Posts Tagged ‘XCOM’

Xenonauts 2’s free early version updated

I think Adam has been at the air conditioning again, because there’s a lot of XCOM in the air today. First came news of lookalike Shock Tactics and now we’re talking Xenonauts 2 [official site]. The sequel to the first strategy homage, inspired by Ye Olde X-COM With A Hyphen, has been dropping free public builds of the game as they work. This is their alternative to early access, developers Goldhawk have said previously. “The game is currently free because we don’t think it is good enough to charge money for,” they said. “Don’t expect too much!”. If you’re still into it, however, an update for the build has just added the reaper alien, introduced new weapons, fixed bugs, and reworked some of the maps.
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XCOM lookalike Shock Tactics is out now

The melodrama, combat and man-handling of XCOM has left a mark on many a game, but Shock Tactics [official site] looks to be covered in such marks. You’re managing your troops, building a base and fighting the bad ones (mostly human beings this time) on isometric maps plastered with cover. It was released yesterday, so here’s a video filled with, uh, familiar sights.
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Have You Played… One Chance?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Tfw you invent a cure for cancer and it becomes an unstoppable disease that starts to kill everyone on the planet. One Chance is a short scrolling story game that puts you in the role of that scientist man, John Pilgrim, as he tries to fix his own research team’s mess by making daily decisions about what to do next. If you haven’t heard of it and don’t want the entire point of the story taken away from you, then just go play it. It’s quite good. Otherwise, read on. Read the rest of this entry »

Cogmind Is Your Next Favourite Roguelike

That headline may be a bold claim but the only way I can imagine it being false is if you’re already playing Cogmind [official site]. It’s a sci-fi game in which you control robots that can repair and reconfigure themselves by picking up pieces of fallen enemies. It has a relatively friendly interface for such a complex game (you don’t need to learn a thousand key inputs) and even though it’s still in alpha, the latest build is extremely solid. Read the rest of this entry »

You Wouldn’t Steal A Skyranger: X-Piratez Is An Outstanding Total Conversion Of UFO/X-COM

In my intro to Silent Storm, I mentioned both modding scenes and UFO (used to distinguish the 1994 original X-COM from the 2012 Firaxis one, and not only out of increasingly sad Eurocentric obstinance) without tying the two together. That, it turns out, was stupid, because X-Piratez, a UFO mod in active development by Dioxine, is the best total conversion for any game I’ve ever played.

Based on OpenXcom Extended, a long-running open source clone of UFO, it takes the story and gameplay structure of the original, and a huge stock of resourcefulness, and turns them into something that’s simultaneously very similar and completely new. The result is a dangerously addictive compound of comfortable old UFO with constant surprise, discovery, and content.

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XCOM 2 Anarchy’s Children DLC Out Today

Happy Saint Paddy’s Day one and all! A day for dressing up in garish green hats, novelty glasses, and orange wigs. Which is what I assume we’ll be able to do in the latest XCOM 2 [official site] expansion, Anarchy’s Children, which promises “100 new exotic customization options for your soldiers, including new hair styles, face paints, armor, lower face props, decals, helmets, masks and more.” I guess we’ll find out either way when it launches later today. Top o’ the mornin’ to ya, Advent soldiers.

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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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Come Play With Us In Clicker Heroes, Guild Wars 2, PlanetSide 2 And Lots More

It’s been a while! Over November and December, the RPS community have indulged in tonnes of different games. Read on to find out what we’ve been up to in Clicker Heroes [official site], Guild Wars 2 [official site], PlanetSide 2 [official site], Terraria [official site] and more.

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Making The Misfits: XCOM 2’s Character Customisation

It’s the RPS Horacetide lunch and beverage session today, which is why the entire site smells like eggnog and reheated turkey twizzlers. Here’s an early pressie in the form of a video showing the XCOM 2 [official site] character customisation suite in action. This is taken from my recent hands-on session – I’d made the rather fabulous lady above and she’d survived one outing. I decided to give her a new gun, and ended up giving her a new face and outfit as well.

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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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Someone Has Recreated A Playable XCOM In Excel

An XCOM fan on Reddit has created a rather robust version of XCOM that is played using the spreadsheet software Microsoft Excel. Dubbed EXLCOM, this reimagining of the science fiction turn-based strategy game is far from complete, but that doesn’t mean you can’t sink a few hours enjoying the fact that the program you use to budget your weekly spending allowance can be used to build a fully functional video game. I spoke to its creator about the hows and whys.

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Cowboy XCOM-like Hard West Out Now; Some Thoughts

“Wild West XCOM” is about as good an elevator pitch as you could wish for. After a short delay, as of today we can find out whether Hard West [official site] can possibly live up to its glorious high concept. I played an earlier build a few weeks back – some thoughts, plus a launch trailer, below.

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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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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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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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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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Have You Played… X-COM Apocalypse

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Everybody seems to have an opinion about Terror From The Deep, the first sequel in the original X-COM series. I’ve heard people dismissing it as a reskin or complaining that it is too difficult, while its defenders will happily gurgle about the Lovecraftian splendour of it all. The third game, X-COM Apocalypse, receives less attention than either of its predecessors but has always been a worthwhile addition to any library of games.

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