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Review: XCOM Enemy Within is a must-have for fans of the series

Review: XCOM Enemy Within is a must-have for fans of the series

Every year, citizens wonder where their tax dollars go. They found out that when the Aliens touched down in March of 2017, XCOM was there to pick up the pieces.  

The call came suddenly; Paris had been invaded. XCOM would mobilize what few soldiers were in the barracks, but even on short notice, rest assured – these men and women were still the best of the best.
 
In the back of the Skyranger, the most technologically advanced military transporter in the world, Captain Dave Walsh Polished his sniper rifle methodically as Sargent Gary LaPlante chewed on a cheeseburger. Lieutenant Jonesy slipped on his nanoweave armor.
 
“Where’d you get the burger?” Lieutenant Jonesy nodded towards Gary. 
 
 “From my pocket,” Gary said with greasy lips. 
 
“Let’s get this show on the road!” It was Corporal Zeus, donned in purple armor and a helmet that made him look like Galactus clunking up the ramp.
 
“We’re waiting for one more,” Walsh stated, watching Gary chew the burger like a cow chewing cud. 
 
“Who?”
 
“Kimbo Slice,” Walsh sniffed. 
As if on cue, Kimbo Slice turned the corner and jogged up the Skyranger ramp. “Hi guys.” 
 
Walsh punched the ramp’s button, and they ascended into the sky, Paris-bound.
 
Thirteen hours later, the mission was over, Kimbo Slice was gravely wounded and Zeus was dead. However, new soldiers from all over the world would join the cause, and with each mission, more countries would pledge their resources and brightest minds to XCOM. Russia would send Ted Malakhov and Fedor. From the USA, Nick Robertson and Gina Carano would donate their services, and Minnesota would give XCOM Adrian Peterson. 
 
Many would fall guarding their home planet, but with each mission, XCOM would gather alien technology which the human race would use to fight back this menace. Through careful dissection of each alien life form, XCOM would be able to yield armor and equipment that would change not only the course of the war, but humankind forever… If they got out of this invasion alive. Even after scavenging downed UFOs and stealing transmissions from the invaders, no discovery was more important than MELD.
 
Discovered by Private Gina Carano, MELD was a rare, orange substance that could be used in both genetic modification and give the ability to actually bond machinery to a living organism. Soldiers who were once just naturally talented or expertly-trained could enhance their abilities to the Nth degree. Captain David Walsh was one of the first genetically-modified soldiers for XCOM. 
 
Inside the genetics lab, Walsh would spend a few days in stasis. Using MELD, he was be able to add a health regenerating mod, the ability to see farther and be more accurate as well as the ability to blend into his environment. Yes, this cost some cash, but it was well worth it.
 
Gary, after finding out the love of his life had been brutally murdered at the hands of an ET, decided to have his head removed and placed onto a cyborg body. Yes, basically Robocop, and yes, Gary outfitted his MEC with rocket launchers, flamethrowers and healing mists. This was the natural progression of upping the ante for the war, as going up against mechanized aliens in the field had become more and more common. Using MELD, XCOM turned a corner in the battle against the extraterrestrials, but little did XCOM know that there were traitors in their midst.
 
 
 
Seeing profit and technological advantages over their fellow humans, EXALT, a band of human outsiders, would terrorize XCOM in order to take the alien technology for themselves. The only way to find the traitors would be to weed out each country that could be harboring them. Stealth would be required. Stealth, and Kimbo Slice. 
 
Sent behind enemy lines, Kimbo Slice’s mission in June of 2017 was to hack the EXALT information nodes. Donned in a leather jacket and cool pants, he called for extraction. Lieutenant Jonesy would get the call.
 
“This is Kimbo Slice, I need an extraction, I’ve got the files and I see EXALT forces everywhere. The enemy is right outside as well as my inner me.”
 
“Word. We’ll get you out of there, Kimbo,” Jonesy would make a circling motion with his finger in the air and whistle. “Let’s go people! Kimbo Slice is requesting immediate evac from Brisbane, Australia.” 
 
“Put another shrimp on the barbecue, in my opinion!” Robot Gary would shout with a digital voicebox. Everyone would laugh heartily.
 
The Skyranger would again lift into the night sky and towards certain death. Robot Gary, Dave Walsh, Jonesy, Adrian Peterson and Nick Robertson had looked death in the eye more than once at this point, it was nothing new. But still, they were quiet on the ride.
 
