EXALT? What is EXALT?
Anyone who has a slight interest in XCOM: Enemy Within has been asking is who EXALT? Amanda Gupta answers that question on the community development blog. EXALT is a paramilitary secret society. Their goal is to capture the benefits of the aliens' arrival, using their technology and then rule what is left of the world after the aliens have finished.
One of the enhancements they wanted in Enemy Within, is the player-driven missions. The alien invasion throws challenges at the players, but fundamentally the player do not control the pace of the missions. If an addiction mission happens, the player can choose to deal with it or not, but there is no strategy around timing them.
EXALT works by placing hidden cells in the council countries. If EXALT stays hidden for too long, they will carry out operations against XCOM. Sabotage XCOM to destroy their funds and research, hacks to cancel progress. But XCOM is not without its own covert arsenal. They can use Intel scans, which, increase in costs as it is used, but reset to their base value each month, to reveal EXALT cells around the world.
When a cell is found, XCOM can select a soldier for a covert ops duty. After time, a solider will need combat support. If provided, the cell will be destroyed and XCOM will receive a clue as to the location of the EXALT HQ. This means that the player can decide where and when to confront EXALT. Tactically, EXALT provide a new challenge.
The covert missions take a form of one of two forms: Covert Data Recovery, in which the player must protect a tactical asset from EXALT's attempts to hack it. And Covert Extraction, which works like a VIP mission except the VIP is the soldier on covert ops duty, and must hack two EXALT com arrays before leaving the map.
"Aesthetically, EXALT posed some interesting problems and opportunities. XCOM is a highly inclusive organization, where men and women of many nations, creeds, and ethnicities work together towards the common goal of protecting humanity's home. EXALT, in contrast, is insular and self-serving. We added ten new enemies for the game whose visual design emphasizes their elitism and exclusivity."
This new expansion is definitely looking very good and being a fan of the series I can't wait to give it a try. Let us know your comments below.