Not Much To Phone Home About: XCOM’s First DLC

Kill the pink tree. It's clearly not of this world.

As is the custom of most games that have been out longer than three seconds, Firaxis’ journo-murdering (and also wonderful) XCOM revival is about to receive its first* helping of DLC. Titled “Slingshot,” it takes the form of a three-mission Council campaign centered around “enigmatic Triad operative” Zhang. As ever, it doesn’t take long for combat to ensue – but this time, it takes place in both China and the sky. So, in short, you get a “special” new playable character, a few new missions, and… well, that’s pretty much it.

Here’s the official blurb-o-gram, straight from Firaxis’ alien-battling HQ:

“In this new set of linked Council missions, gamers will meet an enigmatic Triad operative, divert an alien ship’s course, and do battle with the aliens in the skies over China. The Slingshot Content Pack includes three new maps tied to the Council missions, a new playable squad character with a unique story and voice and new character customization options.”

A release date and price are apparently coming “soon.” GameSpy, meanwhile, brings word that Zhang’s a heavy with beefed up stats and little else – neither in the way of special abilities or customization options. Beyond that, then, the only lasting impact of this DLC is the ability to unlock Blaster Launcher and Fusion Lance tech early in the campaign, as opposed to when you’re within spitting distance of the final mission.

It does feel like something of a missed opportunity, though, seeing as a few new enemies or technologies could go a long way if sprinkled into XCOM’s core game. I’m sure Slingshot will be fun while it lasts, but I don’t really play XCOM for grandiose, pre-written narrative arcs. If nothing else, however, Firaxis is preparing to beam down at least one more DLC pack, so maybe it’ll have some extra meat (and/or not-of-this-world writhing bio-tissue) on its bones (and/or system of membranes supported by hideous razor-toothed growths). Fingers crossed (unless they are not fingers).

*Read: it’s not a pre-order bonus


  1. Kohlrabi says:

    How about a nice bugfix “DLC”? Fixing the teleport and mind control bugs which make Classic Ironman nearly unplayable?

    • epmode says:

      Or the way SHIVs have an excellent chance to be weaponless or otherwise useless. Or the way the game likes to hang indefinitely during the aliens’ turn.

      Besides bug fixes, this game needs a real finale and procedural map generation before anything else. Although I really like the game, its long-term variety doesn’t approach the original.

      • MistyMike says:

        Can’t say that I agree with you about the procedurally generated maps. To me having maps with actual good design and architecture tweaked for tactical play clearly beats an endless supply of very similar maps constructed by the RNG.

        • The13thRonin says:

          You have either not played the original XCOM or your memory is wonky. The maps were intelligently generated and although random they were highly tactical with terror maps having a lot of instances of close quarter fighting in alleyways and inside multistoried buildings whereas crash sites out on farms or in the desert presented different tactical challenges. Every map was a different and unique challenge. Every map eventually turned into a battlezone of breached walls, exploded houses, fire and smoke and dozens of dead soldiers and aliens.

          In the new XCOM not only do we only have like five maps, they all feel exactly the same. Run to chest high wall. Shoot at aliens behind chest high walls. Run to next chest high wall. Shoot again but this time your soldier shoots right through a solid car because you know… The 10 year old original game could do proper line of sight shooting so why should the new one be able to do that right? That makes sense. Bang your head against desk when you realize that you are not able to make your own entries and exits in walls anymore. Find more chest high walls. Run to wall that is slightly larger than chest high. BORINGGG. Not tactical in the slightest either. How is choosing between this chest high wall and that chest high wall tactical? Hell the maps are so damn small now that you can’t even properly use the flanking mechanic.

          • jalf says:

            So, while I agree with your characterization of X-COM’s procedural maps, what you’re saying about XCOM basically boils down to “I suck at the game”. Yes, choosing which chest-high wall to cover behind is tactical, and yes, if you did that, then maybe you’d also be able to use the flanking mechanic.

            But still, procedural maps *would* be wonderful.

          • wodin says:

            The game is a turn based tactical cover shooter..simple.

          • Chandos says:

            Yeah, I have to agree with The13Ronin there. Even though I enjoyed beating the game, I don’t think I’ll go back to do it all over again for the reasons he cited. And before someone claims I suck at this game, no, I don’t. The hardest period in the game is the beginning when you don’t have decent armor, and it’s just a cakewalk after titan armor and psi abilities, etc; the final boss fight lasted only two turns for me in classic difficulty.

