XCOM: Enemy Within Review

XCOM: Enemy Within Review

Slaughtering aliens, one frag grenade at a time.

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Greg Tito:
XCOM: Enemy Within Review

Slaughtering aliens, one frag grenade at a time.

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Sounds like everything I have wanted in an expansion to this game :D

A question though Mr Tito: Am I remembering correctly that we get a base defense mission? And is the base defense mission a one off, or can they end up happening multiple times throughout a game? Because if I recall correctly, we are getting base defense in this one, where you use a mix of rookies and veteran soldier under your command.

I still haven't finished enemy unknown because I accidentally deleted my saves, despite that I really liked the game and most of the new additions looked great.

chozo_hybrid:
A question though Mr Tito: Am I remembering correctly that we get a base defense mission? And is the base defense mission a one off, or can they end up happening multiple times throughout a game? Because if I recall correctly, we are getting base defense in this one, where you use a mix of rookies and veteran soldier under your command.

I think it is confirmed to be a one-time story-mission. (Made pretty obvious due the following: Unique codename rather [adjective] <noun>, introsequence and outro sequence mentioning "trying to figure out how that happened")

This is so totally gaming crack. You can forsee your initial high, only for the later comedown to be a real bummer.

I suspect that Impossible will be the new classic to be honest. I'm pretty sure I'll start with impossible. The game drops off a difficulty cliff if you can get enough satellites up, early. I watched Totalbiscuit play this a few weeks ago, inexplicably, he was playing on normal, but it was a total cake-walk.

Reduced_Silver:
This is so totally gaming crack. You can forsee your initial high, only for the later comedown to be a real bummer.

I suspect that Impossible will be the new classic to be honest. I'm pretty sure I'll start with impossible. The game drops off a difficulty cliff if you can get enough satellites up, early. I watched Totalbiscuit play this a few weeks ago, inexplicably, he was playing on normal, but it was a total cake-walk.

Normal is always a total cakewalk. The difference between normal and classic is really high. I menaged to fuck up 2 classic games after I got lulled in by my first normal playthrough

i will still get this but i honestly prefer my games to get be hard at the end, specially when i defend the earth from an alien invasion and it would be much more fitting to feel like a last effort to stop the invaders instead of the last step in steamrolling them.

If people say that Enemy Unknown got easy towards the end too, I guess I just suck enough at the game to keep this hard for me. Aw well I'm sure I'll still have fun with it.

teebeeohh:
i will still get this but i honestly prefer my games to get be hard at the end, specially when i defend the earth from an alien invasion and it would be much more fitting to feel like a last effort to stop the invaders instead of the last step in steamrolling them.

While I too prefer it if games are difficult the whole way through, with XCOM it makes sense that it would start to get easy near the end. The player is spending the entire game outmatched, outnumbered, and outgunned by a vastly superior force both numerically and technologically. Of course it would be hard most of the way through, but as the game goes on the gap in both areas would get smaller and smaller, and thus much easier. What's needed I think is a sort of slow constant upgrading of the aliens and their tech in the game, something to show they're advancing their technology at the same time if not the same rate you are.

erttheking:
If people say that Enemy Unknown got easy towards the end too, I guess I just suck enough at the game to keep this hard for me. Aw well I'm sure I'll still have fun with it.

What was it in the final mission? Two sectopods in a restrictive environment? Yeah, I guess I suck too. That one was a nail-biter. I don't think I had to take that many tries at it though, interestingly enough. Was probably saving fairly often, if not save-scumming. And this was on normal, I've not got too far on classic ironman, yet.

Pink Gregory:

erttheking:
If people say that Enemy Unknown got easy towards the end too, I guess I just suck enough at the game to keep this hard for me. Aw well I'm sure I'll still have fun with it.

What was it in the final mission? Two sectopods in a restrictive environment? Yeah, I guess I suck too. That one was a nail-biter. I don't think I had to take that many tries at it though, interestingly enough. Was probably saving fairly often, if not save-scumming. And this was on normal, I've not got too far on classic ironman, yet.

Yeah, I'm playing through ironman classic now (My third or fourth try I think) and an Outsider just oneshotted my only Lieutenant. Apparently I wasn't supposed to do that, but I guess I'm just not as "leet" as some other people.

erttheking:

Pink Gregory:

erttheking:
If people say that Enemy Unknown got easy towards the end too, I guess I just suck enough at the game to keep this hard for me. Aw well I'm sure I'll still have fun with it.

What was it in the final mission? Two sectopods in a restrictive environment? Yeah, I guess I suck too. That one was a nail-biter. I don't think I had to take that many tries at it though, interestingly enough. Was probably saving fairly often, if not save-scumming. And this was on normal, I've not got too far on classic ironman, yet.

Yeah, I'm playing through ironman classic now (My third or fourth try I think) and an Outsider just oneshotted my only Lieutenant. Apparently I wasn't supposed to do that, but I guess I'm just not as "leet" as some other people.

