are awesome
+new enemy types and new weapons to fight them with
+new missions extending the gameplay further
+new set of achievements
+colour scheme is different, the game has a yellow tinge now rather than the blue one, looks nice.
-loading times have increased, aswell as save times
-havnt fixed the line of sight/hit percentage randomness
i can live with the flaws simply because you can utilize your save games to change your tactics if your not getting the desired response from your soldiers accuracy.
in my opinion this is an improved version of enemy unknown, with the added missions from the EXALT faction, plus all the previously included DLC its hard to argue with the price or what your getting in the box. dont bother buying enemy unknown, the commander edition is the one you want!
on 18 November 2013
This is what Enemy Unknown should have been. Fantastic.
Don't misunderstand me, I loved Enemy Unknown but it lacked many aspects of the classic XCOM series (that I recall with massive affection) but it's all back (plus a bit more) in this new game. I grabbed it off STEAM so was able to crack on first thing Friday morning of last week.
The new Mechs are great fun. They are tough but not invincible and, like all troops, you don't want them to die. Added back now is the base assault mission where the aliens attack your base. This happened to me last night and I almost wet myself! I hadn't read about that feature coming back and was utterly delighted. Your troopers can now get medals too. They are not just bling either, they confer bonuses to sight, accuracy, will power, etc. All good. The aliens also have some new units. The seekers are fun and remind me of those 'tentacally' things from the Matrix films that attack the ships. They have their own mechs too which are tough as hell.
Lastly, there's also the problems caused by counter-XCOM badies (EXULT)who try to disrupt what you do. You send single agents on missions to combat their meddling and then send a team to extract them. It's good fun and pits you against human adversaries with the same (basic) weapons as you. Nice touch I thought. Also the tech tree is much larger, building satellites and uplinks appears much tougher (on Normal/Normal) and you must capture the new material 'MELD' in order to upgrade those Mechs and psychic chaps. This is indeed a new game, not just an expansion. Well worth every penny.
The overall feeling is of a much richer game which is much tougher, you're really battling against the odds now and victory will therefore be all the sweeter.
I'm not done yet. I've taken out the alien base but there's a way to go. More fun in store ...I hope!
Can't wait ...
on 30 November 2013
Simply put, this is brilliant. If, like me, you played Enemy Unknown to death you might think this wouldn't be worth your time. But you'd be wrong!
Enemy Within introduces a whole host of changes that makes the game far more enjoyable. You've no doubt read about the new units and the new faction, but here's a few of my own personal favourite new aspects to the game -
1) Creative killing
Jump like a Thin Man or walk around in a hulking robotic suit equiped with devestating weponary. I won't go into details with what you unlock specifically, but with these new units plus the original Archangel Armour, Grappling hooks & Shiv's you can really be creative when fielding your Alien killing army. Try setting up a squad designed to anihilate every piece of cover, those Muton's don't stand a chance!
2) Ability balancing / changes
'Covering fire' now fires before the enemy takes their shot, 'Grenedier' increases damage as well as carrying an extra grenade, 'Squadsight' cannot critical unless using 'headshot'. These are but a few of the changes, plus there are some very useful new upgrades such as one that allows Shivs to regenerate health, or one that lets ALL units carry an aditional item.
3) Second Wave 'Training Roulette'
Absolutely brilliant feature. When leveling up you have a chance that one of your classes standard ability choices will be replaced with one from a different classes tech tree. This creates such a nice sense of individuality between units, even those of the same class. I was gutted at first that my Sniper didn't unlock 'squadsight', but he did get 'rapid fire' instead which made things very interesting!
4) Extra maps / tweaks to existing ones.
New maps are excellent, and existing ones have different starting locations which changes the fight completely (often I didn't realise it was the same map!) The new urban crash site maps are superb; its great that UFO's don't conveniently crash out in the middle of nowhere! Altogether 47 new or improved maps really is a top notch effort.
5) Second Wave 'Random Economy'
This makes each countries monthly contribution different to the norm, in my current game European countries have tightened their purse strings and no one donates more than 60 quid a month!
6) Second Wave 'Firing Angles'
I really like simple option. It changes to accuracy when flanking so that, while you still get a standard bonus, it increases the closer to the target your are. This applies to the aliens as well so when totally outnumbered in Impossible mode your not guaranteed to fail if you make a single wrong move.
These features plus the new faction EXALT, customising your troops, 2 new (very well designed) enemies, covert missions and uniqe playable characters really does make the game very, very different to Enemy Unknown. I'd reccomed playing it on impossible mode if your a decent player as naturally the changes can make things slightly easier.
