Although the Big Two have claimed the lion’s share of Gamescom coverage, 2K and Firaxis Games have taken the opportunity to announce the release this November of the long-rumoured expansion to last year’s excellent XCOM: Enemy Unknown.

MECvsMectoid_Keyart_2-noscaleTitled XCOM: Enemy Within, the expansion acts in much the same way as the Gods & Kings and Brave New World add-ons for Civilization 5 in that it adds a raft of new material to enhance the original game. While it does not provide any new campaigns, it brings a ton to XCOM as we know it, including:

  • New weapons and equipment to research and build;
  • A new alien resource called Meld;
  • New maps, enemies and tactical challenges;
  • New soldier abilities, arising from an unnamed new alien technology;
  • A Genetics Lab, which allows you to build gene mods to make your soldiers that bit extra super;
  • A Cybernetics Lab, which allows the building of Mechanized Exoskeletal Cybersuits… You know, MECHS!

It warms the heart to have seen Firaxis continue to give us proper, old-fashioned expansion packs, and a lot of XCOM fans have been hoping for something like this since last year. XCOM: Enemy Within will be available for PC/Mac, while Xbox 360 and PS3 are getting a ‘Commander Edition’ that also includes the Elite Soldier Pack and Slingshot DLC previously released for the home computers.

Enemy Within is being released in North America on November 12th and internationally on November 15th. Looks like none of us are going outside at any point that month.