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XCOM: Enemy Unknown Slingshot Content Pack DLC Released

By on December 4th, 2012 2:25 pm

XCOM: Enemy Unknown - Slingshot Content Pack DLC

2K Games and Firaxis Games have just released Slingshot, the first of two planned content add-ons for XCOM: Enemy Unknown. This content DLC is now available for the PC, XBox 360 and PS3. For the PC you can get it on GamersGate, GreenManGaming or Steam for $6.99/€6.49. (Note: GG and GMG also give you a Steam key).

Slingshot brings the following new content:

  • 3 new council missions, and corresponding new maps tied to those council missions. Divert an alien ship’s course, and do battle in the skies over China (the maps are regional based, so, expect to find a real location feeling);
  • A new playable squad character with a unique story and voice;
  • New character customization options;
  • Missions successful completion unlocks an existing technology only available later in the game.

Having new maps is surely a nice addition, since map variety was a lacking aspect of XCOM:EU. Pity that the maps aren’t many and that they seem to be locked to the also new council missions. The new character customization options also sound nice.

All in all this first content DLC sounds like a few extra bits of fun, quite interesting if you were already thinking in giving XCOM:EU another go. However, I’m still hopeful to see more patches come out as well, as there are still some shortcomings that lack a fix, like the nasty “alien teleportation” issue, where aliens just “appear” from thin air, and already activated. This is especially nasty if you’re playing Ironman games.

Hope they roll in a patch today or in the next couple of days to go along with the DLC. But, so far, no word on that.

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  1. Happy Corner says:

    I very much enjoyed the new XCOM (while still eagerly waiting for Xenonauts to finally be done), but what I REALLY want to see in a XCOM expansion isn’t new maps.

    It’s a fricking random map generator!

    • Adam Solo says:

      Yes HC, a random map generator would be nice, but then there wouldn’t be DLCs with new maps to sell, right? ;) Besides, there’s this article where Jake talks about why they ditched random maps.

      But, yes, perhaps it’s something they can do in an hypothetical expansion or sequel. I would vote for that.

      • Happy Corner says:

        Oh, I know… without the carrot stick of new maps, they’d have to, I dunno, put some more effort into the DLC or something.

        Thanks for that link, it was interesting reading. Unfortunately, I see the line “To me it was important because when you play the game so much you don’t want the player to have that experience of, like, oh boy, this again.”

        That is EXACTLY how I felt too many times with XCOM’s pool of maps. The UFO maps were particularly lazy – always some wooded area. Do the aliens never fly over farmland, cities, desert, ice fields, or any other terrain? And even with the other missions, 80-100 maps may sound like a lot, but that pool gets divided up among the different mission types, and even in a single playthrough it can repeat itself.

        Don’t get me wrong, like I said I enjoyed the game overall. The map issue was just one of the few areas where it disappointed me.

        I remember once on this site, I pondered whether the new XCOM would be closest to the Pirates remake, Civ 4, or Civ 5 in terms of undying greatness. I think Pirates is the right answer. Both are genuinely good games overall, but have a few aspects that held them back. (Maps and general loss of simulation elements in new XCOM, the dancing and repetitive villains in Pirates…) I can see digging them back out every now and then… but they’re not quite as endlessly replayable as the better Civ games were.

        • Adam Solo says:

          We can’t really compare XCOM to Civ games. 4X games are replayable by nature (or they should be), because they have the sandbox random-map generation feature built-in. No games are ever the same.

          On the other hand, XCOM:EU, and its predecessor, have a central story, so they can’t be as replayable as Civ, almost by definition. So, as you would expect, XCOM offers a more intense experience, and Civ a more “relaxing” and enduring one.

          But, that’s not the same as saying XCOM doesn’t need more replayability as it is now, because it does. It still is a strategy game, so people expect to replay the game to try … different strategies.

