XCOM: enemy unknown (no not that one, not that one either) Page 11

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  • RedSparrows 10 Sep 2012 10:57:50 23,887 posts
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    Lack of TUs isn't good for the purist, but if the player is still hobbled by awful choices, missed shots, just...not...being...able to get into cover, etc, then I see no reason why the game won't be good.
  • Dangerous_Dan 10 Sep 2012 11:33:33 2,378 posts
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    It may very well be a good game, maybe even a great game - a demo would be much appreciated.

    My concern is that X-Com (actually didn't play much of the first one, mostly x-com 2 - terror from the deep) in my mind was a game which tried to be somewhat a realistic simulation of squad tactics. Actually as much as was feasible at the time.
    Now this one could still be a nice game but the focus seems to have shifted away from any kind of simulation aspirations. More a kind of abstracted kind of game mechanic.

    Example:
    In that 1h gameplay video the sniper is shooting at some guy who's covered pretty much from head to toe behind a wall but because he has the sniper perk and he's in an elevated position gives him an 85% chance of hitting that alien.

    In a more kind of simulation game the soldier'd have a certain skill level with that sniper rifle, they'd factor in the precision of his rifle and simulate the path of the projectile and either he'll hit his target or not. With the help of time units they could calculate how far he can move his heavy armoured ass in one turn and how often he can shoot his gun, depending on the gun and his dexterity, vitality, agility, whatever...

    Now this sounds all very complex, right? Why would anybody want to keep that all in his head? to quote one of the designers: "We wanted to free up some head space by removing the time units...and make it more FUN*"

    But the thing is, it's not head space at all, at least not for me. Playing chess requires a lot of head space, at least in my mind. It's heavily abstracted. But if you play a well simulated tactical game then it's pretty much straight forward. Try to stay behind cover and try to flank the enemies - pretty intuitive in my opinion.

    Not think like, okay I have 2 turns now to get up there, if I do this then this perk gets triggered and that alien has that perk and..... the more abstracted the more head space imho.


    I'm not saying X-com 2012 has bad game mechanics, they may very well be balanced and interesting but to me the only reason they made it more abstacted and JRPG-like is because they want to grab the JRPG players together with the guys who have fond memories of the old game.

    *I hate that word by now in conjuction with games and movies.

    Long rant over. hah ;)
  • Bremenacht 10 Sep 2012 11:53:38 19,393 posts
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    I suppose we have to accept compromises as otherwise the thing just wouldn't sell enough. Better that they do something rather than nothing.

    It doesn't have to be like EU or TftD for me. Just as long as it works well and captures enough of the feel of the originals, I'll settle for that.
  • LeoliansBro 10 Sep 2012 12:19:53 44,742 posts
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    You could train up squad members in the original and TFTD to have a hit chance of 100%+, at which point any shot which could be made, would be made.

    Don't see any problem with the 85% chance for the sniper here, he's trained to take your nose hair out at 800 yards, so only being able to see the target's shoulder or whatever should be a doddle. Remember it's 85% chance to hit, not 85% of the target us exposed.

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • StarchildHypocrethes 13 Sep 2012 16:59:44 26,363 posts
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    So this guy seems to like it then...

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/09/13/hands-on-forty-hours-with-xcom/#more-124165


    When I wrote about Crusader Kings II back near the beginning of the year, I said this: “If it doesn’t wind up being among my very favourite games of the year, spectacular things will occur in the next ten months.” Well, CK II will still be up there, but XCOM really is something spectacular. With all the burden of expectation and doubt, it manages to be both a hugely respectful reimagining and, all ties ignored, one of the best turn-based tactical games I’ve played in, well, forever.
    Edited by StarchildHypocrethes at 17:00:45 13-09-2012
  • agparrot 13 Sep 2012 17:06:09 11,903 posts
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    StarchildHypocrethes wrote:
    So this guy seems to like it then...

