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This Month's Issue

XCOM: Enemy Within
Sunday, November 24, 2013

Publisher: 2K Games

Developer: Firaxis Games

Reviewed by: Katalist

Remember the days when expansion packs kicked ass? Diablo 2 had an epic expansion pack. Neverwinter Nights 2's Mask Of The Betrayer is one of the best RPGs I have ever played! The original Starcraft had a really expansive DLC, and Age Of Empires 2 had a fantastic DLC as well. But these days it seems like we get cheap DLCs that barely add anything, and half the time it’s basically some new clothes or weapons. I am happy to say that XCOM: Enemy Within is part of the first group, it adds a whole ton to XCOM for vets and is also a great starting point for newcomers as it fits right into the older campaign perfectly.

This is pretty much just more awesome XCOM. So if that excites you, go buy this right now. There is a bunch of new great features that really impact the game, instead of feeling like tacked on stuff that doesn't really add to the game. What I liked most in this DLC would have to be the new MELD material. It’s a crazy substance that is a mix of mechanical and biological matter that belongs to the aliens and has been left behind. How do you get it? Well, as you go on missions, you will have a bonus mission which is to get the MELD. This really fuels the gameplay as you have to get there in a certain amount of time. Do you risk getting killed to get some of this useful material? Or do you take it slow? The choice is up to you.

The second big new feature that I love, that is the Mercs. They are sort of like cyborgs, so-to-speak. Once you have done some research and built the cybernetics lab, you can go back to you're favorite characters and turn them into mechanical beasts! Don't want to go that route? Try the Gene Manipulation route and enhance body part functions. Whatever you decide, it will add a whole new layer to the game.

Don't think that it’s only you and your troops that get new goodies, the enemy also has new friends, such as The Seeker, who is floating creature that can go invisible to stalk you. There are also The Exalt, who are pissed-off humans who would rather fight the humans than the aliens. You can also do Exalt missions, which are quite a bit of fun.

If you loved the customization of your troops in the last game, like I did, then you will LOVE all the new stuff. I’m also digging all the new maps…I am not sure the exact number but it seemed like 30 or 40 new maps here. In the last game it sort of felt like you where fighting in the same areas over and over every few fights. This DLC has some nice variety and actually adds a lot more to the game than you may think.

If you wanted some new challenging xcom action, then you can't go wrong here. Firaxis are obviously adept at creating expansion packs, A Brave New World for Civilization V was exceptional and now with Enemy Within, it is obvious that these devs have NOT forgotten the DLCs of years past.

If you own the base game, definitely pick this up as soon as possible, and enjoy all the new content this wonderfully crafted expansion pack has to offer.

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