Extracting Kimbo would be no easy feat. The EXALT forces had just about the same technology as XCOM; they were also experimenting with genetic alterations and they were snappy dressers to boot. The EXALT forces were also highly-trained and had resources the were seemingly bottomless. Just when you thought you cleaned an EXALT squad, six more or their men would drop from phantom helicopters like a nightmare.
 
 
The Skyranger ramp lowered to a barren street in downtown Brisbane. The sun was going down, and had it not been for the general ominousness hanging over what could be the EXALT headquarters, Adrian Peterson thought he would visit Brisbane once this whole alien thing blew over. Maybe fly his offensive lineman out for a weekend as a gift. He wanted to get back to football again.
 
That was the last thing Adrian Peterson ever thought. An EXALT laser would fly right through his brain, killing him instantly. 
 
“Purple Jesus noooooooooo!” Gary would cry, opening fire with his rocket-propelled grenades from his fully-upgraded MEC suit. “2,000 yards!!!” Gary’s cries would merge with the chattering of his chain gun. 
 
“Cease fire!” Jonesy shouted.
 
“No, no,” Gary sobbed mechanically. “He was so good. If only he had been on a different team.”
 
“You can’t blame him for being a company man,” Jonesy consoled Gary.
 
“Christian Ponder sucks so much,” Gary replied.
 
“I know,” Jonesy said simply, then touched Gary’s gigantic mechanical arm. Walsh and Nick Robertson looked on solemnly. 
 
Kimbo’s voice on the radio cut through the saddened air. “Yo, this is Kimbo, where you guys at?” 
 
“We’re on our way. Approximately two blocks away,” Walsh said.
 
“Cool, I’m on the rooftops in my stylish jacket, I’ve bypassed the mainframes and hacked the EXALT communication nodes.” 
 
“Good job, Kimbo,” Walsh noted. 
 
“Thanks, but I see plenty of EXALT forces that I’m going to have to get past.”
 
“Kimbo, this is Jonesy. That’s a negative, we’re going to work our way to you, then we’re all getting out of here – together.”
 
“I’m glad I picked you to be the best man at my wedding, Jonesy,” Kimbo said. It made the group feel uncomfortable and happy for Jonesy at the same time. 
 
Walsh broke the silence, “Let’s move. I will get to the rooftops and cover you from there. Jonesy takes point with his laser shotgun through the building while Gary heads straight down the street.” 
 
The team moved to their positions.
 
“I’ve got three bogeys right on the other side of the door in front of you, Jonesy,” Kimbo said. 
 
“Word. Moving in.” Jonesy and Nick looked at each other then, silently counted down 3, 2, 1. At first Nick felt nothing, he leveled his laser rifle and blasted two EXALT soldiers across the street. Then he felt a burn. Like he ate something spicy. 
 
“Nick?” Jonesy moved towards his squadmate. Nick Robertson didn’t know what was wrong at first. Why was Jonesy looking at him like that? Then Nick went to scratch his stomach. 
 
But it was gone.
 
Nick reached right into his intestines. “Shit.” He said, then collapsed. 
 
Jonesy ran towards Nick’s fallen body, but then dashed into a safe corner as EXALT choppers dropped off more EXALT troops. “You’ve got to be kidding me. Kimbo, this is Jonesy. I’m right across the street. Make your move before they see you” Jonesy fumbled for his medikit.
 
“I read you Jonesy, and I see you. I’ll drop some smoke. Can you cover my ass?”
 
“Word. Walsh?”
 
“Oh I got you. Can you stabilize Nick?” Walsh asked while lining up the EXALT troops in his sights. 
 
Jonesy sprayed a medikit all over the spilled guts of Nick. “I’m going to try to keep him stabilized. Kimbo, let’s move. Gary, why don’t you pay these bastards back for Adrian.”
 
Gary may have been 85% robot, but his iron heart broke at the thought of riding back in the Skyranger with Adrian Peterson’s lifeless body, slumped over in his purple armor. 
 
“Yeah. I got this.” 
 
There was nothing the three EXALT soldiers could really do. Gary, in his upgraded MEC suit would rush forward and punch the stationary vehicle, exploding it and blowing the traitors apart like water balloons.
 
