Posts Tagged ‘XCOM: Enemy Unknown’

Are Platform Exclusives THE VERY DEVIL Or Kinda OK?

Once a week most weeks, team RPS gathers, eyes itself warily across the table then debates. Sometimes it’s about SCANDAL, like slow-motion Batman or No Man’s Sky hype, other times it’s about perennials, like best levels ever or if Early Access means the end times.

This week, we’re discussing the pitfalls and merits of platform exclusives, in the wake of Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture being PS4-only, despite its devs making their name with the PC-only Dear Esther. In recent months similar has happened with Tomb Raider, and of course there’s a long history of this sort of thing, from your Marios to your Halos. Is this right? Is it sensible? And what about the other side of the coin, with XCOM 2 being PC-only? Not so grumbly then, are we? Let’s see if we can figure this one out, eh?
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XCOM 2: Base Mode & The Return Of The Avenger

I suspect our Adam will be filing a fulsome hands-on XCOM 2 report from the Gamescom frontline before too long, but as my frail vegetarian body couldn’t possibly cope with another week of watching people eat sausages, all I have to go on in these here 19 screenshots and a video. They’re particularly exciting screenshots for me, however, because they focus on soldier customisation, what goes on back at base and how the aliens are now essentially playing XCOM themselves. I want it I want it I want it, and I’ve written some thoughts about what’s been revealed below.
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Vigilo Confido: XCOM Mega-Mod Long War Is Finished(Ish)

There's much more to it than guady new armour colours, promise

XCOM 2 [official site] looms, but despite its many enticing changes it seems unlikely it’ll take Firaxis’ X-COM reboot much closer to the Golloptastic source material. As such, complicated, hardcore and remarkably extensive mod Long War is, I suspect, going to remain your best bet for a game which furthers the uncompromising, unsympathetic spirit of the original games. It expands so many elements, introduces many more, remixes almost everything, makes an XCOM campaign ten times longer and, if you so wish, repeatedly bloodies your nose in the process. And now, several years and 15 major releases later, it is more-or-less finished. Next, its makers will turn their hands to their own “grand strategy alien invasion game.”
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The Truth Is In Here: 10 Mins Of Jabber-Free XCOM 2

things are looking up

It’s a good day for watching videos of exciting upcoming games that isn’t polluted by jibber-jabber. Getting to appreciate the sound design of No Man’s Sky was a fine thing, and now I can see some of my most-anticipated game this year, XCOM 2 [official site], without interruptions from interviewers and soundbyteers. This ten minutes of alien-bothering appears to offer a meaningful glimpse of how a mission can play out. It looks significantly more XCOMy than some of the talk about big changes – especially in terms of role-reversal – might have suggested but, I think, in a good way.
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Lady Beserkers & Corpse-Carrying In XCOM 2 Footage

Another lifeboat for me reach out to in the endless sea of E3 hype is Firaxis’ XCOM 2 [official site]. Clearly it’s hardly a dead cert they’ll get it right, especially given that Civ Beyond Earth eroded some faith that the studio is willing to go outside its comfort zone, but there’s no game in vidyaland that I’m more excited about right now. Even though all we’ve been given so far is context. That’s just changed: here’s footage there’s footage footage now hooray footage

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Best Steam Summer Sale Deals: Day 1

What are the best Steam Summer Sale deals? Each day for the duration of the sale, we’ll be offering our picks – based on price, what we like, and what we think more people should play. Read on for the five best deals from day one of the sale.

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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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19 Observations About The XCOM 2 Trailer

I should have been there. I should have been there. But I wasn’t. I was busy toddler-wrangling when XCOM 2 was announced yesterday, so only now can I say my piece about the follow-up to my most-played game of the last decade (at least). I’ve watched the trailer several times over, and I have these things to say about it, in a vaguely shot-by-shot breakdown sort of way.
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XCOM 2 Announcement Trailer: Alien Vs. Swordman

The snakerozzers put the squeeze on.

In all our excitement about the announcement of XCOM 2 [official site] yesterday, we missed the cinematic trailer showing XCOM rebels battling snakecops in a futurecity. Perhaps it was for the best: Adam’s happy little dance might’ve gone on so long he ground his legs to stumps had he seen that too. Me, I’m too achy to dance today, so I can safely post about the trailer.

Are you okay to watch it? I accept no liability for any stumpings that may occur.

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New World Disorder: XCOM 2 Announced

It’s happening. We suspected it would but that hasn’t prevented a swift happy dance before posting of the news could commence.

XCOM 2 [official site] is coming in November of this year. No underwater shenanigans and no race into space. Instead, Firaxis are proposing a grim future in which the alien invasion was eventually successful, leaving humanity as second-class citizens on their own planet. A couple of decades after the war, XCOM re-establishes itself as a hidden force of freedom fighters, striking back against the new world order. Procedural levels, new soldier classes, a mobile base, deeper modding support and more more more. Screenshots and details below.

