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Anybody else tried the new X-Com: Enemy Unknown?

Author
Max Godsnottlingson
Viziam
Amarr Empire
#1 - 2012-10-17 16:59:32 UTC
Seems like Firaxis has finally got it's mojo back after the dispointment of them dumbing down Civ 5 and Railroads. The game has managed to capture the feeling of the original game nicely.

Only real gripe I have is that all of the battle areas are generic 'small town America' which is bad enough when you are supposed to be doing a mission somewhere in Europe but a bit of an immersion breaker when you are supposed to be doing a mission in Africa or Asia. Hopefully, they will put out some 'regional upgrade' DLC's in the future, but then again. this is Firaxis, so perhaps not.

Though, I must say, I love the nod of respect to the Jerry and Sylvia Anderson UFO TV series, which they took insperation from for the first game.

A good game to have running while I am Ice mining!
MinefieldS
1 Sick Duck Standss on something
#2 - 2012-10-17 17:48:11 UTC
The aliens stay in 1 place or patrol a small area so I just blow them up w/ 4 heavies as soon as I find them. In the original XCOM I'd run out of elerium if I did that. The game is fun in the beginning but then it becomes like shooting fish in a barrel.
Bane Necran
Appono Astos
#3 - 2012-10-17 18:15:48 UTC
Yeah, been enjoying it quite a bit. Was a big fan of the original, and i'm glad they did it justice. There's a couple things i miss, but they're not major. Overall it's an improvement.

MinefieldS wrote:
The aliens stay in 1 place or patrol a small area so I just blow them up w/ 4 heavies as soon as I find them.


Never found that to be the case. Especially on Classic. Normal is a walk in the park, and can get boring if you prefer difficult challenges, but as soon as you step into classic things get chaotic.

"In the void is virtue, and no evil. Wisdom has existence, principle has existence, the Way has existence, spirit is nothingness." ~Miyamoto Musashi

Max Godsnottlingson
Viziam
Amarr Empire
#4 - 2012-10-17 18:58:56 UTC
Bane Necran wrote:
Yeah, been enjoying it quite a bit. Was a big fan of the original, and i'm glad they did it justice. There's a couple things i miss, but they're not major. Overall it's an improvement.

MinefieldS wrote:
The aliens stay in 1 place or patrol a small area so I just blow them up w/ 4 heavies as soon as I find them.


Never found that to be the case. Especially on Classic. Normal is a walk in the park, and can get boring if you prefer difficult challenges, but as soon as you step into classic things get chaotic.


I was just going to say the same thing. In fact on Classic level I have been impressed on how the Aliens scuttle into cover as soon as they see you and they try to flank you when they are able too.

And I howled with laughter when I saw my first Sectoid appear use it's PSI power to 'convince' it's team-mates to go forward and fight while it hid at the back!

However, I do agree with MinefieldS, I am not a 100% sure of it's longevity. I just hope that Firaxis follow the Civ rout and do some expansions to upgrade the game contents, rather then just abandon it as they did Railroads.
Bane Necran
Appono Astos
#5 - 2012-10-17 19:13:21 UTC
Max Godsnottlingson wrote:
However, I do agree with MinefieldS, I am not a 100% sure of it's longevity. I just hope that Firaxis follow the Civ rout and do some expansions to upgrade the game contents, rather then just abandon it as they did Railroads.


There's definitely going to be DLC. If you look at the main list of achievements on Steam there's a few which no one has gotten yet related to content which hasn't been released yet.

*spoiler alert*

The end also leaves a lot unresolved, after your 'volunteer' merges with the etherial collective mind, or whatever happened there exactly.

"In the void is virtue, and no evil. Wisdom has existence, principle has existence, the Way has existence, spirit is nothingness." ~Miyamoto Musashi

Akita T
Caldari Navy Volunteer Task Force
#6 - 2012-10-17 20:56:20 UTC
To anybody saying they "stayed true to the original", have you even TOUCHED the old game in the past 5 years ?