            What I also really didn’t like is the spawning mechanic to generating aliens in the field. It felt so random. There were times enemies would be spawned like two tiles away from where my team had been watching over for the last couple turns, as if they either got teleported there or somehow my whole team totally missed the three hulking mutons idly waiting for their stage call in their midst.

            I like the core mechanics, the three action turns and all that, I think it’s a fresh new approach that works. But yeah, not much variety to what happens on the battlefield.

          • Joshua Northey says:

            I think I played my entire first two campaigns in Xcom without repeating a map (other than the story ones), so there are a lot more than “5” of them (more like 50?).

            But that is ok…don’t let the facts stand in the way of your angry internet man diatribe.

          • Filden says:

            I don’t believe procedural maps belong in a tactical game like XCOM (the new one). For the purposes of this game, they are not superior to a deliberately hand crafted map designed with human intelligence, in my opinion. Cover placement is far too important to randomize, and I wouldn’t want to see a randomized generation of environments that are supposed to look deliberately designed.

            The game shipped with a generous amount of maps, but you can never have enough. What I’d really like to see is a map editor for community created maps, that can then be inserted into the mission rotation.

          • colw00t says:

            Procedural maps would only be wonderful if they worked properly. The entire battlescape system of the original engine was built from the ground up to allow procedural generation of levels, and it still messed up quite a bit.

            They said that they did actually try to make a procedural system but could never make it work worth a damn, and given the additional complexity that they’re dealing with I’m inclined to believe them. Remember that the original game did not have anything recognizable as enemy AI.

          • Baines says:

            From what I recall reading (perhaps on this very site, perhaps elsewhere), there is something like 80 maps.

            And they initially wanted to do procedurally generated maps, but found the process unsuited for the engine they were using, so they decided to instead go with a large number of premade maps.

        • Strangerator says:

          Missions really began to feel the same after four or five of them. Advance to cover. Advance to next cover, go into overwatch. Advance to more cover. Overwatch.

          It was fun at first, but now I want something interesting.

          Really, the first thing you do is not make cover so insanely important. Seriously, anyone not in cover is pretty much guaranteed to die. Maybe if the unit out of cover’s last action was to “move” instead of anything else, then they get a “moving target” defense bonus. This bonus is higher if the unit was dashing. So you still don’t want to run out of cover and then perform an action, because you’d be standing still. But dashing across open areas wouldn’t be quite as dangerous, although still less optimal than cover.

          Could we fix the bizarre number of critical hits aliens get on higher difficulties?

          Now with that fixed, you can have procedurally generated maps. I want to play on landscapes, not paintball arenas. Sometimes there will be open fields without conveniently placed cover everywhere. Toss a grenade out in a field to pop out a small crater, and suddenly you’ve created your own low cover. Maybe SHIVs become actually important now? Not being spoonfed cover points to move between would make me actually have to think about what I’m doing.

          Also, expand squad size to 8. It needs to be done. You could then have bigger maps where you could split off into two 4-man teams. What’s more, since maps would be randomized, you would have to decide on-the-fly which men to send in which direction. That begins to border on the endless-possibilities of fun that a game called XCOM should have.

          • Joshua Northey says:

            Why would you split into two teams, this isn’t a war where you are going to be encircled, and that is a horrible idea.

            Most of your points show a similar lack of understanding of the nuances of the game. It is not perfect, it has a lot of flaws, but it is pretty good, and almost every criticism I see leveled against it could be made of the original, which everyone claims to love, but I doubt many played.

          • Zenicetus says:

            I think there’s a mod that reduces alien critical hit percentage in Classic without touching anything else. Look for a link in one of the previous RPS posts.

            As much as I like the idea of procedural map generation and the way it worked in the original, I think it would be difficult to implement with this new design. For one thing, the map areas are so small that there’s no room for mistakes like dead-ends in the way things are laid out. It almost has to be created by hand, to work in these small areas.

            It is a problem though, for replay value. The game does a fairly good job of not repeating maps within the same play-through, but if you’re playing Classic and have lots of game wipes and re-starts, it’s inevitable that you’re going to get repeats. Some of the maps are very distinctive, like the Observatory, or that map on the docks with the choke point in the middle, from the tutorial. Once you’ve seen those maps, you know where the best sniper locations will be, the route to follow, etc. It kills replay value, and that worries me. I was planning on playing this game for a year or more. Now, I’m not so sure.