          As I said in my review there are two things that hinder replayability in XCOM:EU in my view as of now: Too much scripted feeling AND lack of map variety. A random map generator feature would be much appreciated, as you say. But, probably we’ll only see that in an expansion or perhaps only in a sequel. The other way around on providing more replayability would be to introduce more randomness in the way the aliens act. Have a more unpredictable experience. This would soften the scripted feeling, like the X-COM predecessor did so well.

          And, when/if they activate the second wave options (perhaps in a DLC or expansion) we can also have more replayability due to longer times to research things, more randomness (characters skills and stats), and the other second wave options.

  2. SQW says:

    $7 to replay the worst part of XCOM. =(

    Seriously, the existing scripted events are putting me off from starting another game as it is and this is Firaxis’s plan to lure me back in? Pffft

    Please let this DLC bomb. The infamous horse armour taught Bethesda what not to do with DLC; looks like Firaxis didn’t get the memo.

    • JohnR says:

      By the ‘infamous horse armor bomb’, do mean DLC’s that are minimal and add very little new content? If so, I agree completely. I think Paradox and their gazillion nickle-and-dime DLC’s for Crusader Kings is a case in point. By contrast, I loved the Dawnguard DLC. It added a lot of content and sort of subtly changes the entire fabric of Skyrim.

      Anyway, I’ve been on the fence for a while concerning XCOM, but think I’m going to let this one pass. Another problem I’ve heard is that the normal difficulty is too easy, but the ‘classic’ level is punishingly difficult.

      • Adam Solo says:

        Normal is too easy, I agree. Classic difficulty is fine, and a good sweet spot for a nice challenge. Impossible without loading saves (Ironman ON) is insane.

      • SQW says:

        You have to consider who those people are first. A lot of complaints arise from people who want to treat it as a turn based Gears of War.

        Reading from a lot of ‘Classic is too brutal’ threads on the 2k forum, I can’t help but roll my eyes.

        • Chris says:

          You sound prentenious, the game has some severe imbalanced issues. On higher difficulties the enemy gain unfair advantages, their tactical choices are still questionable which makes it really annoying. Difficulty should not be solely defined by stats but also by the AI which adapst it’s tactics to the player.

          I think a lot of complaints are fairly valid, independant on how you percieve the game. The cover system, line of sight and hit percentages can be quite infuriating and frustrating, independant on what games you have played previously. Besides the game does not really tell you how these mechanics work. Line of Sight seems random, cover system is unreliable and the hit percentages are just confusing.

        • SQW says:

          Took me a few days to learn the cover/LOS mechanics in Xcom and afterwards, I had no problem with it. Just because people have certain expectation for LOS/cover doesn’t mean that’s how the game works.

          The fact that you think cover system is unreliable and hit percentage is confusing shows a lack of attempt to understand the game.

          eg: Basic Sectoid’s accuracy is 70, high cover gives you 40 defense. So the weakest enemy usually have one in three chance (30%) of hitting – in other words, pretty darn likely. Also, hitting F1 can tell you how your own accuracy is broken down so I don’t see the big confusion.

        • SQW says:

          Oh, and yes, sometimes the flanking mechanic does screw up but I’ve encountered it exactly twice in over 100 hrs of play.

        • Adam Solo says:

          What is the “flanking bug”? Does that mean you get no flanking bonuses even when standing next to an alien? One needs to be completely sideways to get the bonus, and sometimes there’s some piece of not-evident cover in between. Can someone explain me the bug?

        • Chris Biot says:

          I played the game on normal, hardcore and attempted it on impossible. I get what you mean by that, but what I mean about the hit percentages is that sometimes the percentage is identical, even if you are further away or at a point where the target is visibly more in cover. The cover and LoS system work on a grid and I read a lot about it and how it works. There is a system behind it and once you understand it is not that bad as people make it out to be.

          My issue is that those mechanics are really unclear to the player, you know there is full cover and medium cover, you know that you can flank someone. But the game never shows you how this exactly works. The player gets frustrated due to the lack of any proper explanation. In the OG games it was much easier to navigate and you knew what kind of cover gave you decent protection or like in Silent Storm.