The good:
- better graphics and the nice cutscenes, so, meh, I guess that's something
- not very dumb AI civilians and controllable NPCs in escort missions, but that's not really high praise
- vague resemblance to the original, and it's barely squeezable in here

The bad:
- the so-called plot twist and/or master plan reveal (whatever you call it) near the ending during the mission, and the ending itself (does not compute, what if I actually WANT to join that dude, does he even give me a chance to say no to his face first ? of course not, it's either kill or be killed, after all the absurdly vain mental monologues so far)
- on easy mode, finished the game after 28 missions, in under 6 months of in-game time, with just 6 UFOs shot down
- maps feel too small, even if some could arguably compare in absolute size to the old ones
- overpowered boring tactics for most missions, by repeatedly falling back and spamming overwatches like mad in a decently set-up killzone (include at least 2 squadsight snipers and a sprinter support with medikit, most missions become laughably easy even on higher difficulties)
- oversimplified scientists/engineers "stat", well, basically, oversimplified everything
- minimalistic weapon and other gear choices, most locked to specific classes, which are as good as completely arbitrary, and... oh, well, I want my backpack back, and I want a larger team, and I want to switch weapons mid-mission, dammit
- bordering-on-useless "panic" psi-power, and the rest are not THAT much better, except very situationally
- single base, no aliens invading your base, only 80 possible maps (not that you actually get to see them all in a single playthrough either way)
- limited usefulness "upgrades" (for instance, skeleton armor and then ghost armor are the only ones deserving mention IMO, plus the "maybe" psi-armor for the gifted, but the rest are just too "meh"
- the oodles of bugs related to the interface and the physics engine: constant unwanted scrolling near edges, ceilings clipping visibility in quick succession, unable to select where to actually move (because you can't keep the damn cursor in place) and so on with the little annoyances that you might ignore for a few good hours but will end with you annoyed as heck at it all

The ugly:
- the ludicrously small squad size, even 6 is laughable
- you can recruit 100 soldiers but can use AT MOST one team in the field at any given time, what the heck, is a Skyranger made of unobtanium that you just can't be arsed to
- on impossible mode, other than a HIGHER number of enemies and the BLATANT CHEATING on behalf of the AIs, with hidden to-hit boosts for them, hidden to-hit penalties for you... in case you did not catch it, it was the "hidden" part I actually have a problem with (if you tell me I get a 50% chance to hit, I want to get roughly a 50% chance to hit, not 30% or lower... just tell me if it's 30% or lower, dammit)
- the more annoying bugs that need fixing ASAP, like, oh, the ability to shoot through SOLID WALLS with 100% accuracy in certain cases (and it's not just your guys, it' some aliens too), inability to shoot the damn enemy unit you still have mind control over (need to wait until he turns "fully alien" again (wtf?)

And that's, you know, just a relatively quick snap decision.
Louis deGuerre
The Dark Tribe
#7 - 2012-10-17 22:37:33 UTC
On classic I can assure you the aliens put up a fight. In fact I wonder if I can actually win and I've played every XCOM game there is on hard.

It is a different game than the original but I think it is a good game.

Playing this game on normal or lower is a waste of your time. Classic however, very interesting challenge.

It has been consolified too much sadly, but Akita's verdict really is too harsh. I'm having a blast playing it. Recommended
Sebastian LaFleur
Federal Defense Union
Gallente Federation
#8 - 2012-10-17 23:57:38 UTC
The problem with alien groups "activating" only after one of your squad members see them, is that they get free movement to get to cover, so there's no way you can surprise them in poor positions.

The other problem is the class system which makes your leveled up soldiers crucial for survival later in the game. The rookies just aren't enough against the harder aliens, no matter how lucky you get with your shots.

And then there's the "dumbing down" stuff: inability to shoot walls with regular weapons, no inventory, inability to pick stuff from fallen soldiers etc.