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The Games That Got Away

Pathologic

Maybe it’s just a symptom of getting old, but increasingly I want to revisit games I feel I could yet get more out of far more than I want to play something new. I’ve got these two awful tendencies: one is to run away from something if it’s too demanding, and another is to be so preoccupied with collecting or unlocking everything that I don’t stop and smell the flowers. I deny myself appreciation for and insight about some games because I’m too worried that I’m missing out on some infinitely more ephemeral aspect of them, like whatever’s behind that door or what that high-level spell does. So these are just a few of the games I want to play again, in an impossible world where I had the time to.
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Staff Changes: Gollop’s Chaos Reborn Gets A Metagame

the pride of RPS

My word, check you out, Chaos Reborn [official site]. Don’t you get bigger and prettier every time I take a look at you? I quite like the stark, neon outlines it used to depict its assorted bestiary back in the old prototype, then I liked the later move to Fantasy-Tron-With-Figurines, and now I like the ornate, characterful land its latest Early Access update presents even more. X-COM co-creator Julian Gollop’s Chaos Reborn always felt like a boardgame in videogame’s clothing, but its tailor has done so fine a job this time that it’s increasingly hard to see the boardgame beneath it all. Also new as of this update is a whole lot more equipment stuff, so you can unlock customise your wizard as you play. In other words, the metagame has begun.
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XCOM With Steamy Robots: Warmachine Tactics Demo

I think this was the game Jim suggested I try out a while back, given it’s an XCOM-like with steam-powered magical robots. I like XCOM. I like robots. Steam’s okay, I guess. Sadly, a few hundred nights of being repeatedly screamed awake had destroyed my ability to remember anything at that point, particularly when it came to the exact name of a game with ‘war’ in the title. Fortunately, today brought news that there’s a free demo of WARMACHINE: Tactics, prompting my bruised brain to offer a sleepy “hey, yeah, man, that might be it, y’know?”
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What Can Games Learn From Action In Comics?

PAGE ONE, PANEL ONE

Graham lies in a crumpled heap beneath the looming figure of DOCTOR NO IDEAS.

CAPTION: This looks like a job for…

PAGE ONE, PANEL TWO

Pip, dressed in a (heroic) frog costume, sits typing at a computer.

PAGE TWO, PANEL ONE

A closeup of a Gchat window with the text “G, are there any games which do violence as well as comics?”

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Cardboard Children: XCOM: The Board Game – Part 1

Hello youse. With XCOM being a game that is significant in the history of PC gaming, I thought I would do something a bit different with my coverage of XCOM: The Board Game on Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Often, when a board game supports solitaire play, I’m asked how well the single-player aspect works. And I’m often unable to answer, because I rarely play board games alone. But with XCOM, I thought I would make an effort. The PC game series is a real single-player, one-mind-against-the-machine experience. How does the board game stack up?

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Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Seeing Starships Footage Now

Sid Meier and Firaxis’ new thing, Starships, was announced last week, but all we got to see was a cinematic. Fortunately, Unca Sid did a talk at PAX South a couple of days back, in which he showed off the game proper. Those who could not drag themselves to a sweaty hall in Texas may now be similarly indulged. There are some bits and pieces of Civ in there – perhaps striving for commonality with Beyond Earth, which it shares a setting/fiction with – but primarily it’s about customising spaceships then making ’em fight.

Meier also tackles the thorny question “how do you put maps in space?” and clarifies that people who call themselves ‘marauders’ don’t tend to be terribly friendly.
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Impressions: Chaos Reborn

In the fag-end of 2014 I managed to have a chat with X-COM creator Julian Gollop about the (early access) release version of his new game Chaos Reborn, but as the many demands of a festive season hosted at home hurtled towards me I flat-out ran out of time to give the game itself more than a cursory look. Now that I no longer need worry about which brand of cranberry sauce is best, putting tinsel high enough that a toddler can’t hang herself on it and whether those vacuum-packed chestnuts are a substitute for fresh ones, I’ve been able to put good time into Gollop’s remake of classic Spectrum turn-based strategy game Chaos. Here’s what I made of it.
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Wot Games Did RPS Play Over Its Holidays?

It’s a pleasant fantasy to think that holidays mean long weeks of playing games, but in reality there’s trains and planes to be boarded, family to be visited, lives to be unavoidably lived. Gaming during holidays is therefore similar to gaming at any other time, about stealing moments to sneak away to a quiet corner and catch up on backlogs or curl up with comforts. Some of you told us what you played over the break yesterday, but here’s what RPS played between the parsnips and presents.

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Comfort Games

how I feel RN

Hello there, best keep your distance, for I am ill. Not just ‘bit of a sniffle/put a bigger pullover on, you great ninny’ ill, but ‘noxious substances violently erupting from everywhere’ ill. My daughter started going to nursery about three months ago, and has been bringing back a delightful cocktail of viruses and bacteria ever since – it’s been a relentless assault on my immune system, and while I’m oddly proud of how long it stood against this microbial siege, it has now collapsed in gruesome style.

It’s OK, I don’t want your pity. Unless it’s a special magical form of pity that renders me instantly able to eat again. I want to talk about games.

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Whatever Happened To X-COM’s Julian Gollop?

Well, he eventually rebooted and remade war of wizards Spectrum classic Chaos Reborn, which I’ve had a lot of fun with over the last few days, and which took to Steam Early Access yesterday. You can read more about that here. But what happened to the co-creator of X-COM, Laser Squad, Magic and Mayhem, Rebelstar and more over the last ten years or so? While so many long-standing developers have seen their stars rise and rise, Julian Gollop seemed to fall out of sight. In this concluding part of my big interview with him, we talk about where he’s been, why he turned to Kickstarter for his comeback, how he was doing Early Access long before it ever existed, his thoughts on latter-day X-COMlikes such as Xenonauts, Invisible Inc and Mordheim, and the pressing question of whether we’ll ever see a new X-COM or Laser Squad=style game with him at the helm.
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