5 Things Which Make Me Happy In XCOM: Enemy Unknown

By Alec Meer on September 17th, 2012 at 2:15 pm.

Most of these are now dead. Of course

For some reason, I’m away whenever the chance to play Firaxis’ XCOM remake arises. Last week, any inexplicable wailing noises anyone might have heard in the region of Marseille can now be ascribed to my grief upon discovering an email containing XCOM: Enemy Unknown preview code then realising my PC was in another country. So it was left to the able hands and brain of Adam, then later Jim also, to tell you all about this turn-based reimagining. I might be a Johnny Come Lately here, but I am undeterred, having spent sunrise til sunset playing the code yesterday, and now wish to share with you those aspects of XCOM that have most delighted me. For they have truly delighted me: this is the tense, tactical time-sink I’d hoped it would be. Quibbles I might have, one of which you can also read below, but I’m so relieved, and so pleased: this is X-COM but not slavishly so, capturing the key beats and the essential tension while also nosing at new terrain.

5 OF THE GOOD

1. Losing a soldier is like being thumped in the knackers with a sledgehammer

Perhaps the strangest, greatest alchemy in the original X-COM was just how attached one became to one’s mute, poorly-coiffured men and women of the human resistance. Their randomly-generated names, their slowly emerging skills and specialisations and, most of all, those sickening then deliriously happy moments where they avoided death by nothing short of a miracle. Your soldiers were a living document of your successes in the game, so to have them cruelly snatched away from you was to say “no, you do not deserve your sense of triumph. You have failed. But you must continue.”

And as it was in X-COM, so it is XCOM. Perhaps even more, due to squad sizes being smaller (starting at 4, and upgradable fairly quickly to 6 – which although it sounds small is in balance with the enemy count, in that you feel up satisfyingly up against it rather than simply short-handed), faces being customisable and rank bringing with it a choice of upgrades rather than auto-boosted stats. When a Major or a Lieutenant bites it, it’s heartbreaking. There goes not just an efficient soldier, but some of the bedrock of your frontline. Subsequent missions will be more difficult without him or her, as rookies have no abilities in addition to less health and accuracy. That’s the practical hurt. The emotional hurt is that someone who’s ranked up has become familiar, and most likely you’ve customised them in name and appearance, so they have an identity, a role. They’re friends.

As soon as a soldier reaches Sergeant, they’re given a nickname – Long Shot, Shield, Saviour, something denoting their class – but I’ve been changing them to the names of Transformers, and then tweaking their haircuts and colours to match the appearance of the Autobot whose title they take. Roadbuster, a Heavy, has been with me since the first mission, and is my nominal leader. The team would probably fall apart without Veteran Support medic Ratchet. Then again, they held together after the shocking deaths of Wheeljack and Perceptor. When Major Ian ‘Snarl’ Jones got taken out, with over 20 kills under his belt, I had to turn the game off and walk away, not from rage but to stop myself loading an earlier savegame. That’s not the done thing. When the game auto-named a sniper Omega, I was delighted – until she was felled by a Muton’s grenade in the very next mission.

No, there isn’t an Optimus, but there is an up and coming Assault soldier named Hot Rod, who I might just rename again to Rodimus if they can go the distance to Colonel. The odds are very much against that happening.

2. The ‘glamcam’ works

I’ve been quietly sneering at XCOM’s sorta-killcam since first seeing it in action around a year ago, so I was pleasantly surprised to find it a welcome addition to the game after all – adding to the tension, rather than simply the spectacle. Every single shot matters in XCOM, matters so much my chest tightens each time, and what the glamcam does is increase the anxiety rather than interrupt it. Once in a while (honestly, not too often), the view will switch to your soldier’s shoulder, they’ll limber up, take aim and… oh, it’s agonising, it’s like that pause before the presenter in a reality TV show reveals who’s being kicked out this week. It looks good too, a chance to admire your faithful sacrificial lambs close up, to see them as the expert fighters they are rather than the pawns you usually treat them as. That said, I have gotten perhaps a bit too good at recognising which animations denote success or failure as they begin, which saps some of the tension – but then I’m still never 100% sure until the dust has settled.

