Chinese Takeaway: XCOM DLC Out Now

By Alec Meer on December 4th, 2012 at 8:00 pm.

I should be over the moon about new content for one of my favourite games of 2012, but a) I wear specially-made grumpy pants at all times and b) the Slingshot add-on for XCOM really does sound underwhelming. It’s out later today, and currently I’m not particularly likely to play it. The biggest problem with it for me is less its nature – a few bonus missions, a pre-generated hard-ass squadmate and some new outfit options – and more that, reportedly, most of it can’t be accessed without starting a new campaign. I’ve played the game through two and half times now and what I want are new levels of challenge and new types of menace, not to repeat all those early stages once again to play three new maps, even if they are set in China.

See? Like I said, these pants are stitched from the finest grump hide.

So yeah, wot I think is that you probably won’t see a Wot I Think of Slingshot here, unless it’s patched to be accessible from an existing campaign.

I do want those new hats, though. The robotic ones would be ideal for my squad of Autobots. Here’s a peek:

It’s due out today – in fact, by the time this article goes live it will be out. I am a soothsayer!

A second DLC pack has been confirmed, but no details on contents or dates or hats or whatnot is known as yet. I hope it’s more substantial.

I hope it’s Mars. Please let it be Mars.

Or Terror From The Deep. Imagine.

__________________

« | »

, , .

102 Comments »

  1. Eddy9000 says:

    Now, Alec. If you’re not careful, all the children will dance around your window singing Sourpuss and Grumpyface and you don’t want that, now do you?

    (PS. My wish for the 2nd DLC would have to be TFTD style thermal lances)

  2. sinister agent says:

    “Hey, I know you’re busy saving the world with like, ten people and a single dropship, but we’d like it if you could waste time and resources killing a load of gangsters instead. The hundreds of thousands of army or police or UN people who aren’t currently saving the world can’t do it because of reasons.”

    • Teran says:

      They can’t do it because there is no alien force for a conventional military to attack. The armies of the world would be happy to engage the enemy threat however they are not equipped to make that engagement happen and are seldom prepared for it when the aliens choose to strike.

      What do you think happens to the other two missions when you get one of those choose three options? Either the aliens hurry up and get their mission accomplished, or a national military force shows up and hits them as hard as they can which is unfortunate for the civilians in the area. X-COM looks bad either way but the organization was created to figure things out, not repulse a full on invasion of a literal army of aliens.

      • kansdmwb says:

        Bluetooth Keyboard Case for iPhone5-Ultra-thin Slide-out Wireless Keyboard for iPhone 5! I gave my 12-year-old children gifts at Christmas! We think that how? I’m like, I hope that my children like! Really great! http://800wx.com/a9

      • SanguineAngel says:

        I think he was referring to the regular forces, like the police, tackling the mundane gangster/triad threat, as is their job.

  3. Dowson says:

    Of all the DLC we could get, they seem to be pushing crappy overpriced stuff.

    Where are the expansions!

  4. varangian says:

    Underwhelming does indeed sum it up I think. I suppose they want to make money from a lightweight add on while that might sell so maybe a later one will be more interesting. I was kind of hoping for some all out war type of missions with huge maps, shitloads of aliens and the option to make the away team every person/bot in the barracks who isn’t in ICU or an engineering bay.

  5. jonfitt says:

    When the previews came out for the new XCOM I was relieved to see that they “got it”. The creators understood what was good about XCOM (largely).

    So it’s very odd to see this new DLC which, much like the floundering fps XCOM, does not “get it”.

    Please don’t buy this. So that much like training a misbehaving puppy, we can indicate the behaviour expected.

    • Bluerps says:

      I thought the same. They managed to make this incredible game, and then they made this. I just don’t understand why they thought people might want something like this.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      I really liked the game, and have been completed uninspired by the descriptions of the DLC. I’ll wit for some expansion that has them all and some content that is worthwhile.

    • mckertis says:

      It’s very hard for me to understand the difference, as far as i’m concerned the main game “didnt get it” in any way, shape, or form, and this kind of DLC is nothing unexpected on my part.

      • Joshua Northey says:

        Would you elaborate? As posted your comment doesn’t really make a lot of sense.

      • mouton says:

        Yes, well, you can always just play the original game ad infinitum. Or Xenonauts.

        I like some evolution in my games, but to each his own.

        • Vorphalack says:

          You say that as if change is never bad.

