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XCOM: It's good!

Last response: in Video Games
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October 10, 2012 4:09:42 PM

So, bought XCOM from steam the other day. I loooooved the old school XCom, I missed the first game but jumped in for Terror From the Deep. Only glanced at the subsequent games, but XCom: Enemy Unknown is really a nice re-implementation of the original game.

The tactical combat is definitely nail-biting, the base construction is deep enough that there's strategic choices to be made about how you construct (you get bonuses from adjacent constructions as well as certain 'environmental' bonuses such as steam vents)...but you never fight in the base (that is sorta a bummer) but it does mean that the game can focus more on the tactical combat and resource management (research, production, salvage).

Playing on classic difficulty (a step above normal) definitely DEFINITELY captures the original feel of 'oh god, SOMEONE is going to die this mission, who is it going to be....

So, mini-review, my recommendation, buy it, it's worth $50, or get it cheaper elsewhere.

This is a STEAL when it drops to $25 in 3 months during some catalog sale on steam.

Go go go.


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October 10, 2012 7:04:54 PM

Yep. I'm in the same boat - I loved the original x-com, but stopped playing it because it didn't support higher resolutions well.

This game is exactly what I always wished would be made - a graphically improved X-COM with a decent tutorial. The only tweaks they made to gameplay were to improve the UI a little bit, which is kinda wonderful.
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October 12, 2012 6:48:50 PM

The new x-com sucks.

To much narrative (Ohh hi, im your mission control dude, your going on a mission so let me blah blah blah blah),
Horrible UI for PC
Horrible camera (Try throwing a grenade anyone with mouse?, ohh theres something useless happening somewhere lets go there, wait someone was talking over there lets go there instead so you can listen and be stuck there until dude is finished talking)
Endless amount of cutscense (ohh look we made some flashy graphic thingie, now watch it atleast a few times each mission).
Tactical is pretty much Click(Move)+Enter(Target)+Enter(Shoot) then spam Enter until everything is dead, repeate
Strategy is boring (We are sending a ship somewhere, you canĀ“t do anything while it flies there ohh and you only get to send 1 ship anywhere at any given time and if there are more than 1 missions you can only do one, others just stop existing, click button get mission)
Classes and XP (I am a Support dude and I only know how to shoot a pistol or a shotgun, everything else is impossible, ohh and I can only carry like 1 thing, a grenade or a new armor or something).

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October 12, 2012 7:28:11 PM

Hehe, what blargh1 set pretty much nails what I don't like about it, too.

It feels like so many things are forced onto you, decisions are made for you (often by a simple lack of alternatives) and so on... feels more like a very linear console game than a PC one. Like it's trying to think for you, for whatever reason.

The "conversations" became quite annoying really fast. To much blah, maybe the characters suck, maybe their "mood", whatever. But maybe that's just me.

However, it's still okay to play besides all the streamlining. The "cutscenes" during combat aren't to long to be annoying and breath a little more life into the round based gameplay.

It somehow still manages to deliver a bit of the feeling of the original game, but not quite the whole bunch of it.

I would definitely not say it's like "UFO - Enemy Unknown" with better graphics. The graphics are obviously better (compared to a 1994 game...), but the gameplay is not quite the same. You can no longer place your bases on the globe where you want, have different teams to send to different missions at once, or lot's of UFOs at the same time. And you somehow have to mange to catch all of them! Instead of choosing a given mission every now and than. Not sure if you will ever be attacked in your own base either. Which was great fun and provided more of a "war between planets" feeling and a far greater threat to failing by losing your base.
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October 12, 2012 8:36:13 PM

Hah, I have no idea why blargh1 is so angry, but I don't agree at all.

Are you complaining about the narrative in the tutorial? That's just making it more cinematic. All the missions don't work like the tutorial....

And the cutscenes? I don't see why this would be such a bother. Like, it's not like EVERY time you shoot down a ufo it does the cutscene where it's like nasa and a moonlanding where everyone claps and cheers...it just happens once in the game.

I'm not sure why the UI is horrible for the PC...you can use the mouse, hotkeys are bound to your keyboard...are you angry that because you 'could' use a controller that it makes it a bad UI?

What flashy thing are you referring to that you have to watch a few times EACH MISSION? Are you talking about when you encounter a new pack of aliens? That's litterally 3 seconds, (although I will grant that it is something that should be disabled in game options).

Tactical being click-move and shoot everthing until it's dead would NEVER work past easymode. You MUST be kidding. Setting up the proper overwatch coverage, supression fire, destructable cover, full vs. partial cover...you must be kidding that it's just a point-click-shoot operation.

As far as 1 mission at a time, they make it pretty clear that part of the game is making decisions with consequences. Do you want the money or do you want the engineers. Are you going to risk panic levels in Asia or South America. It adds some tension to the game.

Is only a single base a problem? Not for me, I remeber the terror fromt he deep and maintaining multiple bases was a real pain in the ass, and I do admit that not having to deal with base assults is something that is missing, but it doesn't make it 'bad' it just makes it different from the origionals.

But there is a lot of thought to put into base construction. Like how do you pair your buildings in such a way that you get the bonuses without keeping yourself out of much needed research. I like how they did it in the new verison but YMMV.

haters gotta be hatin i guess.

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October 12, 2012 10:54:32 PM

I wouldn't say he "hated" at the game. Merely expressed his personal impression. Maybe a little to colorful at times. But still ... ;) 
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February 4, 2013 7:01:43 PM

blargh1 is spot on.

The voice-over acting is completely wretched, instead of buying the items your agents use they are forced upon you, World of Warcraft skill-tree style, combat has been COMPLETELY dumbed down (how does a game from 1994 have a more realistic physics engine? If your shot misses, it just goes through any and everything and doesn't hit anything else..... World of Warcraft style) and to be honest, the writing (dialogue, UFOpedia) is absolutely godawful.

I mean, if you don't have a problem with modern video games, you won't have a problem with this game. But you probably also thought that, say, Prometheus was a good movie.
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February 4, 2013 9:59:22 PM

I agree the game has many flaws but I still loved it. It could have been so much better though.
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