“That was for Adrian.” Looking at the mass of flesh that was three men, Gary would cry a single tear, something thought impossible of a MEC unit. How many more would die?
 
 Walsh would see this through the scope of his sniper rifle. “Fascinating.”
 
Kimbo made his way to Nick and Jonesy, lifting the injured squadmate up and over his shoulder as Jonesy pulled out his laser shotgun. “Time to pay some of these bitches back.”
 
“Don’t get killed, Jonesy,” Kimbo said.
 
“Haha, you know me, I’m a wildcard.” Jonesy winked.
 
Kimbo would laugh, then be sprayed by gore and chunks of flesh that used to be Jonesy’s head. An EXALT sniper down the street reloaded.
 
“No!” Kimbo Slice screamed at the death of his best man. Then, carrying Nick’s increasingly lifeless body on his shoulder, Kimbo picked up Jonesy’s laser rifle and open fired, killing no less than 5 EXALT soldiers in a shower of laser shots. 
 
Gary, seeing Jonesy down, joined in – emptying every ounce of fuel from his flamethrower he had onto the ever -growing EXALT forces surrounding their shrinking team. 
 
“Gary! Left!” Walsh screamed.
 
 
A member of EXALT leveled their rocket launcher and unleashed a round point blank at Gary. Walsh watched the trail of smoke behind the rocket grow right into the right side of his robot friend, stunned. In a great flash, Gary disappeared for a moment, then like a Vegas performer, reappeared, kneeling down. Walsh quickly put a round through the shooter’s skull before he could fire upon Gary again.
 
Gary coughed. “Ugh… Is that all you’ve…” The second rocket hit, removing Gary’s legs from his torso. 
 
“Shit,” Walsh didn’t see the second man, but he did now. His rocket launcher still smoking, fixated on the downed MEC. Walsh quickly ended another life.
 
“Gary, come in.” No response. “Gary.”
 
“Walsh, this is Kimbo, I’m at the extraction point with Nick, he’s in trouble. This medkit isn’t going to last forever. You may only have a couple turns left until he bleeds out.”
 
“But Gary!” 
 
“He’s gone!”
 
Robot Gary… Gary, laid there. Still. Walsh climbed down from the rooftop and looked at Kimbo, waiting at the Skyranger. 
 
“We need to go!” Kimbo Slice urged Walsh.
 
“I need to do one thing.” Walsh walked up to what was left of Gary, kneeled down and whispered “Goodnight my Prince.” Then kissed his friend on the forehead.
 
It was time to go home.
 
Upon arrival XCOM saw fit to decorate Walsh and Kimbo Slice with medals to honor their good work and bravery. With these medals came perks, adding to their already formidable skills. 
 
Over the span of a few more months, the war would burn on with peaks and valleys for humankind. Eventually, though it was almost unfairly difficult especially with a single save file, XCOM would eradicate the alien presence and destroy EXALT.
 
Walsh would retire and leave the military after it was all over, but Kimbo, he was loved every second with these guys. Once the final alien was killed and the last EXALT troop taken into custody, newly-appointed Colonel Kimbo Slice would address the XCOM squad under his command at the base.
 
“Well troops, that was really fun. Even though a lot of my friends died, the variety of environments that I visited were far more varied in previous wars I’ve taken part in, and the ability to give your soldiers medals as well as genetic or mechanical upgrades really makes me feel closer to you guys, and in general gave me a wealth of options in my units that I haven’t had previously.”
 
“Thanks, Colonel Kimbo.” “Yeah!” “We love you!”
 
Kimbo Slice continued on: “I have to say though, I feel like too many times during this war, I had someone dead for rights, and even though my holo-targeting system said I had a high-percentage shot on them, it would still miss. But beyond those points, I would have to say that this is the definitive XCOM experience.”
 
“Well, yeah. Huh?” Gina Carano would say, chewing his gum.
 
“I think we can all agree here that we’re addicted to the XCOM experience.”
 
“I don’t know about that, I lost about 3 family members to the aliens,” Gina Carano replied.
 
“But you have to admit it’s worth your $30.=,” Colonel Kimbo Slice said to Gina. 
“Yeah, you’re right. This has all been worth $30.”
 
“Hell yeah,” Kimbo said. “XCOM: Inner Me… Within. No, Enemy Within.
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