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XCom: Enemy Within Review

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I haven't finished a play through yet, but I'm hooked. I play on Classic / Ironman and had a bad round resulting in my whole A team getting wiped. It only went downhill from there as my B team completed the next mission, but with only one survivor. Soon I was buying squaddies in bulk just to send to their deaths. But, that's how it goes sometimes in XCOM and I'm now on my second attempt.

Tactically, the most interesting thing about the expansion is the introduction of a new resource, Meld. It seems to be that two crates of this exist on most missions, the crates have a time limit though. So to get this resource I'm finding myself having to move quicker and take more chances. The upgrades you get with Meld are worth the risk, but I find that it gets harder and harder to retrieve as the enemies get tougher. It doesn't seem like you ever need Meld to complete the game, but the implants and MEC Troopers you can build with it are a significant advantage.

I find the game much less repetitive with the add-on. Not only are there many more maps, I haven't repeated any yet, but there are more missions types. I don't feel like I'm constantly running the same three missions types over and over (Abduction/Terror/Ship). Now I've got different goals like defending an objective, or hacking an objective. Besides adding more alien enemy types, there's a human enemy faction which is equipped similar to your own troops. Suddenly each mission is something new. There are also more unique missions which have been more challenging than the normal missions, but are fun diversions.

Story-wise, the main campaign seems to be the same, but with extra storylines added in. This isn't a whole new campaign; the new story arcs are woven into the original campaign. The intro movie was even the same with the exception of a new quote at the beginning.

I haven't gotten through all the new content yet, but I'm already satisfied with this purchase. It's the same game I've been enjoying, but with more options, more upgrades, and more content. If you enjoyed XCom: Enemy Unknown, I highly recommend XCom: Enemy Within. It's available now for XBox 360, PS3, and PC.

 

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