Hands On: XCOM – Enemy Unknown Part 2

By Adam Smith on May 23rd, 2012 at 7:00 pm.


Yesterday I shared my brief experiences with XCOM’s tactical mode, telling the tale of terrified men and women sent to their untimely deaths as I gleefully discovered that any confidence I had was misplaced. They sure did die a lot. I didn’t die with them though because I’m the commander, sitting in my base and commanding. The scariest thing I have to do in person is deal with the financials and the sinister Council who administer them, that and the occasional moral dilemma.

Thanks to the heavy losses XCOM had already endured under my leadership, I was content in the knowledge that the fight wasn’t going to be easy. I like a challenge and it’d be a half-arsed alien invasion if I was able to see it off with the dregs they were sending up from the academy. Delighted as I might be by the charred corpses being shipped back from the field, my failures weren’t making the Council very happy. They’re a global force of Very Important People Indeed who allocate funding to XCOM, or in my case inform me that funding is being cut in various regions because, let’s be honest, my efforts haven’t been acceptable.

In Firaxis’ XCOM, the decisions as to which countries are worth saving is a much more direct one. In the early game it’s a case of abductions being reported in, say, San Francisco and Beijing simultaneously. Who is more deserving of your attention? It’d be deeply unpleasant to have to make that decision based on which skyline you prefer, or whether you’d rather have a plate of Peking Roast Duck than a platter of Hot Tuna, so instead there are direct benefits. Helping out in Beijing might mean you’re gifted a couple of scientists, while the Americans might offer a cash reward.

There are long-term considerations as well. If the North American region is already a little pissy with you, most likely because you’ve screwed up missions in their territory before, then it’s probably sensible to try and bring them back on board. If they decide to stop funding the XCOM Initiative altogether, I’m fairly sure you can’t win them back. That’d be a huge chunk of your money gone and you need money, to pay scientists and engineers, to fund the manufacture of researched materials and to expand your base. Those alien containment units don’t come for free after all.

It’s not just money that powers your base. As you expand from level to level, drilling down into the relative safety of the underground, elevators must be built and, like every other facility, these require power. The biggest power boosts come from building generators on top of the steam vents that naturally occur throughout the base, providing some importance to the actual placement of each facility. I’d be lying if I said I know how complex the base-building becomes as I only managed to build a containment facility and dabble in engineering, but there’s a lot of room for expansion and I’m interested to see what the lower levels could eventually contain.

As for interaction within the base, I was uncomfortable with it at first. It feels very streamlined, with massive heaps of voicework and interaction with the staff of XCOM Solitary HQ Number One. When new research is possible, a scientist will actually ask you to pop by the labs and then talk you through your options. There’s a fantastic discussion about stunning live aliens – the head of research imploring you to send a soldier up close to zap a sectoid and then a military chap butting in and telling her she’s bonkers and imploring you to do no such thing.

Despite the attempt to make the player feel involved, with characters addressing in second person, to camera, I found it all a little alienating for a while, as if I were being instructed rather than informed, guided through a series of narrative beats rather than writing a script of my own. Sometimes I prefer abstraction rather than immersion in my strategy games. Over time though, I realised that the conversations may simply take the place of textual descriptions without stripping away the decision-making. Again, only further playtime will fully convince me of that but even in the short time I had with the game, I saw it open up to my own methods and way of thinking more and more.

The actual voice acting and dialogue is strong and Firaxis are certainly humanising Earth’s defense force. There’s nothing wrong with that and as things become more bleak in the outside world I imagine there will be some tense exchanges. It’s possible, at any time, to pop your head around the doorway of the ominously named Situation Room and look at a map of the world with a ‘doom track’ next to each region, handily informing you how close that area is to being completely overwhelmed. For all the neat atmospherics, I have to say that the shadowy head of The Council, who calls up to debrief after missions, is more than a little overblown, gravelly voiced and barely containing his fury. And he looks and dresses a lot like Agent 47.

Being given a choice of missions, with two things so often inconveniently happening at the same time, is an excellent idea but also made me frown because it’s suggestive of a branching campaign rather than a series of randomised catastrophes. I was asked to rescue an escaped abductee at one point, to prevent the aliens from killing or recapturing her so that we could learn from her experiences. I failed, she was practically vapourised as she ran for the evac zone, and I can’t help but wonder how that affects things going forward. Had I taken an exit from the motorway and was my destination for the next few missions now set?