I've been playing OpenXcom (open source X-Com project thing) recently. It's always the high ranks that die first. Because I tend to take risks with the more experienced (ie better) soldier. Because me am clever.

Pink Gregory:

erttheking:
If people say that Enemy Unknown got easy towards the end too, I guess I just suck enough at the game to keep this hard for me. Aw well I'm sure I'll still have fun with it.

What was it in the final mission? Two sectopods in a restrictive environment? Yeah, I guess I suck too. That one was a nail-biter. I don't think I had to take that many tries at it though, interestingly enough. Was probably saving fairly often, if not save-scumming. And this was on normal, I've not got too far on classic ironman, yet.

I usually had 1 or 2 heavies in my squads. Sectopods didn't really stand up well to upgraded rocket HEAT shredders. That plus squadsight snipers just demolished them. I had more issues with those grenade-happy muton swarms.

Reduced_Silver:
I watched Totalbiscuit play this a few weeks ago, inexplicably, he was playing on normal, but it was a total cake-walk.

Actually, he said during the video that the footage we'd be watching would be him playing on Classic X3

OT: November 15th cannot be here fast enough goddammit X3

Bindal:

chozo_hybrid:
A question though Mr Tito: Am I remembering correctly that we get a base defense mission? And is the base defense mission a one off, or can they end up happening multiple times throughout a game? Because if I recall correctly, we are getting base defense in this one, where you use a mix of rookies and veteran soldier under your command.

I think it is confirmed to be a one-time story-mission. (Made pretty obvious due the following: Unique codename rather [adjective] <noun>, introsequence and outro sequence mentioning "trying to figure out how that happened")

Ah, bummer. I was hoping for the possibility of it happening more then once depending one things you do. But still, one is better then none and it shows they listened to fans about it too.

chozo_hybrid:

Bindal:

chozo_hybrid:
A question though Mr Tito: Am I remembering correctly that we get a base defense mission? And is the base defense mission a one off, or can they end up happening multiple times throughout a game? Because if I recall correctly, we are getting base defense in this one, where you use a mix of rookies and veteran soldier under your command.

I think it is confirmed to be a one-time story-mission. (Made pretty obvious due the following: Unique codename rather [adjective] <noun>, introsequence and outro sequence mentioning "trying to figure out how that happened")

Ah, bummer. I was hoping for the possibility of it happening more then once depending one things you do. But still, one is better then none and it shows they listened to fans about it too.

Ive asked in a different thread but got no definitive answer. Whats the big deal with base defense? Why do you care? Its just another "defeat all the aliens on this map" mission only the backdrop is that of your base. Its a longer mission and they mix it up by mixing cadets and your regulars. This doesn't seem very exciting. Why is base defense such a big deal with people?

Don't get me wrong though I preordered already and im looking forward to playing. I just don't get the big deal about base defense. Seems like any other mission we have done tons of times before.

Unit72:
Ive asked in a different thread but got no definitive answer. Whats the big deal with base defense? Why do you care? Its just another "defeat all the aliens on this map" mission only the backdrop is that of your base. Its a longer mission and they mix it up by mixing cadets and your regulars. This doesn't seem very exciting. Why is base defense such a big deal with people?

Don't get me wrong though I preordered already and im looking forward to playing. I just don't get the big deal about base defense. Seems like any other mission we have done tons of times before.

Basically, the reason Base Defense is important to some people is because it was a constant looming threat in the original games. The aliens could locate one of your bases if you didn't have a mind shield up around it, and once they did, they'd invade it. It added an extra layer of strategy to the game because you had to manage all of your bases and ensure they had a sufficient garrison to protect your assets there while still being able to respond to alien attacks.

In nuXCOM, it won't, can't really, add the same kind of depth though, because you're limited to only one base, so it is kinda pointless, like you say.

Kyrdra:
Normal is always a total cakewalk. The difference between normal and classic is really high. I menaged to fuck up 2 classic games after I got lulled in by my first normal playthrough

Normal AI is dumb as a shoe.
Harder ones get stat bonuses on top of being smarter.

Part of the reason I consider the original to be only playable when modded: give me that hard AI, without the cheating stats.

I give it two days post-release tops before someone fixes the 'endgame slog'.

Unit72:
Ive asked in a different thread but got no definitive answer. Whats the big deal with base defense? Why do you care? Its just another "defeat all the aliens on this map" mission only the backdrop is that of your base. Its a longer mission and they mix it up by mixing cadets and your regulars. This doesn't seem very exciting. Why is base defense such a big deal with people?

Don't get me wrong though I preordered already and im looking forward to playing. I just don't get the big deal about base defense. Seems like any other mission we have done tons of times before.

A different setting for your missions, one where you can't retreat. It shows that you not only stop the alien threat by going after them, but that there's consequence back at base for attacking them as well, you can be attacked where you least expect it. I just like the idea of it, I don't see it as pointless :D But that's just me, I like the whole role play aspect of it "Oh shit, they're at my base!" would be the reaction I give, would make the mission feel more tense to me. How does that do for an answer, hope it made sense :D I get what you mean, but I enjoy the idea behind it.

