Community Review: XCOM 2

I haven't been playing XCOM 2.

Tell me about XCOM 2. Teach me.

I know Alex will most likely have spent the entire weekend playing it, judging by how frequently he refers to it, talks about it, fawns over it. Almost certainly you'll get to hear some of his thoughts on the game at some point during the week but, for now, I want to hear what you think.

Have you been playing XCOM 2? How are you finding it so far?


Comments

    I am so bad at XCOM 2. So, so bad.

    I have watched my friends die in a hundred different ways, likely to be a thousand if I ever actually finish the game. Ironman mode is a cruel mistress.

    I'm eating a big ol' bowl of Xcom jelly

    I remember watching all the previews leading up to XCOM 2 thinking pfft this is gonna be easier than Enemy Within!

    And then I encountered Stun Lancers.

      So many unpleasant surprises.


      * Sectoids? You mean cannon fod--ohfuckwhatwhyaretheysohard?!
      * Hey, 'terror' (retaliation) attacks seem kind of easy compared to WHY IS THAT CIVILIAN MELTING AND TURNING INTO A NINE-FOOT MONSTER OF CLAWS?
      * Jesus that sectopod looks pretty scary compared to the last on---oh god it keeps firing why won't it stop firing how many shots does it GET?!
      * Ahhhh crysalids are back! Well, at least I have the tools to WHAT DO YOU MEAN THEY POP OUT OF THE GROUND IN AMBUSH AND GET FREE MOVES?
      * Andromedan: I killed that already! Why is it still moving?! Why is it leaking ACID EVERYWHERE?
      * Gatekeeper: Oh fuck the gatekeeper. Fuck that so hard. What is WRONG with the developers that they came up with this? Haven't I suffered enough?

        my reactions down to a tee.

        Also Codex.....what do you mean they can clone themselves...FUUUUUUCK YOOUUUUU!!!

          And I learned while doing the final mission - they almost never trigger reaction shots. Hooray. Careful ambushes, ruined.

    This game is amazing. I had one bug in the beginning, where I couldn't progress - which was/is concerning, luckily it was only after the first mission. A campaign restart was necessary. But now, 20hrs in I am well and truly hooked. The new mechanics really keep you on your toes, and force you to act quickly, it fits the tone of the game perfectly.
    I have read a lot of complaints on the 2k forums & reddit about the difficulty, and aiming. To me, on veteran the difficulty it feels perfect, even a bit on the easy side. as long as you make sure you keep your weapons or armour up to date, your squad should scale nicely with the difficulty of the aliens.
    With regard to the aim, I think it is important to realise that what you see on screen is the computers interpretation of many behind the scenes dice rolls. It might not correlate with what your seeing on screen (eg being hit behind cover on the second floor) It's not like a normal shooter (like the bureau for example) shot hits are decided by percentage, and there is an element of chance on every shot. People calling for this to be "fixed" may not realise that is the type of game it is, and it's not something that can be fixed. If you want to lower the chances of the aliens hitting you, you will have to reduce the difficulty.

    Overall I would give it 11/10, games like this are the reason I love PC gaming.

    I'm hearing reports you need a beefy computer for this game? any truth to that? I ran X-Com fine on max settings when it was released. Is this game graphically a step up?

    Last edited 08/02/16 11:58 am

      The AA brings it to its knees... I have a 780ti & I was getting sub 30's fps. Dropping the AA down helped a lot. I also used the GeForce experience to set the optimal setting, now it runs at 60fps with no noticeable difference in quality. Anyway to answer your question, it is a massive step up. Beautiful environments, and great textures on the soldiers, with tons of customisation.

      Last edited 08/02/16 12:27 pm

        Yup, I can agree, the AA butchers the frames like crazy.

        I have a 680 and can run it on full with no dramas? Though it definitely makes a fair bit of heat...

      Graphically the game could use a bit more optimisation, running a 960 and its chugs at some points especially with loading and action camera shots, but no more trouble than Fallour 4 gave me, otherwise its a solid game and my favourite series.

      That said bugs me you cant loot the enemy weapons, just their mods and corpses, was always a fan of the whole yurn their weapons against them made looting and not blowing them up more important.

