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XCOM: Enemy Unknown review

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Griffter 16th October 2012, 08:31 Quote
Im playing right now, and enjoying the game.. but what upsets me with every review so far is that they either speak very little about the glitchy graphics on the pc version most of all. lets be honest, this is a PC title adapted for console, but the graphic glitches are driving me crazy!

usually when in multi story building, almost impossible to view the 2nd floor where ur man is in for for than a milli-second.

apparently using a gampad fixes this but why must u play with a gampad when u a PC user? as well as the bug with the aliens disappearing while in sight and not always showing if they when in overwatch or where they are until its their turn to move. they game struggle to know what level the mouse wants it to be in. that i think is a major flaw. it should be given mention and a slight score drop no matter how much i love the game. other games get lesser scores if the bugs affect the game, and thos two bugs affect gameplay like no other bug.
triprunner 16th October 2012, 08:45 Quote
@ griffter

when the game gets glitchy when youre in elevated position, turn the camera, should fix it, it does for me
Griffter 16th October 2012, 08:49 Quote
hey, im sure i've tried that... but maybe im just forcing a memory. will try tonight... and the enemies that showup, and disappear bug, do u get that triprunner? of cos im not talking about when they go further in the fog, out of sight...

they could have made the fog a little bit easier on the eyes for me as well, but thats a tiny issue.
Tyrmot 16th October 2012, 10:24 Quote
This is great. I can't start dishonoured now until I have finished this, it is that addictive.

The camera is a bit annoying, but not game-breaking. I've only had difficulty on one level (landed ufo) and I found that rotating the camera normally fixed the inability to send my soldiers where I wanted.
TheChugnut 16th October 2012, 11:34 Quote
I love the single player. It can be very rewarding when taking tactical gambles and such. Much of the bugs can be overlooked as they are minor.

The MP however is borked. I've played about eight matches with a friend and it's riddled with issues. Not being able to move a character to the desired location, even though the GUI implies it's a suitable location. The camera doesn't centre on some squad members upon their turn. No way to end a character's turn - only the whole squad (granted, you just skip to the next character, and end the turn once you're done). Worst of all, the delayed and poor quality VOIP is forced on - no way to turn it off. Very, very annoying,

But, single player. Oh, single player. How I love thee.
Baz 16th October 2012, 11:42 Quote
I love this game. Lots. Will be playing for ages.

Can't figure out how to change the colour of my guy's armour though.

Pre -order only apparently. Lame.
Panos 16th October 2012, 12:23 Quote
I play it since it open on Friday morning. (EU).

Addictive as sin. Lost first Classic Ironman playthrough at around November time (after 25 hours), because aliens are resilient even to plasma weapons.

On Ironman mode, because there is no reload, you are getting very emotional with every single member of your team. Especially when you lose a good one. Was really sad when the sniper after 22 battles, having killed 72 aliens, died. Because Elite Heavy Floaters surrounded him, and couldn't kill them with the team fast enough.

After his fall, the next battles were an up hill struggle, until I lost completely one battle, and world tipped over to red, losing the campaing.


I have 300 hours on CIV 5 in 2 years. This one is going to be even higher!

No other game since first XCOM (playing it back in 1994 on 386/40) was so addictive. To the extend after 18 years, had a sleepless weekend. And I guarantee you. At 18 was easy to do. At 36 is hard.
johnnyboy700 16th October 2012, 12:46 Quote
So if we all buy this and it does well sales-wise does it mean that we can look forward to a Terror from the Deep reboot in the future?

I was able to do quite well on the original UFO Enemy Unknown at the lower difficulty levels but when I tried TFTD on easy I got a kicking everytime - bloody Lobstermen. Boy oh boy did they ramp up the difficulty level on that one.
Baz 16th October 2012, 12:55 Quote
I wish Aliens: Colonial marines was just a licensed version of Xcom. Deploying from the APC, moving through wrecks and abandoned colonies, taking out nests, levelling up your marines and researching new alien splatting kit. Instead we get Call of Duty: LV426.
Griffter 16th October 2012, 13:55 Quote
@ BAZ

click on barracks, then click the first option... units/army/guys or whatever it is... then click on one of ur guys names, when u see him like when u about to go to a mission (full 3d model of him) click customize... in that list of first name, last name etc... at the bottom is armor deco, change the look and tint, changes the colour.

https://images.nonexiste.net/popular/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/I-spent-2-hours-in-the-Skyrim-character-editor-twiddling-knobs-Customizing-my-entire-XCOM-unit-is-going-to-be-the-end-of-me.jpeg
sotu1 16th October 2012, 15:37 Quote
IRONMAN MODE!!!!
Nictron 16th October 2012, 16:48 Quote
All I can say is that I agree with the review and loving the game to bits.