3. Snakemen Reborn

Just a little thing that made me smile, this. I had thought the Thin Men aliens were a fairly pointless new addition intended to make X-COM’s grab-bag of foes more sci-fi traditional to casual observers, but what I didn’t realise until I played XCOM was that they are in fact the original’s Snakemen, redesigned. Behind their glasses are reptilian eyes, and their skinny, towering stature is thanks to their dramatically flexible, serpentine spine – allowing them to backflip and skitter in a more snakelike way than X-COM’s dumb meatwalls ever did. And they spit poison, just for some venomous icing on the cake. It’s the kind of nod to the original I get a lot out of – it rings fond bells for me, but without being contrived or confusing those who don’t know 90s strategy games.

4. Advisors

The thing about X-COM is that no-one ever told you what to do. You figured it out yourself, you screwed up all by yourself, and you discovered the game’s secrets and strategies organically. Things are different this around, but effectively so. In XCOM, your lead Scientist and Engineer will chat to you and offer suggestions as to what to research or build next – but only in terms of furthering the in-game plot, if you’re feeling ready to do that, rather than being didactic about the most effective strategy. That side of things is entirely up to you – if you want to prioritise new armour over new weapons, or new satellites over new Interceptor cannons, that’s your call, and it’s on your head alone. If you want to further investigate the source and secrets of the alien invasion then, well, let these guys suggest what should be your priority. These chatty folk are a leaf out of the traditional Firaxis book, slightly reminiscent of Civ’s Advisors, but the reason I like them is not their advice – it’s their personalities.

The superficially nervy Euro-lady heading up the research division has a barely-concealed sinister streak, clearly relishing shoving sharp things into aliens’ orifices just a little too much, while the engineering boss refreshingly isn’t a Scotty brash, brawny loudmouth – he’s a quiet, worried soul agonising about what all this militarisation might lead to even as he gets on with doing his job. Lest this sound interfering, rest assured they are your minions. They do what they’re told without question, and they don’t point any fingers at you for your decisions. They add context to what you’re doing and help usher the gentle narrative along with a more human touch than the traditional X-COM screens o’ research text did.

5. Devastation, and the perils thereof

Stuff gets trashed, as stuff should get trashed in an proper X-COM title, but it’s not all fun and explodey games. Walls are demolished, but that means you can be seen as well as see. Cars explode a turn after taking damage, so for God’s sakes don’t have one of your guys using it as cover while it’s on fire (but do use one to cause double-damage if an alien’s near it). Grenades and rockets might get rid of Sectoids and Thin Men in one fell swoop, but they’ll take out any nearby cover too, thus potentially creating a terrifying open patch of ground that you might need to run across later, leaving yourself exposed to enemy fire. Then there’s the matter of money. No-one penalises you for blowing stuff up, but the more alien tech is shattered into tiny, red-hot pieces, the less you can take home to sell and/or research. As a result, the best commanders strive for finesse rather than brute force. A Heavy’s rocket launcher or that plasma grenade your rookie’s carrying might win the battle, but clean kills and stuns (oh God, the stuns: so stressful, so terrifying to achieve) will provide the resources you need to win the war. Explosives are the last resort of a desperate (wo)man. Trouble is, in XCOM you are a desperate (wo)man for every last, anxious second of the game.

AND 1 OF THE MAYBE NOT QUITE SO GOOD

The base isn’t quite working for me, at least not after around 10 hours with the game. Research, engineering and soldier management is fine: present and correct, amped up a little, more personality if perhaps less complexity, but I’m not connecting with/caring about my actual physical HQ all that much. While the ant colony, cross-section view looks lively upon initial viewings, when the time comes to do things with it it comes across as fairly pre-fab rather than a reflection of my own strategic incompetence, and due to its multi-screen, hard-to-distinguish sprawl, browsing it ultimately becomes just a matter of clicking on the Research/Engineering/Missions/Barracks tabs along the very top of the base screen rather than using the other 95% of the screen. Base expansion is a weirdly flat matter of clicking on 2D tiles in an additional pop-up window, with no great sense of construction or growth – you click a square, the square changes, you wait ages for construction to finish then you can go click some more squares. It feels like there are about three different interfaces competing with each other, at the expense of being able to sit back and admire what you’ve made.

Still, perhaps it’s ultimately academic – any and all actions on the base boil down to the masterplan, the steady improvement of military might, and that’s very much in attendance. At any one time I’ve got three or four irons in the fire, meaningful steps forward in terms of arming and protecting my soldiers, understanding my foes and shoring up/winning back the support of the countries I protect.