          Here the actual cover is unreliable in the sense that the enemy gets a bonus on accuracy and simply hits you despite being behind a bus.

        • Chris Biot says:

          Or sometimes the flanking is absoluetly ridiculous. Sometimes you have soldiers that have a full sight on enemies but it still counts as normal cover, even if your soldier could clearly shoot the alien. This happened to me quite a lot.

        • Chris Biot says:

          Also if people adress these valid points, they often get reduced to casuals or console players due to the elitist pc gamers. The LoS, cover system and hit percentages are simply not intuitive and still somewhat flawed if you compare it to other turn based tactical games.

        • Adam Solo says:

          What do you mean with “could clearly shoot the alien”? Angles don’t count. Even if you’re lateral to an alien (in a diagonal to its cover), or even very close to being lateral it still doesn’t count as flanking and the aliens can still get full cover. To flank you need to completely have no cover whatsoever between you and the alien. In other words, you need to be completely lateral to him (>0º and <180º) or getting from behind.

        • SQW says:

          But the grid system is simple. You get flanking bonus if you are behind the enemy; any where within the 180 degree arc in FRONT of the enemy does not count no matter how much it looks like you’ve got a clear shot. If I can explain it in 2 lines, it shouldn’t take someone that long to figure it out.

          @Adam on the flanking bug

          Once my soldier was standing adjacent and behind an sectoid which took cover behind a high wall. It was definitely flanked but the game still gave it high cover bonus. So there’s definitely a bug but happens so rare it’s negligible. A lot of ‘bug’ reports are really just people not getting the cover mechanic.

        • Adam Solo says:

          “Once my soldier was standing adjacent and behind an sectoid which took cover behind a high wall. It was definitely flanked but the game still gave it high cover bonus. So there’s definitely a bug but happens so rare it’s negligible. A lot of ‘bug’ reports are really just people not getting the cover mechanic.”

          Ok, so by your words there’s definitely a bug on flanking, although rare. I also thought there could be some confusion here since I was having the impression that what people were reporting as “flanking bug” was rather not getting how the cover/flanking system works. However, I can understand it may not be that intuitive to some people how it works.

  3. caekdaemon says:

    Am I the only one who expected the new squaddie to be Wei Shen?

  4. Happy Corner says:

    “A new playable squad character with a unique story and voice”.

    On second read, I noticed this. A “unique story”? That raises an eyebrow, given that none of your squad had stories in the first place. What’s that about, anyway? Does this character have their own cutscenes, or are they mandatory for these new council missions, or what?

    Anyone who bought this yet want to chime in?

  5. Towerbooks3192 says:

    Do I have to finish the game to access this one or I could start a new save so I could play this? Didn’t finish Xcom after getting CTDs on the last level. Was also sad when the ethereals mopped the floor with my troops

  6. Harry says:

    Pfft.. I hate the concept of DLCs..

    Make a real expansion pack..
    I would like to have several Bases..

    Lokal Maps.. I mean if alliens attack in India.. The map should look like India.. not like an American Suburban Area…
    And what about all the other Contries..

    And I would like defend operations.. where the aliens attack your base.. If you have an advanced science level, you could be so inteligent that to attack the defending force base is a good idea..

  7. zigzag says:

    The consensus I’ve read elsewhere is that Slingshot doesn’t include enough content to be worth the price. You seemed much more positive about it. Has anyone had a chance to play through it yet?

    • Adam Solo says:

      I haven’t played it, so, I couldn’t know. All I can say at the moment is that the new content is welcome. If it justifies the price or not, that’s something completely different.

  8. Wodzu says:

    I’ve downloaded X-COM demo but turned it off after 30 seconds of playing. Dunno, somehow I didn’t like it:D If I would spend so much on the game as I am spending reading about it I would probably finished it already (if owned) :P

    But a lot of negative comments keeps me away from it.