I don’t know for sure. What I do know is that when my time was up and my team were hollowed out ruins, I wanted to play more. Crucially, despite the fact that this is a game filled with – and perhaps haunted or weighed down by – memories and allusions, it has the potential to surprise. There are new creatures and reimaginings of the old. Seeing the transformation from man to zombie to chrysalid is gruesome and makes a horrible biological sense, at least in a hokey science fiction sort of way. Realising how the thin men might fit into the invasion plan provides space for a grim smile.

I’m almost entirely confident that the use of a single base won’t limit the game in any meaningful way. The need to build satellites to extend coverage across the beautifully ethereal Geoscape means the base isn’t an all-encompassing supercentre. It seems you’ll always be informed of certain missions, such as terror events, but without satellites in a region it’s impossible to detect and intercept UFOs, either for salvage or to prevent future atrocities. I also reckon that the base is large enough that specialisation is still possible within it.

Tying the player’s physical presence to a single location does allow Firaxis to tell the story of what characters refer to as The Great Invasion from the inside, not just from the battlefields, and it’s shaping up to be a thrilling tale. It’s not just about the single narrative though. I’ll need more time with both the base and the battlefields before I can decide whether this XCOM creates quite as many yarn-spinning opportunities as its magnificent predecessors.

Still want more? Many of the questions I had after my time with the game will be answered in an interview that I’ll be transcribing for your eyes tomorrow, including the not insignificant matter of base invasions.

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79 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    lowprices says:

    Grumble grumble FPS. Grumble killcam gamepad grumble.

    In actual comments, this looks very good. I look forward to this game more every time RPS highlights it.

    • Premium User Badge

      Smashbox says:

      Honestly I don’t deem those things grumblable. They’re unready to show M&KB yet, but promise they’re lavishing care and attention on them, killcams can be turned off, and this is not related to the FPS. So put those grumbles back into your mouth, chew them, and swallow and digest them.

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      • Premium User Badge

        lowprices says:

        Personally I don’t have a problem with any of the things I mentioned, I just hoped that if I grumbled about the predictable complaints first, they would be out of the way and we could all sit down and have a nice civilised thread. It’s a thought for future threads. Every time a Ubisoft post happens, someone starts the thread with “grumble grumble drm grumble”, and then we can all discuss the thing civilly and rationally without the thread devolving into name calling and swears.

        “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…”

        • RegisteredUser says:

          I for one hope people never ever stop grumbling about DRM. Actually I’d rather have them shouting and up in arms. Pitchforks and torches are cool, too.

          “He who controls the media controls the minds of the public.”

      • kio says:

        Lavishing care and attention… Last time I heard anything like that the the game had negative mouse acceleration and 60 FoV.

    • AstaSyneri says:

      OMG, I really want this game, badly. Everything so far really looks smashing. If they keep up the main game (managing your main resources – your soldiers) to keep you pressed, this is going to be a game for the ages.

      Having to juggle multiple simultaneous missions (Skyranger-1 is on its way, but the next mission has come up – but Skyranger-2’s team is half hospitalized – who the heck do we send?) and having randomized terrain missions where you can “train” your troops was most fun for me (no, I don’t mind a bit of grinding).

      BUT: Where is the write-up of the interview (the one with the information about base invasions)? I need my daily fix and RPS currently is my number one source for XCOM information…

  2. lunarplasma says:

    The whole random missions popping up thing makes me feel a little iffy inside. I certainly do hope that there will be a fair amount of randomisation and overall feel of something organic taking place, rather than scripted console hahoo.

    • Lemming says:

      Agreed, I don’t want to see something on the level of Mass Effects series approach to exploration with the whole “hurry up! Everything we want yo to do is an emergency and must be dealt with STRAIGHT AWAY!”.

      The best thing about these games (and RPGs btw, Bioware) is the ‘carry on, do what you want’ parts.

      • PodX140 says:

        I disagree, although I hate when games rush me, XCOM NEEDS that urgency. It just isn’t xcom without having to deal with 2 simultaneous terror missions trying to figure out what you can do.

    • Nick says:

      X-com has random missions popping up.. terror sites.

