Having finished XCOM: Enemy Within, I’m a bit torn on exactly what I think of it.
On the one hand, the additions do spice up the standard campaign, making what was already a solid game all around better.
On the other, it’s still 85% the same campaign, especially towards the end, and at a price of around $30, shouldn’t we be getting something a bit more meaty?
Some other nitpicks:
The biggest issue I had with the original, the satellite system, remains unchanged here, so you are still left with two options; either you play smart and rush satellites, skipping a lot of early-game options and making things difficult short-term for long-term gain, or you ‘play for fun’, mix other upgrades with satellites, and long-term end up with a few countries leaving the project and having a weaker ‘end-game’. I’d much rather just get evaluated on actual mission performance, and have that be the basis for funding/bonuses.
In terms of overall difficulty, Enemy Within is overall easier than the original. You have more options and upgrades which increase your power, while only one serious new enemy is added (the alien mec), and even they aren’t all that difficult once you hit plasma. Exalt missions are fun, but overall a cakewalk once you get some basic upgrades.
Speaking of Exalt, I wish this expansion did more with them. Their base is extremely cool, but you fight in it once. Same with fighting in your base; one-off event. How cool would it have been to play as Exalt, trying to thwart XCOM while also dealing with the aliens? That would have easily justified $30.
So yea, if you loved XCOM and your gaming budged isn’t too thin, you could do a lot worse with $30. If you are pressed for cash, or aren’t dying to play XCOM again, wait for a sale.