        • erutan says:

          I liked the changes on the tactical layer overall, and additions like the foundry/officer training etc. R&D I’m kinda meh, but I can’t really enjoy the strategic layer. Granted there are some nice trade-offs with resource scarcity, but it’s far too reactionary. I never even researched any air upgrades until the story forced me too my first time through the game (classic, non-iron).

          • Ateius says:

            Really? I was itching for airpower upgrades well before they became required for the story. Even with improved firepower, my interceptors were taking horrendous damage. The only reason I didn’t get it until after the plot point was simply due to lacking the materials.

          • Docslapper says:

            Some kind of ‘squadron’ upgrade that allowed me to send more than ONE FUCKING PLANE at each alien would have been good. My first playthrough I had an interceptor shot down so built 3 interceptors on each continent… that didn’t work out as expected, and got me a bit shouty at the screen.

            I played the original and liked this reboot (replaying the original was a lesson in how hard games were back then! I don’t remember it being that tough) but I got through the whole campaign in a day or so, and was slightly disappointed to finally be getting my squad into some kind of decent shape and then…. that was it.

          • SanguineAngel says:

            you can send multiple aircraft. I tend to abort when an aircraft takes a lot of damage then immediately send out a second plane to continue the attack. Granted, sending them together would be handy but at leas this way, if your initial craft does succeed you second is still fresh and ready for a second intercept

          • erutan says:

            Apparently SanguineAngel weren’t supposed to launch more than one at a time, but hey. The larger issue is for every UFO you have a chance of intercepting, there seem to be ~5 terror/abduction missions that just appear out of thin air.

          • SanguineAngel says:

            Yeah, I’d like to see a lot more UFO interceptions, at least on the harder difficulties but the effect of failing those missions be less dramatic. As it stands, on classic difficulty, you really can’t lose more than a couple of missions before you’re screwed, whereas I quite like losing missions and soldiering on. I also frequently get requests for hardware I have no way of getting (ufo power supplies and nav computers) because I don’t get any interceptions for weeks at a time. I’d be happy to see more missions but have them be even harder and the consequences for failure less severe.

            As you say, terror missions seem to spring from thin air. Apparently, though, those terror missions DO have UFOs but they are hidden, presumably for balance issues. It seems the original concept was to be able to shoot them down. There are mods out there that put them back in but I’ve not tried em yet.

      • SanguineAngel says:

        I am sure you DO understand the reasons that people have enjoyed this game, as they have been described in plenty of detail in full articles, comments and on the forums. However, they don’t apply to you, which is fine. The game isn’t for you, that’s no crime.

        However, for those of us who DID like the game, this expansion does seem rather off base when compared to the main game. It focuses not at all on the elements of the game that we have praised, nor on expanding the areas that were commonly thought to be ripe for expansion (maps, missions types, voices etc). So, perhaps now you can understand our disappointment :)

    • P7uen says:

      I’m a fan and I genuinely want those hats (I am a shallowmans), but I don’t want to vote with my wallet and encourage the opposite of what would make it a much bettter game. So yeah, the opposite, please, but still with the hats and maybe a monocle / SHIV armour.

    • yurusei says:

      Between Farcry3, AssCreed 3 and BLOPS2, I won’t have any trouble ignoring this.

  6. erutan says:

    I’ve accepted the one base / one dropship change, but it’d be nice if they could fix/expand on the strategic layer to help the game feel a bit less reactive.. I’d pay some money for:

    1) air combat system that isn’t boring
    2) UFOs you can actually intercept for terror and/or abduction missions
    3) generally speaking more UFOs to shoot down

    This really should just be patches, but oh well… I know 2 can be done via 2nd wave settings, but it’d be nice to have the game/resources balanced around a more interactive strategic layer.

    • Groove says:

      I’d give a sizable money hat for UFO crash sites on abduction-style maps. Essentially, so that every landed/crashed UFO isn’t the same.

      For smaller ones you could just place the UFO on different surroundings, but for larger ones it’s even more important. Late game I spent about 2/3rds of my time clearing the same alien cargo ships with only the tiniest differences in the surrounding forest. You could either have the ship smashed into pieces (so only 1 part is on the map) or just have a city-scape leading upto it and rubble/map boundry obscuring the second half.