  3. Grygus says:

    Never played the original but the last couple of posts have caught my eye. Thanks for this.

    • zaphod42 says:

      Why on earth aren’t you playing it RIGHT NOW?

      I mean, seriously man, it is the only game I can ever conceive calling the “best PC game ever”.
      It… it just is. Its sooooo good. At least TRY It.

      Note: Only play the original X-COM UFO:Defense or the sequel X-Com:TFTD (terror from the deep).

      Everything after TFTD isn’t worth it. (Apocalypse is okay, but plays very different, isn’t as perfect by half)

  4. Enzo says:

    I’m really happy that this is probably going to be a very good game.

  5. Easy says:

    Still want. Really.

  6. Tom OBedlam says:

    I’m very excited by this. I started off very skeptical about it all but the more I see, the more I reckon this’ll be something I’ll enjoy greatly.

    • Premium User Badge

      JB says:

      Exactly the same here. Fingers crossed it’ll be as good as we’re hoping.

  7. sinister agent says:

    Reminds me of that joke from the weekly about Batman being foiled by “villainy’s clever ploy of carrying out multiple crimes at once”, leaving him depressed and hooked on ampethamines.

    The bit with the people directly addressing you with research proposals and that makes me think they’ve taken a few cues from UFO: AI, which is by no means a bad thing. Their little emails from the head scientists were a really nice touch, with just enough flavour to give a hint at the base being a real place with real people, without beating you over the head with it.

    • Premium User Badge

      Biscuitry says:

      UFO: Afterlight (completely different people) took a related approach. Each and every scientist and soldier was a character in their own right. They’d mostly only pipe up for story events, but there was still a feeling that the base was a real place where people lived and worked.

  8. Premium User Badge

    Biscuitry says:

    I like what Firaxis are doing here. Rather than just tossing everything out, there’s an interesting fusion of old and new ideas here. And, well, if it doesn’t pan out, there’s always Xenonauts.

    • kpi says:

      Interesting fusion … to what? Does modern mean less is more?

      The lead designer in the trailer said it best: “The core principles from the original that we wanted to build on was basically EVERYTHING!”

      Then a few seconds later: “.. how can we simplify that and get rid of all that headspace …”

      Doesn’t sound too promising.

      • Belsameth says:

        Why not?
        Throwing out the rubish doesn’t seem like a bad idea to me.

        Xcom was great, but by no means perfect.

      • pkt-zer0 says:

        Getting rid of uninteresting tasks so you have more room for interesting ones isn’t a bad thing. The idea is that you throw out bad stuff to make room for more good stuff. I mean, X-COM would take more headspace if it forced you to memorize cake recipes. That wouldn’t make it a better game.

        Note that I’m talking on a theoretical level here, Firaxis might screw up horribly and make a retarded/consolized/übermainstream/etc. game. The idea put forth there is still sound.

        • mnnzcxivn says:

          Actually thats just fucking stupid, how on earth did they think that was anything but?

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MsYF74aKbE

          “Being given a choice of missions, with two things so often inconveniently happening at the same time, is an excellent idea.”

          • PodX140 says:

            Now you’re getting too clever spambots.

            It was bad enough that you’re posting links at the end of copy-pasted comments, or now disgusing them as youtube links. But doing both, and putting them in the middle?

            God help us all.

          • Premium User Badge

            Bluerps says:

            Huh. Without your comment, PodX140, I wouldn’t have realised that that was a bot-post. I just thought it was another barely comprehensible commenter, who rages about something inconsequential.

            … if you now answer me, and that answer includes a link to a website that sells dubious, virility-enhancing drugs, I will be scared.

          • zaphod42 says:

            Sounds like the bot is using markov models to come up with English sounding sentences using word and phrase chains that are at least somewhat relative to the page. That’s pretty tricky :P

          • Premium User Badge

            Bluerps says:

            That would actually be kind of awesome.
            But what it really does is to copy sentences that were written by other people on the same page. The first one is from the article, the second one comes from a comment further down. Of course there could be some cleverness involved in the selection of the sentences, but I think it’s mostly random. It is probably just a coincidence that the result appears almost coherent here.

  9. The Smilingknight says:

    Looks good to me.

    Keeping a slit pupil of my eye on this.