            Having the first DLC be just three maps with a scripted mission sequence doesn’t help. On the other hand, they’ve probably boxed themselves in a corner with the core maps. They can’t release a DLC with 100 new maps for the core game, because people will just scream that they should have been in the game to begin with.

          • mouton says:

            “Missions really began to feel the same after four or five of them. Advance to cover. Advance to next cover, go into overwatch. Advance to more cover. Overwatch.”

            Missions really began to feel the same after four or five of them. Advance, kneel, reserve TU. Advance other men, kneel, reserve TU. Kneel some more and reserve TUs again. Then, set all your team in front of the UFO entrance, reserve TUs and mash the “end turn” button 20 times.

      • Frank says:

        Can’t say I disagree with you about the indefinitely hanging issue. That’s darn annoying

    • mouton says:

      They working on it, apparently. I guess they want to fix as many critical bugs as possible, instead of releasing a dozen fast half-assed patches. Oh well, we will see.

  2. marlin says:

    Any chance they could give me time to finish the original game first?? Some of us do have other (not necessarily ‘better’ ) things we have to do….

    • jyrque says:

      Who’s stopping you from playing the original before this DLC? It’s not like they’re taking the money out of your pocket and forcing the content down your throat.

    • EvaUnit02 says:

      No one is forcing you to buy the new DLC at launch. (I’d honestly wait until an inevitable Steam sale to pick it up.)

  3. Groove says:

    I’ve nothing against dlc for X-Com but this sounds like a waste/actually harmful. Why don’t they just release more maps for random missions? I’d love to pay £5-10 to double the number of maps, but I worry about this unbalancing the game.

    • cspkg says:

      This. I want the XCOM ‘world’ to actually feel like that. Perhaps each DLC could add maps that try to look like the locations they claim to be in. And some more non-American voices for the squad would also be mighty fine. It would cost them some money to make and would be something I’d be happy to pay for. Sounds fair to me!

      • siegarettes says:

        The fact that every soldier and location seemed American actually bothered me a lot. I’m pretty sure Russia and China don’t have remotely the same architecture style as we do. Hell, their forests probably look a lot different than ours as well.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          It’s quite the thing when a UFO lands in sub-Saharan Africa only to find yourself fighting through pines, firs and spruces!

      • SanguineAngel says:

        Yeah, this is one game where I can see DLC expansions being a considerable bonus. I’d love the following from my XCOM DLC:

        In priority order
        – Plenty of new maps that are thematically relevant to world locations.
        – New Types of map and encounters to be mixed in with the main campaign
        – New voice recordings for different nationalities
        – Co-Op multi-player skirmish
        – Co-Op multi-player campaign

        They can introduce localised maps and voices in batches – no need to rush to get them all out at once but it would be nice to see them address the issue now they have the luxury of time. Whilst introducing new re-usable content to the campaign, rather than one off scripted missions, would up the re-playability and quality of the game considerably.

        • jalf says:

          What I’d like to see is, say, two expansions:

          – an “old-school” expansion, making the campaign less scripted and more open-ended and sim-like (like in X-COM where UFOs actually had a purpose, so before a terror mission, they’d actually send a terror UFO that you could shoot down. Before a base assault (yes please add those again), they’d actually send a UFO to your base – which you could shoot down to stop the attack. And where you can freely choose where to send your skyranger, rather than the multiple-choice thing. Oh, and randomly generated maps.

          – and a new campaign. XCOM does a good job of reimagining the X-COM campaign, with sectoids and mutons and plasma weapons and mind control. Give us a new story, with different aliens and different tech trees.

          More council missions? What a waste of everyone’s time…

          • SanguineAngel says:

            Well I’m with you on much of this. I think with the satellite system as it is, a free roaming plane would be unnecessary. I like having to assign craft to specific areas to grant reaction coverage. The rest I agree with. Base assaults would come under new encounter types for example

            As far as a new campaign goes I don’t think that’s necessary. They could incorporate new campaign elements, such as you might find in Terror from the Deep for example, into the existing campaign and so instead of two separate games to play the different types of missions you would be able to fight both at once. the setup is going to basically the same, after all (IE assemble troops, research new tech, build up your base, go out on missions) and this might be a good way of introducing multiple bases even. Or maybe simply expanding the existing base significantly

          • jalf says:

            The key point about the free-roaming skyranger (did you think I meant interceptors?) is that you choose how many (if any) missions to tackle.

            In XCOM, you’re presented with a list of three abduction missions, and get to pick exactly one. The other two missions magically disappear immediately.

