Not many people can connect with the intensity in a turn-based game. “It’s turn-based, you just wait for your turn and then you might miss a shot.” exclaimed my youngest brother. On the other hand, my younger brother stays an avid fan to XCOM: Enemy Within on the PS3, having poured many hours on XCOM: Enemy Unknown on Xbox360, which has now bowed into retirement, having served us well since 2006. If you have played XCOM: EU, there are many still good reasons not to ignore XCOM: EW. Briefly, be prepared for a couple of surprises.
Whatever blueprint strategy in XCOM: EU you may have devised as a result of extensive research or via trial and error will usually not work in XCOM: EW. While the introduction and tutorial mode appears all too familiar, those who have played XCOM: EU will be able to spot the additional objectives and motivation to acquire a new source material that will allow the scientists at your base to research and develop new arsenal and upgrades.
In turn, the extra-terrestial threat will also unveil new units that require a rethink of your actions on the ground and at base. On top of that there will be unexpected turn of events at the ground. Whichever cover that appears safe for your troopers may now be compromised as more units convene to your location.
‘Enemy Within’ also lives up to its name with the introduction of another new threat from within the human race. This poses the difficult decision of having to react against your own people while trying to save them from a greater threat.
On the outset, XCOM: EW is like a Director’s cut version of a blockbuster movie you’ve already watched. The added content made the experience fresh and makes you want to watch the movie again. On top of that, you can enjoy the enhanced movie at a low price. That’s right, for all the upgraded content, XCOM: EW is made available below the standard price of new release titles.
The only gripe is there is no option to upgrade your existing XCOM: EU into XCOM: EW by purchasing an add-on pack. The good news is you can now lend your copy of XCOM: EU to someone who has not played any. My copy of Enemy Unknown sits nicely in my office drawer (yes, we have an Xbox360 console at the office as part of staff benefits) and I’m eager to recruit more troopers into the XCOM Universe.
2013’s Christmas is already over at the time of writing this, but I wish Firaxis and 2K Games will consider to port of XCOM: EW into iPads in 2014.