Started with Iron-man and have not regretted the decision at all.

Camera can be irritating at times, but a game this good would need a small glitch and I am sure they will fix it soon.
S1W1 16th October 2012, 17:41 Quote
Nice review.

Any chance you could review another recently released remake of a classic, Carrier Command: Gaea Mission (made by BIS, the wonderful people who produce the Arma series)?
dolphie 16th October 2012, 19:22 Quote
I love it too. And seeing as I usually hate everything, it's quite an achievement.
cthulhu 17th October 2012, 00:32 Quote
If you've played the original XCOMs then the new version is pretty much an Arcade Mode of the original with better graphics.

1) Shots are no longer free projectiles like they were in XCOM. If your soldier misses a target now it shows a miss animation, there's no consequence of the miss shot hitting a different unit than intended (although it will damage terrain). This unfortunately removes an element of unpredictable world interaction.

2) No battlefield inventory. Remember the original XCOM you just selected armor at the start of the mission and couldn't see it in the inventory, remove it, drop it or place it on the map? Well now everything is like that. Grenades, weapons, med packs, none of this stuff can be dropped or given to squadmates. Neither can you pick up alien drops or even the drops of your dead teamates. A lot of strategic element is lost this way.

3) Ammo is infinite. Your units just can't run out of ammo. Strategic element lost again.

4) Smaller maps.

5) Smaller squad size. You quickly get 6 but you start off with 4. There's no longer the tactic of throwing a dozen rookies at a few aliens.

6) Fixed move/fire cycles instead of turn units. There's less you can do now, but it's fa

7) No concept of facing direction for units anymore. Units can see full 360. There's no bonus for shooting something in the side or back.

8) Campaign mode geoscape is simplified to one UFO at a time (as far as I saw).

9) You only have one base in the world and generate greater vision of UFOs by creating satellites over countries.

It all sounds like a criticism but I think overall these simplifications are good. They've removed 90% of the stuff I found tedious. They've lost a bunch of stuff but Id say only about 20% of cool stuff is lost and they've perhaps added more. The base view and cut scenes are very immerse to make you feel like it's an actual base. If you enjoy the strategic level of research and improving your squad then you'll prefer this game because (tedious?) hours-long battles no longer occur.

It reminds me of the difference between the original Shogun Total War and Medieval Total War. I always preferred Shogun because it was simpler. Medieval went too far adding too much complexity and micro-management. But if you prefer your games like Dwarf Fortress you'll prefer the original.

One more thing: Don't play Normal difficulty. Play Classic. Even though it's impossible at first you rapidly improve on the battle map. I made the mistake on giving up on classic after being beat a few times and playing normal. Halfway through the game I realized it had got too easy. The difference in difficulty between Normal and Classic is bizarrely vast. Normal is just too easy, it might seem challenging at first but once you start improving in battle it'll become far too easy. On the other-hand once you start improving at Classic it becomes challenging rather than impossible.
Whindog 17th October 2012, 02:21 Quote
IRONMAN CLASSIC!.

Awesome game, the tension when you know one wrong move will lose your most valuabel vet forever and.

The agony of deciding where to move when a chryilid shows up. And the please miss please miss please miss moments are so much fun, exilerating and painful.

Every decision matters, every move can cause you to die. Balance this with that and this country with that one.

Love it.
Panos 17th October 2012, 13:42 Quote
@cthulhu

Man you forgot, that now troops aren't just numbers. They vary classes & abilities.
Money are harder to get. There is a setting in .ini file to allow to intercept UFOs going to do terror.
You get bonuses to hit & crit by flanking the opponents, and at Classic the AI is really tough nut to crack.


POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT!




Also as you advance technologically the aliens to do. Harder, better & more members per unit appear. When you encounter 4 Elite Heavy floaters on a single, with 6 colonels armed with plasmas and still you going to lose HP if not any member. And they come in 2 grps like these. + adds.

More tactical, less engineer/scientist hoarding, then sack them. You either capture live aliens and get weapons, or you build them. No middle ground. Fragments are usefull, alloys also. Even corpses are needed to craft items.