            In X-COM, missions just had a location, and they stayed around for X hours, so if you hurried, and had enough fresh soldiers, you could do several missions. I liked that freedom. It also added tension, and the tension in really seeing how far you could stretch yourself. Can you spare the soldiers to cover just one more mission before it disappears?

            Of course you’re right that a new campaign is not *necessary*. But I think it’d be interesting, and I would definitely pay for, a new campaign, with a new story and completely new aliens attacking for different reasons. (Rather than just an expanded version of the existing campaign)

          • Joshua Northey says:

            Most of what you want is already in the game. You can shoot down ships prior to terror missions and abductions.

            As for your desire to have more soldiers and more skyrangers, how many is enough? 50 100? 10,000 soldiers? More isn’t always better. You realize people complained about only being able to have 8 bases int he original?

          • mouton says:

            Simply put, make a proper expansion, not bullshit DLC bits.

          • colw00t says:

            There’s actually a setting in the GameCore.ini that will make Terror Ships and Abduction Ships interceptable. They exist in the base game, but they’re invisible. If you turn that on, it makes the beginning of the game much harder, because Terror Ships and Abduction Ships outclass your starting interceptors by a lot, (they are Very Large, one tier below the Battleship) and failing to shoot down a detected UFO adds panic on top of the added panic you get from an Abduction or Terror mission. But you can get what you want with a simple adjustment to the game.

            There’s also an (unfinished) option in there for “Second Wave” mode, which is like a New Game +, with a long list of additional difficulty toggles. Some of them don’t work, since it’s unfinished, but it seems like a prime target for a later patch or DLC.

            The second DLC is named in the .ini files somewhere but I forget what it’s called.

            Incidentally, you are misremembering how base invasion UFOs worked in the original game. Once an Alien Retaliation mission was triggered, you would get infinite waves of Battleships until you actually fought one of them in your base. Shooting them down would never unset the flag, no matter how many you shot down. They were extremely difficult to intercept, being the fastest UFOs in the game, but if you stacked enough base defenses you could shoot them down automatically. Not that it was worth it.

    • mouton says:

      This DLC sounds like the worst kind of DLCs – offering very little in terms of content AND unbalancing the core game (by offering unlocks). Well, it could be worse, it could provide you with a Premium Content Rifle that adds +30 to aim, +25 critical chance, and hits like alloy cannon.

      Either provide actual content for the game – maps, enemies, ufos, base defence, more base attack – or stop wasting our time.

    • lorddon says:

      If they really wanted to give PC gamers love they’d release a map editor and just let us make our own maps, or a campaign editor so we could make our own campaigns. But then they couldn’t charge $5 for three whole maps…

  4. jumblesale says:

    This sounds really disappointing. I’d much rather see more map variety (maybe having it themed for each different country) rather than more hamfisted narrative. There are all kinds of avenues they could go down with extra content: more classes, research, foundry items, alien variety, all of which would actually add a lot to the game. Instead we get a few missions which you won’t want to replay. It seems like a really bizarre decision by people who don’t understand what makes the game interesting.

    • siegarettes says:

      I’m thinking its a decision made by those people who you mention have no idea what really makes the game interesting–the publishers.

      I’m betting they felt the need to make some more money off the game’s release, and pushed to team to kick out some more “content”. Easiest way to do that is to of course add a mission or two.

      • JarinArenos says:

        A 2K Games studio milking a game with content-less DLC instead of fixing their shoddy rushed initial release? The Duce, you say!

    • mckertis says:

      “This sounds really disappointing.”

      Much like the new XCOM in its entirety.

      • mouton says:

        A minority of such opinions was statistically inevitable. You have my condolences for drawing the short straw here.

        • Arkh says:

          I hate to break your random unprovided data but I’m with him. This game is a disappointiment. I came expecting a true xcom experience – blasting walls, big maps, freedom. Instead, i get soldier who can-t wear a kevlar vest and a carry a grenade or soldier who can only shoot one missle i their rocket launcher. This is not as bad as JA:BIA, is a decent game, but it-s worse than any Silent Storm games, has less freedom and depth and it-s disappointing.

  5. voorsk says:

    hmm… the original cost £30, and has about 100 maps (if Firaxis are to be believed), so each map sort-of costs 30p (ignoring the cost of the game itself)..

    So the new DLC will surely only be 90p, right? :P

    • wodin says:

      100 maps??? Well I must be very unlucky as I get repeated maps very very often.