    • SQW says:

      Care to elaborate on why you didn’t like the demo? XCOM isn’t for everyone of course but it’ll be a shame if you reject this game because of the wrong reasons; it’s a demo of very limited scope after all.

      • Wodzu says:


        I as most of guys here I’ve had very high expectations for this title and I am a big fan of first three parts of the game.

        I’ve downloaded the demo for PS3. And what I saw was:

        – a weak graphics compared to the PC version. I know that PS3 is an old machine but it is a capable of making much better graphics than what I saw(Uncharted, Assasins Creed to name a few titles). What I saw on my screen was a pixelated image which was then blurred.
        – UI, moving cursor with a pad is a lot slower than with mouse.

        I could live with that two things but what I’ve read so far on a forum stops me from further playing:

        – Scripted feeling.
        – No random maps or not enough premade maps.
        – some things are to simplified like damage in range 1-10, covers.

        Bugs that should not happen in such title:
        – alliens apearing from nowhere.
        – unusable SCV or what it is called – this robot (it has been fixed lately?).

        Those are the things from the top of my head :)

        • Adam Solo says:

          PS3, hum? I’ve read other people saying the PS3 version had some problems. Inferior graphics quality and occasional stuttering.

          The other points you mention are setbacks, no doubt, especially the scripted feeling and lack of map variety. The “teleporting” bug is really only a problem if you play Impossible games, where the aliens are more and more aggressive (at least that was my experience).

          The SHIVs were broken at release but thy should be better now with the latest patch, though it’s not all solved I think.

          But, those are THE problems. The rest is a heck of a game. So, I’d say you’re going to miss a hell of a experience, at least in the PC.

        • Wodzu says:

          @Adam obviously you are a fan of the game considering the very high note you gave the game despite its bugs and some shortcomings:)

          But you know, reading about those bugs on space sector site leaves some bad feelings in me. I could expect such bugs in Xenonauts but it should not have place in this title. This is to big studio for making such mistakes especially after 4 years of development. You could expect that after 4 years they were aware that SHIV is unplayable and I think they were. But they decided to ship a buggy game anyway and to fix such major buga after the release. And this leaves a bad taste in my mouth:) But I gues they had similar strategy when they’ve released Civ 5…

        • Adam Solo says:

          That tells you how good the game really is. I mean, to have bugs and shortcomings but still achieve such a high score ;) And it’s not just me, just look around.

          Right now, personally, the only bugs that I find really critical to fix asap are the SHIV bugs (don’t know if they are all fixed by now or not) and the “teleporting” bug, which I think it’s not yet fixed and it is quite annoying. But, this last one occurs very rarely, only more often in Impossible difficulty.

          However, that said, these bugs and shortcomings didn’t stop me from enjoying one of the best gaming experiences to date. Shortcomings being the scripted feeling and lack of map variety, which hinder replayability.

          And that’s why we need many more maps or a random map generator. With that, most of the critical bugs fixed and some of the second wave options fully functional we may reach a game very near to 10 score experience.

        • Wodzu says:

          Perhaps I will give it another try if it is such a good game :P

        • Adam Solo says:

          I play on the PC Wodzu, which my review gives respect to. Can’t tell about PS3.

        • CptKork says:

          I preordered :(, and stopped playing after some hours.

          I couldnt stand those framratejumps and textureloading any longer.

      • CptKork says:

        dont buy the PS3 Version ffs.

  9. Aaron says:

    So what’s the deal here? I just paid the money and DL’ed the content, but I don’t see how to access it anywhere.

    Do I now have to start a new game to play this content? That’s ridiculous. I spent hours building up my squad and now they expect me to start all over to play an extra two missions?

    If that’s the case, this is a total waste of money. I’m seriously pissed about this.

    • Adam Solo says:

      Yes, as I said to TowerBooks above, apparently you do need to start a new game to play the DLC content.

      • SQW says:

        2k released a hotpatch yesterday that supposedly fix the save file problem so I assume you can now play this with an existing game. Since I wouldn’t touch this DLC with a barge pole, can someone else confirm this? =)

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