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Published on November 30th, 2012 | by Francois Chang


New XCOM Slingshot DLC promises more death – Yay! Hands-on Preview

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XCOM Slingshot

Thanks to XCOM: Enemy Unknown, gamers have become accustomed to reveling in the masochistic ecstasy of watching their soldiers die – over and over. The alien invasion strategy game forced players to make difficult decisions, which often involved sacrificing their best soldiers.

Now, XCOM is getting its first DLC pack since its release nearly two months ago. Entitled Slingshot, the DLC pack will come with 3 new missions: Friends in Low Places, Confounding Light and Gangplank.

Didn’t beat the game? Don’t worry. Firaxis was kind enough to let players indulge in the deaths of more troops without needing to beat the game (but shame on you anyway if you didn’t finish it). Gamers will also get a few new hair styles (new helmets and wooly hats) customize their team. However, there won’t be any core changes to your base.

Word comes in from command – you’ve got a new mission, overseas. Friends in Low Places and Confounding Light will take place in China, with aesthetics and environments tailored to look as though you’re battling in areas of said country. Firaxis modeled train stations and other picturesque locals after actual places in China. It makes these maps stand out a little more from those we encountered in the retail game. While the map layouts changed in the retail release, regional differentiation between countries was slim. Alien attacks in Asia often looked the same as attacks in Africa or Europe.

EDITOR’S PICK: XCOM is a soldier’s tale, where dying is a good thing

XCOM Slingshot

Friends in Low Places is an escort mission that will require players to protect VIP and Triad Operative, Zhang. Gamers will get to maneuver through a cemetery, using tombstones as their primary cover option. Afterward, Zhang will join the XCOM team as a heavy class character with above average stats. Sorry folks, Zhang isn’t one of those delightful Assault Class characters who get the job done – quick and dirty – with the coveted shotgun.

Confounding Light takes place in a Chinese subway station and is a timed, bomb squad type mission. Your best strategy here is to weave through the train station, finding cover behind benches and in the tracks. The things you do to save the world. Nothing is worse that getting caught by one of those pesky Outsiders or a Cyberdisc unaware. On this map, I found the giant air conditioners on top of the train cars to be a good place to position my snipers. It worked – sometimes.

Lastly, on Gangplank, gamers board the UFO hovering over Asia. It’s your final showdown against the aliens (until the next DLC) as you destroy various tactical points to save the day. This will prove to be the most challenging of the 3 missions. Did you assemble the right team? Did you pick your upgrades wisely? Did Zhang survive? Gangplank will test your team’s durability as you fight to take over the massive alien ship.

The Slingshot Content Pack will be available on December 4th, 2012 for $6.99 (PSN) / 560 Microsoft Points (Xbox Live) / $6.99 (PC). Time to carve out some more space on the Memorial wall. Yay.

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