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/09/13/hands-on-forty-hours-with-xcom/#more-124165


    When I wrote about Crusader Kings II back near the beginning of the year, I said this: “If it doesn’t wind up being among my very favourite games of the year, spectacular things will occur in the next ten months.” Well, CK II will still be up there, but XCOM really is something spectacular. With all the burden of expectation and doubt, it manages to be both a hugely respectful reimagining and, all ties ignored, one of the best turn-based tactical games I’ve played in, well, forever.
    Damn it!

    All this time, the launch seems to have been creeping ever closer, but that article makes the remaining four and a bit weeks seem overly long!
  • RedSparrows 13 Sep 2012 21:40:28 23,887 posts
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    WAAANNTTT
  • agparrot 15 Sep 2012 16:18:00 11,903 posts
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    Alright, it's not a complete article, because it's just the first part of a preview, and I know, it's on the OXM website, of all things. There might even be a teensy spoiler about an enemy type we may not have been exposed to previously, so if that sort of thing will disappoint you, then avoid this neat little first part of write up of some gameplay:

    Official Xbox Magazine Preview
  • 1Dgaf 20 Sep 2012 14:14:48 3,929 posts
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    What do people think the replayability will be like on this? I thought it was a XBLA title, so was surprised to see its full price. Will it have randomised events/maps/continets for different play throughs or what?

    It makes sense to me as a boardgame - and as a BG I'd be excited to play it - but I can't quite understand the appeal as a VG, which I realise is odd.

    Edited by 1Dgaf at 14:18:12 20-09-2012

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  • AaronTurner 20 Sep 2012 14:38:31 7,849 posts
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    It's similar in a way to the civ series in that each play through is slightly different. Whilst the levels aren't randomly generated, the encounters are. It should have plenty of replay ability.
  • 1Dgaf 20 Sep 2012 14:43:57 3,929 posts
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    I'm surprised it doesn't randomise them. They aren't necessary for replayability, but I thought it would have been a good fit, as it is with Civ.

    Edited by 1Dgaf at 14:44:19 20-09-2012

    www.hatchetjob.com - more than games. "Seemingly trivial, surprisingly deep"

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  • agparrot 20 Sep 2012 15:18:43 11,903 posts
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    @1Dgaf

    There was some discussion about the levels being randomised in the Rock Paper Shotgun preview stuff. They aren't going to be, but the balance of opinion is that it still works out, because as AaronTurner says, the encounters are rejigged even when the 80 - 100 maps are recycled.

    As a fan of the original I can't say I wouldn't prefer randomised stuff, but in many ways the random tiles of UFO only led to so many different configurations, and for things like terror missions and to some extent alien base missions, the density of the maps meant that randomising stuff became less influential given that you still knew the layout of the tiles of which the maps were made.

    There are more XCOM articles from last week, up on RPS by the way - I just haven't been posting it on here every single time they've put something up. It sounds fricking amazing.

    I like the idea of comparing it to a boardgame, and I'm sure it's a comparison drawn in one of the RPS previews. For the multiplayer, it even seems to be built around that sort of concept, with points-based squads fighting against each other being very reminiscent of tabletop tactical stuff like 40K and that Necrothingy one GW made.

    This wouldn't really work in the single player though, as the enemy AI reacts to stuff that you do, according to what information it has, and I guess that even in a single player boardgame you'd have to perhaps try and randomise a bit too much of it to make it seem that your 'opponent' was constructing tactics rather than acting off something that a diceroll or randomly drawn card had told it to do.

    Instead of making everything random, this time around there appears to be variety in your playthroughs because you can't choose to do *everything* in the way that you could in the first game, where you could choose to plant bases on every continent. Here, you have one base, and you must choose which continent it is on, and this continent determines what 'base bonuses' you receive, and therefore what base bonuses you are turning down.

    Research, manufacture, and other strategic decisions also seem to be very much either/or in some cases, as the escalating pace of invasion forces you to choose whether to research medkits for preventing your valuable soldiers dying... sometimes, or to choose to research better weapons - it seems that you can of course research both of those things over time, but from the previews it sounds as if the more immediate resources that research takes up means that choosing the other option next time around can give you a different gameplay experience.