  10. mckertis says:

    I realise that press-approved screenshots are limited in quantity, but do we have to see the exact same image in each and every article on X-Com ? Normally its not a problem, but with X-Com there’s been an abundance of updates and articles and interviews, and the screenshots are always the same exact set. It’s getting pretty silly already, and there’s still a long time till October.

  11. Dominic White says:

    It looks like something that’s unmistakably X-Com, but at the same time a quite unique game, especially with the larger focus on storytelling and characterization.

    Xenonauts is going to cover that ‘faceless commander sending waves of hapless fodder into the grinder’ side of the experience, so I’m all the more eager to see what Firaxis can do with the concept here.

  12. wcanyon says:

    If Sectoids don’t have mouths, why do they have chins?

    • Premium User Badge

      JB says:

      ********** POSSIBLE SPOILERAGE **********

      Isn’t it because they’re genetically modified from human DNA or somesuch? Vestigial chins, if you will.

  13. Fumarole says:

    Had I taken an exit from the motorway and was my destination for the next few missions now set?

    If so this is a plus in my book.

  14. kpi says:

    Why would they make simplified streamlined dumbed down version of X-COM. Ah, I know why, because it has to appeal to the supposedly stupid mainstream masses.

    Looking forward to Xenonauts …

    • dmoe says:

      Cool!

    • Brosepholis says:

      Belle histoire, frere

    • Hug_dealer says:

      it might also be because things done in the original xcom could have been streamlined better and made better use of UI and technology.

      For all the supposed streamlining, they are adding things also. Cover actually matters now. That increases the complexity of the combat, along with various skills. Focusing on smaller squads means its much easier to fail than losing a dozen expendable people.

      We will have to see when it comes out. Personally it looks to take everything i like from xcom, and add alot of new things, and dump the annoying crap.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      It seems it’s a bit of a cross between the original X-Com and Incubation. I don’t think that’s automatically a bad thing, since both were great. It doesn’t seem all that dumbed down either, supposedly they’re adding a whole bunch of special skills for the soldiers instead of the generic moveset in the original.

      Also, there’s still Xenonauts if you want something that’s basically identical to the original. I’d say it’s a bit redundant, since the original game is still fantastic (with better art direction, even), but hey, if there’s a large enough market for that as well, cool.

    • sebmojo says:

      ka pai korero, e hoa!

    • Premium User Badge

      ffordesoon says:

      Khemm?

  15. Highstorm says:

    Are there no interceptions then? I haven’t seen them mentioned in any of the coverage. Has there been any official word on if they are in or out of the game?

    • Adam Smith says:

      Definitely in – from what I can gather many missions are called in and you’re told the location and send the Skyranger out, but for the areas that you have coverage it’s possible to detect UFOs and send Interceptors to shoot them down. I’m pretty sure – only saw it in a brief video – that there are varieous Interceptor payloads to equip as well.

      EDIT

      oh, and they seem to work just as in the original.

      • sneetch says:

        According to my hazy recollection, in the original(s) you needed satellite bases (with troops) in order to cover areas and reach terror mission sites before the aliens buggered off. Do your satellite bases contain troops? I got the impression that they didn’t, only interceptors and radar? Are the aliens going to patiently wait the 8-10 hours it takes to fly from Europe to China/South America/Anywhere 8-10 hours away?

        • Saiko Kila says:

          In UFO1 there are no satellites at all, only different kinds of radar. Also it is completely enough to keep only one base with soldiers. The other baseshould keep some janitors/guards in case of attack by aliens (otherwise they are automatically forfeit the moment aliens attack), but that’s all. If you send a craft to the terror mission the mission is held, doesn’t disappear until you land or change course. The crashed UFO also doesn’t disappear if targeted. The alien base never disappear unless destroyed. Only landed UFO can lift off before intercepting, thus it is best to keep an interceptor or two over it when your strike team is en route. Therefore one fully equipped base is all you need in original UFO, the other bases could be used for radar, intercept, research, manufacturing or just storage. You don’t even need additional alien containment facilities (except in places where you conduct research) because the in-game stated limit of containment space is not implemented.

          One problem I see with this new UFO is interception. Radar can be replaced with satellites, research, manufacturing and storage can be done in one base (in UFO1 the limit was really just small maximum base size), but the globe-wide interceptor net is hard to imagine if they all are based in one place.