Bindal:

chozo_hybrid:
A question though Mr Tito: Am I remembering correctly that we get a base defense mission? And is the base defense mission a one off, or can they end up happening multiple times throughout a game? Because if I recall correctly, we are getting base defense in this one, where you use a mix of rookies and veteran soldier under your command.

I think it is confirmed to be a one-time story-mission. (Made pretty obvious due the following: Unique codename rather [adjective] <noun>, introsequence and outro sequence mentioning "trying to figure out how that happened")

Confirmed. It is a one-time story mission kind of like the council missions where you fight off waves of aliens in your base. Other than it happens, and it's a change of pace to have rookies mixed with veterans, there's not really much else to say about it. You can't change when it occurs and it IS just another kill all the aliens mission. I kind of wish there was more to it than that.

Greg

Pink Gregory:

erttheking:
If people say that Enemy Unknown got easy towards the end too, I guess I just suck enough at the game to keep this hard for me. Aw well I'm sure I'll still have fun with it.

What was it in the final mission? Two sectopods in a restrictive environment? Yeah, I guess I suck too. That one was a nail-biter. I don't think I had to take that many tries at it though, interestingly enough. Was probably saving fairly often, if not save-scumming. And this was on normal, I've not got too far on classic ironman, yet.

Nail-biter for you, one single attack to kill both of them for me. (Not even joking. ONE unit and ONE turn is all I need. At least, in EU. EW changed a bit so that might've changed)

Great review but Greg, could I say something? I just love your voice, it's so nice, could you maybe do a series of child-book readings? It'd be nice to listen to before bed time.

Been really looking forward to this expansion, but i've started playing dota2 recently so will hold out until the sales...

"The most interesting new way to improve your soldiers is through the medals you as the commander of XCOM can award in a little ceremony. After a few missions, you'll gain access to a medal, and you can pick one of two ways the recipient's stats will improve. You can even name your medal, just like you can your soldiers, and the medal perishes along with them if they meet their demise. The added customization options for new visuals and voices (...)"

....Is it too late to preorder? *checks steam* Nope, ok fine you heartless barstards, take my money.

Unit72:

Ive asked in a different thread but got no definitive answer. Whats the big deal with base defense? Why do you care? Its just another "defeat all the aliens on this map" mission only the backdrop is that of your base. Its a longer mission and they mix it up by mixing cadets and your regulars. This doesn't seem very exciting. Why is base defense such a big deal with people?

In the original game it represented the aliens making an effort to stamp you out by sending ships of various sizes loaded with troops.

All those troops you had at the base were mustered along with what weapons you could scrap (it was very possible to have so many recruits that you didn't have enough weapons for them all) as you desperately defended your turf, the conditions of which would vary greatly depending on the base (since you could build more then 1 back then) and the troops/gear you had stationed there.

This lead to some heroic last stands and chances for rookiers you cared little about to shine and prove themselves, aswell as making it feel like a real battle due to the massive amount of red shirts you field alongside your vets. Incidentally since I've mentioned base guards a fair bit..This is why maybe you'd keep around soldiers with crappy stats, expressly for the purpose of having them being red shirts and providing additional meatshields during base assaults :P
Those that "failed" to make it to the real xcom squads were restricted to just base guard duties until they proved themselves in situations like this.

Length wise though base missions weren't any longer then a terror mission or large ufo recovery, since you already know the layout of your base and it's more about setting up perimeters then hunting down the enemy, they will find you soon enough.

Thats why i've enjoyed those missions in the old xcom anyways, obviously this wouldn't work out so well in new xcom due to the changes they made.

Ok, I finally downloaded and started playing "Enemy Within".

Am I going crazy, or does it MASSIVELY ramp up the game's difficulty from 'Enemy Unknown'?

I played through Enemy Unknown on Classic, and while it was certainly a challenge, it never felt ridiculous or unfair. Now that I'm playing through EW, it seems 10x faster. I remember having carapace armor and laser weapons when I encountered my first terror mission with the Chrysalids in EU, now I just hit my first terror mission while my guys are still sporting basic body armor and weapons,

Additionally, missions seem far more frequent: I remember frequently having 10-14 day periods in EU where I wouldn't have a UFO contact or abduction, now it seems if I'm lucky if I can make it 3 days, the game doesn't give you any chance to breathe, it's throwing missions at you constantly.

So is it just me, or is anyone else noticing this as well?

I like the new toys, maps, and sub-campaign that Enemy Within offers, so I can't fault it for what it brings to the table; only problem is that it does nothing to address the most frustrating parts of Enemy Unknown. Enemies still get a free move whenever you spot them, but your soldiers don't, soldiers still get two actions (I can move then shoot/reload/grenade, but I can't shoot/reload/grenade then shoot still, that's just stupid) instead of an action points system, and I can't hire engineers or scientists despite being able to pick up soldiers with impunity.

Still a better DLC than Burial at Sea, at least.

 

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