XCOM: Enemy Within Standalone Expansion Changes and Additions

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XCOM: Enemy Within Standalone Expansion Changes and Additions

Lead Designer Ananda Gupta explains everything about XCOM: Enemy Within.

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Aaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwww yea! Woohoo sounds like an expansion worth coughing up the dough for :D.

Now the only unanswered question is: Will I get a bigger squad cap?

Bigger robots to fight? More equipment for my guys that will most likely be necessary? Sounds like I need a bigger squad cap.

Don't be stingy, the original sky ranger held 14 alien alloy wrapped meat shields. Firaxis can afford to give us 2 more squaddies for the bigger battles.

In fact, come to think of it, I would like bigger battles in general too. Something like in the original where a terror mission had enough fighting that a battle could level a city block entirely.

My main complaint regarding the new XCOM has always been that it's feature-poor. It's a solid game, the "bones" are good, but there's not much meat on them. Seems like this expansion will be dealing with that issue. Hopefully, after this it'll be the game it was supposed to be.

This does, however, seem to be a thing with Firaxis - Civ 5 was also pretty bare-bones on release, but after two expansion packs it's finally got the features and mechanics to measure up to (and perhaps even outstrip) older Civ games. Not Alpha Centauri, though... :p

Looks very cool, will definitely get this.

Ok, they had me anyway, then I looked through the pics...

Cyborgs are cool, gene augmentation is pretty cool...HOLY SHIT IS THAT A BARN MAP? I. AM. IN!

I kind of hope the option to cyborg up a soldier is only available after they are critically wounded.

image

Hmm yes this ...pleases me.
Right around when I am getting a new computer to boot!

November 12...
*looks at calendar*
So... about 2 months from now, huh...

*starts shaking*

I'm... not sure I'm gonna last that long :D

Sounds awesome.

And I want mecha battlearmor for my troops damnit!

yeah... what about base defense maps and multiple bases?

Hmm... Interesting, but I'm not sold unless they've finally fixed the frustrating teleporting enemies bug, or actually added some more plot (because the final mission of the original was a tad... boring, to be honest).

I do like the international voices thing though.

please tell me we can buy additional skyrangers now

What'd be a great feature would be a chance to bring high level soldiers back from the dead as a cybernetic soldier for both the price of revival & the powerful mech suit I'm thinking the handicap should be that its quite costly and you must revive on the mission of death unless they brought out a cryogenics lab to freeze top soldiers for the cybernetics program. :D

I'm not sure I like the "play stupid so you can get all the resources" thing. On impossible the only way to survive is to carefully manage enemy spawns. I can't imagine any resources are worth playing differently since on impossible losing soldiers can quickly turn your game totally hopeless.

Unless they change the enemy spawning the extra resources won't matter and will just make you feel bad when the timer runs out and you have to keep your team hunkered down.

definitely stoked for this! i'm really glad there will be new items, classes, headquarters additions, and monsters.

This game has quickly become one of my favorites and I'm excited for new content to release. Thanks for the update, Tito!

More weapons! Give us more weapons!!!

The MECs and genetic enhancements and whatnot sound great, but my biggest gripe with Enemy Unknown was the two weapon tiers where lasers were downright skippable with just a little forethought. I want to see more tiers, like say; traditional -> railguns -> lasers -> plasma -> quantum (or gluon, or unicorn fart or whatever), possibly with unique skills and special stats related to each of them (say, plasma weapons would be the strongest but volatile and each hit on the unit holding them would have a chance of rupturing them and causing and explosion while lasers would be the weakest weapons when it comes to damage output but silent, invisible and with infinite range, thus not giving away your position and allowing sneak attacks, just to name a few possibilities). This way weapon load-out would be actually engaging instead of sticking plasma guns on all your units ASAP and never worrying about it for the rest of the game.

I mean, they already did the balancing act with the armors when it came to raw protection versus bonus utilities, why couldn't they do the same with the weapons...?

Wait, is that a Terran fighting a Protoss on the front page? I swear that looks like a Protoss...

luthurus:
What'd be a great feature would be a chance to bring high level soldiers back from the dead as a cybernetic soldier for both the price of revival & the powerful mech suit I'm thinking the handicap should be that its quite costly and you must revive on the mission of death unless they brought out a cryogenics lab to freeze top soldiers for the cybernetics program. :D

"It is better to die for the Emperor than live for yourself!"

