Everyone’s favorite squad-based, strategic alien shooting game, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, is receiving an expansion. It’s called XCOM: Enemy Within and, keeping in line with a developer Firaxis’s history of substantial expansions (see: Civilization V: Brave New World), it’s looking pretty meaty.
Enemy Unknown tasked you with defending Earth (and its 16 nations, of course) against hostile alien terrorists. In order to do this, you had to kill, capture and/or dissect a variety of different lifeforms. You could then adapt advanced alien technology and weaponry to better stave off the growing threat of total annihilation. It was a great time and a ton of fun.
The expansion takes the events of Enemy Unknown to their next logical step. In XCOM: Enemy Within, the adopted alien technology no longer takes the form of weapons and armor. Apparently, we’ve developed alien-implants for our soldiers, which allow for physical enhancements that change the soldier’s basic capabilities. Our advances also allow for a new class of soldier who wear Mechanized Exoskeletal Cybersuits and shoot grenade launchers and flame throwers. Plus, new enemy combatants will arrive just in time to be torched by those flame throwers on one of 47 new maps.
As a big fan of the XCOM, I’m reminded of the one engineer from Enemy Unknown who was vocal about his concerns over “getting too close” to the aliens – of the research and development of their far-flung tools of war. He wrung his hands over “losing our humanity.” The game posed a question: If we pursue the advancement of military technology to the extent they did, what happens to us? The question went unanswered.
I wonder if XCOM: Enemy Within will expand upon this theme and attempt to provide an answer, or if it’s just a convenient setup for more base managing, order-giving, alien-torching fun. Either way, they’ve got my attention.
XCOM: Enemy Within will be out for consoles and PC on November 12th. Check out the trailer below: