Interviews

Interviews
XCOM: Enemy Within Standalone Expansion Changes and Additions

Greg Tito | 21 Aug 2013 08:00
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With all this new firepower, it stands to reason there would be some extra bad meanies to fight. "I told you about the MECtoid, right?" Gupta asked. "No, I haven't told you about the MECtoid. Okay, so we're adding some new enemies, one of which is the MECtoid. You remember the Sectoid from the early game, right? He will show up later in the game now as a MECtoid, he's a Sectoid in a power battle suit very similar to your own MECs. He's much more dangerous and tough and I expect players will have a lot of fun figuring out how best to fight him." There's more enemies which will be unveiled as we get closer to release, and I'm sure Gupta will be just as gleeful in discussing how it will kill my poor band of soldiers.

One thing that bothered a lot of players was that XCOM recruits from Spain, or Greece or Russia all somehow spoke English with an American accent (or the equivalent in your localized region). Ananda and the team at Firaxis had a brilliant way to make XCOM project feel like the global organization it was supposed to be. "What we decided to do was reorganize the voice data so that all the localized languages are available no matter what language you installed it," Gupta said. "Assuming you install in English, you have French, Italian, German, Spanish, Russian and Polish as available languages for your soldiers. They can all speak different languages; you can have your whole squad speak Spanish if you want. It's up to you, and that we feel will really make XCOM feel like the international game that it's always been intended to feel like."

It was also a slick way to avoid recording and localizing actors speaking different languages in specific accents. "They'll just speak French because we have them speaking French already [in the French localized version of XCOM Enemy Unknown]," he said. "It was just an engineering problem, admittedly it was a pretty big engineering problem, but it was one we were able to solve."

Multiplayer was a bit frustrating in Enemy Unknown, but Gupta made a few changes there too. There's more than double the amount of maps, for one thing, but now you can actually alter your squad offline without having the pressure of someone waiting for you to begin playing. "Multiplayers can edit, save, tinker with, optimize many different squad configurations while offline, and then when they go to the lobby, you have all these loadouts, these configurations in sort of a menu and you can just pick the one you want and go right in [to the match]," Gupta said. "This is something that multiplayer fans really wanted because they were really getting tired of editing their squads while in the lobby and their opponents waiting for them."

Even though that seems like a huge info briefing on what's to come when Enemy Within launches on November 12th, Gupta promises there will be more information leaked in the coming months. Like any decent commander, I will be gathering all this intel so I have a fighting chance when the alien invasion happens on my PC all over again.

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