Short answer? Can’t wait for the finished game – and I fully expect to keep on playing this preview code, which cuts off at a certain point in the plot-related research, right up until it arrives. I am a very happy boy indeed.

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93 Comments »

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  1. wodin says:

    Not sure the base building in the original XCom was any better was it?

    • Premium User Badge

      tikey says:

      Having to think about base defence added a strategic level to base building. If you didn’t have a choke point somewhere bad things happened.

      • Kaje says:

        I’ve pre-ordered the game, but for me the only ‘no!’ moment so far has been learning you have a single base – upgradeable, of course – but a single base nonetheless.

        In past incarnations, part of the suspense was building multiple bases across the globe to serve different purposes. Manufacturing hubs, research hubs and quick response hubs – or combinations of all three.

        I remember the choices between sending a team to stop an invasion or letting them go and rebuilding. There was a choice there.

        For this incarnation, you just choose which continent to build on (you don’t get to choose WHERE on that continent – so say goodbye to having a nice little British base) and that’s that. A one-size-fits-all base that you upgrade as you go.

        Added to that the annoyance that no matter where you build your base, the same staff of the same nationality exist within. It would have been nice to see an RAF commander if you built your base in Europe, a Chinese scientist if you built it in Asia etc…

        • Scifibookguy says:

          Kaje, you’re going to want to play Xenonauts if you want a game that’s more true to the original X-Com. The beta is supposed to be released on October 9, the same day that XCOM is coming out, because the devs figure they’ll get some interest due to the interest in the genre, and want a “better than alpha” game available. Article “Three Builds To Beta”: http://www.xenonauts.com/three-builds-to-beta/

          • Kaje says:

            I pre-ordered that ages ago and play each build via Desura. It’s shaping up very nicely, though I don’t quite get the right ‘RPG’ feel for the characters as the new XCom suggests I will.

            If only they could merge the two!

            I’m sure I’ll love this XCom anyway, every bit of news I read about it only serves to increase my excitement – I’ll just have to get to the one base thing!

          • StormFuror says:

            I’m waiting for the game to be finished before I dig into it. I can’t wait to see the end product. I’ve been following it for quite some time!

          • Stromko says:

            According to this post ( http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/showthread.php/3066-Holidays-V15-beta ) the chance of the actual beta being out on October 9th are reduced, but there could be a cut-down release sooner, and another cut-down release around Oct 9th.

            I’m not sure what the difference will be, but I suspect they won’t be taking the ‘block’ off the full content until beta arrives. Then when beta does arrive it will focus more on refining, fixing, and adapting the fully unlocked game. At least that’s in my limited understanding, I don’t have a really firm insight on their process and plans.

        • vivapinat13 says:

          I think they simplified the base building to appeal to more crowds, i mean they completely trust in the original fan base to buy their game and they want more so that they can create a second game and continue to keep XCOM alive because obviously XCOM is a game above all games is basically the king of the dosbox, so all in all they did it because no other game has done it and even making this game is taking a risk.

    • Asyne says:

      You still do most of your work through menus.
      No experience ruining quirks (paying for dirt, radar overlap, eternal retaliation).
      No base attack dynamic.

      About even, maybe better.

      • Jerakal says:

        Aww now see I really would have liked to see base attack come back in some form, even if it wasn’t the top down base you built yourself. That’s pretty disappointing.

      • Phasma Felis says:

        “No experience ruining quirks (paying for dirt, radar overlap, eternal retaliation).”

        That we know of. Yet. :D

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      Continuity says:

      The base building in the original was fine and it served its purpose very well, you had to manage locations, defences, stores, personnel and design the base in such a way to adequately choke point invaders.

      The base building in the original was a significant part of the management element of the game, and a vital part if you were going to have a good run.

      However it sounds to me like the new single base is a design failure for all of the reasons I’ve stated previously, this is one area where Firaxis have clearly lost the plot. Lets hope the rest of the game is good enough to make up for this glaring mistake.

    • Slinkyboy says:

      Have they shown Night Missions yet? I wanna see those Night Missions already…

    • Danorz says:

      not really, i mean you could design your base however you wanted to but you learned really quickly there was only really one way: three hangars in a row at the top, then a row with nothing but the lift, then everything else

  2. TormDK says:

    Alec – In the preview time you had, did you get to unlock psionics yet? Or is that considered too early? (Basically, how far are you allowed to go in your preview code?)