  7. epmode says:

    Map DLC in an XCOM game strikes me as particularly ridiculous. I really, *really* hope that procedural map generation is a priority for a sequel. I mean, I haven’t even finished a single game of the new XCOM and I’m already running into duplicate maps.

    • Mctittles says:

      Perhaps that is why Alec is bored after 2 1/2 plays. I haven’t tried it, but I kind of never got tired of playing the original.

      • djim says:

        After disabling the tutorial the missions seem to all be procedural. If you keep the tutorial the missions seem to be the same.

      • wodin says:

        The game for me just didn’t have the legs the original one did. I only played through once and I’m unlikely to go back..esp if this is the kind of DLC released.

        So I’m surprised Alec wanted to playthrough a third time.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      I’d agree unless they are maps which bring a lot of new assets/new terrain for said map generator/map maker.

    • Groove says:

      I’m actually a fan of the set maps. I would have loved procedural generation too, but they did make the new maps look really great. And there are some really interesting and well made ones, like fighting through a bookshop with a restaurant on the roof, and the restaurant was full of people and chrysallids. I thought I’d fought through most of the mission when zombies starting dropping off the roof like ants. I also enjoyed storming city hall, since I had 2 heavies and they had a sectopod. The place ended up a shell.

  8. AlKaPwn says:

    I’ve always felt like the entirety of xcom and what the world was asking you to do was akin to going “I want you to build me a house, that I will pay for only after I’m happy with it.”

  9. Slinkyboy says:

    No, just stuff they pulled from the release build just like every other shit DLC packed game in the world. and simple DLC that we all can make if the game released modding tools, which they won’t.

  10. U-99 says:

    Bullshit storyline, irrelevant outfit options, hefty price, no changes for actual gameplay… Sounds like a perfect DLC.

  11. Ross Angus says:

    Woah. Getting Deus Ex flashbacks, from the start of that video. And I like it.

  12. PatrickSwayze says:

    This would be really interesting if it opened up the ability for people to drop user created missions into the game.

    But it probably doesn’t.

    Still, those helmets look nice.

  13. PikaBot says:

    Yeeeeah, I’m not buying this. I would be all over a whole expansion – a full new set of story missions, new aliens, new weapons and abilities, lots and lots and lots of new maps – but this? Helmets aside this is exactly the opposite of the right kind of DLC for the game.

  14. Arathain says:

    What I would like to see in an expansion/DLC thingy:

    Double the number of skills available at each rank for your soldiers, but only let you pick from two, randomly chosen. This should make soldiers feel more individual, and make you put more thought into picking them. You’re not going to always have the skills you want available, and you’re going to have to come up with more ways to combine them.

    What do you want to see in an expansion?

    • Dys Does Dakka says:

      A less scripted and much more ‘sandboxy’ strategic layer, to put it in a few words.

      -I could keep writing all night about what I’d want XCOM to be, but that’s the essence of it.

      • Docslapper says:

        agree.. a proper strategy element to the game, with layered defences gradually breaking down (i.e. terror and abduction missions only happen if they get past your interceptors!) and strategic decisions (do we attempt to keep them out of everywhere or create fortresses around the primary economic assets?). A portayal of a world being invaded, not a series of set-piece scenarios.

        hmmm, considering this is Firaxis, could we have a Civ5 mod that handles the strategy, and allows us to launch XCOM missions at enemy strategic targets? that would be cool…

    • Imbecile says:

      Several things that can just be folded into the normal campaign.

      A couple of new enemies
      Some new tech-tree options for weapons, armour and facilities
      A new class of soldier
      A good chunk of new maps to stop the existing ones getting too tired (in a perfect world we’d have random maps, but that wont happen this time around)

    • Subject 706 says:

      A proper inventory, for gods sakes. I like the new xcom, but it is very tactically limited in comparison to the old one(s). Oh, I’m carrying a medkit, so for completely gamey reasons I can’t carry a single grenade. Feels super silly and very gamey.

      Some more equipment variety would be great too. And proper day/night cycles.

      EDIT: And lose that stupid ‘free turn’ the aliens get when you discover them. It is beyond stupid. Use some sort of reaction system instead.

      • NathanH says:

        Well, it is a very gamey restriction, but the whole of the new XCOM is very gamey. If you think about it, there’s very little in the game other than line-of-sight that would be hard to reproduce as a tabletop wargame. So a particular gamey restriction is not really at odds with the overall philosophy of the design. Effectively, new XCOM is a tabletop-game adaptation of old XCOM’s simulation (not saying that old XCOM was accurate at simulating, but that was the philosophy: here’s what an alien invasion might be like, see if you can stop it).