    So uh, I got it on release day, preloaded and all. It's been what, about 4 days since I've gotten it?

    I have 30 hours played already.

    NO REGRETS!

    I didn't like the price tag.. thought it was priced a bit high in our market.. but I played the X-Com reboot to death.. to death.. over and over and over. It's my number one game.. I've sunk more into that game than all the other games combined in the last few years.

    Yeh.. I'm a fan, so I swallowed my angst over the price and bought it.

    I love it to bits, however, there are so many new moving parts to the game that it definitely is going to need a few playthroughs to understand all the new things in detail. So far, I am just playing it similar to how I played the first game and I'm doing "OK".

    I feel like most of the changes that were made were good ones, which were not made for the sake of changing them. It still feels a lot like the original and that is a good thing. One change I really liked was that turns are not predetermined by some magic number. It really is a lot more randomised "per action".

    For example, in the original X-Com if you missed or hit for a certain damage or whatever, then even if you reloaded the game from the start of that turn, you would still get the exact same result. This felt like it was a little too predetermined for my liking. With X-Com 2, however, I can reload the turn multiple times and every time it is a slightly different outcome. It feels like my soliders' skills, the enemy's skills, terrain, cover, etc etc are all being taken into account for every action that is taken.

    Really enjoyable gameplay.. but still need to work out all the little bits and pieces of the strategy map and base management.

    Single most game-winning/losing mechanic ever:
    Don't rush to avoid the Avatar Project timer.
    Let it start, make sure that you can access an alien red facility, then just a few days before the timer is set to tick down and wipe out humanity, go take one of the alien bases to knock a block off their progress, forcing them to rebuild a different facility to make the timer start again.

    Buys you weeks - if not months - of breathing room, as opposed to eliminating all the bases ASAP to try and keep those blocks of the bar down. Especially when the aliens can construct three facilities in one week and advance the thing by three blocks.

    Attacking a facility is your 'easy out' to restart to clock on the doomsday timer. Keep them available to use.

    Secondary tip: Psi-ops are stupidly OP. Like OMG terrifying. I'm surprised any of my troops agree to share a Skyranger with those psychic monsters.

    Tertiary tip: Make sure you have plenty of 'shred' abilities on your troops. Armour starts becoming a SERIOUS problem late-game. Don't neglect early-tier shred abilities just because you hardly encounter any armour early-game.

    For me, personally

    + Procedurally generated levels
    + The pacing of resource gathering is entirely in your hands
    + The new Overwatch mechanic
    + Character/Guns/Armour customization options
    + New class abilities
    + Psi troopers are now a class of their own
    + Allocation of Scientists and Engineers within the Avenger
    + New aliens
    + The shock I got when a Sectopod smashed through a building

    - Weapon construction has become weapon unlocking (You only need to construct 1 weapon type and it'll be available to every single trooper, instead of having to construct several weapons for several troopers)
    - No MEC Troopers *Cries* (I understand that the resistance are low on resources and are technologically inferior, but give me anything, a forklift with tank wheels)

      + Allocation of Scientists and Engineers within the Avenger

      That's actually one thing I found annoying. The micro-management of these non-playable people. It's one thing to be able to throw them around on various projects, but it seems every little thing needs to be micro-managed with them. Would rather it just took from the total pool of Research or Engineer points, with individual scientists or engineers giving different bonuses based on their specialisations.

      Mm, some of the weapons and armour are one-time-only, in the proving grounds. The best ones, really.

      Edit: But yeah, dat sectopod building-smashing... thing just waded through a building like it was cobwebs, troops falling down all over the place (including aliens), sectopod giving zero fucks.

      Last edited 08/02/16 4:39 pm

    Frustrating. Interruptions, almost everything is timed.

    The mechanics are fine (other than obvious bugs) but its not the game i want to play right now.

    Lots of bits and pieces given no explaination (big one being engineering purchases are whole squad, proving ground is a single item (that seems to persist across missions???) Plus a whole lot more i simply dont know.

    The highs are high, but he lows are frequent.
    (i've even save scummed a particular mission where my sniper missed the same shot 24 times at 95%)

    On the upside, customisation is good. I have some of the most ridiculous soldiers you could ever imagine.