          • sneetch says:

            Ahh, I got confused here… by satellite I thought Adam meant a small satellite base with radar and hangers and other facilities… I now think he means actual satellites.

            That’s a pity. Secondary bases are a major part of UFO/X-Com for me. You may be able to get by with only one base but it’s a bad idea and makes no sense to me.

  16. wodin says:

    Surely we all know and have secretly known even if we’ve tried to convince ourselves otherwise that the maps where never going to be randomly generated (first screenshots made that obvious) and the missionscampaign weren’t either. I imagine there will be story missions and more sandbox missions or maybe we have a scripted campaign altogether I’ve seen nothing mentioned about sending out planes to shoot down UFO’s, so maybe the shooting down happens by someone else and you get called in. This could well mean we have a pre planned campaign maybe branching maybe not.

    edit: just read Adam saying the interception where in. So i think we have sandbox like missions and when you get to a certain level it throws a main story mission at you.

  17. KaptainKarnage says:

    Those new missions sound interesting, makes a refreshing change from the normal “YOU MUST MURDER ALL THE ALIENS!” missions.

    Anyway, I like what I’ve heard thus far, I’ve got my fingers crossed.

  18. Strangerator says:

    I think I know about what kind of game this will be after seeing so many previews. It will be fun and I will buy it, and for a few fleeting moments in the middle parts I will feel like I’m playing a tense game with the same dark atmosphere of the original. Then the hand-holding and scripted events and linear story will pop up and smack me in the face, as though I had stepped on a rake. I’m also not totally keen on the tone of the game, the aliens just don’t look scary enough and the council guy sounds cartoonish. The tone is more GI Joe than something actually sinister and threatening.

    The worst part is the campaign is far too scripted, with players given way too much direction. This, more than anything, takes me out of the “I’m fighting an alien invasion mindset.” Instead, each scripted moment loudly declares “you are playing a GAME about an alien invasion!!” This type of game really needs a random event generator, that will sometimes produce things that are too challenging, and sometimes a supply ship that can easily be snatched up. You might detect 4 ufos in a cluster and have to figure out how to tackle them. It is what makes multiple playthroughs so enjoyable, each time you start a game something new and exciting can happen. But since you can only have one base with one skyranger and one assault team, I can see why they did this.

    • Hug_dealer says:

      Actually. Soldiers will get injured and have to spend time healing. Forcing them to miss missions, which means you need a backup team and sometimes you will be out your sniper and ha ve to change tactics.

      You really havent payed to much attention to the game previews. It is very different from e verything you described. Events are random. The game is difficult and you will lose men. And watch them take a hit and bleed out cause your other men are pinned down. You can and will fail missions and you can lose the entire game.

  19. Nick says:

    “Being given a choice of missions, with two things so often inconveniently happening at the same time, is an excellent idea.”

    Its a terrible idea, its just highlighting that for some reason you only have one aircraft to send out and one tiny squad to use. Not great for global defense is it?

    Actually thats just fucking stupid, how on earth did they think that was anything but?

    • PodX140 says:

      Actually, I’m not sure if you can only have one interceptor or skyranger.

      Also, it’s a brilliant design decision, it FORCES loss, which in Xcom was great.

      Hell, in xcom, you could suddenly have asia disappear from funding and you’d have no clue why, because you never saw all the ufo activity over it due to a lack of radar coverage. And I LOVED that that was possible, because it shows the world was living, even in the fog.

      • Nick says:

        It forces loss in a totally illogical way, two things happening at once and you have to choose which to respond to? That doesn’t make any sense at all unless they, for some reason, can only afford one skyranger. How is that brilliant exactly?

        • SanguineAngel says:

          I can see your point but for the sake of gameplay I think I would prefer to make the concession. I’d rather have to make tough choices

      • sneetch says:

        It only forces loss because you’re not doing your job well and that’s because the game won’t let you do it well.