  15. Dys Does Dakka says:

    A pack of scripted tactical missions added to a game whose biggest problem is a criminally undercooked and linear-feeling strategic game.
    And some new hats. For six and a half €.

    -No.

    Mind, I liked the new XCOM, aside from the linear feel of it.
    But seeing this, boy am I glad that Xenonauts is being made.

    • Hematite says:

      At this point Xenonauts could claim a large chunk of the XCOM fanbase just by having a strategic layer which is a game rather than a … *shudder* … mini-game.

      Edit: actually, pretty much what you said already.

    • karthink says:

      From the alpha builds, I am not a fan of the Xenonauts graphics engine. Gunfire is just terribly unconvincing.

      Also, soldier customization and the perk system in XCOM has spoiled me now.

  16. ZIGS says:

    Damn, what’s the caliber of that pistol, .50 BMG?

  17. rampofdeath says:

    No lobster men, no sale. Preferably hiding in a small cupboard, in a small cabin, on an enormous ship, waiting..waiting..

    • sinister agent says:

      Or standing directly in front of the skyranger, laughing like a viscount. Fire away, humans! Either your puny weapons are on target or it’s just started to rain. I know no difference!

      • Joshua Northey says:

        lol exactly. I still remember the first time I shot a lobersterman 10+ times with Gauss and just raged at the injustice of it, as man after man went down.

        • ScorpionWasp says:

          Not to mention the bullshit hidden stats. If you scanned the Lobsterman with the mind probe thingy and compared its armor to, say, your own armor that barely stopped a single plasma shot, you’d guess the things had about the resilience of wet toilet paper.

  18. tkioz says:

    I’d have been okay with this DLC if they had included even a handful of new maps… seriously getting bored off my tits playing in the same forests everytime I down a UFO… come on deserts! tundra! outback! SOMETHING!

  19. sophof says:

    How about no.

    Also, fix the strategic layer. Now it is simply a ‘don’t make a single mistake’ layer where you react to things happening. Actually having to shoot down UFO’s more than 5 times in an entire would be nice as well. Oh, and a better ‘panic’ system that doesn’t randomnly choose countries that already leave in the first month…
    Apparently the grumpy-pants were on sale, sorry.

    • remoteDefecator says:

      So true. They really should just take the old strategic game, update the graphics, and marry it to the new combat.

  20. Oak says:

    I just want the beret.

  21. Hawat says:

    After playing the game for a while I found that the thing I miss the most is bullet trajectory calculation and control. In this game we can full burst on an alien behind another and only hit on the targeted alien. there is also the issue of not being able to shoot at place directly if you know that an alien is hiding behind it. That removed a big part of the fun to me. If they could bring that back, I would be happy to buy whatever dlc adds it.

  22. Lemming says:

    I honestly don’t care about this game any more. I was really excited to play it when I bought it but it’s not the XCOM I expected. I slogged through the never-ending tutorial, had a bit of fun in the middle somewhere, and finished it to see that poor ending. I’ve not played it since.

    I wasn’t bothered about time units, but this just isn’t nearly as good as it should’ve been. It’s XCOM abridged. It’s the Michael Bay movie of the game complete with hoo-rah Americanisms.

    Put simply, the original UFO, and to a greater extent TFTD had depth and class. This just doesn’t have anything approaching that. Where’s the horror? The tension? The multiculturalism? The sheer vast scale of the damn thing? A massive disappointment.

    • Teran says:

      TFTD was by far a superior game balance and mechanics wise, there is no comparing the two so you shouldn’t say “to some extent”.

  23. HothMonster says:

    Came here for Adicts reference I am disappoint.

  24. Strangerator says:

    One of nu-XCOM’s greatest atrocities was the complete lack of procedurally generated cabbage fields, apple orchards, and hay lofts. How cool would it be if you down a UFO in the desert and you changed your skyranger loadout knowing it would be more open ground with less cover? Send in a SHIV!

    I would shell out money for things like procedural tundra, desert, farmland, etc. Procedural maps that weren’t just paintball arenas, but felt like places that could actually exist, places where aliens shouldn’t be. Make walls able to be targeted already! I don’t care if they need to give terrain more health points, just get it done.

