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Preview: 'XCOM: Enemy Within'

By John Gaudiosi

Video Game Reviews

9:30 AM EDT, September 30, 2013

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2K and Firaxis Games are expanding the XCOM universe with the new "XCOM: Enemy Within" with a new PC, Mac, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 version coming November 12. This installment takes the Game of the Year award-winning experience from "XCOM: Enemy Unknown" and adds an array of new abilities, upgrades and weapons to combat new enemy threats. The expansion also provides players with all-new maps, tactical and strategic gameplay, and multiplayer content.

The developer has added a massive amount of new content to the game. Fans will experience an additional three to four playthroughs on average before encountering all of the new material, which provides new replayability.

"The incredible critical and consumer response to 'XCOM: Enemy Unknown' inspired us to offer new content that would deepen the strong bond that has been created for our 'XCOM' brand," said Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K. "Firaxis Games is renowned for delivering massive, highly immersive PC expansions in the 'Civilization' series, and 'XCOM: Enemy Within' builds on that lineage and expands the experience for console gamers as well."

"We promised gamers that we would deliver the same 'Enemy Unknown' experience on both PC and console last fall, and we're doing it again with 'Enemy Within,'" said Ananda Gupta, lead designer at Firaxis Games. "The Commander Edition of 'XCOM: Enemy Within' expands the already amazing 'XCOM' experience for our console fans who are looking forward to even more of the game they love. It's also a great point of entry for new fans just joining the 'XCOM' fight."

This game vastly improves upon the experience of its predecessor, with an incredible amount of new content. On PC and Mac, "XCOM: Enemy Within" features additional content that can be enjoyed with previously purchased copies of "Enemy Unknown." The new version will also be available on Xbox 360 and PS3 system as the "XCOM: Enemy Within - Commander Edition," a standalone pack that expands the experience and features the new content and previous add-on content, including the Elite Soldier Pack and Slingshot Content Pack.

Key features for "XCOM: Enemy Within" will include:

New Soldier Abilities: Research a new alien technology to advance the capabilities of operatives.

Gene Mods: Construct the Genetics Lab to physically enhance operatives' abilities, including augmentations to the chest, brain, eyes, skin and legs.

MECs: Build the Cybernetics Lab to enable the construction of the new Mechanized Exoskeletal Cybersuit, or MEC. The new MEC Trooper class has specialized abilities and each suit can be upgraded with new weapons including the flamethrower, grenade launcher and more.

New Weapons and Equipment: Give operatives an extra tactical edge with new projects from the engineering team in the Foundry.

New Enemy Threats: Adopt new tactics to counter the threats from a host of new enemies, including the Mechtoid.

New Strategic Resource: A valuable new alien resource, known as Meld, has been discovered. Secure it on the battlefield and use it carefully back at base to unlock new research and upgrades.

New Tactical Challenges and Maps: Face new tactical challenges, on nearly 50 percent more maps.

New Multiplayer Maps, Units and Abilities: Create custom squad from a wider array of options and dominate opponents in intense, one-on-one, turn-based matches.

"XCOM: Enemy Within" will be available for Windows PC and Mac for $29.99, and will be available for Xbox 360 and PS3 system for $39.99 as the "Commander Edition."

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