And countless times left Zombies to turn to Crysalids, because I need their carapace. Most valuable and second rare item in game. After the fusion reactor stuff to make Blaster Launcher.
Hovis 17th October 2012, 14:19 Quote
Worth noting that a lot of features that are in the game are disabled for some reason, for example the Second Wave game mutators and having all alien missions tied to a UFO which can be intercepted (to stop abductions and terror missions before they happen). You can get mods to fix this though.
Roskoken 17th October 2012, 20:46 Quote
the new movement system is gay
dolphie 17th October 2012, 22:06 Quote
I think although they simplified a few things, they elaborated on some stuff too. I shouldn't mention it because it's maybe spoiler ish, but basically the combat gets gradually deeper as the game progresses, and it ends up going further than the original. There are still some things I think they could have done better though, even UFO: Afterlight did some stuff better back in 2007 or whenever that was. But overall I like it.
Hovis 21st October 2012, 00:41 Quote
There was a lot of stuff cut from the old game for the new one but I think it really works. You have to look at the intent and the experience of playing a game and sometimes these are not improved simply by adding more things to the game for the player to do. For example, the original Xcom featured some very in depth resource management, ammunition, stores, living space, this all had to be handled by the player. But it added nothing, it didn't make the game feel like a more authentic simulation because it was all mundane stuff that you'd have had a corporal with a calculator to take care of. The new Xcom lets you do what you need to do and that's about it.

Squad size is very small, and I think that this makes the difficulty curve bent out of whack, insomuch as the game is a lot harder in the beginning than it is at the end, and that doesn't feel right to me. Plus the inability to take proactive action quickly to reduce panic in nations harms the strategy (you can deploy satellites -if- you have a good enough network and -if- you have one handy, this takes weeks to set up). But those issues aside it's a brilliant game.

Must confess my first thought after I played it all the way through, having seen the endgame unit skills, abilities and equipment types is that this is what the Mass Effect games should have been like, or they at least could have been like this. I think this Xcom is a sound proof of concept for a current generation turn based party RPG in the style of the original Fallouts, KOTOR or UFO Afterlight. Turn based strategy, never stopped being good. People stopped making good turn based strategy games.
mhadina 25th October 2012, 15:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Griffter
Im playing right now, and enjoying the game.. but what upsets me with every review so far is that they either speak very little about the glitchy graphics on the pc version most of all. lets be honest, this is a PC title adapted for console, but the graphic glitches are driving me crazy!

usually when in multi story building, almost impossible to view the 2nd floor where ur man is in for for than a milli-second.

apparently using a gampad fixes this but why must u play with a gampad when u a PC user? as well as the bug with the aliens disappearing while in sight and not always showing if they when in overwatch or where they are until its their turn to move. they game struggle to know what level the mouse wants it to be in. that i think is a major flaw. it should be given mention and a slight score drop no matter how much i love the game. other games get lesser scores if the bugs affect the game, and thos two bugs affect gameplay like no other bug.

You want to said a view options are missing ie. top view, side view etc.
mhadina 25th October 2012, 15:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrmot
This is great. I can't start dishonoured now until I have finished this, it is that addictive.

The camera is a bit annoying, but not game-breaking. I've only had difficulty on one level (landed ufo) and I found that rotating the camera normally fixed the inability to send my soldiers where I wanted.

Same here, Skyrim lvl 40 on resume for a week for me cause of the XCOM....:)
Cahoon2504 4th November 2012, 06:27 Quote
I was so pissed when I played this game and saw how much they had dumbed it down. No more deliberately targeting terrain to blow holes through walls. No more shooting things in the side or rear to do more damage. No more inventories. No more facing different directions. No more multiple bases. Only one ufo at a time. The enemies don't move until you see them means you never get flanked or surrounded. How can a game from 20 years ago have better ai then a brand new one? Its just a dumber version with better graphics. So disappointing.
Ergath 12th November 2012, 13:59 Quote
Having played the game through twice now, and then gone back to the original UFO for comparison, I have to say that, overall, I'm dissappointed in XCOM.

On the whole I'd say that Fireaxis have done a great job of preserving what was best about the original, but in the process they have sacrificed far too much of what was good about it.

The result is a good console game, but a pale shadow of the original with very little replay value or room for genuine tactics, let alone strategy.

A good case in point is the "one item each" policy. Whay should a soldier who can apparently carry a gun longer than his leg without any trouble suddenly be unable to clip two grenades to his belt? OK, the artificial item limit forces you to specialise your squad members, but there was nothing stopping you from having a dedicated medic/grenadier/gunner or indeed explosive-covered suicide-rookie in the original.

I've enjoyed this game, but I mourn the loss of the game it could have been. I totally understand Fireaxis' imperative to make a gmae that will sell, and I salute the retention of the names, graphical touches and feel of the original game. I just wish they could have released two editions so that us adults could have enjoyed a real strategy game while the console-kiddies enjoyed the patronising GUI and cover system..

/rant
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