XCOM: Enemy Within is available as a download for PCs and MACs for $29.99. For consoles it is only available in disc format as XCOM: Enemy Within – Commander Edition, a standalone expanded experience that includes all XCOM: Enemy Unknown content plus the Elite Soldier and Slingshot add-ons, for $39.99.
Meld is a new resource that is found in containers that can be recovered in most mission types. Recovering Meld opens up a new research project called Meld Recombination which unlocks two new base facilities: Genetics Lab and Cybernetics Lab. In the Genetic Lab, Meld can be used to grant your soldiers super-human abilities through Gene Mods. In the Cybernetics Lab, Meld can be used transform your soldiers into MEC Troopers and to build MECs for them to use in combat.
- The addition of Meld doesn't significantly change the research/tech tree; instead, most Meld related tech and upgrades is unlocked as part of existing research like alien autopsies.
- Although this will require the construction of two extra facilities in your base, for the purpose of adjacency bonuses the Genetics Lab and Cybernetics lab count as a laboratory and a workshop, respectively
- Alien Autopsies will reveal genetic modifications ("Gene Mods" or "G-mods") for your soldiers which can be applied in the Genetics Labs.
- Any soldier except MEC Troopers can receive Gene Mods. A soldier with Gene Mod can undergo Psi testing and the modifications will stack with Psi abilities.
- Soldiers with Gene Mods will receive unique versions of the various armor types (featuring sleeveless armor designs and their own armor deco options) and will have access to 8 different armor deco options suit just for them.
- Gene Mods can be applied to the following categories: Brain, Eyes, Chest, Skin, Legs, with 2 options available for each (and that can be swapped at a cost).
- Applying individual Gene Mods will cost variable amounts of credits and Meld (5-35 Meld per mod) and will remove a soldier from active duty for about 3 days per mod.
- With the Cybernetics Lab, MEC Troopers can be created from any soldier class, maintaining their rank but losing all abilities and Gene Mods they previously had; Rookies cannot become MEC Troopers. MEC Troopers replace their arms and legs with cybernetic implants but they are still human enough to be affected by Psionic abilities, including Mind Control.
- MEC Troopers cannot be genetically modified or undergo Psi testing; a Psionic soldier cannot become a MEC Trooper.
- A MEC Trooper does not use regular equipment in combat but instead utilizes a Mechanized Exoskeleton Cybersuit (aka MEC Suit). MEC Suits grant MEC Troopers armor and several additional bonuses and can be armed with a Minigun, Railgun or Particle Cannon; as a disadvantage, MECs are incapable of using cover. MEC Suits can be upgraded through three tiers, each of which has a different name, set bonus stats and selection of Tactical Subsystems.
- MEC Troopers retain and gain experience and ranks conventionally and have their own unique training tree.
- MEC Suits have armor deco options that paint different patterns on the suit.
The expansion introduces two new alien types:Mechtoid is a Sectoid in a Mech suit. It is a robotic unit armed with twin Plasma Mini-Cannons and can fire twice in a turn if it doesn't move. Mechtoids don't utilize cover but have a solid block of health (20 HP on normal). Sectoids can Mind Merge with a Mechtoid to give it a Psi Shield which grants a health buff and reduces damage against the Mechtoid by half. Mechtoids start showing up during the mid-game, about the same time as Cyberdiscs.
Seeker is a flying squid-like robotic unit. Capable of cloaking themselves for a limited number of turns, the Seekers utilize a brand new AI that focuses on hit and run style attacks. Seekers are spotted in pairs but largely act individually (i.e. can strike during different turns) and have a preference for attacking isolated units with their special Strangle attack. Seekers start being encountered early in the game (mid-to-late April).
The expansion introduces a new enemy faction in the form of a secret human paramilitary society titled EXALT. While not allied with the aliens, EXALT harbor transhumanist ideals and sympathize with the aliens' effort to evolve mankind; where others fear or resist the alien invasion, EXALT sees it as their opportunity to acquire the resources they need to seize power. So like XCOM, EXALT is operating in the shadows and endeavoring to recover alien technology and harness the powers of gene modification but, unlike XCOM, their ultimate goal is to rule the world.