    Whether it was preview code or stuff that makes it into the final game, there even seems to be the decision between which alien incursion to address when more than one crops up at the same time in different countries. Surviving long-term in the first UFO was always about trying to keep all the countries happy so that they didn't go over to the other side and stop funding you, so when you have to decide whether to allow a country to be lost to aliens, or whether to make more countries a little bit unhappy, seem like decisions that could considerably change the strategic experience.

    None of that really addresses the tactical turn-based differences but from the people who have played it, it seems like randomising enemy types, positions, weapons and tactics does enough of a job to make the enounters different, even where sometimes the maps may be the same.

    God, I typed all that really fast because I'm childishly excited about getting the game.
  • AaronTurner 20 Sep 2012 15:20:34 7,849 posts
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    Its the levels where battles take place that the layout isn't randomly generated. Enemy encounters and placement are all randomized and there are many levels for battles to take place on, so many that you're unlikely to repeat any in one game. The game will play out differently each time depending on your circumstances but obviously the end game aim is the same.

    This is the game I'm most looking forward to this year.
  • RedSparrows 20 Sep 2012 15:41:38 23,887 posts
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    WANNNTTTT

    I should have a new PC for this. Not that I need it, but it'll be fun: playing the sequel to an ancient, brilliant game I still play today on a brand new machine...
  • Bremenacht 20 Sep 2012 20:27:14 19,393 posts
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    Gosh yeah. Tempting just to resist a next-gen console and build a PC but... I'll probably go 360 or PS3 out of laziness.
  • TechnoHippy 20 Sep 2012 20:38:42 14,719 posts
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    Only a few weeks to go - I can't wait :-)

    My books, contests, reviews and author interviews on my blog

  • the_dudefather 24 Sep 2012 16:11:29 9,396 posts
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    buckle up motherfuckers, demo is out

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/09/24/unhidden-movement-xcom-demo-is-go/

    (ง ͠° ͟ʖ ͡°)

  • agparrot 24 Sep 2012 16:12:32 11,903 posts
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    /frowns at old, old PC.
  • Khanivor 24 Sep 2012 16:19:32 41,120 posts
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    Oops, I was supposed to do stuff today.
  • Whizzo 24 Sep 2012 16:23:13 43,274 posts
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    Is it 17:00 yet?

    /taps foot

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  • StarchildHypocrethes 24 Sep 2012 16:28:08 26,363 posts
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    Oh, sweet mama joy.
  • Whizzo 24 Sep 2012 16:39:29 43,274 posts
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    Looks like the download link isn't actually working at the moment.

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  • agparrot 24 Sep 2012 16:42:35 11,903 posts
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    Yeah, even on RPS they said the process was 'a bit squiffy'.

    So they probably just meant plain old broken.

    Ah well, it would surely have turned my PC into some old molten slag anyway.
  • Bremenacht 24 Sep 2012 16:45:22 19,393 posts
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    agparrot wrote:
    /frowns at old, old PC.
    Yeah.

    What to do.

    :/
  • neilka 24 Sep 2012 16:47:40 16,468 posts
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    I'm downloading, I had to use Firefox to see the Download Demo button on the game page as it wasn't showing in Steam itself.

    BAAANG!!!!! EXPLOTION!!!!!

  • agparrot 24 Sep 2012 17:01:48 11,903 posts
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    neilka wrote:
    I'm downloading, I had to use Firefox to see the Download Demo button on the game page as it wasn't showing in Steam itself.
    Yup, the link worked for me through Chrome, too - even though it doesn't do anything from Steam itself, it looks like the browser links might be the way to go.
  • AaronTurner 24 Sep 2012 17:03:45 7,849 posts
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    Xbox demo?
  • agparrot 24 Sep 2012 17:12:10 11,903 posts
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    AaronTurner wrote:
    Xbox demo?
    No word yet, although the EG front page story says console demos are coming 'soon'.

    Which could mean anything as early as tomorrow I suppose.
  • RedSparrows 24 Sep 2012 17:37:31 23,887 posts
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    Just moved house, no internet. FUUUUUU
  • Bremenacht 24 Sep 2012 17:46:52 19,393 posts
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    Haha! Come on - you'll be far too busy with other stuff to play xcom though, right? :D
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