      • Captain Joyless says:

        With pooling. For example, abduction missions will never pull an alien crash map, or vice versa.

        Abduction mission maps number far less than 100, and you run them A LOT.

  6. John Connor says:

    This is pretty pathetic. Xcom needs more mission variety, more random elements inserted into the mix, not some linear campaign bullshit.

    It will be amusing to have a squad of chinese soldiers and only have one of them actually have a chinese accent, though… That is assuming they even bother to give this new “character” a proper voice, since they didn’t bother to give anyone else anything other than an American voice…

    • tkioz says:

      Which is terribly said, they could have fixed the voice issue rather easily. X-Com/XCOM has a pretty large fanbase all around the world, they could have ran competitions asking for people to record audio for them and picked the best, bugger all cost, great fan involvement.

    • Lemming says:

      Yeah I’m kind of surprised we haven’t seen a ‘desert, Arctic and farm maps added’ type of patches/DLC.

  7. Dariune says:

    XCOM was alright but an expansion would have to be pretty gargantuan in it’s offerings for me to want to replay it.

    Think I will pass on this.

    • atticus says:

      I feel the same way, unfortunately. I liked it well enough, but I don’t have an urge to replay it, which is sad because I was hoping this would be the kind of game that would warrant multiple playthroughs.

      It’s just too intent on forcing a specific experience on the player, rather than being more open and dynamic like the original. Not only through the story and the cutscenes, but also through the limitations that were put in place to specifically tailor the difficulty – limitations that make no logical sense whatsoever.

      For example: A plasma rifle costs more to manufacture than the Firestorm, the UFO-inspired fighterplane. Adding workshops and engineers does not reduce the time it takes to manufacture a satellite. There’s a global market for dead aliens and damaged UFO power supplies, but not for your surplus of Laser Pistols or obsolete body armour?

      These kinds of things, and the choose-one-of-three terror mission-thing, really irritates me about this game. It’s a lazy way of setting the difficulty which removes immersion and makes the game more “game-y” than it should have been.

  8. BobbyDylan says:

    Give me full mouse control, more varied maps, and bug fixes and I’ll give you another £10.

  9. Zacqary Adam Green says:

    If this were free, the reaction would be, “Ooh! New stuff!” Or at the very least, “Hey, new stuff. Maybe someone’ll like it.” But as soon as it costs money, suddenly it’s, “Meh.” Or even so far as, “What a ripoff.” And that’s sad, because new stuff really ought to be making us happy.

    This just goes to show that money’s a really unbalanced game mechanic. They should fix it in the next patch.

    • caddyB says:

      It’s a nice gesture when it’s free, that’s why people go “YAAAY” but when you ask money for your 3 maps people will question if it’s worth it or not.

      I don’t see the problem here.

    • JarinArenos says:

      I’d still be saying “Meh” if it were free. The dev team needs to be working on what’s broken in the base game, not making shovelware.

  10. Noise says:

    Sounds pretty crappy. XCOM isn’t the sort of game that needs add-on campaigns, or campaigns of any kind. Goes against the design of the game.

    • Squirly says:

      Or a unique soldier who is suddenly special without having earned it like the rest of the vets on my team. My guys are going to make fun of him as soon as he arrives.

      • Pindie says:

        If you think about it receiving experienced soldiers as payment for mission is bloody ridiculous in the first place:
        – it means Xcom recruits soldiers not from special forces units and elite operators but from among average Joe draftees
        – it means soldiers are now a currency (slavery?)
        – it means countries that funded Xcom project withhold best resources from it
        – and if you propose, as was done in case of older X-com, that the specific kind of experience can be acquired only by fighting aliens and thus best recruits you can find are still rookies then this means there is a second Xcom somewhere carrying out missions that decided to sell their soldiers

        • mouton says:

          Lots of core concepts are ridiculous in this and the original game. And I am not even talking about aliens.

          It’s like zombie apocalypse. Fundamentally unsound, but you just roll with it for fun.

        • jalf says:

          In fairness, I guess it’s at least quasi-plausible that all the individual countries are running more or less successful X-COM-like programs themselves. X-COM has a dozen soldiers, and I’m pretty sure that, say, the USA did not just go “ok, let’s disband the army and go home and wait for X-COM to save the day”. I highly suspect that they’d have their (quite sizable) military forces out there at least *trying* to kill some aliens.