Been playing on classic difficulty with ironman mode toggled on.

Expand consciousness. Travel without moving. 

Skurja Volpar
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#9 - 2012-10-18 06:34:42 UTC  |  Edited by: Skurja Volpar
Really enjoying it. I think faraxis have done the franchise proud. While it's not perfect (and buggy as ****, would really like a patch now, and of course 99% of issues listed above are valid ) it's still well executed and just massively compelling. Have just as much fun as I did with the first 3 games - even if I'm not howling with rage TftD style.

While it'll probably never affect me like that legendary UFO game I bought at the supermarket for £5 when I was 10, it's still already sucked me in, and has become a danger to my life, relationships and work. Which is always a good sign for any game.

Good to see the triumphant return of a franchise and genre thats been in the cold for so long. Maybe 2ks FPS will half decent too, although bad xcom spinoffs are just as traditional to the franchise as rookie cannon fodder.

All we need now is a good Fallout Tactics remake and I can bow out of life for good.
MinefieldS
1 Sick Duck Standss on something
#10 - 2012-10-18 07:42:00 UTC
Bane Necran wrote:

Never found that to be the case. Especially on Classic. Normal is a walk in the park, and can get boring if you prefer difficult challenges, but as soon as you step into classic things get chaotic.


Max Godsnottlingson wrote:

I was just going to say the same thing. In fact on Classic level I have been impressed on how the Aliens scuttle into cover as soon as they see you and they try to flank you when they are able too.


Ok, when you go to a crash site, repeatedly press 'end turn' without moving and wait for the aliens.
Sidus Isaacs
Center for Advanced Studies
Gallente Federation
#11 - 2012-10-18 10:27:08 UTC
Louis deGuerre wrote:


It has been consolified too much


This seems to be a trend currently. It is kind of sad, makes games kind of boring instead of actually engaging.

At least there are some promising sci fi games coming the next couple of years.

Other than that I plan on giving XCOM a spin this weekend.
Alice Saki
Nocturnal Romance
Cynosural Field Theory.
#12 - 2012-10-18 13:18:21 UTC
I enjoyed it, I like the customization options ^_^
Never played the pervious X-Com(s)

FREEZE! Drop the LIKES AND WALK AWAY! - Currenly rebuilding gaming machine, I will Return.

Akita T
Caldari Navy Volunteer Task Force
#13 - 2012-10-18 18:15:30 UTC  |  Edited by: Akita T
Louis deGuerre wrote:
It has been consolified too much sadly, but Akita's verdict really is too harsh. I'm having a blast playing it. Recommended

Well, if you try to completely forget the first two games (which I really can't, but those in the newer generation should have no problem with that since they almost certainly have not played it), and if you ignore all the bugs(which might, hopefully, get fixed sooner rather than later), then it's a decent game, indeed.
But there's too many "ifs" in there for me to really enjoy it.

...

Let me remind you how the original worked to see what I mean about some other limitations and "consolification" changes in the new one I find annoying.

...

First off, in the original(s), anybody can use any weapon whatsoever, with one exception, the mind control device, which needs special training first (but not very much, and even that one can be used by any with some training, even if it was minimal).

There are no special skills or anything, everybody can do everything, there are just "time units" which determine how many things a unit can do per turn. You also had two hands to equip with either two one-handed weapons or one two-handed weapon. You also had an individual inventory for each soldier, with belt, leg and shoulder pouches, and a large backpack.
You could move, change facing (you would only see forward, not backward), kneel (for better aim and lower profile), stand up, drop or THROW anything from your hands, equip anything from the ground or your inventory, pick anything up from the ground (including dead bodies or unconscious bodies, be it of fellow soldiers or of aliens), switch ammo type (piercing, explosive, incendiary for most weapons), fire an aimed shot (more TU, more accuracy), a snap shot (less TU, lower accuracy) or an auto-shot (three quick shots, average accuracy, from weapons that have auto-fire capabilities). TU costs for shooting were a percentage of total TUs based on weapon type (pistols took the least, heavy weapons took the most), and not all weapons had all three firing modes. You also had guided missiles later on (as in, you selected waypoints before launch).

