Enemy Within Playthrough Thoughts (Spoilers)


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#1 Pete

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 07:34 PM

Hey folks, so as at least one person noticed on Steam, I've been getting in a few hours of Enemy Within. I purchased it sometime early last week (I think - time flies!) and am nearly at the endgame on Classic difficulty, though I will admit to a few restarts on some really painful missions early on - the later game has been somewhat smoother.

So what do I think? Being so close to the end I think I've come across every new Council mission that's been thrown in. I already had the Slingshot DLC, but it was nice to get more missions and maps - a certain French lady led me to a panicked rush across a weakening dam, whilst a later mission freed more of her compatriots, and there were more variations on old mission types to keep it a bit more fresh rather than the vanilla alien-stomping Enemy Unknown.

The assault on my base was very tricky - a couple of security guards and... well... not my pick of soldiers shall we say ;) I thought I'd been given a random Assault Captain for half the mission before realising I'd took armour and weapons off one of my best soldiers whilst she was in hospital and it was actually her in the line of fire! Full credit to the security guards though as they did a good job of finishing off some tough enemies weakened by my crack troops. What was less believeable is that XCOM wouldn't have beefier security guards - 5 health and no armour was laughable, as was them wielding basic rifles! It would have been more believeable if they had had more approprate armour (carapace would have done) and the game could just have ramped up the difficulty accordingly.

EXALT was a bit of a disappointment. Maybe I rid them of their base too soon (I did whittle it down to one final country before assaulting their HQ) but given that they seemed to have a hand in letting the aliens into my base there wasn't really any explanation for that - later on it's shown that they are working against the aliens in at least one or two missions though with their funny glazed over eyes (see Captain Blackfrom Gerry Anderson's Captain Scarlet :)). I honestly thought that it might turn out that they were under the control of Micronoids from X-COM Apocalypse which would fit with them not getting on with this group of aliens, but I guess that not knowing their motives leaves a little room for them to make a comeback in a sequel.

I've yet to find out if the end of the game is any different. Certainly I feel I may be better equipped for all those Ethereals this time around, but I'm dreading the Sectopods as they have just got much harder to kill this time around!

All in all, it's great fun and with the increase in mission frequency it feels more frantic like the original EU. I've not touched all of the new technology (to be honest in the 1994 version I don't use all of the weapons either) but I do have one Mec and a couple of mutants on the team who have their advantages. Now all I need to do is weed out all the psi-weaklings before the final assault on the temple ship! :)
May your terror missions always be infested with Chrysalids.

#2 silencer_pl

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 08:44 PM

I am pretty disappointed about the Exalt too. I am pre alien base assault (early April), and I just simply do intel send operative and that's it. Hope that destroying their cells won't discourage them to do some nasty things.

How did you coped in the Infested whaler :D. I was like wtf, I have 4 man squad and half my best units were wounded. I was just like wtf they are spawning way too much. I mean I kill some and there come just more, but managed to get away without any loses I guess thanks to some weird chrysalid movement.

I am also disappointed about inventory management. They gave plenty new toys, but still they give 1 room and to boot even the support has lost additional slot. So instead of using all those handy dandy new toys I am still keeping myself to S.C.O.P's Arc Throwers  and medkits.

And about the meld. Can't say anything about it - from the description it sounds nice, but you don't have the time to invest in it. Playing on Classic or Impossible, you just simple need fast firepower and satellite coverage, that means all your money mostly goes to Satelite Uplinks + satelites and fast rush towards lasers. If you are starting in south america you can go fast for arc thrower and capture a sectoid to have lasers on first terror mission. And not having those at that point is asking for serious hurting.
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#3 silencer_pl

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 10:20 PM

Ok, scratch that inventory - it was moved to Foundry project and it looks like all soldiers will have double pockets.
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#4 Space Voyager

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 12:49 PM

I... need... 75%... OFF!

#5 silencer_pl

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 11:51 PM

http://allegro.pl/xc...3814415865.html
That's something 14 EUR Posted Image 6 EUR cheaper than on steam Posted Image
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#6 Pete

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 12:06 PM

Hehe, I was going to say there's more space in your inventory with a foundry project or something and it really helps given all the new toys!

A few of the Meld things are really handy - two hearts (so you can't get killed outright!) and jumping up terrain/buildings without using ladders is useful too, as is the 20 psi defence and what sounds like immunity to mind control. The Ethereal missions are bad enough as it is, but when Sectopods are about as well you can only shoot one before the other ruins your day! Posted Image

I'd forgotten about the whaling station mission - loved that Posted Image The race to the bridge at the end was fun - 5-man fire team covering the whale whilst one brave soldier sprinted in, then a mad rush back to the extraction point which involved half my squad taking turns to cover the other half during the retreat. The thing to remember is the Chrysalids have the same movement restriction you do in that if you can stay out of range of their first move, they must use their second move to get closer so running fast is a viable option... until you have to turn around and take a few out to keep some distance! I loved it, but like quite a few missions it was just not believable that the XCOM Commander can see his troops but that the fighter jets need a beacon switching on to destroy the area - it does make it interesting, but there are a few jarring points in the game where you scratch your head and say "WTF would I have to do that for with all this technology?" Posted Image I think an interesting thing to do there might have been for it to be a dead-man switch and you have to leave one man behind, locked on the bridge with X turns before Chrysalids batter down the door and the same amount of time to get back to the Skyranger for the rest of your troops.

So to sum up the new enemies, Sectopods are more lethal, Mectoids are just amusing (their aim seems to be a bit crap) though they can cause trouble if another Sectoid gives them shields and Exalt are no more than a nuisance at best. It's still really fun though!
May your terror missions always be infested with Chrysalids.

