PAX13 Preview: XCOM Meets ‘Titanfall’-Sort Of-in ‘Enemy Within’

Featured PAX 2013 PS3 XCOM Enemey Within

Last year, Firaxis brought back the classic PC strategy series X-Com in a big way with XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Released on console for the first time since X-Com: UFO Defense on the original PlayStation, Enemy Unknown brought turn-based strategy to the PS3 in a way that few other games had done this generation. Just a few days before the PlayStation 4 arrives in North America, 2K Games and Firaxis are bringing a major expansion to the Enemy Unknown story to PS3 with XCOM: Enemy Within. Firaxis brought a hands-off demo of Enemy Within to PAX Prime, and here are a few of our takeaways from that session.

Pete Murray, Marketing Manager of Firaxis, guided the assembled media and PAX-goers through about five minutes of gameplay to give us an idea of what was new and exciting about Enemy Within. The content shown took place on one of the new maps for the game, a hydroelectric dam, and new units for your XCOM squads. The first unit, the Genetically Modified–or GeneMod–soldier, can actually be used on existing units (Heavy, Assault, Sniper, and Support) to modify their original abilities. In the demo, one of the GeneMod soldiers had a skill called Muscle Fiber Density which allowed the female Sniper to climb up a wall that would have taken up her turn for any other unit of that class, and snipe an enemy across the map with ease. The second GeneMod unit had an ability called Neural Feedback; when a Sectoid commander, one of the stronger psionic powered units, attempted to mind control the soldier, the Feedback ability looped around and instantly ended the alien threat.

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The MechTrooper unit is where the Titanfall allusion comes from, and it’s exactly what you would expect–a big, bruising, bunker-busting brawler. Sporting a the highest unmodified HP and defense attributes of any previous XCOM unit, the MechTrooper is a walking fortress. Thankfully, it can also be used in that way: because of its size, the MechTrooper can be used as full cover for your troops should there be a lack of available walls and semi-trucks nearby. The MechTrooper comes equipped with a minigun that’s useful for destroying alien cover, and ability called Kinetic Strike–“a big ol’ rocket powered fist,” according to Murray–that he demonstrated to knock a Muton right off the dam.

Other new inclusions to Enemy Within are items you can research such as the Needle Grenade, which has a larger blast radius that regular grenades but won’t destroy any cover in its vicinity, and of course new enemy types. The demo ended with the MechTrooper charging at a similarly meched-out alien species, leaving those of hoping for mech-on-mech action to wait just a little bit longer. For those who can’t wait to dive back into the turn-based strategy world, XCOM: Enemy Within will be released on November 12 on the PlayStation Network for $39.99, and as part of the Commander’s Edition of XCOM: Enemy Unknown which will include all of the game’s DLC and Enemy Within. Detailes on the Commander’s Edition will be released at a later time, and we’ll do our best at SonyRumors to let you know exactly when.


Are you a fan of the XCOM series? Will you be checking out XCOM: Enemy Within?

  • I’ve seen so many people talk about this game and I’ve never picked it up before, on the PS3 or iPad etc. Now I’m curious about it.

  • Brien B.

    It took me a while but I finally gave in once it was on PS+; I was hooked. Really well balanced, punishing but in the ways that make you want to go back and try again rather than give up in frustration.