    • Scifibookguy says:

      Since we haven’t seen mention of the Psionics in any preview articles, I’m guessing the preview-build Research cut-off happens before you get Psionics (which probably requires getting some live greys to research, I bet).

  3. smk123 says:

    I’ve never played an XCOM game before, but the RPS previews have really got me interested, sounds so good, might invest in the original :)

    • TormDK says:

      Get at it, there’s plenty of cheap ones on GOG.com and the like (On Steam as well)

      • smk123 says:

        Luckily I just realised I got the XCOM games in the 2K pack in the Steam summer sale, happy days!

        • BadgerAttackSquad says:

          I recommend you watch a ‘Let’s Play’ first. It really helped me get an understanding of the interface and what I should be doing. (I know many people think the struggle to figure that out is half the fun, but I was more comfortable getting into the game with an idea of how it should be played.)

          • Tatourmi says:

            I recommend you don’t, but then again, my first and blind discovery of x-com five years ago was one of the finnest moments of gaming in my life. So yeah. Also, don’t begin by terror of the deep (If you do it at all, game is frustrating as hell has some hardlocked technology, meaning that you have to research things in a certain order or you wont get all the goodies, and is a cheap kill fest in the end as all enemies are equipped with a ridiculous homing nuke launcher which one shots everything in an area wider than one screen of the game per shot. It also has ridiculously tough enemies. Oh well, I don’t like it)

            DO however try out apocalypse. Extremely weird, incredible fun when you get into it, and one of the most ambitious games ever created in my honnest opinion.

        • StormFuror says:

          I would definitely start out with X-Com UFO Defense first. It’s my favorite game ever, and is still playable to this day.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Cinek says:

    On a first screenshot it looks like The Old Republic engine.

  5. TwwIX says:

    I haven’t played a good tactical role-playing game since the Silent Storm games. This looks really promising. I really like the combat presentation. It’s a cross between Fallout 3’s combat view but much more cinematic and old school, top down view gameplay. Something fresh that this genre definitely needed.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      That’s because they haven’t made any since then, and it blows my mind that thats the case.
      A misfired JA reboot attempt and crap like Hammer&Sickle(or Day/Night watch) litters the vast emptyness that is the time after Silent Storm.
      What a major shame it is to have such a promising highlight give a glimpse of a potential future for a genre and then..NOTHING.

      Basically we are approaching a decade of nothingness in the realm of RPG-y TBS with destructible terrain/objects.

  6. Squirly says:

    Ooohh yeah. That’s the stuff. Keep it coming.

    • McDan says:

      It totally is. Even though I really want this game I’m still apprehensive about it, only because of the drama I’ll be going through when a really high-ranked individual that I feel has become a computer friend dies. Which will happen.

  7. kaoswielder says:

    Never played any XCOM game but I am getting too old for FPS and RTS (and PvP), and so have turned back to TBS games now (Civ 5/Gal Civ 2). Pre-ordered this for about $20 in my country. Though not going to get any pre-order bonuses (couldn’t find any such thing mentioned). That is ok, and I hope the game is fun.

    • MrLebanon says:

      $20?!?!! Do you live in Discount-land?

      • kaoswielder says:

        South Asia. Most games never make it here and Steam region locks some games. Also $20 equivalent in our currency isn’t a small amount, specially considering that people don’t spend on gaming and it is an obscure culture. Most gamers who earn for themselves won’t be able to afford $60 price tags (or would most certainly wait for a sale than pay that amount. Or worse, will pirate it). Not to forget that EA sells overpriced stuff through Origin and so does Acit/Blizz through bnet. Since cheap games also come through a local publisher, we get them almost a week late than US and 3-4 days late than respective EU release. So not at all rosy one would say :D

    • zeroskill says:

      You must live in happy-land. I got to dish out 49.99€ for this. That’s $65. Not really what you would call a good deal, especially if you consier I’m living in eastern europe.

      But hey, instead of making reasonable prices for eastern europe, we can be a scapegoat for 2K if the game does badly, since we all are dirty pirates, stealing from the poor and fair corporations.

      • sarbian says:

        £22.50 here ( 28€ ) on green man gaming with a discount code given in the comments of a previous XCOM post on RPS. ( you get a steam key )

        • zeroskill says:

          Thanks, I will look into that.