#7 silencer_pl

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 07:01 PM

Well I only had 4 men during the whaler and with laser weapons it takes 2 shots to kill a chrysalid Posted Image And with the every turn spawn of 3 it was very brutal.

On the Gene mods I prefer the other mod instead of double heart. I never had the situation that I've put my soldiers directly into harms ways. There is always those stupid Thin man with incredible luck or something - hitting high cover soldier on upper floor through the whole screen.

On the brain mod I always take the second. The one you mentioned provides immunity to mind control but leaves your soldier stunned. The other is far better as mind controlling deals 10 damage to alien and before you finish your turn you mostly wounded Etheral / Sectoid Commander enough to let him die trying MC you, and you don't lose soldier. Even if you don't manage to wound to MC'er it will be easier now.

Also the Mectoids looks very similar to Sectopods from The Bureau Posted Image Strangely theye were Sectopods there in the first place since the original were autonomons (or whatever you called them) and the ones in The Bureau were controlled by Sectoids.

I am also betting that the change to current Sectopods were something like this:

-Hey Jake - we should do something about Sectopods. I have idea - let's nerf the heavy and buff the Sectopd.
- Splendid (said Jake).

I don't know - that made Heavy even more useless for me in the late game.  I can still mass assault the sectopod with Alloy Cannon and rip to shreds. Even better if my sniper has a line of sight. Though that 50% damage reduction now makes him little tough.
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#8 Pete

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 10:00 PM

Heavy for me works much better at near point blank range, but it's getting him there that takes the effort since he's not got the distance of the Support guys. I balanced it out by giving them scopes instead of other options so they can be reasonably devastating again - 15 damage with criticals is happening more now :)
May your terror missions always be infested with Chrysalids.

#9 silencer_pl

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 11:16 PM

With Assaults I get 17-18 critical (not on sectopods of course :P )
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#10 Hobbes

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 02:33 PM

I will just say this: Training Roulette. :)
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#11 NKF

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 09:29 PM

As per usual, I've been consciously avoiding any literature and Youtube videos pertaining to EW until I pick up a copy of my own, However I am not entirely in the dark thanks to the updates on Ufopaedia.org and this honestly doesn't sound or feel like Enemy Unknown anymore, but a quasi meld of EU with Apocalpse's androids.

Not a bad thing, of course, as I have a soft spot for the Apocalypse androids. However it does form quite a considerable chasm between the reboot canon and the original canon. Also it suggest that one of Dr. Shen's fears in the original game when he relates to you after you do the Floater autopsy has come true.

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#12 Pete

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 10:47 PM

I did feel a little awkward ripping the arms and legs off a perfectly good soldier to turn them into a Mec trooper (there's not that much dialogue from the background characters to suggest it's even a line being crossed - you'd think it would be a bigger dilemma!).

I could take or leave Mec troopers. Their benefits are outweighed early on by the fact that they can't take cover, so in the early armour against Thin Men (or most aliens actually) you may as well not bother - on Classic difficulty at least.

When I got going with the slightly harder gameplay, I found that I didn't bother mutilating/gene-splicing any of my men until much later in the game - you can still choose any path you wish. What I possibly would have liked instead was for it to become much harder if you don't have a Mec or mutant on your team, but make the mutant soldiers a bit weaker to offset their new abilities. I could honestly take or leave Mecs - there are better standard soldier classes in my opinion, but it's nice to have one for completeness.

Oddly though, whilst playing, it didn't really make it feel that much less like the vanilla Enemy Unknown - you'll spend more of your time going "ooooh" and "aaaah" at the added mission and map variety, both UFO/abduction etc sites and Council missions - they make it so much less repetitive if you're taking your time on a playthrough :)

I think that there are a few elements that tie it to other games in the series now - there's a port mission (hat-tip references to TFTD in the dialogue), base defence which brings it back to the original two games and EXALT just remind me of the Cult of Sirius from Apocalypse. If anything, it feels more X-COM due to some of the changes - I guess you could say at a stretch that the Mec trooper is a nod to Enforcer, but I reckon the devs would emphatically deny that one - besides, they're not that durable and their upgrades don't include nukes :D
May your terror missions always be infested with Chrysalids.

#13 NKF

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 11:07 PM

The variety is definitely welcome and the subtle nod at other games does help. I suppose I would've been more comfortable if they spent more time expanding and improving on the HWPs and left the MEC's for a future Apocalypse-y game. :D

Did they add anything to the ending? Any expansion of the rather abrupt ending?

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#14 silencer_pl

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 07:16 AM

Nope.
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#15 Hobbes

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 10:15 AM

View PostPete, on 29 December 2013 - 10:47 PM, said:

I did feel a little awkward ripping the arms and legs off a perfectly good soldier to turn them into a Mec trooper (there's not that much dialogue from the background characters to suggest it's even a line being crossed - you'd think it would be a bigger dilemma!)

I've stopped using MEC Troopers in my Impossible games and I only use Gene Mods later on the game when I've got my final squad completed. You don't need to use Meld to win the game.
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#16 silencer_pl

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 04:07 PM

I only hate MEC Troopers because of their very very very bad accuracy. Even on colonel level with top notch aim skill you still need to be few blocks away from the enemy to have a decent chance of hitting. Now Gene Moded Assault is like a cherry on the cake. And if he is gifted than it's like a whipped cream :P

But it is always so amusing to punch Berserker in the face :) I didn't see MEC vs Sectopod but from what I have read it must be funny too.
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