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Viewing Topic: XCOM: Enemy Unknown - Page 1
#0: 10-08-2012 @ 07:21:28 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=4686#4686

MachVergilMachVergil

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  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

When I was a little kid, I used to  be a console only gamer.  Dad used to watch me play on my NES, SNES and Genesis and say "These games look fun, but they aren't as fun as Computer games can be."  At the time we had a crappy IBM that ran such classics as Zaxxon and Rogue, which were fun but not nearly as neat as the stuff I played on console.  It wasn't until we got our first Pentium computer that I dipped my toe into PC gaming and saw the greater level of depth and complexity that many PC games had in the time that console games didn't (and largely couldn't due to memory limitations). 

While my first PC gaming loves were simulation games like X-Wing, TIE-Fighter,  and Mech Warrior 2, more strategic simulations like Sim City 2000 (which I thought was so cool and more serious than the SNES version) and Civilzation 2 would also be favorites until I was introduced to RTS games and fell in love with them.  Even once I started playing Command & Conquer though, there was one turn based combat strategy game that I enjoyed to play.  That game was XCOM UFO Defense.

XCOM UFO Defense is one of those games that sits in a warm place in my nostalgia zone of "Games I loved as a kid but was too stupid to beat." The game is both a top level strategy game of resource management as you try to use your limited funding to counter an alien threat on a global scale. You had to deal with nations' increasing or decreasing funding, manage research and development, and sometimes make hard choices about fights you knew you couldn't win.  The ground combat itself played out like a tactical squad-based game, and playing it informed a lot of how I played Warhammer 40k when I eventually piced that up. 

Both modes, the world-view and the tactical combat were hard and unforgiving. Mistakes, when you made them, persisted.  I mean the game had a  save feature so you could always re-load and in many ways you had to.  Dead soldiers stay dead, and each soldier had a name you could learn and get attached to so their death was extra poignant. Failing a mission not just cost you resources, but also faith from your funding nations, putting the whole organization in jeopardy.  In the end of my games I'd always end up getting terminated in the end for not doing a good enough job of keeping up with the aliens without going broke.  I had a friend at the time who was better at the games than me who was able to get as far as attacking alien bases and other parts of the game I've only recently seen.

When I heard FIRAXIS was doing a remake of UFO Defense, I got really excited.  I dusted off UFO Defense recently and while it's still a fun game, various elements haven't aged well.  The UI feels very clunky now, and the DOSBOX emulation causes mistakes I didn't order from time to time, lowering my mission ratings and hurting my progress.  It's for these reasons that I'd love to play a modern remake of this game, something that is free of the frustrating trappings of something that old.  I was nervous that they would also screw it up, because while once upon a time Microprose published both Civilization and XCOM, those days have long passed.  Plus, XCOM hasn't had a game released since 2001, I'm sure the number of people who know or care are very limited.

I'm pleased to report at least according to Kotaku, Joystiq, and the Escapist, XCOM: Enemy Unknown delivers.  I can't wait until tomorrow night to dust this baby off and see how FIRAXIS did with a modern remake of this classic from my childhood.

This post was edited by machvergil on October 8, 2012, 10:37 am


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#1: 10-11-2012 @ 04:33:53 pm
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=4724#4724

RenairenRenairen

  • Real Name:Dave
  • Joined:2010-09-01

So how'd this turn out? Anyone played it enough to rate?


#2: 10-11-2012 @ 05:10:01 pm
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=4725#4725

MachVergilMachVergil

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  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

Steam says I'm about 5 hours into the game.  I don't want to go full review on it yet, but here are my thoughts so far.

If you've never played an XCOM before and you like either turn-based tactical squad combat games, big R&D style strategy games, or both, then just get this game.  It's well made, clever, fun, and deep without being confusing.  It also, unlike the original, does a good job of easing you into the experience before it rips you a new one.  This is not exactly a 4X Civ game though.  It's got the Research, Resource management, and prioritizing of a 4X, but the combat is more akin to table-top 40k (more accurately Necromunda if you've ever played that) than any RTS or a 4X.  FIRAXIS might have made this, but they did not make Civ, they made XCOM.

