XCOM Enemy Within is the expansion to 2012’s acclaimed strategy game of the year, bringing new story elements, more aliens to blow up, and more tech to research. It also introduces a resource called Meld that can be used to give soldiers cybernetic implants, chameleon skin, bionic legs, and other powers.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
XCOM is one of the most influential videogame franchises of all time, and it’s still a popular choice for turn-based strategy fans. Now, Firaxis is bringing the series to new audiences with a mobile version of last year’s acclaimed sequel, XCOM: Enemy Unknown.
Unlike some of the more recent mobile games, XCOM Enemy Within is a full port that includes all of the multiplayer maps and units from the original. This means you can create a custom squad and compete against opponents on a number of different difficulty settings.
While this is a good step forward for the XCOM franchise, it’s worth noting that the game does have a few issues with iOS. Firstly, the visuals aren’t quite as crisp on the iPad as they are on the consoles or PC. In addition, a recent update added asynchronous multiplayer play that has caused some stability issues on the iPad mini.
The core of the gameplay remains the same as on both the console and PC versions. The missions are played over turns and take place from an isometric perspective. Positioning your troopers is critical, and you’ll want to ensure that all of your team can see their targets, even if they’re in a foggy area or surrounded by aliens.
You’ll also want to make sure that each member of your team has the necessary weapons and gear. If you don’t, you’ll run out of supplies in no time. And while you can recruit new troops, you’ll find that once a favourite character bites the dust he or she is gone forever.
XCOM’s permadeath mechanic means you’ll need to keep a close eye on your team, as well as the enemy team. This is especially true if you have to deal with enemy counter-operations or a new threat that comes out of nowhere. But if you’re willing to commit, the rewards are substantial.
XCOM: Enemy Within
XCOM: Enemy Within is the new mobile edition of 2K Games’ celebrated turn-based strategy combat. Unlike the earlier iOS port of Civilization Revolution, which suffered from some control and graphical issues, XCOM looks as richly rendered on iPad as any console-class game.
XCOM’s battles feel deep and tense, with squads moving around huge maps, setting themselves up for attack with a tap of a finger, much like pieces on a board. Using the touch controls on an iPhone 6 Plus and even an older iPad, I was able to pinch and zoom, rotate, and scroll through menus with ease.
The gameplay is a mix of Civilization-influenced strategy planning and console-style fighting. In particular, a core layer of the game involves staffing your underground base with scientists and engineers who can research weapons, armor, and new ways to kill aliens.
There are also a number of new abilities and upgrades to unlock, such as genetic enhancements that make soldiers stronger, and the ability to deploy mechanized exoskeleton cybersuits. Soldiers are able to use sniper rifles, melee weapons, and heavy guns, as well as control drones.
One of the biggest changes to the mobile version of XCOM: Enemy Within is that it no longer features permadeath. In the PC version, it’s a little annoying that your soldiers are all killed if you fail to outflank an enemy on your first mission, but that’s not the case on the mobile version, which retains Iron Man Mode and higher difficulty settings.
While the game’s core story remains unchanged, the game’s map selection has been expanded. There are a number of different locations to fight on, and the addition of two new alien types means there’s more variety in your missions than ever before.
XCOM: Enemy Within on iphone is an excellent paramilitary sci-fi title that’s sure to appeal to a broad audience with strategy leanings. It has some minor graphics and control issues, but its tactical and challenging gameplay makes it one of the best titles in the genre.