Is XCOM: Enemy Within worth buying?

XCOMI bought XCOM: Enemy Unknown when it first came out in 2012. There hadn’t been many turn-based strategy games for a while before that, and I’d been missing the genre.

I loved the game and played it to death. I played it all the way through twice and experimented with other settings a few more times. It’s a great game and I’d highly recommend it.

The DLC, however, wasn’t really something I was interested in. At launch the premium pack had the option to change your soldiers’ armour colours. Buying it after the fact cost 10 euros (if I remember correctly). I’m not often interested in DLC anyway. By the time I might get to the DLC, I’m usually bored of the game.

XCOM: Enemy Within came out late last year and I wanted to pick it up. Unlike regular DLC, this pack promised to have a lot more to it. It had also been about a year since I played the original game, so it was due for a replay. Still, at 30 euros, it was too expensive for my wallet.

When it cropped up on the Steam Christmas sale, however, I had to grab it, along with the other DLC which was 1 euro per pack.

XCOM_Enemy_Within_2013_08_21_13_014.jpgSo, the most important question is, did the new DLC add enough to make the game worth playing again? The answer there is definitely yes. There are dozens of new maps and mission in the pack, along with new types of augmentation and enemies.

The new DLC allows you to turn soldiers into half-human half-machine, or to augment them, giving them special abilities. I chose the first option. Frankly, after playing it, I’m guessing the second option would have been slightly disappointing.

The MECs, however, are great fun. You order that some of your soldiers have their limbs amputated and replaced with robot arms. They then can interface with a giant robot suit, which can have suitably giant weapons to go with it.

The aliens have been beefed up as well. There are now MEC suited sectoids, that work in much the same way as the troops. Overall, though, the aliens haven’t been powered up enough to deal with the new weapons and powers that the soldiers have. On a lot of the missions, I found myself walking all over the aliens.

There are also EXALT soldiers now – essentially traitors to the human race who are helping out the aliens. They are running covert operations in various countries around the world, trying to disrupt XCOM. They were far more of a challenge than the aliens, I found. There tend to be a lot more of them and they gang up on the six soldiers in your squad pretty quickly.

On the new missions, the one in Nova Scotia was a lot of fun. As was the assault on the EXALT secret headquarters. The missions and maps this time seem to be more unique than before. It may be that I just got bored with the maps in the original game, but the new ones just seemed more varied somehow.

I played the whole game through in the period of about a week. The new options in the base and out in the field kept me more than entertained. If you’ve never played XCOM: Enemy Unknown I’d recommend playing the base game without enhancements first. However, if you’ve already played the original game until you got bored of it, the new packs may help you squeeze new life out of the game.

However, with all of that being said, 30 euros seems steep. I paid 15 euros in the Steam sale and that seems a fairer price for the content involved. After all, 30 euros is almost the price of a full game. This isn’t a new game by any means. It has a lot of content, but it’s still the same XCOM.

So, if the DLC is on sale and you like the original game, grab a copy. If it’s at full price, you might want to wait a while. Easter isn’t all that far away, after all.


Get Into The Action

For a limited time, I'm giving away the first two books in the Bytarend Fantasy series and the Hard Vacuum science fiction series for free.

Bytarend is fast, fun fantasy that'll have you on the edge of your seat. Hard Vacuum is hard-talking, violent science fiction and my tribute to 80s action movies.

Grab all four books for free:


2 thoughts on “Is XCOM: Enemy Within worth buying?

  1. A good review.

    If you are looking for a similar experience, I find the UFO Trilogy has enough of a difference to not be repetitive while still being the same sort of turn-based games.

Comments are closed.