          • MrLebanon says:

            Did some googling…apparently voucher doesn’t work in NA… Oh well, I’ve pre-ordered a boxed copy so I don’t have to challenge my poor little Canadian internet with downloading something. Also, I went boxed deluxe because I will get a pretty box. 60CAD/USD here

        • JFS says:

          It doesn’t really work for everyone. I’m in Germany, GMG wanted to charge me 35 € even with the voucher (without it’s the same as the overblown Steam price). Which is still quite expensive for a pre-order discount with added voucher.

        • Ninja Foodstuff says:

          Sadly that code (GMG25-1BW0K-K1A3G) has expired

    • Triglav says:

      Civ V/Gal Civ 2 (+ Start Wars vs. Star Trek mod), exactly my order of play in the last months lol.
      And now looking forward to XCOM too.

  8. Seboss says:

    Was base management in the original games much more interesting than in the Firaxis’ game? Or is Alec’s complaint only about the disappointing interface/presentation?

    Except for the odd base attack which was the only reason to think more than 2 seconds about your bases layout, I didn’t think base management was that interesting back then either.

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    cspkg says:

    If the base interface is the major gripe with this game, then it’s looking pretty darn awesome.

  10. Elmar Bijlsma says:

    “…having spent sunrise til sunset playing the code yesterday…”
    What you are saying here is that it isn’t as good as the original.
    Because with the original sunsets were irrelevant and sunrise was the mere alarm bell warning you that you had to decide to grab an hour of sleep, a liter of coffee or phone in sick.
    Ah, those were the days. The days where I could get away with an all-nighter. I feel old.

    • Goldeneye says:

      He had to write the article for us you know =P He probably had to stop himself lest we lost him to the alien invasion.

  11. MistyMike says:

    ‘Operation Unceasing Hammer’. Brilliant.

  12. Filden says:

    You are killing me, RPS. Still the better part of a month to go until my pre-order is available. I hope you save some of these XCOM features for the release, when players could actually go out and play the game.

    I was looking forward to Borderlands 2 tonight as a diversion, but I think the non-stop barrage of advance XCOM coverage on RPS has actually managed to make me resent B2 for not being XCOM.

  13. The_invalid says:

    Every time you guys post a new article about XCOM, my cold, withered heart grows a little bit happier. I am so unbelievably excited for this game, and this article ramps my excitement up all the more :)

  14. Groove says:

    I would like to state that I have now reached maximum excitment for X-Com. Additional articles will not help, and will only erode suspense with hordes of wonderful anecdotes that are also minor spoilers.

    I am giving up on X-Com articles and will not be reading more until I played the game sufficiently. It’s for my own good =(

  15. Drinking with Skeletons says:

    That tree in the “Devastation” screenshot is surprisingly crude looking. I don’t mean textures or anything, just the actual shape of the tree.

    On a more serious note, how is this game’s performance? I would like to be able to play it on my laptop and would like to know if there’s going to be any serious tradeoffs for that. My laptop plays games like Skyrim and Dawn of War II about as well as my desktop (pretty much maxed out), but I can’t play Civ V in DX10 mode without it grinding down. Have they made XCOM a bit more flexible/less bafflingly hardware intensive?

    Barring that, is there a discrete DX9 mode? Playing Civ V on DX9 mode works quite well (heavily reduced shadows and some odd draw-in being the only tradeoffs) and some judicious ini tweaking has rendered the leaderheads indistinguishable from their desktop counterparts. I’d gladly accept that as a compromise.

  16. zeroskill says:

    I’m sure it’s gonna be a good game, I still rather get Natural Selection 2 and Guild Wars 2 for the same price they are asking for this though.

    However, I really hope this game deserves all the hype it is getting from RPS.

    • Filden says:

      I’m not sure I understand. Guild Wars 2 alone is retailing for more than XCOM:EU, which is in turn selling for cheaper than the going rate for triple-A new releases.

      • zeroskill says:

        I get Guild Wars 2 at my local retailer for 30€, in Czech Republic. I can get Natural Selection 2 for 20€ on Steam. Xcom costs 50€.

        I strongly believe I will get more enjoyment out of those 2 games than from Xcom, considering I’m looking forward to all these games, since I played the original games for all 3 of them. Still i’m getting 2 for 1 here, which is a pretty easy choice for me to make.

        However if you can direct me to a location where I can get Xcom cheaper, I will consider buying it.

