Enemy Within Mah Brainz

21 08 2013

This video shows some really cool stuff off. In particular, what I shall call The Punch at like 4:19.

Here’s a big IGN article, and here’s a big Kotaku article. There’s a lot more,  like RPS…just hit the Google for “xcom enemy within”.

My excitement is pretty unbounded here. Gene mods and mechanized armor are very welcome additions to the game, as are freakin’ power armored sectoids. I’m also excited to see they’ve rebalanced some of the no-brainer class abilities: for instance, a stiff nerf to Squad Sight preventing you from scoring a critical when  using it vs. the Sniper’s move-and-shoot ability’s aim penalty is cut in half to balance it out. Melee combat?! Yes, please. And the flame thrower looks delicious.

There’s one thing I haven’t yet seen mentioned or asked about, and it’s odd because I feel like that question is really begged for here. There are now even more options for soldier builds, and already my strike team roster for any deployment is very tight…at six soldiers. So, do I get to bring more operatives out to the field? Say, eight?

I hope so.

My reintroduction to Ironman Impossible last night went as well as you might expect for my time off, though maybe worse than I expected: I very easily cruised through that Classic Marathon game, only losing maybe four or five soldiers and brushing aside the opposition. Impossible is significantly harder. I lose one operative a mission, on average. It’s so easy to trigger a cascade of alien packs, and their fire is pretty withering, even when I’m hunkered down. It’s hard and fun in the way Classic mode was when I first got into it…even if I have lost both Bomb Missions I’ve tried so far, losing my entire team in the process of trying to save the city. That’s XCOM, baby. That is, in fact, XCOM.

I’m also a bit saddened/surprised to not see Jake Solomon’s name attached to this; the lead designer is Ananda Gupta. Don’t get me wrong, what little I’ve seen so far of XCOM:EW looks fantastic…but I gained a lot of respect for Solomon and I wanted him to continue tending to his baby. “Jake Solomon’s XCOM.”

We gotta wait until November for this. It’s going to feel like a long wait. But I have XCOM:EU and Minecraft to keep me company in the meantime.

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