Posts Tagged ‘2K’

XCOM 2’s Day One Mods Reviewed

XCOM 2 [official site] isn’t just a big pile of tactical brilliance, it’s also a big mod-friendly pile of tactical brilliance. Theoretically, that means someone will iron out the things that annoy you and build on the things you love. It also means we can expect anything from an increase in moustache variety to a revamped campaign or series of total conversions.

To kick things off, Firaxis commissioned the clever folks who made the Long War mod for Enemy Unknown to produce three day-one mods for XCOM 2. They are neat additions but, more than that, they’re signposts toward an exciting future.

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What Should XCOM 2’s First Expansion Be?

I visited Firaxis in 2014 to see Civilization: Beyond Earth and it was impossible not to wonder which closed doors were hiding the XCOM 2 [official site] team. The game hadn’t been announced but surely somebody was working on a sequel. Would it follow the path of the original games and take to the Lovecraftian depths? Would it reach toward the stars and a battle on various alien homeworlds? Would it take risks or rest comfortably on well-earned laurels?

The answer, as we now know, didn’t quite fit any of the above. These are happy times for the XCOM devotee but I’m hoping for an apocalyptic future. Here are a few ideas and hopes for what the game’s first expansion might be.

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Wot I Think: XCOM 2

In 2012, Firaxis took on the seemingly impossible task of reviving one of the most beloved PC games ever made. The original X-COM is widely considered to be one of the masterpieces of the nineties golden age, and since its release there have been sequels, spin-offs and unofficial revivals, but Firaxis’ XCOM was a complete, licensed reinterpretation. It was also rather good. Now, with XCOM 2 [official site] ready for release, Firaxis aim to improve on the formula that made Enemy Unknown such a triumph. Here’s wot I think.

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Hands On: XCOM 2’s Brutal Difficulty And Superb Tactical Overhaul

Nobody gets left behind. That was my XCOM: Enemy Unknown rule and it was a rule that I adhered to in almost every one of the hundreds of missions I oversaw. If a squad fell in combat, they fell side by side.

XCOM 2 [official site] has made me break my one rule. Repeatedly. Deviously. Tragically. It’s hard as nails, and superbly distorts the tactics and strategies that were successful in its predecessor. I’m smitten.

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XCOM 2’s Concealment Mechanic Changes Everything

Procedural maps, randomised weapons and chain-smoking soldiers. In XCOM 2 [official site], the rules have changed. One seemingly minor addition to the tactical combat might have the greatest impact of all though. In our recent hands-on, we had a chance to test out the new concealment mechanic. It removes one of XCOM’s few frustrations and creates an entirely new scouting phase as each mission begins.

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Hands On: XCOM 2’s Strategy And Tactics Dissected

With XCOM 2 [official site], Firaxis are not resting on their laurels. The studio’s reboot of the license had a great deal to prove – primarily, it had to satisfactorily answer the question as to why the much-loved series needed to be revived at all.

That obstacle overcome, the sequel is on safer ground and it might have been enough to reskin and reshape ever so slightly. A new setting, a new gang of aliens, and a few new weapons and hairstyles for the defenders of the Earth. Instead, there’s a degree of role-reversal, with the player now attempting to take the planet back from an occupying force rather than protecting it from invaders. There’s a new approach to the strategic side of the game, the return of randomised maps and an in-depth suite of soldier customisation tools.

After a couple of hours with the sequel, I’m more excited about XCOM than I’ve been since the announcement of the reboot.

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Pandorawood: A Borderlands Movie Is In The Works

Gearbox Software’s toon-styled bro-shooter Borderlands [official site] is getting the Hollywood treatment with a new movie based on the franchise, in some form or another anyway. The news comes from Variety, who write that Lionsgate is developing the flick with the help of producers Avi and Ari Arad, although details beyond that remain scant. So here’s what we know so far:

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XCOM 2 Release Pushed To February 2016

Alec took the news badly

A message, beamed into the RPS mobile base from an unknown source:

“Hello, Commander. In light of our desire to ensure that the upcoming extraterrestrial reign of terror is a significant improvement on the gloriously successful incursions of 2012, this council of developers has convened to approve the activation of the XCOM 2 Delay Project. You have been chosen to spread word of this initiative. To oversee our first… and last* change to the release date. You may believe that releasing this year would have made all of your planet’s dreams come true but we are looking to the future. We urge you to keep that in mind as you proceed.”

Actually, I spotted the news on Twitter. XCOM 2 [official site] won’t be with us until February 5, 2016.

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Mafia 3’s Move To Sixties New Orleans Is Risky But Potentially Rewarding

The Mafia 3 [official site] presentation at Gamescom felt very much like an attempt to hammer home several important changes to the series rather than an accurate representation of the minute-by-minute experience of playing. Given that this was the first public showing of the game, which probably won’t see release until the second half of 2016, that’s to be expected. The vertical slice shown had a lot to cover: a new city, a new time period, a new protagonist, and a new take on open world criminal conquest. Perhaps it’s understandable that the “new” was hammered home with all the subtlety of a blow from Mjolnir, but it’s fair to say that the road to New Orleans looks rather treacherous.

And that brings us to item number one…

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Fear Of The Unknown: What We Want From XCOM 2

Here at RPS, we like XCOM: Enemy Unknown so much that we named it the 12th best strategy game of all time. When Firaxis announced the sequel, the entire RPS team smiled, simultaneously for the first time since 1992. That doesn’t mean we’ll be happy with more of the same though and when we asked strategy expert Rob Zacny to contemplate the best possible XCOM 2, he made some bold suggestions. Bring back the fear, he says, and if your game is about insurgency, learn from the best.

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