        • Filden says:

          Ah, lucky you. That sounds like an atypical price on GW2, but I guess markets differ.

          You’re certainly free to spend your money as you see fit, but I don’t see either of those games offering me what XCOM does, which is something of a rarer beast. Frankly, even if I thought it wasn’t going to be great, I’d pre-order just to support somebody publishing a tactical turn based strategy game with a budget.

          • zeroskill says:

            Lucky, and unlucky, it seems. =]

          • Filden says:

            Exchange rates notwithstanding, I still think you’re coming out ahead with that GW2 price, at least compared to where I live. If 50€ is what you pay for a new triple A release where you live, then where I am, GW2 would still be that price.

            For instance, here, a new triple A game is generally 60$. GW2 is still generally that price, both digital and box. The digital version of XCOM is 50$ (box is 60$), and can be pre-ordered for about 45$ (Amazon US). This is cheaper than average for a new AAA game. Natural Selection is about the same both places.

            You come out a little bit behind on the exchange rate for the new game price (65$ vs 60$), but not outrageously so. If you were getting brand new AAA games for 30€, from my point of view, you had it pretty good. :) But again, local markets and exchange rates vary, and can’t really be compared in an apples to apples fashion.

  17. Reapy says:

    Didn’t read it yet, but all these stories make me want to punch the RPS staff in the gonads because they get to play and I don’t!

  18. NathaI3 says:

    Another day, another XCOM article. This game is getting more RPS coverage than any I can remember.

    • zeroskill says:

      Also, considering the dangers of hype-building. If the game will not meet the standards people expect, there is a possibilty of a backlash.

    • Alec Meer says:

      Another day, another comment that game x is getting a lot of posts. It has forever been thus.

      • Premium User Badge

        Vandelay says:

        Another day and another article about game you want to write about. How could you RPS? Don’t you know you are nothing but our slaves!

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Can you imagine the AUDACITY of the hive mind and chums being excited about a game and daring the post and enthuse about it on their very own blog? I mean, who do they think they are? Do they think they own RPS or something? This irresponsible use of a blog to express the blogger’s facts, opinions and thoughts on whatever they so desire…. good lord!

      BAN THIS FILTH

  19. Premium User Badge

    BaconAndWaffles says:

    STOP SHOWING ME STUFF ABOUT XCOM! IT’S NOT FAIR THAT YOU CAN PLAY IT AND I CAN’T!!!

    I kid (maybe). I am crazy excited for this gmae and there are non-stop previews/post everywhere. I can’t hid from it. Maybe I should read a book or something…

  20. kud13 says:

    There is one solution to releiving the wait for this game: playing the original.

    my weekend (commencing thursday evening, including all of Thursday night) was an official writeoff due to a new game on “Veteran”. I had my first Terror mission whilst my squad still had no armour, and were using automatic Earth weapons. it was amazing.

  21. aircool says:

    There’s even a patch for true nostalgia players that contains a bugged sectiod commander..

  22. Robin says:

    Alec please tell us something about the accuracy system.. does it work well, is it good-reliable?
    In the videos you see several “unexpected”, seemingly random or worse wrong, % to hit (like the 45% on a sectoid next to the assault rifle equipped soldier, in one of the OXM preview videos).

    Thanks

  23. Premium User Badge

    Stellar Duck says:

    I’ve got one question:

    The missions: are they random or scripted/always the same?

    And apologies if that’s been answered already. I’ve been a bit sporadic in my following of the coverage.

    • Dominic White says:

      The missions are random, although the maps themselves are static. Even on a single map, you can get multiple permutations of objectives, friendly/enemy placements etc, and the devs say you can play through the game maybe twice to completion without ever seeing a map repeated.

  24. bfandreas says:

    For the love of dogs STOP IT!
    YOU. Yes, YOU with the keyboard. Don’t tell us mere mortals how pathetic our meaningless existence without X-COM is! We got the message. We preordered the game. Would have done so anway since they had us at X-COM.

    STOP RUBBING IT IN! My Alien saliva has worked its way through a second set of key, floorboards and neighbours.

    St p i alre dy!

    • kud13 says:

      For some of us it took longer.

      But once they said Chrysalids were in, I caved.

  25. irongamer says:

    Ah good. Glad to hear solider loss is in. For someone reason I had mistakenly believed they had removed it, or made it a lighter affair.

