XCOM: Enemy Unknown's First DLC Takes The Alien Fight To China

XCOM: Enemy Unknown is getting something new with its Slingshot DLC: a self-contained story. Players tend to create a number of their own stories in XCOM, through customising their squads and telling stories about what happens to them as they undertake missions.

The Slingshot DLC is a little different: it comes with a specific background, a specific look, and a specific story to tell.

The Slingshot content adds an arc of missions to XCOM, XCOM lead designer Garth DeAngelis and lead DLC designer Ananda Gupta explained in a call. Players receive the new assignment from the Council. In a set of three linked missions, players move through a mini storyline taking place on new maps with new gameplay. The Slingshot DLC also adds a new, unique squad member, with a different backstory, voice, and customisation options. After completing the DLC, players can take their rewards and new squad member back into the "core" game.

"We're trying to take the concept of the funding council a little further," Gupta explained. "In XCOM, we're not heavy-handed with the story," he added. "We're a strategy game, we like the players to sort of dictate that themselves." The idea, then, is that players can jump into this story, experience it briefly, and then return to XCOM as usual.

"I'm a huge fan of the emergent narrative aspect of [XCOM]," DeAngelis added, "but this really gives you more of the designed narrative, and you get a specific character as a result of completing these three missions."

A second piece of DLC will follow in the same "story within a story" style, but there is as yet no comment on what that DLC might be or when players might expect to see it.

2K Games has not yet announced either the price or the release date for the Slingshot DLC.

Players can, however, now purchase the "Elite Soldier Pack" on all platforms. The Elite pack was included as a pre-order bonus with XCOM, includes the "classic" looking soldier (with a well-known hairstyle) and allows players to decorate and dye soldiers' armour. The Elite pack runs for 400 Microsoft points (360) or $US4.99 (PC/PS3).


    I wonder if it will add normal sized males as an option for your squad members.

      Forget my comment below, I'd be happy with this...

    That sounds like a bad idea... It would have been better if they'd added a set of branches for the Invasion to take. So maybe instead of finding the Alien Base underground, it could have been on the Moon, and you get to build an XCOM base up there, etc. New "sidegrade" set of weapons and armour would have been cool, too. Or instead of psi-ops to get psionic troops, add an augmentation bay to give us cyborgs.

    tl;dr - More option for emergent narrative is the obvious path for DLC, not hermetically sealed story missions.

      @Fenixius Those are good ideas as well, I think with XCOM that there is so much you could do with DLC.

      I am very happy with this Slingshot idea though, it's a good idea. I hope the DLC for XBOX keeps coming along steadily for XCOM:EU as I'm not a PC gamer and I'm always a little jealous of the modding community.

    Wouldn't mind them doing one for each of the places you can drop a satellite over.

    One of the most disappointing things for me in regards to the maps is that they contain no landmarks or truly regional looking artwork.. I know this is to make it more random and replayable.. but maybe through these mini DLCs, they can do that..

    Is that screenshot from the DLC? Because if so, it might expand upon something from the original ('94) game that always intrigued me: there was a very small chance every month that "X-Com Agents" would discover the location of an alien base, which to me implied that there was a whole intelligene division of X-Com that we never saw onscreen.

    Yeah, I'd like to see things balanced up with cosmetic options for giant 'roid-raging amazonian women and normal-sized men.

    Also, not smashing random windows to take a shot in a different direction and busting down doors that are already open.... not stepping past an alien and firing a winning shot into the air behind it.. oh hell, there's no profit in fixing any of that. Can't imagine what I was thinking.

    I wish they would focus on fixing bugs and glitches before releasing new content to buy. Fk the gameing industry is going downhill fast.

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