A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that XCOM: Enemy Within is a strategy game filled with graphic violence, blood, and gore. It earns its Mature rating by the Entertainment Software Rating Board. Players use a number of weapons -- including guns and grenades -- to kill enemy soldiers and aliens and will see a lot of death. The strategy game also has strong profanity and supports unmonitored voice chat.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Developed by Firaxis Games and published by 2K Games, XCOM: ENEMY WITHIN is an expansion pack that requires last year's XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Like the full game, Enemy Within is a turn-based strategy game that tells of an alien invasion on Earth, and you're tasked with commanding a number of soldiers to take out the intergalactic threat. Playing from an angled, top-down perspective, you'll take turns with the enemies, on various maps, to destroy them one by one. This expansion disc adds new operative abilities to fight two new aliens (Mechtoid and the Seeker) and an underground human organization hoping to gain control of Earth, too. XCOM: Enemy Within also includes a large number of new solo and multiplayer maps (almost 50 percent more than last year's game) along with new weapons and upgrades.
Is it any good?
If you liked last year's XCOM: Enemy Unknown you'll love XCOM: Enemy Within. Along with 40 more (and better) maps, there's the new enemy faction (rebel humans called the EXALT), which spices things up, along with new weapons, an alien resource ("Meld"), and new soldier abilities: "gene mods" (so you can genetically enhance your troops into super soldiers) and MECs (Mechanized Exoskeletal Cybersuits, each with weapons including a flamethrower). Although it would've been nicer if it were cheaper than $40 (or $30 for PC), this expansion does exactly what a good add-on should: deliver a ton of new content and refinements over the original game. Note: All three versions of the game are the same.
Talk to your kids about ...
Expansion discs that require a game to work aren't as popular as they once were -- now, it's usually a digital download as "DLC" (downloadable content), if anything -- so do gamers still want a game like this one? A way to get more content without paying for a whole new game? Or should it be free?
What do you think the impact of violence is on players?
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
- Subjects: Social Studies: citizenship
Language & Reading: following directions, reading
- Skills: Self-Direction: goal-setting, time management, work to achieve goals
Thinking & Reasoning: decision-making, strategy, thinking critically
- Price: $29.99 (PC), $39.99 (consoles)
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: 2K Games
- Release date: November 12, 2013
- Genre: Strategy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Science and Nature, Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Strong Language, Violence
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.