Normally addons and expansions are rather poor (or even worse built into the original game but need to be paid for to unlock them!) This one however is well worth it, and while is actually a little pricy for an addon would no doubt have been a full priced sequal if EA were in charge!
on 15 November 2013
Like many Xcom fans I placed my pre order some time back and have waited anxiously for the release date and the thump, as the new game arrived through my letter box. So was it worth the wait?
In a word YES. The new game (as I will call it) is essentially the orginal Xcom plus the Slingshot DLC, plus the elite soldier pack, plus shockwave Plus.
Well, plus a whole lot more.
I loved Xcom but, like many players, I felt I'd been to the same crash sites many times, and that the repetitive nature of a lot of the game play was a bit of a let down. The international soldiers all sounded American and there seemed a lack of depth to the game. By this, I mean it lacked depth of research and on going playing that the original UFO enemy unknown (Or UFO Defence for the US version) game had in abundance. Don't get me wrong I love the new Xcom it truly is light years ahead in so many ways. Players of the original game know what I mean, it went on for hours and could be very frustrating, very repetattive and somehow had a much deeper game play. For example in Xcom you only have the arc thrower, ok it can be beefed up later in the foundry but it is very limited.
In the original UFO game you started with stun rods, sort of like cattle prods that you had to get right up close and personal to use to stun the alien. Like the arc thrower it varied in effectiveness or ineffectiveness! Later in the original game you had the arc thrower and later you got to rearch the alien stun gun which could be extremely effective. So my biggest niggle with Xcom is this lack of depth (I know I said it again)in research, it needs more, more stuff, not just a later jacked up arc thrower but perhaps something akin to the original alien stun gun. I'm sure they probably thought about that during development but it needs more stuff to research, more to manage, just more! Let's see ordinary weapons evolving to more advanced stuff. Once you have the arc thrower, that's pretty much it! It's a small thing perhaps but to us older players from the original game I'd say pretty important.
Enemy within takes us closer to the original with a whole new load of stuff that does expand game play and adds incredible complexity depth (I know but I like that word). We have a lot more crash sites than before a lot more maps to explore, We have a lot more to research, the addition of meld gives us a new finite resource to manage and improve our soldiers. Consequently, the aliens field new dangers also.
We have the complication of Exalt to deal with which adds an additional twist to the game. In short it offers a whole new load of challenges and I for one am loving it.
A note also on the preorder delivery. Amamzon have been slated by some reviewers saying their item/s arrived later or there was a problem of some sort. I for mone have never experienced any such problems. I preordered the game late September, received an email on the 14th of November that the game had been dispatched and - BAM! It arrived through my door this morning Friday the 15th of November. I am delighted.
This a great game, well worth waiting for and it plays really well. I truly hope they keep working on this, bring us more of this magic and if you are reading this Firaxis and 2K please consider adapting that other great favorite: 'Terror from the Deep.' But before you do please add some more to Xcom.
This is just my humble view of the game, I hope it proves to be of some help to you and if you disagree, that's ok I'd love to hear from you and your perspective.
Well enough from me I have a planet to save,Commander S Student Signing off
I love XCOM Enemy Unknown, and didnt think there was a lot that could have been done to improve it. How wrong I would be proven to be!
XCOM Enemy Within takes the same formula that made the previous game such a popular success. The controls are the same, the graphics and sound are the same, combat is the same, research, manufacturing, base building - all the same.
In truth, during your first hour or so of gameplay you are likely to be left disappointed because its exactly the same as the first hour of Enemy Unknown, all the way down to the tutorial and cutscenes. Stick with it though, because once youre a little bit further into the game, thats when Enemy Within really comes alive!
At the core of Enemy Within is a new alien substance named 'Meld'. Meld allows you to genetically enhance your troops, or alternatively fuse man with machine.
One of the new building options - the genetics lab - allows you to use meld in order to improve certain aspects of your basic trooper, be it enhancing his eyesight to increase accuracy, adding regenerative abilities, a second heart to increase bleed-out time, or numerous other enhancements which are unlocked as the game goes on.
The mech (or MEC) lab meanwhile allows you to intall a trooper into a massive armoured fighting mech. Such units are much tougher than the average soldier, and mech suits can be equipped with a variety of weaponry and equipment from gatling guns, flame throwers, rail guns, grenade launchers and more. The type of troop you upgrade to a mech will determine what base abilities the mech has - a sniper upgraded to a mech for example will give your mech greater accuracy.
Both genetic troopers and mech troopers have their own unique skill trees which unlock new abilities as your troopers level up, and both are immense fun to play around with and incredibly potent on the battlefield.