To counter EXALT's activities, the Council has provided XCOM with additional resources which can be accessed via a new Covert Operations menu in the Situation Room. From here you will be able to perform Intel Scans for hidden EXALT cells and launch Covert Operations (see New Missions below) against identified cells (but only one cell at time). Successful Covert Operations will yield EXALT Intel that grants clues to the location of EXALT's main base. Once XCOM successfully identifies the EXALT headquarters, the player will be able to play initiate a base assault mission to eliminate the terrorist group once and for all.
Class Changes and New TechnologyEdit
- Covering Fire now fires before the enemy uses its weapon.
- Smoke and Mirrors now provides two additional Smoke Grenade uses.
- Deep Pockets now gives an additional charge to limited use items like Grenades, Arc Throwers, Medikits, etc.
- Close and Personal now gives a free shot when within 4 tiles of an enemy. Cannot be combined with Run & Gun.
- HEAT Ammo damage bonus reduced to +50% against robots.
- Grenadier now gives +1 damage to Frag, Alien and Needle Grenades in addition to its usual bonus of allowing you to carry two in one item slot.
- Snap Shot aim penalty reduced from -20 to -10.
- Squad Sight only gives Critical Damage if Headshot is used.
- Needle Grenade
- Ghost Grenade
- Gas Grenade
- Flashbang Grenade
- Mimic Beacon
- Respirator Implant
- Reaper Rounds
New Foundry projects:
- Tactical Rigging: Grant all classes two item slots.
- Shaped Armor: Adds 3 extra health to all MEC Troopers and S.H.I.V.s.
- Advanced Servomotors: Increases mobility for all MECs and S.H.I.V.s.
- Sentinel Drone: Upgrade that gives S.H.I.V.s a Close Combat Specialist-like ability. Also causes S.H.I.V.s to regenerate 2hp/turn.
- Jellied Elerium: A damage upgrade for a MEC's Flamethrower.
- MEC Close Combat: A damage for a MEC's Kinetic Strike Module. Increases damage from 12 to 18. Also, using the Kinetec Strike as the first action of a turn allows for a second action or movement.
Gameplay and Interface ChangesEdit
- The game intro receives a new quote, replacing the one from Arthur C. Clarke:
- There will be a new tutorial mission introducing Meld that can be played in addition to or in place of the regular tutorial mission or disabled completely.
- Enemies that don't utilize cover (Mechtoids, Cyberdiscs, Sectopods) may enter Overwatch when spotted.
- New Second Wave options:
- Aiming Angles: Units receive aim bonus the closer to flanking an enemy they are.
- Save Scum: Loading a saved game will reset the random number seed, so taking an identical action may yield different results.
- Itchy Trigger Tentacle: Non-cover aliens (Mechtoids, Cyberdiscs, Sectopods) have a 50% chance of firing at your soldiers upon being spotted.
- Training Roulette: Each soldier's training tree will be mostly randomly generated. Does not apply to MEC Troopers.
- After a Soldier receives a Class and their first ability, additional ranks can grant randomized abilities from a pool of the all the Class abilities sets minus any skills that are dependent on a specific weapons (which are still Class locked). So you could have an Assault with Sprinter or a Heavy with Deep Pockets.
- Mind Hates Matter: Psionic soldiers can't become gene modded or vice-versa.
- Panic rebalanced to make it less likely for soldiers to fire on their squad mates; panic will now include an Aim penalty which will also make those rarer incidents of "friendly fire" less likely to hit.
- Critical chance bonus of stealth attacks reduced from 100% to 30%.
- Pre-mission/squad selection User Interface improvements: Equipped items for soldiers now appear below each soldier's name and rank in and there will be a button ("Make item available") in the that strips all equipment from any soldiers not currently assigned to the Skyranger team.
- You can now personalize your soldier's voice using the available audio packs for the current language localizations: French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and Polish. Polish soldiers are now available for recruitment.
- There will be an option to disable Dr. Vahlen's and Dr. Shen's tutorial voice overs.