        Playing the first X-Com I played it as a “protect the world simulator” so I protected the world. I’d build multiple Skyranger and Interceptor bases to cover every continent (Europe first, all my stuff is there) and I’d make sure that they all had what they needed, I’d rotate experienced soliders around them so everyone had at least some good troops, so after a disastrous mission, I’d sometimes have to strip the good squads in, say, Europe to ensure that North America had decent troops. The way that worked, you’d sometime end a terror mission in Tokyo and almost instantly a second squad would hit a UFO crash site near Boston, then a third one landed near Rio. It was fun and added a lot of depth.

        This kind of “oh, who do you help? The US or the Chinese? What a dilemma!” It’s a false dilemma and sounds like BS to me.

        • KaptainKarnage says:

          To be honest, I don’t mind this choice.

          it allows you to make decisions based on which country you’ve decided you want to defend, its always been impossible to save everyone in X-com.

          • sneetch says:

            Impossible to save everyone? Yes. Impossible to at least respond to every crisis? No.

            If you can’t respond to two missions it should be because you don’t have the personnel and equipment available at that time, not because the game only lets you have one Skyranger.

        • Premium User Badge

          FhnuZoag says:

          What do you mean, a false dilemma? It’s a mechanic, pure and simple. I’m thinking of how, in XCOM apocalypse, they had all these mechanics for when a faction flips to alien, but the game undermined that because a good player would never see any of these failure conditions. Forcing some unwinnable situations seems a good way of avoiding this.

          • sneetch says:

            Of course it’s a mechanic but it’s a BS one, IMO. Too “gamey”.

            It’s a false (maybe fake or forced would be better) dilemma because you’re supposed to be the leader of this global organisation tasked with protecting the earth from invasion, you have huge resources at your disposal, you have satellites in orbit, interceptor bases world-wide (with the ground staff and crews required for them) and yet you only maintain a single Skyranger in a single location with a small group of soldiers to send into action so you can’t actually send troops to two sites at once? If it were my call I’d fire you straight away for that kind of incompetence and replace you with someone who can actually do the job they’re tasked with. It’s false because it doesn’t have to be a save X or save Y when you could easily save both with a bit of planning and preparation.

            Forcing players into unwinnable situations so they see the failure states is a bad idea, you should be able to avoid failure by playing well, I personally hate being “forced” to do the dumb thing by games. Particularly when there are other better solutions, for example, you could “fail” a terror mission because too many civilians die before you even got boots on the ground, that could worsen relationships with a country and lead to them signing treaties with the aliens too. With game rules like that you can at at least try something, there’s a reason you failed and you can adjust your strategy to compensate, maybe build a base to cover that area, here the game made you fail simply because it wouldn’t let you succeed, there’s nothing you can do.

          • Ringwraith says:

            From the sounds of it, the decision of its kind of thing comes early on, so it’s feasible that you’ve only got one transport at that point.
            I don’t think anyone knows if you can have multiple strike forces deployed at once or not, as nothing’s been mentioned either way from what I recall.

        • Hug_dealer says:

          sneetch. How can you play any game at all then. No games gives you complete freedom, all have rules that you must follow, such as find yellow key, escort such and such. Some force you down a hallway.

          Your “to gamey argument” is simply sad. It is a game.

          Also, just because you played Xcom a certain way, doesnt mean we all did, and we should not all be forced to play your version of the game, I personally find it to gamey.

          • sneetch says:

            I suspect it would be wasted effort to try to explain what I mean but I’m waiting for my code to compile and the unit tests to run so why not.

            I’m not looking for a complete simulation here, I know it’s a game and all games have limits I just don’t like the idea that I have to choose between two missions because the game imposes arbitrary and illogical limits that weren’t there in the previous titles. That’s what I mean by too “gamey” it’s a forced and jarring limitation that doesn’t make sense in the game’s world. It’s like an invisible or chest-high wall in an FPS.

            Your “we should not all be forced to play your version of the game” argument is really “sad” (and saying that my version is “too gamey” is, frankly, stupid) when what I’m arguing for is more choice in how we play the game.

            Surely you understand that you wouldn’t be “forced” to play my way if they allowed people to have more than one base, more than one Skyranger and more than one team? Lots of people played with only one base when they did have the choice to build multiple bases and if you choose to only have one Skyranger and one team and one base then you would still have to choose whether to save X or Y.

          • Hug_dealer says:

            I get what you are saying. I do.

            You are playing a game in Turn based gameplay. It doesnt get more gamey than turn based……………… Turn based does not exist in the real world. Even time units are gamey. Every rule in the game is gamey.