The game comes with added customisation options, including new hairstyles, helmets, armour types, and even a variety of accents with which to make your favourite troops that little bit more unique. Victory in battle will also now provide you with medals which you can award to troops and which will confer additonal bonuses to their performance.
There are new weapons, items and foundry projects too, such as the flash bang grenade, reaper ammunition for conventional firearms, tactical rigging that allows you to carry two items, respirator implant to protect against poison and strangulation, the mimic beacon which attracts alien, and needle, 'ghost' and gas grenades.
Also included in Enemy Within are the 'Slingshot', 'Operation Progeny' and 'Site Recon' council missions. The first of these was previously only availible for purchase as DLC for the previous game, where as the other two are new to this game. 'Slingshot' sees you rescue a mysterious Triad in possession of an alien device that could change the tide of the war, 'Operation Progeny' involves you saving a young woman called Annette who has powerful psionic powers, and 'Site Recon' requires you to investigate a Canadian fishing port that has gone mysteriously quiet...
Theres been a great deal of effort to improve the variety of missions offered by the game - mainly through the addition of new mission types and maps. Theres no more doing dozens of missions in what appears to be the same forest or small town, and whilst these locals still exist in the game they have been supplimented by a total of 47 additonal maps which include a bank, truckstop, hydroelectric dam, skyscraper and other locations.
The game has a couple of new enemies - the 'Mechtoid', which as the name suggests is a mechanised Sectoid - and the 'Seeker', which is a squid like creature that can activate a stealth field in order to sneak up on your troops and then uses it tenticles to strangle them to death.
The most significant of the new enemies however is EXALT - a shadowy organisation not dissimilar to XCOM in terms of organisation and ability, but who seek to embrace the alien invaders rather than destroy them. EXALT rarely face you head on, instead manipulating or sabotaging you efforts to fight the aliens.
It is possible to discover the location of EXALT cells though, through another new feature - 'Covert Ops' - in which you can send a troop on an undercover fact finding mission. Once they discover the location of an EXALT cell you will then have to run a mission to extract them. Fail the mission or choose not to participate in it and your undercover operative will die!
Massive news for fans of the original X-Com games released in the 1990's is that Base Defence missions have returned, although in a somewhat limited capacity that is. The game features one massive set-piece mission in which the enemy discovers the location of your base and you are required to defend it against multiple waves of attackers with limited resources, including lightly armed base personnel. Lose the mission and you lose the game
I found the game to be much more challenging than Enemy Unknown, but if for whatever reason your finding it too easy then you can rack up the difficulty by changing a variety of options in the 'second wave' menu, which can introduce x-factors such as random stats for new recruits, widely ranging damage for weapons or greater damage caused by flanking attacks.
Enemy Within is an absolute bargain that will be loved by any fan of the series, fans of turn based strategies, and casual gamers, all for a budget price of just £25.
on 20 November 2013
As a long tern UFO Xcom player harking back to the original roots of Julian Gollop's spectrum game, Rebelstar and following through all it's incarnations throughout the years I was excited when Xcom came the Xbox 360 to say the least.I have spent many hours replaying that game, which in spite of somewhat repetative maps is slightly different eveytime you play it. I was worried this new edition would be simply the same game with a little extra DLC, but how wrong was I.
The new stuff:
A new alien nano like material called MELD can now be collected during missions. Sure you get a small amount from the spoils of a ship assault, but you also get the chance to grab two lots of 10 MELD during most missions. Once you detect it, you are against the clock before the MELD container self destructs. So it is a trade of of throwing caution to the wind and running in fast to grab the MELD, chancing bumping into aliens in the process. This adds a new sense of urgency to the missions that adds a new dimension to the game.
MELD is quite important, as this is the resource you need for the new Genetic Engineering and Cybernetics departments you can build. Genetics allows you to enhance your soldiers with things like enhanced vision (aims bonuses), stealth skin (limited camoflague), enhanced legs (Spring to the top of buildings in a single bound, hit point regeneration and more. The MELD costs for this vary, depending on the potency of the upgrade, and more upgrades are discovered by researching aliens and their cadavers. So with genetics your soldiers can become super soldiers!
Cybernetics costs more MELD and is a slower process. However, after converting your soldier by grafting his head onto a metal robot body, you can now create giant, robot fighting machines to put him in (MECS). Initially these are fairly basic with a chain gun, and choice of a power fist melee arm or a flamer arm. However, the MEC can be enhanced with research to supercharge these elements, and the MEC's can be upgraded (At quite a high cost of MELD) to enable more add ons, such as grenade launchers, medsprays, mine layers and stun blasts. As the mech pilot progresses, they get MEC based traits that aid in their offensive and defensive capabilities.