          And while they might not have your equipment and technology, at least some of their soldiers would be likely to survive long enough to gain alien-fighting experience and stand out enough that they might be transferred to X-COM.

          The entire premise is silly, of course, which means that all this is also silly, but if for a moment we accept the premise (that a small organization such as X-COM would do better than all the militaries of the world), then it makes good sense that they’d still be out there with their stone-age weaponry getting blown up by plasma weapons, but also, occasionally, managing to kill a sectoid or two.

          • Joshua Northey says:

            Don’t rain on his nit picking parade! Let the man waste time attacking something he clearly doesn’t like.

  11. vasek45 says:

    I guess there’s certainly going to be a 25$ full-scale expansion pack for XCOM with moar weapons, tech, aliens and maps and maybe it’ll even include all these crappy small DLC-packs on which i’ll pass.
    Also, the price for this definitely must not be higher than 3-4$, otherwise it’s gonna be too damn a lot for 3 maps and OH WOW a new squaddie, that may die in the first very mission after the campaign.

  12. Revisor says:

    Any news on patching in the free aim and improving the mouse controls?

    • Joshua Northey says:

      Interface upgrades will only come in an expansion, I cannot remember the last time a game did an interface overall in a patch.

      As for free aim, it is clear the game isn’t really set up for that, so I doubt it.

      • Laurentius says:

        You mean consoles aren’t ready for that because that’s the reason it isn’t in game in the first place, as for modding i’m almost sure we will get that.

  13. SocraticIrony says:

    I want more maps, I want more aliens, I want more things that go boom. Beyond that, no thanks.

  14. Ooops says:

    Judging from what Firaxis did with Civilization V, we can all look forward for an unending, continuous stream of basically worthless, grossly overpriced DLCs. I much prefer paradox’s way of doing things, with a few substantial DLCs, and another stream of purely cosmetic DLCs, much more reasonable priced.

    What’s the big difference ? Paradox is very open that their cosmetic DLCs are maybe not all that essential, and the sales help Paradox finance the free content updates (modestly called patches, but many other studios would charge for the additional features these patches usually contain)

    • Lanfranc says:

      Gods & Kings added quite a lot to Civ 5, in my opinion. The Korean expansion was OK as well. Haven’t really tried any of the others.

      • Ooops says:

        Well, it’s a question of definition I guess. Gods and kings for me is a full fledge expansion, not a DLC in the usual meaning of the word (although it’s still technically a downloadable content)

        Anyway, i was not referring to gods and kings :-)

        • Lanfranc says:

          Ok, yes, that’s an important distinction to make.

          • MrLebanon says:

            Gods and Kings was nice… but it was 30 bucks

            paradox on the other hand effectively doubled the playable countries in CK2 and gave them unique mechanics (muslim law, muslim marriages etc), expanded the map into mali and songhay, and completely overhauled Holy war mechanics, and it cost 10 bucks.

            Not to mention that the re-balances/map expansions and anything related to areas outside of Muslim ruleas well were all free in the update

            The new mass DLC on Rome has added loads of more depth and difficulty for 6 dollars.

            Despite how nice G&K is, nothing justified the price

          • Captain Joyless says:

            I think he fully made it in his original post. He was explicitly talking about DLCs – the map packs, the scenarios, the additional civilizations – usually priced around $10.

            Gods and Kings is an expansion, not a dlc. It is not sold through Steam’s DLC interface, it is sold as a separate product that requires the base game to play.

          • Jason Moyer says:

            Downloadable Content For This Game
            Sid Meier’s Civilization V – Gods and Kings$29.99

            Looks like it’s being sold like DLC to me.

        • caddyB says:

          Wasn’t Gods and Kings 30 dollars? That’s way out of DLC territory anyway.

  15. Maxheadroom says:

    Yeah I have much love for this version of X-COM but this just smells of a greedy half-arsed cash-in.

    And if we’re talking bug fixes how about it being damn near impossible to select the higher elevations on the larger multi-storey ufo’s

  16. Jockie says:

    Narrative dlc for Xcom… I mean it’s immediately obvious to everyone here how poor an idea that is right? I guess it’s aimed at the console market? I honestly have no idea, maybe it’ll be amazing.

