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I bought on Steam both XCOM Enemy Unknown and its expansion Enemy Within. When I launch the game it lets me choose if I want to play Enemy Unknown or Enemy Within.

There is any reason to play without the expansion first?

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You should play Enemy Within.

The expansion simply adds new upgrades, options, mission types, etc. to the base game; the basic story progression does not change. Thus, there's no compelling reason to play Enemy Unknown if you own Enemy Within, unless you really don't like something it adds to the game.

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    Only real reason to start with enemy unknown is the lower complexity if you feel uncomfortable with strategy games – Lawton Oct 11 '14 at 1:52
  • Even then, most of the Enemy Within stuff is optional, and also earned over time, like Gene Mods/MEC Troopers. I can definitely see EXALT being a pain for someone who's not as good at such games, though. – Billy Mailman Oct 11 '14 at 1:54
  • I started playing Enemy Unknown recently and it is my first TBS. Coming from other games, where DLC introduces new story elements and places/worlds, I started with EU instead of EW. Wish I had seen this answer when I started playing EU. – Lore Friendly Apr 17 '18 at 10:45

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