The only real limit to the stuff you could carry was encumbrance - if you put too much weight on a soldier, its TU would only partially refresh (so it could do less each turn).
You could still carry a truckload of stuff, just move a lot slower. And you could drop stuff on the ground at your feet, do your thing with full TU next few turns, then pick it all back up and slowly move away again.
Dropping stuff and picking stuff up uses up TU though. So unloading and repacking everything could take a while, especially on rookies who had very little TUs to begin with.

YOU COULD SHOOT AT ANY LOCATION AND/OR AT ANYBODY.
Want to shoot at a wall ? Sure thing, shoot ahead !
Want to shoot your own team ? Sure, why not !
Bad accuracy on auto-shot in an area with an enemy and a lot of friendlies ? Almost guaranteed disaster waiting to happen !
EVERYBODY that still had TUs left whenever you finished turn was automatically set on "overwatch"-like behaviour. You could reserve TUs for either type of shot, for kneeling at the end of a move, etc. If you wanted (and had enough TU).
The more TUs left a unit has, the higher its "reaction" stat, and it would act sooner than any other when triggered.
Movement also consumes stamina/energy, not just TUs.

Damage was done to individual parts of the body (head, arms, legs, torso), there was a rather large HP pool (weapons also did pretty high amounts of HP of damage though, so it was more or less the same as this new one, but with much finer grain) and a separate "stun damage" meter (whenever stun HP > remaining HP, that unit fell unconscious, but the stunned HP slowly diminished, so a stunned unit could become conscious again if given time).

Damage could open up fatal wounds (which needed to be stitched/healed or else loss of HP continued, you got +3 HP per fatal wound closed, and having fatal wounds affected your soldier's abilities - to legs they would get less TU, to hands they would lose aim accuracy, to head they could become more easily confused, etc), morale could be improved with painkillers after HP loss (proportional to HP loss), and alertness/wakefulness (10 TU / 4 stun) regained with stimulants. Each medi-kit had 10 of each heal/stim/painkiller units.
If you wanted, you could have one unit carry more than a dozen medi-kits on itelf, one in each hand, and a lot more in the backpack. If that unit died, anybody else could go pick the medi-kits back (provided they were not destroyed by an explosion).

Each armor had different ratings (for protection vs damage) on each side (front, left, right, back, below), and could also be damaged (protecting less against subsequent attacks on the same side).
Each thing on the battlefield (including buildings, even the grass or any items on the ground, be it weapons, bodies or anything else) had its own armor rating and could be destroyed if a sufficiently high damage was applied to it. EVERYTHING (except the floor level bedrock) was destructable !!!

You could bring in as many grenades of any type as you wanted. Also, throwable light sources, smoke grenades, etc. You also had high explosive packs. And later on, also stun grenade launchers. On top of as much ammo for the rocket launchers as you would care to carry.
Yup, you had to BRING ammo. It wasn't infinite (well, except for the lasers, those had infinite ammo, no reloads necessary, but lasers were pretty weak later on).
Akita T
Caldari Navy Volunteer Task Force
#14 - 2012-10-18 18:17:30 UTC
Grenades and explosive packs could be primed (takes TUs) while in hand with different timers (from 0 turns to 30 turns, if memory serves right), which would start counting down the moment it was released from the hand. If the unit fell unconscious or died, the timer would start ticking and the charge would go off. You also had PROXIMITY MINES which would go off only when somebody passes nearby after they got armed.
You could even set up "grenade relays", where an unit in the back would prime a grenade, throw it to the next unit, then to the next, up to whichever unit needs to use it (throw accuracy was pretty decent even for rookies, but accidents COULD happen), and then that unit throws it where he wants it to go (ideally, at the feet of an enemy).

