You Can (Kind Of) Pull Off XCOM 2's Guerilla Ambush In XCOM: Enemy Unknown

One of XCOM 2's main features is the ability to spring an ambush on your opponents, giving you the perfect start to the first firefight. But given the right conditions, you could actually do this in XCOM: Enemy Unknown as well. Kind of.

In the video above I try to recreate the right conditions, but they aren't perfect so I'll apologise for that. You can get an idea of how to do it though. I did actually recreate the move several times in a different game, but that was on Ironman mode, so there's no save file I can load up. Sadpanda.

There are two elements to the new move in XCOM 2: practical and cosmetic. Practically, you can get a lot closer to the enemy than before, without them noticing you. As long as you don't step on the red "alarm" tiles, you're free to get into the perfect position (careful though, they go on patrol). Cosmetically, it's all about camera work, and XCOM 2 tries to artistically bring the camera around all of your ambushing troops as they fire.

Ideally in XCOM: Enemy Unknown, you'll have a couple of soldiers wearing ghost armour as you infiltrate the area around your enemy. Assaults will be able to get right close and still shoot, initiating the combat, while other nearby squaddies reveal themselves with overwatch shots. The first time the aliens notice you, either by a shot fired or something else, they'll go into a "scramble" mode, in which they run for cover. That's when all your overwatch units kick in.

This move also works very well with snipers upgraded with the skill to see whatever squadmates see, no matter how far away. It's one or two soldiers you don't have to move into position, and their overwatch shots are more reliable. I based pretty much the whole of my last Ironman run on this move, and it worked a treat every mission.

You don't even need the ghost armour, in fact. I've pulled it off before just by staying right on the edge of the enemy's line of sight. But this is very hard to reproduce.

Part of the magic in XCOM 2 is how the camera does a slow pan across all of your troops as they blast the enemy scrambling for cover. XCOM: Enemy Unknown does this in more of a disjointed way, focusing on one of your troops at a time. But I have had situations when all my troops were kind of in a line, and the camera acted very similarly to how it does in XCOM 2.

After having a few goes at reproducing the move here in the office though, I'm kind of glad XCOM 2 will just do all of this automatically. It's very nice to look at. Here's the nice, polished version in XCOM 2 at around 18:30 in the video. Mmm, can't wait for that.


Comments

    What was the exact reason for them not bringing XCOM 2 to consoles? They said something about technology but i'd take a guess it's also to do with sales on consoles vs. PCs. It's a real shame because i'm desperate to play this but can in no way afford a new computer to play it on.

      Something to do with consoles not being up to the task of generating the random maps for encounters that they have with number 2.

        Ah that's right. It seems strange that that would be such a taxing thing on the hardware though, of all things. Either way I hope it makes it to consoles eventually.

          Just join the PC Master Race dude - likelyhood is you already have a PC anyways which probably wouldn't need upgrading - You can hook it up to your TV - run wireless controllers - and have more games than you can shake a stick at.

          Not much reason not to - even the "exclusives" aren't that exclusive anymore only one I ever felt bad about missing was the Last of Us but I watched a Lets Play of it through youtube.

            No I use macs (mostly for work) and my desktop mac's power supply gave out just last week. So i'm literally without a computer aside from my macbook.

            There's not really anything that could convince me that diving into that PC gaming pool would be worth it. People say it's cheap (which is definitely debatable over the entire lifespan of the PC) and or easy (something said with the assumption that things that may seem "simple" like swapping out hardware parts is common knowledge), but being able to play the games and never have to think about the hardware with consoles is a major selling point for me personally.

            And the exclusives are definitely worth it. Playing The Last Of Us on survivor difficulty feels almost like an entirely different experience, one that definitely can't be conveyed through watching a lets play. If anything i'd suggest you just join the console team, doesn't mean you have to forsake the PC stuff and the barrier for entry is way lower the other way around.

            I think if PC had more exclusives that truly leveraged its strengths (like RTS games, whatever happened to that genre??) I would be more inclined to sort something out for it.

              It does have more exclusives and way more niche markets - its just you miss a lot of it due to most of the gaming media focusing on core multiplatform.

              Hardware is pretty much a once you're done you're done side - you build your PC you're barely going to touch it for at least 4 years - you might go out and splerge on a new Graphics Card if they're cheap and its a good deal - but they're basically no harder than swapping a cartridge nowadays.

              I think PC gaming is going to see a massive uptick this year - the Consoles were pretty much DOA as far as the majority of Gaming Developers were concerned - yes they're improved over the 3rd generation - but the gap between console and PC is a lot more pronounced now. So they have to reign in their games so much more which will make those Watchdogs moments of early gameplay being better than end product all the more noticeable.

                I haven't seen an exclusive on PC that's the quality of something like The Last Of Us as of yet. There's a lot of smaller scale indie games that are fun for a week or two but nothing that's grabbed my attention (remember this is just personal taste here) the way console exclusives have.

                I think PC gaming is going to see a massive uptick this year - the Consoles were pretty much DOA as far as the majority of Gaming Developers were concerned - yes they're improved over the 3rd generation - but the gap between console and PC is a lot more pronounced now. So they have to reign in their games so much more which will make those Watchdogs moments of early gameplay being better than end product all the more noticeable.

                I think this is an argument that's made and quickly proven wrong for almost every generation of consoles. What the "PC master race" doesn't seem to understand is that there can be an echo chamber effect on the internet that makes these sorts of opinions seem not only loud, but ubiquitous. It simply isn't the case. Console gaming provides easy gameplay for the vast majority of the consumer base, the market for PC always seems larger than it is due to the massive install base of computers in general, not gaming computers specifically.

                I understand it can be frustrating to have your platform left out in the cold while developers optimise games, graphics, physics and frame rates for technically subpar systems like PS4 and Xbox One, but this is the way business works, the bigger platform gets priority. It doesn't make the players who choose these less powerful systems wrong, they just have different priorities than you, and the market has delivered an option to them that aligns with those values.

    I believe it was simply do to the team wanting to be able to focus on one platform, and fireaxis has a long history in creating pc games(civ). However, they did say that this was not for any technical reason, and they wouldn't be against porting it in the future.

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