    I’d purchase pretty much any dlc for Xcom that extends and adds to the core campaign, but yeah, not gonna get this.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Yeah, that’s pretty much how everyone appears to be reacting. Perhaps Firaxis will see the response and react accordingly. Most likely they will still release this since they’ve clearly already begun work on it and then hopefully future content will be more in line with what we actually want, and more in line with the actual game as it happens. It’s odd, given the degree of understanding they have so far shown about what makes X-Com work

    • f1x says:

      I was excited aswell when I saw Xcom DLC because I’m eager to get more content
      but yep, the content is not too exciting,
      and yes the reaction seems to be mostly like this, because its obvious narrative is not the strongest part of Xcom, not by far, and in my personal experience council missions added few to the campaign,
      at the beginning it was ok but later in the campaign it felt like an annoyance

      So yes, more maps, more acurated location features depending on each country, more customization options, and more variated objectives (I liked those bomb defusion or hostage missions instead of so much kill every alien)

  17. tkioz says:

    While I’ve got no problems with adding extra council missions (some of them are pretty fun), I would have really preferred a map pack, especially when it comes to crashed UFOs (how cool would it be to have one come down in a city?), and maybe some more verity of environments…

    Oh and some location appropriate buildings!

  18. tur1n says:

    Orchard map pack. That what they need to make.

  19. Marmit3 says:

    everybody troll now! dun! dun, dun dun dun!

    I think its just a quick fix for people who finished the game too quickly. Also, nobody seems to notice the customisable armour options, which i personally find a cool idea. i agree though, that i dont want story driven campaigns in my XCOM nor a pre-made super-triad-character. Luckily i can control myself and just not use it. or send him to certain death (muhahaha) in a recon mission.

    i might get it. i want the “paint your armour hot pink” pre-order update though. and more maps. and the mouse control of the different levels in a spaceship. the last one being the most urgent actually.

    • Kasper says:

      You can unlock the “paint your armour any colour” yourself by editing XComDLC.ini and deleting the lines that say something about disabled DLC.

  20. Laurentius says:

    Actually this makes sense and would make XCOM a good game in the first place. Strategic aspect of XCOM is simplistic mess and totally half baked too. Firaxis should made it a linear story driven campaign with cool missions and not linear mission campaign pretending to be open world dynamic strategy that this game definitely isn’t.

    • Nick says:

      Or they could have just made it deeper on the strategic level.

      • Laurentius says:

        Simply that was not their ball after all and this DLC is only proving that. UFO legacy is simply dragging this game down because despite countless bullshit they atually wanted to make a completly different turn based strategy game and that’s what they should do.

  21. Lemming says:

    Looks like we’ll be waiting for the mods then.

  22. Filden says:

    It’s not what I wanted. What I really wanted is more customization options, more maps, and more options in the tech tree to support different technological strategies.

    I’m totally buying it though. More XCOM is good, and unlocking the blaster cannon earlier in the game isn’t nothing. Heavies need some love.

  23. Nihilist says:


  24. DarkMalice says:

    Well, I doubt we’ll get it while there are still DLC’s to sell, but some proper mod tools would let us add everything we want into the game (more voices, custom flags, new enemies, more maps, new armour, tech and weapons). Have you seen the ‘2nd wave’ options that are already in there but disabled?
    There’s so much they could extend the game with. Frankly I’m too damn impatient to wait for them to drip-release them all. I might just… *explodes*

  25. Soon says:

    I thought the expansion would expand the game. My classic campaign consisted of 30 missions and I shot down a total of six UFOs. Six. It’s mostly retrospectively disappointing, though. I enjoyed the time I had with it.

    (I’m pretty sure I’ve missed out on research and UFO types during my game. I only met one ethereal and sectopod outside the final mission. Maybe having the instant autopsy and interrogation moved things on too quickly?)

    • Filden says:

      DLC doesn’t equal “expansion”. DLC is frequently minor content and feature padding. An actual expansion is generally something much more substantial. The game has things I really want to see expanded upon, but I think it’s a bit early for a full blown expansion. If they did have an actual expansion ready this early, I’d actually be pretty pissed, and wondering why it wasn’t in the game at launch.

      • Soon says:

        Yeah. That’s fair enough.

        But I meant little more than just expanding the time it takes to get through the campaign (or shortening the early game maybe) by re-jigging the existing stuff around a bit. I know that sounds arbitrary, but I thought I’d get more use out of my shiny, new firestorms for one thing. I built one for each continent, and only needed one to shoot down a single UFO which opened the way to the end game shortly after. I’d run out of research before receiving the research bonuses from the late game aliens and such.

        I don’t know if everybody had that experience, and I’m not sure I was supposed to.