- Normal difficulty may actually be slightly easier to beat due to the new tech but Classic and Impossible difficulties will be getting harder; in addition to the challenge of new enemies, research times and experience required for soldiers to rank up will be slightly increased.
- Sectopods will receive a new passive ability/trait called Reinforced Armor that halves all incoming damage; this was added in order to increase their toughness when compared to the Mechtoid.
- There will be new helmets, new armor decos for all armor types, and even new tint colors for customizing your soldiers. Additionally the colorization of weapons is now affected by the tinting chosen for armor.
- Psionic powers remain largely unchanged except for some bug fixes related to some of the AoE abilities.
- There will be a number of major bug fixes (including the "teleport bug" and a variety of cover related bugs). There also has been a patch for the Slingshot Content Pack as Shaojie Zhang can now be given custom facial hair and armor decos.
- The Foundry will now count as a workshop for the purpose of adjacency bonuses.
- Laboratories will offer some incremental protection against Research Hacks by EXALT.
- Don't Die On Me has been removed from the Officer Training School due to the addition of the Secondary Heart Gene Mod. It is replaced with Lead By Example: The squad leader substitutes his or her Will for that of all nearby lower-Will squadmates.
- There will be Medals that can earned by completing certain tasks on missions which then can be awarded to individual soldiers. There are 5 different types of Medals. Medal types can be renamed and each type allows you choose between one of two potential buffs.
- The Memorial Wall will now feature "killed by" information with each soldier's name and which medals they were awarded.
- There are many new maps; 47 new maps officially, but is realistically about half that number due to Covert Operations (see below) re-utilizing new and old map types but requiring new squad and enemy spawn points. New map types will include a bank, a new truck stop, a roadhouse, an ice cream shop, a coffee shop, a hydroelectric dam, a tire shop, a rural highway construction site and several new crashed UFO maps (notably a few urban crashes and one at a farm).
- Some of the original Enemy Unknown maps have been "tweaked", some to address exploding cars issues and to add Meld containers while other have been adapted for new mission types. Old and new maps will be mixed together but the game is set so that you'll see more of the new Enemy Within maps during a gameplay (for initial playthroughs but evening out over time).
Covert OperationsEditSituation Room and require the dispatch of a Covert Operative. Position of Covert Operative is filled by selecting any soldier, except a Heavy or MEC Trooper, for special duty in which they are deployed without armor and only equipped with a pistol and any items available to them. The Covert Operative remains unavailable for other missions during the several days in which they complete their assignment and then signal for extraction. If the Covert Operative is not extracted they will be lost. Extracting the Covert Operative triggers one of two new Covert Operation mission types:
- Covert Data Recovery: Requires the defense of an Encoder and a Transmitter against a large horde of aggressive EXALT agents in a King of the Hill type scenario until all enemies are eliminated.
- Covert Extraction: Requires the Covert Operative to hack two specific EXALT Comm Arrays and then safely reach the extraction zone. This mission does not actually require the complete elimination of the enemy for success.
For either mission, the player will send a regular squad which they will control as usual as well as the Covert Operative who will be located elsewhere on the map. Covert Operatives retain all their abilities (and gene mods) and will receive increased experience for the mission. Additionally, the Covert Operative gains the EXALT Comm Hack ability which allows the Operative to hack an EXALT Comm Array to disrupt EXALT communications which disables their agents from using their main weapons during the following turn (Similar to Disabling Shot).
EXALT soldiers will utilize a new squad AI and are proficient in combined arms combat. They will utilize their abilities and equipment to full effect; i.e. Medics will deploy Smoke Grenades to cover exposed allies, Snipers will seek high ground, and units with grenades and rockets will target clustered XCOM units.
There will be 10 maps available for each mission type with some utilizing new maps introduced with Enemy Within and others will give a new spin to existing Enemy Unknown maps.
Operation ProgenyEditSlingshot Content Pack, but has has been tweaked to fit with the expansion's new narrative elements. Like Slingshot, it can be enabled or disabled separately from the game's start up menu. Narratively the missions involve of all three of Enemy Within's factions and has a tie in with the XCOM Base Defense mission (see below).