Each soldier gains experience based on WHAT HE DID on the battlefield., after the mission is over.
Its primary stats (Reactions, Firing Accuracy, Melee Accuracy, Throwing Accuracy, Psionic Skill, Bravery) go up if he does something directly related to that.
Secondary stats (Time Units, Health, Strength, Energy/Stamina) go up whenever ANY primary stat action has been made (with the exception of throwing accuracy).
The rank of the soldier has only a bit to do with actual combat ability. The highest "promotion score" soldier that's at least a squaddie (i.e. not a rookie, as in, he made at least one primary non-throw action in one mission) gets promoted to a higher rank whenever there's enough space in the command ranks. Bringing a higher-ranked soldier with you on a mission improves morale (soldiers less likely to panic, morale boosted more on each enemy killed, etc) but losing a higher-ranked soldier on the battlefield affects everybody's morale more (i.e. a commander, of which you can only have at most one at any given time in the entire game when you have at least 30 soldiers total across all bases - yup, you can have up to 8 bases - will hurt morale almost twice as much as losing a rookie ; you can have up to 10 captains when you have over 230 soldiers, etc).

Sure, the old one had a lot of bugs (many of which only got fixed by FANS many years later, not by the original devs), and some drastic memory limitations made for some silly stuff happening (for instance, there's an 80-item limit, and if an enemy battleship attacks your base, and your base is full of say, more than 80 smoke grenades, you might find yourself fighting aliens with nothing BUT smoke grenades, or some weapons without ammo, as you do not get to pick WHICH 80 items you will get - and the older/basic stuff takes priority usually).

Oh, and a fairly typical landing party has at least 12 soldiers, and you can even go up to 26.
And you don't even need to equip them all with weapons, they can simply scavenge from the field from the enemies - their weapons don't self-destruct when the wielder dies. And ammo can be also scavenged from the field. And the enemy uses up the ammo he has, so if you take too long to kill them, they might be almost out of ammo.

Also fun stuff to do in the originals:
- have an "ammo mule" (be it gun ammo or just grenades/explosives) character, that just goes around throwing consumables wherever they may be needed (use a pistol on him to make at least one shot per mission to get its stats up)
- same as above but with loaded/unloaded weapons ; or same, but with fetching of enemy weapons from dead aliens in dangerous areas (use rookies, they're somewhat expendable, you still get a combat morale penalty and a council review penalty though, so try not to do it too often)
- stunner / suicide bomber guy - one hand carrying a primed grenade with a 0 timer, the other a stun rod ; if the enemy does not fall down after being stunned initially and kills your guy, then he either gets stunned or killed when the grenade goes off as soon as his turn is about to start (same story with the penalties, but if you really NEED a live alien early on, it's worth it - and you DO on higher difficulty levels ; by the way, you need a fan-made patch to actually enable them for good)
- firing squad welcome committee - the aliens had a knack for getting out the front door of their downed UFOs only a few turns in in certain types of missions, so if you locate the UFO fast enough, you can set up a nice killzone in front of the doors, with a proximity mine in front of it and loads of soldiers just outside the blast range with full TU/stamina waiting to make a power-breach after the first few get eliminated by the mine and reaction fire
- later on in the game, constantly mind-controlling last few remaining aliens and using them as target practice for your soldiers (using low-damage weapons to deal less damage, and if it's a nicely armored one, no damage at all - you cap out in XP at 11 actions per soldier though), or even more hilariously, healing the aliens constantly after you shoot them)
- "smash-and-grab" alien base ops, killing all but the last few enemies, picking up all the goodies from the base (weapons, ammo, maybe some stunned aliens too) and bugging out, only to come back some time later when they've repaired/repopulated everything
- intentionally letting one of your bases be discovered (one that you have set up in such a way as to make it very easily defensible, with a single access point and optimized inventory for maximal combat effectiveness), luring in wave after wave of invaders only to massively boost your weapon/ammo stockpiles and chances to capture live higher-ranking aliens (they generally hold a bit back, and are weaker in direct combat, so after you peel off all escorts, they can be captured a lot easier than in an alien base raid)

And that's not even all of it.
Do you see any of that or even remotely similar in the new game ? I sure as heck don't.
Akita T
Caldari Navy Volunteer Task Force
#15 - 2012-10-18 18:19:49 UTC
The maps don't get bigger. All the maps that exist are a fixed size. And there's only 80 of them, manually made.
The only thing that changes is number of enemies and the artificial chance to hit penalties for you and boosts to the AI.