            Suddenly, because they limit you to 1 mission at a time. The game just jumps off the cliff into “too Gamey”. Thats the part i dont get. You are drawing an imaginary line. Then you wont even acknowledge what they are attempting to do with that mechanic they added. They didnt do it for nothing.

            Also. There isnt 1 team, you have multiple teams if need be. People will die, and will be injured. If your squad takes hits in 1 mission, those guys will be in the sick bay healing up, unable to do the next mission. Then you take your B team out, who has to pick up the slack. This throws a wrench into your plan. Now this next mission could be a critical one, and you are sending rookies in. Giving the option for failure a large chance.

            So dont get the developers any credit for thier work, and simply slap a “too gamey” label on it without thinking a little bit deeper. I havent even touched on other parts of the game yet.

            Why is waiting for aliens to attack us not “too gamey”. When we could be taking the fight to them. Why cant we build a fleet of so many interceptors that nothing stands a chance of ever making it through our atmosphere. That imaginary line you draw is yours alone. I could draw that line elsewhere if i choose.

          • sneetch says:

            Fine, you seem to be taking issue with my use of the term “too gamey” so let’s forget I said “too gamey” at all, instead of “too gamey” lets just say that I don’t like this feature (the forced choice of two missions). I don’t like it because it doesn’t make sense to me. it breaks the logic of the world. For me, it’s that “one step too far”. Is that better? Will you accept that?

            I know (or have a strong suspicion) about why they’re doing it, I acknowledged that in other posts but I just don’t like it. You seem to be reading an awful lot into my words here, I’m not pissing on their work over this, most of the rest of the game I either like or it doesn’t bother me with but this seems wrong to me.

            “I could draw that line elsewhere if i choose.”

            Of course you could! I’m not proposing some universal law here. Feel free to draw it where ever the hell you want to, you’re the only one who can.

  20. mnnzcxivn says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MsYF74aKbE/a>
    “Being given a choice of missions, with two things so often inconveniently happening at the same time, is an excellent idea.”

  21. 2late2die says:

    I’ve only been reading RPS for a couple of years but this has got to be the most covered game I’ve ever seen here. Mind you, this is not a complaint – I love reading all the previews and interviews.

  22. derella says:

    Every article I read makes me want this game more than ever. I loved the original, though I was absolutely awful at it. Me and my friend would share the keyboard, each playing when it was “our” soldiers turn. It usually devolved into mayhem — trying to wipe out all of the buildings in a map, killing civies, or killing each other.

  23. aircool says:

    Shaping up to be an awesome game. It looks like they’ve done an excellent job updating the game.

  24. The Smilingknight says:

    Wheres the interview?

    im impatiently tapping my claws here people!

  25. Totally heterosexual says:

    Very very hyped.

    I wonder. Can i make my marines go shirtless?

  26. RegisteredUser says:

    I’m still 50% excited, 50% worried.

    Stuff that reeks of “So we did this and that because that’s the only way a gamepad control can work” ideally disappears when one plays it as an actual PC game and with an open enough architecture and lots of customization maybe we can make this actually be and feel like a PC game, too.

    I am incredibly annoyed and feel disrespected that one of the most popular and revered PC games is getting the “Quite obviously, we’re creating this to run on a console(graphics fidelity, interface sizing etc pp) and with a gamepad(control, view etc) FIRST, because fuck you that’s why.” treatment, but I am hoping against all hope and prior experience with similiar claims that we’ll actually get a PC platform game for the PC out of this.

    And if so, it sounds like it might be good fun. “Might” being the operative word still.
    Still lots of factors that could ruin an otherwise extremely promising outset.

    • Hug_dealer says:

      They are making a PC specific UI for us. We will have an easier time controlling the game than consoles. People have already played it without a game pad in other previews.

      Keep in mind this is Firaxis. They do PC games. Only a tool thinks it wont be a fully featured PC game. Seriously. Its Firaxis. Does anything more need to be said. Its one of the few companies that you can guarantee will make a solid pc version of the game. Because they are PC.

      • RegisteredUser says:

        I’ve just been hurt so many times before!

        *sniffles* So all will be well? Come here!

        Now I know why they call you the hug dealer!