    How about.. unlock soldier customization with regards to weapons, then just limit class abilities to class weapons (or better, tie each ability to a specific weapon or weapons). Add a bunch of cool new guns. Stun launchers anyone? Also wouldn’t upset me too much if stunning were not an “all or nothing”, but a separate type of damage that needed to go higher than enemy health to render it unconscious (little red health boxes could turn white… no more red, target is unconscious). Stun damage would slowly fade on subsequent turns. I won’t be so hardcore as to suggest that unconscious targets be able to regain consciousness if enough stun damage wears off, leaving them wandering confused and weaponless (though I vaguely remember some game proving this was possible).

    New classes would be neat as well, and as new types of maps were added along with new weapons, new classes could flow naturally from there. Hell, you could even rework existing class skill trees to have more options to take advantage of different types of weapons instead of adding new classes. I found the binary skill trees to be almost no-brainers, as one choice would usually far exceed the usefulness of the other.

    EDIT: Also, be able to sell more things on the grey market and also increase squad size. If maps go procedural, you will want to bump squads up in size as well.

    This is only scratching the surface of what I’d like to see for this game. Instead, we are given SCRIPTED content that is even harder to justify repeated playthroughs of.

  25. JFS says:

    Game still doesn’t work for me, their support isn’t replying, but yeah, we got time for nonsense DLC, sure!

  26. unangbangkay says:

    It’s as if merely mentioning grumpy pants brought all the grumpy-pants-wearers out of the woodwork. Such rage!

  27. mwoody says:

    That’s weird, I don’t remember there being horses in the game at all. Where am I going to hang this armor?

    EDIT: OK, I was being snarky above, but the funny thing is that if this WAS something like the horse armor, I’d be more likely to buy it. The helmets in the free-for-preorders DLC were actually amusing enough that I recommended others who got the game later still pay the $3 or whatever it was to get ‘em.

  28. Caiman says:

    I thought Jake Solomon had our backs here, what’s going on? What this new X-Com needs right now is an expansion pack that offers greater replayability. Even polishing up the Second Wave options, adding a few more in, and throwing in a set of additional random maps would be enough. Random map generation clearly isn’t going to happen outside of a sequel, but really the last thing any of us needs or would ask for is more scripted missions – by far the worst aspect of the game as it stands. It’s like the publisher said “Ok team, you had your way with the game, now stand aside as we try and make money from our customers”. No luck here, I’m afraid.

    • dglenny says:

      I, in my foolish optimism, think that Jake S. does have our back, and that the scenario with the publisher is exactly what happened. 2K’s regional pricing alone is a total slap in the face; when Civ V was released it was $40 USD more expensive in NZ than in the US. On Steam. It was cheaper for physical delivery. So I’ll give Jake and Firaxis a lot of leeway and put all the blame squarely on 2K.

  29. Zogtee says:

    The new missions and character are a bit rubbish, but we get some scenery that actually looks chinese and the new helmets are rather nice. The hidden surprise, however, is that this DLC will corrupt your saved games. If you had saved just before the final mission, then I bet you’re laughing now!

    Oh yeah, mod support, Firaxis? Where is it?

  30. Jraptor59 says:

    Well now, it’s only a couple of weeks since they released this game, so why wasn’t this included in the game? Ohhhh….it’s DLC (wink wink). We can get a few extra bucks by holding out parts of the game we already finished and could have included. Why do gamers fall for this? Don’t they realize the more they support this type of behavior, the more it will be done?

  31. dmastri says:

    Shit game remains shit. All polish, no substance. A fairly accurate reflection of mainstream media, I guess.

  32. razzafazza says:

    what has me most worried that it took them this long for such a short DLC. i mean if X-COM were actually mod-friendly i m sure some modder could ve come up with a bunch of new helmets in a couple of days and could ve come up with a bunch of meh council missions in a couple of weeks.

    i enjoyed the new X-COM but with DLC like this and firaxis giving mods the middle finger (to be fair, they already do since CIV 5) i cant see it becomming a classic like the original. damn shame.

    btw i d happily pay ~ 5 bucks for some kind of map pack with say 10 new maps, a bunch of new customization options (pretty much the only thing making slingshot attractive but not at this price…) and maybe 1-2 new really difficult council missions to make the late game more interesting.
    release something like that every 2-3 months and i (and probably many others) would pay for it while waiting for a real expansion with new aliens, tech, equiment, etc.

    but when i see the slingshot DLC i m worried that the same person(s) who okayed this will probably okay an expansion along the lines of “pay 20 bucks for a new mini campaign including 9 brand new scripted council missions and 1 brand new weapon” … damnit what the hell is wrong with you firaxis ?

