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Could XCOM: Enemy Within be the sequel of XCOM: Enemy Unknown? The title was mentioned in new listings by the Game Rating Board of South Korea.
In Enemy Unknown, players led a mysterious agency that defended the Earth against extraterrestrials. They researched technology, scrambled fighters to intercept UFO's, and sent in shock troops to fend off ground invasions. The player directed these troops in turn-based battles.
According to the Game Rating Board listings, Enemy Within is a "strategy simulation." It's probably similar to Enemy Unknown, then, rather than a shooter spin-off. Thank God for that.
"We're looking forward to making an announcement on August 21," a spokesperson for publisher 2K Games told Digital Spy. August 21st is the first day of Gamescom.
XCOM developer Firaxis Games hinted at PAX East 2013 that a sequel was in the works. They released a short teaser trailer in which the shadowy councilman from Enemy Unknown detailed a new mission.
"Hello Commander," said the councilman. "The war continues, at great cost. We now believe another force has [static] against us, if not dealt with swiftly, they could destroy us. What we're about to tell you cannot be repeated. Even now, enemy agents could be ..."
Some fans believed that this trailer indicated the next game is based on X-COM: Terror from the Deep. Terror, released back in 1995, introduced a new alien threat. These invaders came from the ocean rather than the stars, leading players to develop new aquatic technology to combat them. Enemy Within could be a remake of Terror, just as Enemy Unknown was a remake of predecessor X-COM: UFO Defense.
I'm curious to see how Firaxis would handle a remake of Terror from the Deep. Enemy Unknown designer Jake Solomon didn't seem all that enthusiastic about the original game in an interview published last year.
"They did all kinds of interesting things with, maybe not Terror From The Deep, except made it brutally harder and made the cruise ships four times longer than any human could realistically make," Solomon said at the time.
Solomon's criticisms mirror what reviews said about Terror: it had the same formula as the first XCOM except it was harder. It's good that Solomon sees some flaws in Terror. That means we can expect Firaxis to make some meaningful changes to the game's formula to ensure that it's a dramatic step forward for the series, rather than an underwater rehash. This is all assuming, of course, that Enemy Within is actually a remake of Terror.
The Game Rating Board lists the game for release on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. Current-gen console development suggests that this game will be released soon-ish. It's a bit too late to announce a fall 2013 launch but perhaps we can expect Enemy Within sometime in 2014.