You can switch difficulty on the fly.
Switching it to impossible before mission is discovered, keeping it on impossible until the first turn actually inside combat, then switching to whatever other difficulty you want - that makes you see exactly what would happen on that difficulty level (map type, enemy count, etc) without suffering from the outright CHEATING the game employs (i.e. on impossible, if an enemy has a 50% chance to hit, it's actually 70% or higher, but if you see 50% chance to hit it's actually 30% or lower - they don't even bother to tell you the actual chance to hit).


I'm kind of still hoping they will eventually come up with some mods that change it a lot towards the original was.
Maybe not the devs directly, but if they give us all the needed tools, maybe the fans will do it.

Destination SkillQueue
Doomheim
#16 - 2012-10-18 19:08:34 UTC  |  Edited by: Destination SkillQueue
That sounds pretty bad to me, so I'm going to pass this game. I guess my hopes are now pinned on Xenonauts on delivering a more faitful and improved X-com reimagining.
Bane Necran
Appono Astos
#17 - 2012-10-18 19:56:15 UTC  |  Edited by: Bane Necran
I wrote a massive response to Akita's claims yesterday but it ended up being too long and full of quotes for me to bother formatting it for the forums and i just gave up. Wishing i hadn't now since people are taking his claims seriously.

In short, yes, i have played the original as recently as a year ago, and have been playing it on and off since it was released.

The plot was linear in the original, so you can't claim this version having a linear plot is somehow not staying true to the original.

I agree there could have been more rocket launchers and types of rockets for them, but the game has every other piece of equipment the original had and more. I also agree the problems with tiles not highlighting properly on some multi-level UFOs is annoying, but it will hopefully be fixed in a patch. The matter of having multiple squads and skyrangers is kind of moot because you can only use one at a time, and the matter of only being able to use one interceptor at a time is more annoying of a deviation from the original. Scientists being relatively useless, and both them and engineers having no real connection to workshops and labs i'd also agree was a poor design choice. The AI cheating on the highest difficulties is just Sid Meiers influence (think Civilization). I only plan on playing Classic because i find that hard enough, so it's not an issue with me, or most people playing who agree Classic is the best mode.

I don't find anything else claimed to be significant. Overall it is a vast improvement on the original, and easily the best strategy game to come out this year.

Also:

Quote:
limited usefulness "upgrades" (for instance, skeleton armor and then ghost armor are the only ones deserving mention IMO, plus the "maybe" psi-armor for the gifted, but the rest are just too "meh"


How could you not notice Carapace armor offers the most protection and immunity to hazards like fire and poison? It's the best armor upgrade for anyone who isn't a sniper or psi gifted. There's also just as much armor variety as the original if not more.

"In the void is virtue, and no evil. Wisdom has existence, principle has existence, the Way has existence, spirit is nothingness." ~Miyamoto Musashi

Akita T
Caldari Navy Volunteer Task Force
#18 - 2012-10-18 23:19:25 UTC  |  Edited by: Akita T
Never said anything about the plot being linear. I only said it can be awfully short.
And that it FORCES you artificially to pick a single mission out of three now and then instead of letting you make a hard but fully voluntary choice to send one Skyranger's worth of your best troops to a location or split whatever B- or C-listers you might have on multiple terror/abduction sites.
Yes, I usually DID intercept ALL missions in the original, and I was running at least 4, sometimes up to 8 troop carriers (you had 3 craft types that carried troops in the original - the basic Skyranger, the sort of meh Firestorm, and the awesome Avenger).