Fans of the original should be aware a few things:

  1. The game is much closer to the original XCOM: Enemy Unknown (or UFO Defense as it was called in the US) than any of its sequels. 
  2. It is in many ways simplified than the original XCOM:EU.   This simplification does make the strategic layer feel a little less deep to me, but at the same time it also makes it easier to understand, therefore much less frustrating.
  3. It's tactically simpler too, but it makes up for it with a much deeper unit advancement/upgrade system and much easier to understand combat.  Overall I consider the ground combat to be a VAST improvement over the original.
  4. If you leave the tutorial on, the game will hold your hands for several hours before unleashing you like the first game did.  It eventually does though, and quite seamlessly I might add.
  5. In general, this new XCOM:EU is not nearly has hard as the original... at least not on normal.  Rumor has it that if you play on Classic, the danger/difficulty level is closer to the originals and that if you do Impossible, you get something close to as hard as XCOM:Terror from the Deep.

As an added bonus, there is an Ironman mode for more realism where your game is given a single save that auto-saves as you play so you can't re-load from your mistakes.  I hear that "real men" play XCOM:EU in Classic or Impossible with Ironman on, and I plan to do that as a second play through some day.  Right now I'm playing on normal just to learn the game, especially since despite the hours upon hours I put into the original, I never felt like it did a good job of teaching me what to do.

So yeah that's my 2 cents for now.  There's still time before the end of the game for me to condem the overall-strategy simulation to be too dumbed-down but I don't see that happening.  So far it's a fantastic single player game that I recommend.

 


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#3: 10-14-2012 @ 09:28:49 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=4728#4728

RenairenRenairen

  • Real Name:Dave
  • Joined:2010-09-01

Thanks for the feedback. I'll probably put this on my list of things to purchase.

Since, you know. It exists.


#4: 10-14-2012 @ 10:05:13 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=4729#4729

DominionDominion

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  • Real Name:Mark
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Sounds interesting. Could use a new strategy game. Throwing it on my list as well.


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#5: 10-19-2012 @ 06:42:23 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=4758#4758

MachVergilMachVergil

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  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

Entirely comedy option here, but Something Awful put together a fake news story about Nigeria pulling funding from XCOM.  I thought it was overall pretty hilarious, though I imagine some level of familiarity with the latest game might be needed to understand the humor.

In other news, my official, prone to updating, aliens shit list:

  1. Chysallids
  2. Sectoid Commanders
  3. Mutons

Also I miss being able to craft my own alien alloys.  Oh well, at least it keeps me motivated to chase EVERY CHANCE TO GET MORE.


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#6: 11-26-2012 @ 02:13:04 pm
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=4887#4887

MachVergilMachVergil

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  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

Finished XCOM over the weekend.  I played on Normal mode for my first playthrough, largely to get revenge at the original that I never beat.  I want to make a Classic difficulty Ironman run sometime in the future, but... probably not now.

Overall I'm pleased with the game.  I love Micheal McCann's (Deus Ex: Human Revolution) soundtrack.  The tactical turn based battles are probably some of the most satisfying I've done in a PC game, and a lot of the weapon/armor/alien/location designs are really cool.  I am very pleased with how well the game explains itself too; I almost never felt like "Wait WTF why did that happen?" (except of course when rolling to hit with a 95% reminds you that still means there's a 5% chance to miss!)

If there's one thing that disappoints me it's the Strategic game.  The base management part of the game feels trimmed down and in the background compared to the tactical combat, as opposed to being like 60% of the game in the original.  Here the squad combat is 60% or more of the game and I feel like the Strategic game is completely in service to it.  That's okay, because it's still fun and neat, but it feels on rails compared to the original. I would have liked to have some mode where I'm not following the wrote steps of the story campaign and am just managing XCOM as opposed to having to fight out every battle.  For that matter I would have liked to been able to have multiple bases, multiple strike teams, and eventually been able to build up to a point where we're just toying with the aliens.

Oh just because I posted about it earlier, personal Alien shit list (top 3 most hated aliens):

  • Sectapods (because aoe lasers on that many hit points is just mean)
  • Anything with Mind Control
  • Chrysalids (even when you get good at killing them, they are horrible during Terror Sites and they turn killed civies into more troops you have to kill)

Anything I eventually developed a counter for.


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#7: 08-21-2013 @ 10:51:55 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=6281#6281

MachVergilMachVergil

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  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

New XCOM expansion coming:  The Enemy Within!  Check out the info at Kotaku

 


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#8: 09-05-2013 @ 11:29:18 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=6364#6364

MachVergilMachVergil

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  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

Total Biscut's PAX PRIME 2013 Interview about the upcoming XCOM: Enemy Within


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#9: 10-23-2013 @ 06:33:42 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=6634#6634

MachVergilMachVergil

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  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

In case you were on the fence on Enemy Within, here's more footage

 


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