Honestly, that's a very cool idea, although I do kind of like the rolling roster philosophy of Enemy Unknown.

Honestly, I'm actually interested to see how they integrate this into the story. It felt like there was a lot going on under the surface of Enemy Unknown's story when it came to the transhumanist themes, particularly in the interaction between Vahlen and Shen. Considering the MEC troopers seem to have had their arms and legs hacked off, it seems like maybe a good time to visit more of that.

rembrandtqeinstein:
On impossible the only way to survive is to carefully manage enemy spawns.

One of the major criticism I keep seeing from hardcore players is that the game is too easy on Impossible because there's no incentive to do anything other than creep around very slowly waiting for stuff to blunder into LOS. If those people find impossible really hard (or even, dare I say it, impossible) now, well, good. Isn't it meant to be?

Maybe this is my roguelike background talking, but I have no problem with a "very hard" game mode being virtually impossible to beat. I mean, I'm sure loads of people will manage it in this case. Besides, it sounds like there's a lot of other gameplay tweaks too. Perhaps some of the new the new non-MELD items will help. If they're genuinely meant to encourage new strategies, they're going to have to be pretty game changing.

Makabriel:
Wait, is that a Terran fighting a Protoss on the front page? I swear that looks like a Protoss...

If you look at the screenshots, you'll see it's a sectoid in big-ass power armour (presumably fighting his human counterpart).

Shut up and take my monthly funding, commander!
Anyway, I bet XCOM's lead engineer isn't going to be too happy about the new features.

Better than random hightech canisters mysteriously lying around in the woods and outside the shopping mall, would be to give the player a real incentive to move efficiently.

Bomb missions already do this. Terror missions carry some pressure too, IF the player wants a good score on the civilians.

Why can't landed UFOs simply take off after a couple dozen turns?
Crashed UFOs could be on fire and gradually be consumed by flames.
Alien abduction missions should logically have UFOs. Abductors could take off once enough victims have been carried on board.

I hope they bring a therapy-module, in late-game some of my best just freaked out and run in front of chrysalis.
It almost looked suicidal, we did leave that out of the report though. *cough*Funding*cough*

Cannot wait should be good :) really enjoyed the last one and been playing shadowrun returns(its enjoyable enough) lately, really got a turn based bug. Wastelands 2 will be out soon as well this is going to be a good year.

Another plea to fix the broken enemy spawning mechanic. Not holding out much hope though.

Meh. I figure if I can get it on sale for 10 bucks next year, I'll probably get that much enjoyment out of it.

Wasn't the human-xeno hybrid thing something that XCOM: Apocalypse played round with a bit? The psi-troopers were all Human-Sectoid hybrids IIRC. That's kind of a nice nod. Although I didn't much care for Apocalypse.

Anyway, this at least looks a hell of a lot of a better effort than Operation: Slingshot or whatever that was called. Can't wait.

Those new features do sound cool but I sincerely hope there's more than that if it's going to be a full on expansion pack. I'll reserve judgement until it comes out.

Thing's I like:

* The addition of new maps, especially the fact that ufos can now land near buildings.

* The Mech Suits look pretty awesome.

* Finding a new way to use alien autopsies, making them stand out more from interrogations.

Thing's I'd like to see:

* A larger max squad size of 8 or even 10 so the loss of soldiers is less crippling.

* More new enemies, weapons, armour e.t.c (so far all I've seen is Sectoids in Mech Suits).

* More customisation options (accents other than American would be nice) and perhaps new class features to make soldiers more unique.

I hope enemy within also tosses into human enemies into the equation, sympathizers with tanks, bombing runs and maybe tech that was given by the aliens or even by you after they abandoned XCOM.

Still no random maps and monsters still don't do anything until you "see them" and they do that stupid little caught with their pants down cinematic and run into cover.