In my recent game I tended to go more with the genetic soldiers as the MELD costs are cheaper to slightly enhance several soldiers for various roles (enhanced eyes and power legs are ideal for snipers for instance. As the MECs cant take cover, I found them early on to be bullet magnets that I ended up having to heal and protect with my other soldiers. However, as they increas in skill level and MEC level they become alot tougher. Though I must admit, I have found spending points on their defensive powers and traits the best way to go if you dont want them trashed fairly quickly.
Another new feature is the inclusion of the pro alien human force EXALT. Scouring countries for these terrorist cells, you send your agent in ( A selected soldier armed only with a pistol - Snipers with the Gunslinger trait are particularly good in this role) to locate the enemy. You then send your squad in to extract them. The agent must either hack two nodes, or the whole team protects two data transmitters to win. This is highly enjoyable with you facing up against humans armed with the same firepower you have, and I was gobsmacked the first time the blasted my team with a rocket launcher early on in a mission. You can recover their gear after the battle,and either use it or sell it. The weapons look different, but unfortunately the stats are identical to their Xcom couterparts (Some slight differences in performance would have been nice.
Finally there are new weapons and grenades you can develop, some that I had though missing for a long time including flashbang, needle, and ghost (short term invis blast). There are also things like improved bullets (reaper ammo), respirator implants to avoid suffocation and more. Throw in some new aliens and awardable medals that have bonuses attached to them and there you have the improved Xcom. My fav part so far has been the zombie and sectoid infested fishing village which has an excellent level design as a one off mission. All in all a fantastic game, well worth getting for new and old players alike.
on 11 February 2015
Ah Xcom...I remember being totally addicted to the original Microprose version on PC in the early 90's and i've been missing games like this as we all get hyped up with Black ops and advanced warfare et al. So I just couldn't believe it when they brought Xcom to the Xbox. I haven't played the earlier Xbox incarnation of the game (enemy unknown) but will give it a whirl after I have finished this behemoth. While in some respects it isn't quite as good as it was (not as detailed in the micromanagement sense for instance), it is still great fun to play and sucks you in to a point where what seems like 5 minutes was actually an hour of play! Love it, love blowing up them pesky aliens, fraying their minds, zapping em with plasma ..... oops I've moved my sniper too far forwards.......................If you like strategy games then this for you, enjoy.
on 27 September 2015
Love the game, but hate the bugs that ruin it. Bought it a month ago, and found it froze frequently. Tried saving the game often, but once I got to the Alien attack on my base it would go no further. And, of course, Amazon won't accept a return. A total waste of money.
on 3 April 2014
Oh, did I just 5 star this game? I totally did!
There's a reason for it: if you liked the first game then here's the stuff you need to know...
This IS the first game... with all the other bells and whistles that never got put in added on and then polished, repolished, given expensive looking presents, treated to a night on the town, paraded with medals on, fast-roped in to action sequences and then stuffed EVEN MORE IN!!!
New levels, new tech, new languages (6 in all) for your troops, new skins, new models, new research, new development, new new NEW!!!!
It's got gene labs, it's got mech labs, it's got bigger bits that go on those bits and stuff that goes 'ping'! Cut scenes, Bradford punching someone in the FACE!, a player inspired clean up of parts of the system, a lovely polished MP, it's got more polish, polish on it's polish...
Oh, stuff you... I'm off to play it again!
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!?! GET IT NOW BEFORE THE ALIENS FIGURE OUT WE'RE GETTING READY FOR THEM!!!
on 9 November 2014
While at first there seems to be very little different about this upgrade to the original game, what is there adds a lot to the already enjoyable game.
The extra elements of human forces to be tracked down with and dealt with are an amusing distraction, but at the end of the day are too easily overcome to pose a serious threat to your main operation. In a way it's a shame that they weren't toughened up so as to act as a recurring menace throughout the campaign, but as they are the opponents provide some useful intel to help with your R&D efforts.
The new exo-suits make a very valuable addition, especially since they can provide upgrades to those members of your force not gifted with psychic powers. In the previous version I usually fired these people in order to make room on my roster for the psychics, but now skilled combatants can be upgraded with heavier weapons, support equipment and mobility options which enable them to act as a linchpin for your forces, covering the softer psychics as they move into position and covering them as they break out their mental bag of tricks.
The alien DNA augmentations also make for powerful tools in the field, each with its own useful features and bonuses in order to strengthen your team and turn them into highly adaptive and creative tools.