The first mission can be requested by the Council fairly early in the campaign and involves XCOM's first contact with EXALT. After finding an injured EXALT soldier in France XCOM troops are required to escort him to the extraction zone for interrogation. Much later in the campaign XCOM is sent to a hydroelectric dam where they encounter Annette in the back of a truck with a dead EXALT operative. She originally tries to flee from them and demonstrates a psionic ability that staggers the XCOM troops. However after looking at the destruction around the dam and realizing XCOM's ability to fight the aliens she urges them to save her friends. Annette can then join the ranks of XCOM (Sergeant rank, class is randomized) but strangely doesn't become a psionic trooper until being tested in the psionic labs.
In Operation Progeny's final mission XCOM attempts to rescue Annette's friends, who are being kept captive in suspended animation for their rare psionic abilities. As XCOM enter the facility in which the psionics are being held an alarm is triggered and XCOM is required to locate and destroy the control panel for their stasis pods in 12 turns. Failing to locate and destroy the control panel results in the psionics being euthanized. Saving them in time results in the 3 captives also joining your ranks. Even though these soldiers are psionic, like Annette, they still must be tested in the psionic labs before they are able to use psionic abilities.
Following the rescue mission Doctor Vahlen explains that the reason why EXALT and the aliens were interested in Annette and her friends was because they were able to amplify the psionic abilities of others. With this power they aided the aliens' invasion on the XCOM base by boosting their psionic strength, allowing them to mind control XCOM soldiers without being in the direct vicinity. However due to brain trauma it's unlikely that they'll ever demonstrate unique psionic powers ever again, but are still eligible to learn the general psionic abilities.
Operation Ashes and TemplesEdit
|“||The invaders have infiltrated XCOM HQ in unknown numbers. Limited reinforcements, including XCOM Base Security personnel, are available. Failure will mean the end of XCOM.||”|
XCOM Base DefenseEditGameSpot video. This mission plays out on a massive new map which details Delta section, an area of the XCOM headquarters located behind Mission Control. The player will control a randomly assigned squad of soldiers from your Barracks (with whatever equipment they possess at the time the mission triggers... the new make equipment available button is handy to arm new troops on missions, but can lead to senior troops being unequipped when this mission occurs) and several XCOM Base Security personnel (Rookie level soldiers with Assault Rifles and Frag Grenades). The player will have to fight and eliminate several waves of aliens but will receive additional reinforcements (groups of Security personnel each with another randomly assigned soldier) as the mission progresses. Failing this mission will result in a game loss.
A special Council Mission taking place in Canada.
|“||Our sources indicate a developing incident in Newfoundland, up the coast from St. John's. A fishing village has gone dark: reports from intel sources suggest alien involvement. We should send a team to investigate the site and figure out what happened.||”|
- You can now edit your squad and save several load outs in offline mode.
- Multiplayer unit costs have been rebalanced: Rookies and other basic units have received point reductions as have AoE weapons like grenades and rockets.
- Mechtoid and Seeker added.
- EXALT agents added.
- 8 more maps for Multiplayer.
XCOM: Enemy Within has 30 new console achievements and trophies to unlock.
Some Easter Eggs related to The Bureau: XCOM Declassified are hidden in the expansion:
- A fedora is now available as a new helmet/hair option available to soldiers.
- William Carter is now a XCOM Hero.
- In the Meld Recombination Project Report, Dr. Vahlen mentions that "...I uncovered a number of redacted data stores created in the 1960s..."
X-COM: Enemy Within - Hands-on Covert Ops Mission Vs Exalt
Community 2K @ PAX Prime 2013
Strategy Masterminds Mega Panel @ the 5:45 hour mark
Interview with Lead Designer Ananda Gupta @ the 34 minute mark
Games Pack YT Interview with Ananda Gupta
Quick Look EX: XCOM: Enemy Within
Wikia Expert Showcase (Special Edition)
XCOM: Enemy Within Community Question Answers