  33. gibb3h says:

    what would be nice is if they actually added localised accents to the the supposed “international” team….

  34. killuminati says:

    I started a second playthrough after the first completion, just to see if I could get an easier time followint the advice I read over the internet instead of the first try, that as I said still ended well but I didn’t know what I was doing really. It is the first XCOM game for me and normal game was challenging enough for a relaxing time (wel maybe not so challenging if I managd to get trough it while not knowing exactly waht to do or planning ahead well..) it was fun really.
    But then after some missions on the second playthorugh I started wondering “why bother?”
    I know how it will play out and I just have to react to the same events..
    Maybe I’d enjpiyed better a game that left you with more freedom even if that would be a t the cost of the “sense of urgency” that they try to transmit. Maybe more time to grind for better item and personnel I don’t know. Right now I don’t feel like coming back to it and SURELY I will not be buiyng this lackluster DLC :/

    Sorry for the WOT!

  35. TwwIX says:

    I love the game but i have no interest in this DLC. I’d rather they give us a skirmish mode with bots and some new maps. How about some fixes first before releasing any further DLC? The game could sure as fuck use some. Also, when are we going to get the fabled SDK they promised?

  36. ColOfNature says:

    Terror… From The Deep!

  37. neofit says:

    It was fun to play through once. I don’t see me replaying it again for a few missions, whether the DLC is free or not. I may continue from my saves in case a real expansion comes out, with a plot twist like in Fallout 3 Broken Steel: that thingie exploded but not all the aliens are dead or something like that.

    • wodin says:

      Me too..it was a great game and I hope to see more turn based tactical games now..but it just didn’t have the legs that the original had.

  38. Infinitron says:

    lol console-style cinematic mission DLC

    Thankfully the game bombed on consoles, saving the strategy genre from ruin.

  39. NathanH says:

    I hope they don’t milk this game for DLC too much, and go on to use the combat system to make a different kind of game, something more like Necromunda. The tactical battles feel like a slick squad-based tabletop wargame, so it’d be good to see that integrated into a more suitable campaign mode than the XCOM strategic layer. I think that they gameyness of the tactical battles worked well but the gameyness of the strategic layer not so much.

  40. Kohlrabi says:

    How about Firaxis get of their asses and fix the day one issues like the (gamebreaking!) alien squad teleport bug, mind-control-panic bug, broken display of to-hit percentages, interface quirks like constantly shifting position of basic commands and so forth. Normal difficulty was easy enough, so that despite all these bugs I came through easy enough. Classic or even impossible playthroughs just come down to random chance, since the teleport bug can wipe out your entire squad if you’re unlucky.

  41. wodin says:

    Something I’m surprised people aren’t up in arms with is the LOS issues..the game is terrible for it..I mean shockingly bad. Which for a tactical game is a serious issue.

    They need to work on that I think..then release some new maps..

    Another thing that annoyed was the way the panic goes up for the whole continent..and you don’t even get a chance to do something for the other two countries that have a problem..surely if three places got hit everytime they’d have more than 1 squad of soldiers…not sure why my other soldiers couldn’t go to the other two aswell…sort of take it in turn but really it all happens concurrently. You’d have a decision whether to send all your top boys to one location or split them up between the three..If you didn’t have enough soldiers for all three then obviously the panic goes up, but not being able to respond feels like a forced game mechanic. Also would be cool if the amount of countries being invadedhuman abduction was random rather than three all the time.

    The game not only needs more tactical variety including maps but it needs more strategic variety aswell. This is where I feel streamlining isn’t always good and can take away from a game..with XCom I feel it took away it’s longevity.

    • Strangerator says:

      Even something as simply as having the ability to construct a new hangar and buy a second skyranger would really help. That and making missions more randomized.

      Of course, the missions are all so pre-determined that the skyranger is immaterial. Really you just have a linear series of missions. There seems to be a buffer between when events are allowed to happen rather than the random chaos of the original. So many things in this new game are binary. Satellite coverage/vs no coverage, whereas scanning for UFOs in the original was a matter of increasing the number of satellites to give higher percentage chances of finding UFOs. Then you could scramble interceptors from wherever you had them. In the new one, the game decides “you are going to fight a UFO now” and if you happen to have just put in a new satellite over asia but you have an interceptor in Europe, well you’re boned. It won’t even let you try, because it is a binary condition.