        • Filden says:

          I think it depends on how aggressively you pursue the campaign missions vs. building up your infrastructure. I tend to put off the latter story missions, until I get the map locked down with sats, and get my economy humming, so my games run longer. Late in the game it seems like I’m doing nothing but shooting down UFOs, or going on landed UFO missions.

  26. Koozer says:

    And here I was hoping they would do a proper expansion, with more maps, aliens and tech. Oh well. Maybe after the four pieces of DLC that give us three naff council missions, tech shortcuts that may verge on game-breaking, and a ‘special’ soldier of each class.

  27. pilouuuu says:

    Is there is one DLC that ought to be released for XCOM is a purely cosmetic one which includes more customization options for our soldiers and even more outrageous hairdresses! I’m serious! This game needs more varied and unique soldiers… which we will very likely lose in the battlefield. Snif. Snif.

  28. KaptainKarnage says:

    This doesn’t sound too bad to me, I just hope they price it reasonably.

  29. JFS says:

    The game is still unplayable for me two weeks after release. It starts to inexplicably lag after about three minutes of playing. From the looks of the 2K and Steam boards, I’m not the only one with such problems. I’ve tried everything, from updating BIOS to DX9 redistributables, nothing works. Their support hasn’t gotten back to me in a week, there is not one single official statement on the 2K forum. They all seem to be occupied with announcing out-of-place story DLCs that would fit well into a Mass Effect-style game, rather than at least telling the community they’re working on bug fixes.

    I don’t believe I’ll buy a Firaxis/2K game for the foreseeable future. It’s a shame, especially as XCOM seems nice enough a game to merit one playthrough or two.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      I don’t think the game is supposed to work with DX9? So that might be your problem.

      • colw00t says:

        It doesn’t officially support DX9. Vista or newer required. It has some kind of cludge version that allows it to basically run in DX9, but what he’s complaining about is not the game’s fault.

        They quit selling XP three years ago, internet person! It’s eleven years old. Just upgrade.

        • JFS says:

          Um, sorry. I do not use Vista, nor XP. I’m on Win 7 Home Professional. I guess I meant the current DirectX redistributable, not DX9, sorry for mistyping.

          And the problems I have seem indeed to be the game’s fault, 2K support has my dxdiag and ms32info files (or whatever those are called), and they can’t seem to find a problem… at least none that they’d tell me about.

  30. Kyrius says:

    Now that I stopped to think about it (yeah, I still don’t own a copy of this game, sadly), does XCOM have something like an infinite mode where we can keep playing indefinetly? I guess it could be called skirmish mode but I’m not sure if that would be the same thing…

  31. wodin says:

    I’m hoping someone makes a WH40K mod ….

  32. Bobtree says:

    The “Elite Soldier Pack” DLC is on Steam now for $5, and it’s the same stuff that was in the preorder bonus. I don’t think I’ll buy it while the game’s still a buggy mess, but XCOM badly needs the basic armor color changing. It really should be in the base game, and I hope someone mods it in so nobody has to buy this crap.

  33. BaronBulb says:

    For those who are missing the open ended gameplay style of the original xcom games,I’d recommend the ‘ufo balance mod’ available on the xcom nexus website. This mod allows you see the ufo’s roaming the map BEFORE they pull off terror sites or survey missions, this allows a wider range of tactical play and gives you a lot more chances for combat missions. The mod also rebalances many weapons and research/engineering times. Definately check it out if you are finding the xcom remake a bit too linear for your liking. Ps I am not affiliated with this mod I just really like it since it feels more like the original game while keeping the nice graphics and smooth combat of the remake.

  34. Wodaman says:

    How sad. I was really loving the game for evoking the same feel as the first in a wonderfully creepy way until I saw this thread. But yes, I am disturbed by most of the maps being too small, and only about 2 tilesets for Earth (piney forest, a car covered US city (sometimes just part of a bridge). The crashed spaceships aren’t nearly as much fun — I liked making my own entry then flying into through the top of a landed battleship while a couple of guy bluffed an attack from the bottom to distract the aliens.

    Yes, 80 more maps, not six months from now either, I’m thinking like three weeks from now IF THEY HAVEN’T already started. And I want arctic, and tundra, and jungle, and rail yards, and waterfront, and desert, and especially freaking farms!!! I don’t really give a rats about voices and such. It would be nice to have more options in combat from earlier on in the game. Oh, and have a version of the game where most of the story telling is dropped. Fun once, not endlessly.