      Yes, that's the only real gripe I have.. there is no explanation of the new base management mechanics. The dev's can't assume that if you played X-Com: Enemy Unknown, that you'll know what's going on because they changed it up so much... so where's the explanation?

      I like the changes they made.. I think it makes more sense that engineering unlocks should be across the board and then to have weapon upgrades limited and the proving ground having this extra bonus one-off's.. but it needed to be explained by the interface/game.

    Stun lancers. Just...fucking stun lancers.

    It's an unoptomised game that chuggs the longer it runs.
    It looks amazing.
    Steam workshop is a brilliant implementation.
    Everything is laid out in the config files... even the cheats... it's like they expect you to modify their game.

    The aliens are miserable bastards who take perverse delight in killing my small scrappy batch of noble heroes... again, and again, and again.

    Everything runs on a bloody timer... it's like the developers said: "well, everyone takes their time with this game...they're being cautious... how do we eliminate that?" and coupled that with the XCom trait of absolutely spanking the stuffing out of you if you show the least bit of confidence...

    EDIT: Oh, and you know how some developers will come up with an idea that they absolutely love, that they squeeze into every level so that you get to experience it all the damn time... even if it's not actually that enjoyable?.. that's the hacking minigame in XCom 2.

    Last edited 08/02/16 7:20 pm

    This is a brilliant reimagining of Xcom EW, pretty much everything has changed. Concepts that at first feel familiar will reveal themselves to be vastly diferent. Each monster is so much more powerful, yet your soldiers are given the tools and training to cope with it. Base management is no longer a linear progression where you know you'll get there, now you no longer have enough time or resources to do half of what you need and each choice is a sacrifice.
    Combat still has a similar feel, although there is more to concentrate on. There are a lot more effects and potential abilities to track, and as you progress in rank your soldiers will be unique and different. No longer does it no matter which soldier from a specific class goes on the mission. And although there is normally a ticking timer on missions, you can still do the same strategies of ambush, covering fire, and suppressed advances. You just can't afford to waste a turn now...
    Items and equipment are great. Now, once you research a new weapon, the whole squad can use it (class specific, of course). However, unique and special equipment can be made as a one time prototypes in the proving ground, which can be great, or it can turn out a bit disappointing.
    Destroyable scenery, impressive overwatch chaining, generated maps, many many different mission types, and so much more make this game definitely worth it.
    But while I can't fault gameplay and mechanics, Xcom 2 does suffer from performance issues. Using mostly high settings on my r9 390x (which is a well performing card on most other games), my frame rate will hover anywhere from 30fps to 80fps depending on the environment for the particular map. But during some enemy animations, it will start chugging down to 10fps. Inexplicably, the cutscenes do the same thing; whenever my soldiers are simply sitting in the skyranger waiting for deployment it bogs down. Similarly when you take out a building with an explosive. After the dust settles, frame rate is still down and slowly creeps back up while the game comes to term with the fact that it now displays static debris. The game certainly is graphically prettier than its predecessors, but not so much to have such a performance drop on solid cards. Hopefully this is an optimization problem that can be fixed in a later patch.
    I'm sure to play the main campaign many times over, so I'll still be going when that patch (hopefully) comes out...

    Well here goes. I still play the original xcoms because they are far more engaging and non linear to a degree. TFTD is for me still the best game - and after completing xcom 2 today - I can only assume this is the next direction.

    Now, I was happy someone rebooted this game - and after playing the new xcom a while back it pissed me off how much it sucked a big bag of dicks. Not to say I didnt like the new graphics etc as I did, but I got pretty tired of the I MUST DO THIS or im dead type of bullshit.

    Now xcom 2 is the same carbon copy of the last game = a piece of shit. The only thing that was different was the fact codexs and avatars re position EVERY FFFFFUUUCCCCCCKKKKKKING TIME

    Seriously guys if you are going to reboot a game try and keep some of the original - xcom wasn't a graphical masterpiece when it came out - it was all about the game play.

    I finished xcom2 on ironman mode in under a few hours....that is bullshit.

    Thanks for fucking up a great game you cunts.

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