      In the original, it really felt like you made your own missions. You see a spike in alien activity over a certain country, then send the skyranger over to scan the area. You spot an alien base and the little pink square appears. You clean them out. Or you detect a landed UFO and scramble an interceptor and your skyranger, but the thing takes off and leaves before either one gets there. You figure that means you need better satellite coverage or faster interceptors to get there quicker. Even the way the council evaluates you is better in the original.

  42. Zenicetus says:

    I won’t be paying for this. The game doesn’t need a few Mass Effect DLC-style side missions. It needs more assets to add replay value to the main campaign, like additional aliens to spice things up, and more variety in the map design. Especially more outdoor environments. I miss corn fields!. I’d pay for a “variety pack” expansion like this. I don’t need more hats.

    They probably can’t do much with the strategy layer, since it’s so linear and hard-coded for the acquisition of new tech in the “story.” But a skirmish mode should be possible without too much work. Let the player choose early, middle, or late-game units (with aliens to match), and a choice of urban, open field, or UFO encounter. Just a quick battle, for those times when you’d want a little tactical play without slogging through the full campaign. And then (eventually) open that up to modding, so players can develop their own individual missions and linked mission/story lines.

    There’s a lot of potential life left in this game, but right now the replay value just isn’t there. A scripted side mission doesn’t help with that.

  43. Listlurker says:

    The “must start new game to play the DLC” requirement was a deal-breaker for me, as well. Like the author, I’m deep in a game right now, and the idea of re-starting _everything_ from scratch, just to see a few new bits … .

    It’s a pity, I suppose, because without this restriction, I expect I would’ve bought the new DLC with hardly a second thought.

  44. SkittleDiddler says:

    It’s DLC bullshit like this that turns me off of buying supposedly great games like XCOM, and it’s the same reason THQ only got 5 cents out of the total I paid for their “Desperately Wishing You-the-Consumer Would Bail us Out of a Potential Bankruptcy” Humble Bundle. Fuck all the publishers that are engaging in this type of money scheme (I’m referring to DLC here, not bundle sales).

    I hate the direction the entire video game industry seems to be turning to.

    • darkChozo says:

      I could see an ideological opposition to this kind of DLC or even DLC in general, but how on earth could you find a company offering to sell their games for ludicrously cheap distasteful? That’s not add-on content or stripped out content, that’s, well, content.

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        It’s the company (THQ) I have a problem with, not the sale (the Humble Bundle) itself. If that weren’t the case, I wouldn’t have bothered spending money.

        I edited my original post for clarification.

  45. wererogue says:

    “Imagine”

    I am breathless at the idea of TFTD with modern graphics. I have been fantasising about it since before XCOM:EU launched.

  46. ScorpionWasp says:

    I’m amazed that to this day nobody has remarked on the really fundamental flaw that the tactical engine in this game has. Each turn, when you encounter aliens with the very first soldier you move, you still have your entire fresh squad ready to barbecue several of them before they can even act, whereas if you encounter them with your last soldier, you’re basically screwed. This encourages you to move a single soldier – and not very far away from everyone else (or if you’re a REAL asshole, not move at all and hope the aliens bump into you and your barrage of overwatch, PLUS an entire turn headstart on them) – per turn. Needless to say, this is a very boring and time consuming (real world time, not any in-game resource, mind) strategy which will have players opting for less efficient strategies out of sheer impatience, only to them kick themselves when they spot those 6 elite mutons with their very last soldier.

    It’s a bafflingly poorly conceived system that makes you feel guilty when you win, because moving at a slug’s pace and not allowing the aliens to even act is a borderline exploit; and it makes you feel guilty when you lose, because if only you had had more patience and self-control you wouldn’t.

  47. mgotthard says:

    Bought the DLC (because I obviously have too much money or something), then read the comments on here, so went to check the DLC with some degree of trepidation.

    As mentioned in a comment: This DLC breaks your save games.

    Considering I was messing about assembling a 6 man squad of psionic colonels for the end game mission on an IronMan campaign, I am NOT a happy camper.

    Don’t buy this DLC unless you’re starting a brand new campaign.

Comment on this story

XHTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>