Heck, in the original, I would sometimes send a Skyranger to shadow an UFO until it landed, and start the mission as soon as it did land. You can't do that either in the new one.
Oh, and by the way, as you just mentioned, you also CAN'T send multiple craft to intercept an UFO at the same time, you have to send just ONE BY ONE and keep retreating if you take too much damage. No more squad of 8 interceptors rotated like mad in hopes of bringing that huge target down before they get wiped out and/or run out of ammo and so on.

...

You mean Titan armor, not Carapace armor ?
Yes, I noticed the fire/poison immunity.
However I never actually felt I actually needed fire immunity, and other than fighting thin men, poison immunity is kind of "meh" (I mean, ok, technically, it's also good against vs crysalids, but if they got in melee range you're screwed either way - also, if you CARRY a medi-kit, you also get poison immunity).
The +6 health difference from the Skeleton armor (4 vs 10) is a much bigger deal, but it comes with a loss of 10 def (so you get hit a bit more often) and a serious loss in mobility - the grapple is gone, so no more quick "jump on truck top / building roof / UFO roof" move, and high ground is quite important ; also, movement range is reduced noticeably.
All in all, it feels much more as two steps forward diagonally, two steps back straight.
If you really want a lot of HP on the field, just bring a SHIV. At least that one comes with built-in defense too. Personally I never bothered using one.

And don't get me started on the Archangel armor, which starts at a measly 6 turns fuel for flight, and doesn't even confer any elevation bonuses.
Then you get Ghost armor, with 6 health (so Titan is just +4 health, same as Chitin plating), which has all the good stuff the Skeleton armor had, PLUS 4x invisibility and double the def bonus (+20 vs +10).

Yes, there is more armor variety compared to the original (5 instead of 3, and also one utility slot that can also enhance the existing armor), but they feel a lot less like upgrades and more like variations with some advantages and almost as many drawbacks.
In the original, the heaviest armor could take an unlimited number of shots to the front (thickest area) from the lowest-power weapons without actually taking any damage whatsoever, for instance, while also allowing you infinite flight at any height.

...

No, this one does NOT have every piece of gear the original had.
Two crucial things are missing, two things that I employed the heck out of in the original - the motion scanner and the stun grenade launcher.
Well, four, if you also count the mind probe and the psionic amplifier, they're fairly important too.
There's also the flares (not such a bid deal), the smoke grenades and rocket launchers (both turned into class-locked SKILLS here, with a limit of use per mission), the high explosive, and let's not forget the proximity grenades.

The motion scanner, I usually kept at least 2 of them in every assault team. Sure, it SORT OF exists in form of the "what's that?" prompts you get, but it's extremely "meh" compared to a proper scanner. And the mind probe is sort of redundant all with the info kind of public now, but, meh again.
The stun grenade launcher... oh, boy, the stun grenade launcher... ok, it might possibly make stuff a bit TOO easy later on, but come on, the melee-only stun is ridiculous.
And the psi-amp ? You could use it FROM ANYWHERE, not just face-to-face.

...

As for the "hidden cheating", I don't mind the cheating part, but I do mind the HIDDEN part.
The original at least had the decency to tell you the actual odds of making a shot, not display the same odds regardless of difficulty level.

...

ALL THAT being said, again, yes, it could very well be the best strategy game to come out this year, or possibly in the last FEW years.
But it's by no means an improvement to the original.

How can you possibly say it's an improvement ?
WHAT EXACTLY was improved ?

From where I'm looking, almost everything was gutted, cut down, reduced, simplified (and seldom in a good way).
A streamlining, maybe, sure, but an improvement, hell no.
It's noticeably worse compared to the original from so many standpoints except bugs (of which the original had plenty, and thos one has a lot less), graphics (well, duuh, after so many years, small wonder) and a bit of the AI... which is not a big deal achievement.