Well if it's anything like the last one, we gotta start ALL OVER to gain access to these goodies... Goddammit.

luthurus:
What'd be a great feature would be a chance to bring high level soldiers back from the dead as a cybernetic soldier for both the price of revival & the powerful mech suit I'm thinking the handicap should be that its quite costly and you must revive on the mission of death unless they brought out a cryogenics lab to freeze top soldiers for the cybernetics program. :D

You just want Dreadnoughts, don't you? It's okay, so do I.

Power armor and Cybernetics is a step in the right direction, but what I'd like to see is more robots on the XCOM side. The aliens have Cyberdiscs, Outsiders, repair drones, and Sectopods, while XCOM has... 3 versions of a turret, none of which are as useful as a similarly armed and armored human unit. I'd like to see more variety in the XCOM robots. Oh, and could we NOT have to upgrade them 2 or 3 times before they're as useful as human soldiers?

I'm also still wanting somebody to make an Alien Mode.

Gah, I thought the recent internet-wide trend to auto-play videos on load was annoying enough, but auto-playing a video on a page that's supposed to be a text article, and hiding that video below the actual article so I have to scroll around madly searching for it as my computer emits entirely unexpected crackling sounds and creepy voices?.. Come on escapist, I thought you were cool.

Game looks cool though.

evilthecat:

One of the major criticism I keep seeing from hardcore players is that the game is too easy on Impossible because there's no incentive to do anything other than creep around very slowly waiting for stuff to blunder into LOS. If those people find impossible really hard (or even, dare I say it, impossible) now, well, good. Isn't it meant to be?

Maybe this is my roguelike background talking, but I have no problem with a "very hard" game mode being virtually impossible to beat. I mean, I'm sure loads of people will manage it in this case. Besides, it sounds like there's a lot of other gameplay tweaks too. Perhaps some of the new the new non-MELD items will help. If they're genuinely meant to encourage new strategies, they're going to have to be pretty game changing.

Actually, the one thing I fear this upgrade will do is make the game even easier.
The Problem with current XCom is that it is hard until about mid-campaign, and then gets easier. Barring stupid decisions, a plasma-equipped Psi-Soldier can easily deal with anything even on impossible. The difficulties change how hard the game starts out, and at which point the difficulty begins to ease up, but it always gets easier as you go.
Adding more lategame stuff to give your Soldiers hardly balances that.

I like the idea of more content for XCom, the game is great and I am sure the update will be too, the features certainly seem fun. What I would like to see, though, is some changes to the balance of the very early game to make the difficulty curve a little better.

Really feels like there's a transhumanism theme going on here. It was in the original game with the Psi powers, but with genetic modification and cybernetic implants it looks like it's being thrust into the spotlight. I kinda feel like Dr. Chen really isn't going to like this, and it's understandable why. Would Humanity really be ready for technology that advanced? Here's hoping those themes get explored...still want giant robots stepping on Sectoids though. HA! RUN LITTLE BUGGERS!

GabeZhul:
More weapons! Give us more weapons!!!

The MECs and genetic enhancements and whatnot sound great, but my biggest gripe with Enemy Unknown was the two weapon tiers where lasers were downright skippable with just a little forethought. I want to see more tiers, like say; traditional -> railguns -> lasers -> plasma -> quantum (or gluon, or unicorn fart or whatever), possibly with unique skills and special stats related to each of them (say, plasma weapons would be the strongest but volatile and each hit on the unit holding them would have a chance of rupturing them and causing and explosion while lasers would be the weakest weapons when it comes to damage output but silent, invisible and with infinite range, thus not giving away your position and allowing sneak attacks, just to name a few possibilities). This way weapon load-out would be actually engaging instead of sticking plasma guns on all your units ASAP and never worrying about it for the rest of the game.

I mean, they already did the balancing act with the armors when it came to raw protection versus bonus utilities, why couldn't they do the same with the weapons...?

I've had a similar idea, but without one type of weapon being strictly better than another.
Normal weapons: The weakest in just about every category.
Laser: The most accurate, don't have to reload, poor damage.
Plasma: High damage, doesn't have to reload, poor accuracy.
Alien Alloy RailGun: Good accuracy, great damage, has to reload.
Each weapon category would have multiple tiers and upgrades to remain usable through the whole game.

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