XCOM 1: Enemy Within Playthrough Review (Streamed — Backlog 1/25)

XCOM + Enemy Within Expansion

For my first game in my backlog, I played XCOM with the Enemy Within Expansion. No mods were used, so in this case, no use of the famous “Long War” Mod.

Overview: You’re on Earth. Aliens land some space pods on land, some civilians check them out, as is tradition in this genre, and oh shit they’re here to invade you. You’re the commander of a last line of defense styled team that’s tasked with dealing with the aliens. However, with the title of the expansion, you wonder throughout the story if you won’t be facing some other enemies as well. Either that or you’ll find the enemy within yourself when you accidentally shoot your own teammate with a rocket. Either or.

Gameplay: Turn-based tactical strategy. One of my favorite genres, XCOM:EW does a great job at initially giving you a lot of choices in what you want to do with soldiers, especially with the additions that the EW expansions brings in. However, it becomes pretty obvious as you go through the game that the combat can be a little dry if you’ve played a lot in a short amount of time. (For reference, I played for 40 hours on difficulty 2 out of 4, 4 being the hardest) Overall if you like the genre as a whole, you’ll like this. If you don’t, it’ll probably get boring. I personally enjoyed it and only found myself getting bored by one or two “Panic” missions, which functioned as a non-story mission.

MY PLAYTHROUGH: SPOILERS BELOW

Time played: 40 hours of Campaign, no Long War Mod

Difficulty: Normal (Easy, Normal, Classic, Impossible)

Achievements: 58/85 in one natural playthrough without attempting to get any achievements in particular

General Thoughts:

  • Going with a theme and naming your characters is by far the best way to play this game and made it way more enjoyable for me. In my case, we made it that my Twitch subscribers (pay 2 win) got to have their own characters. At first they were clamoring to be in every mission, but after I party wiped one mission and had to start a brand new game because of it, they decided it was a death sentence every time they got sent out which was more fun from a viewer standpoint. Also I accidentally shot one of my subs when he got mind controlled and I don’t regret a thing.
  • “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”— Wayne Gretzky, — Michael Scott. In this case, if I were to take 100 shots, statistically I would hit 99 of them. But who gives a shit about statistics when you can just assume you’ll hit a shot you’re “supposed to” and that everything will go fine after. :) :) :) :) :)
  • Messing with people’s looks in the game leads to fun. In one critical mission, you get reinforcements that are basic soldiers in blue uniforms that aren’t a part of your squad. One of my medics in the game wore the exact color scheme as the useless soldiers, so I sent him in on a death mission thinking he wasn’t part of my squad. After seeing a small battle scene where an alien mech picked him and shot him in the face, I realized I had sent one of my subs to his death. Oops.
Here we have from left to right: Mech-warrior/babysitter Grandma Stanky, Cooldude sniper MOTHER RUSSIA, Eirika Masterchief, Pink Ranger Imupacto, Fedora wearin’ KPOP COWBOY, and Nurse ‘Smokes aka I smoked myself 3 times in one mission instead of healing my teammates’ Baemax.

Overall Rating: 8/10, thought XCOM was really fun with Enemy Within Expansion. There are small frustrating things to learn, and some things could be improved upon (flight UI is straight garbage, Line of Sight isn’t always what it seems, etc), but overall would absolutely play through the game a second time if I had the time to.

My Paint conceptulization of what the aliens say every time I miss a 99% shot.

Next game from the backlog will be: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

Come watch at https://www.twitch.tv/historyteacher

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