  26. Weed says:

    Do soldiers stop in their tracks when they spot an alien? In the original, you gave a movement command to a unit who then started their traverse. If during that move, an alien was brought into LOS, you could then make a choice about shoot, cover, continue, etc.

    Is this the same? I have watched a couple of vids, but did not get a sense for this sighting system.

  27. Bracket says:

    First game I’ve been genuinely excited about in ages. I may even pay full whack for it instead of waiting six to twelve months for it to go on on sale. Enjoying the amount of RPS coverage it’s getting!

    Not sure I’m going to be able to handle this soldier loss though. I have to replay when a friendly NPC dies, even the goons in your standard FPS.

    • Kaje says:

      I pre-ordered it for just over £22 – which for a brand new AAA title is superb.

      Green Man Gaming plus the 25% discount code GMG25-1BW0K-K1A3G

      It’s only valid for another four or five hours. Be careful if you copy/paste as it can sometimes add a space at the end which renders the code invalid – just make sure you delete any stray space from the end!

      http://www.greenmangaming.com/s/gb/en/pc/games/strategy/xcom-enemy-unknown/

      • Bracket says:

        The code seems to have expired, thanks anyways though.

        It seems as though the pre-purchase on steam may hit the required level to get a free copy of Civ 5 (pre-orders really are ridiculous now), I’ll probably go for that

        • ape_escape says:

          I’ve just purchased from greenman using a 20% off code that’s good until the 25th Sep.
          GMG20-AWDF9-Q1PEY

          However, the Steam key is not released until launch, so no pre-load or adding to library ’till then.

          You can check for currently valid vouchers at http://www.greenmangaming.com/hot-deals/

          • marbled says:

            Forgive my ignorance, but how does Green Man Gaming work? Does the game install on Steam or on a different system?

          • Kaje says:

            They send you a Steam code (and probably one for the pre-order content) and you just activate it on Steam!

  28. MacTheGeek says:

    So… when does this “preview code”, or “demo”, become available to the general public?

  29. MrLebanon says:

    RPS can you please bug firaxis to make a co-op mode for us? Thanks!

  30. Slinkyboy says:

    So you’re stuck in one base and it’s not so interesting?
    Well I’m not complaining because I didn’t pre-order it. I’ll wait for the official “wut I think” from my RPS before I buy or not.

    • Filden says:

      You really think the tone of the WIT is going to be much of a mystery at this point? Three separate members of the Hivemind have already chimed in with overwhelming praise, two of which had nothing bad to say about the base building, and one of which made a point to say how much he enjoyed the base aspect.

      By all means, wait for reviews ( I wish I was that strong), but it’s remarkable how some people are fixating on the lone dissenting quibble in Alec’s otherwise overwhelmingly positive article.

  31. JoeGuy says:

  32. YourMessageHere says:

    “you feel up satisfyingly up against it”

    I know you’re all excited about this game, but perhaps you’re going a bit far here…

  33. Infernal_Dalek says:

    Looking forward to it. The game is looking so nice, I was thinking I might buy it twice. Would anybody be interested in entering a giveaway?

    Also, if I gift a preorder of it over Steam will the recipient get the preorder bonuses?

  34. StormFuror says:

    I’m jealous! I can’t wait to play it! UFO Defense is my favorite game ever and cannot wait to get my hands on EU. 22 more days! :D

  35. Slinkyboy says:

    Have they shown Night Missions yet? I wanna see those Night Missions already…

  36. Infernal_Dalek says:

    Well, I’m glad at least SOMEBODY is giving us info. It seems most people who were given the preview build were never heard from again…

  37. RegisteredUser says:

    “relishing shoving sharp things into aliens’ orifices ”

    Well, that has the asian market sold.

  38. cheborra says:

    Ok, that’s it, I’m pre-ording this.

    Wasn’t there a button somewhere to >>ffw till October 11?

  39. Lulzbat says:

    In before it turns out to be a total consoleified piece of crap.

  40. Infernal_Dalek says:

    Need more game-play footage! Don’t make me capture you alive and stick you in my containment chamber!

  41. Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

    I saw it mentioned that the game allows you to save freely at any point, so how the hell did you manage to lose a soldier permanently? Just reload if it pisses you off so much. Or is it some nostalgia thing, as in the original didn’t allow reloading so you refuse to do it here either? Is it worth it?