Let me put it another way.
You get to pick one game, and just ONE game.
This one we have here right now
-vs-
a near-exact remake of the original GAMEPLAY-WISE, with the graphics and cutscenes of the current game
-VS-
same accurate gameplay-wise remake , but also with completely free camera movement (pan/scroll/zoom), with MORE tech than before in forms of custom weapon, ammo, gear and craft research/prototyping based on previous techs (be it full redesign, or add-ons, or a bit of both).

Are you going to tell me you'd still pick the game we got ?
Heck, even vs the straight remake, the current game would lose, in my book.
The third option should be the clear-cut winner.
Bane Necran
Appono Astos
#19 - 2012-10-19 00:12:13 UTC
Akita T wrote:
Never said anything about the plot being linear. I only said it can be awfully short.


Akita T wrote:
the so-called plot twist and/or master plan reveal (whatever you call it) near the ending during the mission, and the ending itself (does not compute, what if I actually WANT to join that dude, does he even give me a chance to say no to his face first ? of course not, it's either kill or be killed, after all the absurdly vain mental monologues so far)

"In the void is virtue, and no evil. Wisdom has existence, principle has existence, the Way has existence, spirit is nothingness." ~Miyamoto Musashi

Akita T
Caldari Navy Volunteer Task Force
#20 - 2012-10-19 00:53:34 UTC  |  Edited by: Akita T
That's not complaining about linearity in the game itself, it's complaining about something that happens inside the very last mission... more precisely, on the delivery of it all.


SPOILER ALERT

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(for those that have not yet finished the new game)

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The "Uber ethereal" you fight on the Temple Ship keeps on droning THE ENTIRE MISSION about how they're looking for something greater.
The entire mission is a "Talent vs UberEthereal" kill-the-flag match, with either one dying ending the mission instantly.
He keeps on talking about how they pushed humanity to try and get the desired results, how all the previous attempts have only managed to create the various alien races you encountered so far (with a brief description of the "failings" for each of them), and all that jazz.
It seems off-putting that he keeps on trying to KILL YOU even when you come face-to-face, regardless of what you do, and you don't even get to "tell" him to go screw himself IN A SCRIPTED UNSKIPPABLE FIXED SEQUENCE to elicit that kind of response.
Basically, he allegedly wants you to join him, but he's trying to kill you unless you get to kill him first. Which isn't even very hard either, two plasma snipers with double tap easily take him out most of the time (he has a chance to reflect shots and some decent HP pool, plus the same psi powers as your "Talent") - I actually killed him once solely with overwatch reaction shots, not even from the entire team.
THEN he death-wails about how that's "not your destiny" and whatever will you do without his guidance in whatever it is what will come. How does that make any sense again ? On top of being a shameles plug for a sequel, that is.
Again, AT LEAST give us the satisfaction of a scripted fixed reply of "we'd rather die than join you", if nothing else... that way it will at least be logically consistent.
THEN the ship tries to turn into a black hole or something similar (apparently increasing its own mass tremendously all of a sudden, ha!), and the "talent" has to pull a gorram heroic sacrifice, "just because", which kind of feels damn cheap (especially since the ship simply explodes after going up a bit, not even very much).

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SPOILER ABOVE

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And for the third time, with all of the above gripes, it's still a pretty damn good game.
It's one of the more decent games that came out this year, or maybe the past few years.

But it just doesn't beat the original. It doesn't even get close to the original, gameplay-wise.
It's prettier, it's shinier, and it has a few other things going for it, sure.
But between a perfect remake with today's graphics and the game we got now, I'll always pick the perfect remake... and it's not like they couldn't have IMPROVED on the original further, but they merely streamlined it.

I am still hoping that they will deliver on the much older pre-launch promise of giving us strong modding tools, so that SOMEBODY somewhere might make a total conversion to bring it to what it SHOULD have been, not what it is now.
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