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Firaxis Xcom: Enemy Unknown Remake

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#51 Sorrow



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Posted 20 October 2012 - 12:16 AM


And the X-Com name of the first is Ufo Defence.

#52 Admiral Harkov

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 06:27 AM

Decided to reinstall and give it a new chance.

One correction from my original post: you do have the chance to have more than one interceptor and have them based on different continents, I missed the option back then.

Once one knows not to ask it any seriousness in the way of environment using it's fun to play. But because of that I doubt it has any replayability value once one has beaten the hardest difficulty.

I stand for my final score as X-COM game, but on its own I'll give it a rating of 6.5 as at first. It would go up to 7.25 if it has replayability.

#53 3llense'g



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Posted 20 October 2012 - 09:44 AM

I was wondering something: what happens if you destroy every wall of a structure? Will it come down, like in X-com 3, or will the roof float there? :)

#54 Micah



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Posted 21 October 2012 - 11:29 AM

I was wondering something: what happens if you destroy every wall of a structure? Will it come down, like in X-com 3, or will the roof float there? :)

One of my soldiers with a broken arm can attest to the fact that the roof will, in fact, collapse, if its supports are obliterated.

#55 Micah



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Posted 21 October 2012 - 11:30 AM

Posted this on the main page last night:

After many of life's normal delays, I was finally able to put some quality time into the new xcom this weekend, and I have not been able to stop playing :D I have put in 22 hours so far according to Steam. I just began my first alien base assault. One of the things I like about the new xcom is the music. You can hear some of it in my short alien base intro video above.
During this first 22 hours of play there have been a handful of things that bothered me, but please note that I am the furthest thing from an expert thus far. You'll see below that I am regularly finding faults in my game play methods and trying to fix them. Now, some issues:
- only able to make up to 2 actions per soldier per turn, and if you shot at something first, it will spend the soldier's entire turn. Shooting a rocket always takes the whole turn.
- you can only make one base.
- alien weaponry keeps spontaneously blowing up every time I killed the alien holding it.
- seemingly limited ability to pile equipment onto my soldiers.
- only able to take up to 6 soldiers per mission
- only one skyranger/troop transporter
- entering a multi-level structure such as a building or UFO can make you go cross-eyed.

These are all features of the new xcom which I think would *initially* bug most long time xcom fans. This certainly seems to be the case with people posting at the xcomufo forums, anyway, as well as myself at first. After having played for quite a while, including completing about 30 battlescape missions, trying in vain to shoot down UFOs, and expanding my single base, I have come to realize that though there are some significant changes, they are balanced well and in interesting ways.
For example, even though you can't spend time micromanaging the TU's of your soldiers and making sure they're facing the right direction to see the alien trying to approach from behind, in the new xcom your soldier is automatically aware of what's going on behind him. So, now I don't have to spend time making sure I have soldiers facing every which way. As the game progresses and your soldiers improve their skills, you also get to choose what enhancements each of them receives. Some of these skills include being able to move AND shoot, or shoot four rockets per mission instead of one, or automatically always react first when an alien exposes themselves to the soldier. Funny enough, after moving my squad around the map mission after mission, I find myself getting irritating that I even HAVE two moves per soldier :D Sometimes I wish they would move themselves. Seriously, though, in the original xcom, yes, you could load up a trooper with a rocket launcher and 10 rockets, but then how many spaces could he walk before running out of energy? And when he finally reached an alien? Could he even shoot his weapon? No, not enough energy. If you sent him in instead with only 2 rockets, he could get to the alien and shoot the rocket launcher, but shooting the rocket would be the only thing he could do that turn because it used all his TUs. So, instead of micromanaging 60 TUs in which 1 or 2 primary actions (moving and shooting) consume all the TUs, the new xcom gives us generally 2 action choices per turn. Firaxis did a similar thing with money. Instead of getting millions of dollars in funding a month or selling corpses for $10,000, they divided all the numbers by about 1,000 so the numbers would be easier to deal with. Monthly income from xcom member countries may only be around $500 but manufacturing a plasma sniper rifle now only costs around $140. In my opinion, simplifying $$ numbers and TU usage makes the math easier and lets me enjoy the strategy and fighting more.
Only having up to 6 soldiers initially made me very sad, but again, after playing for a while, I realized the main thing this limitation does is make the game vastly more difficult. Being able to cram 24 flying-suited, heavy plasma- and blaster launcher-toting elite soldiers into my avenger really was overkill on any original xcom map. It made the game a piece of cake to blast your way into UFOs and finish maps within 2-3 turns. That only led to the cramming of your general stores with way more alien artifacts than you could ever really use and the selling of lots of junk to give you practically limitless funds to do whatever you wanted to do. In the new xcom (unless there are exploits I am not aware of yet) you really are forced to work your butt off on a shoestring budget. Yes, you can sell some of the precious few alien artifacts you capture, but every research your scientists work on consumes some of those artifacts and corpses. In the workshop, the engineers consume alloys and elerium like it's candy. So, instead of everyone floating around in flying suits and toting heavy plasmas, I can barely afford to clothe my soldiers. Each squaddie is forced to wear hand-me-down armor from either a dead soldier or a more experienced one who got a better set of their own. Only three of my soldiers have plasma weapons and they only got those after the most recent mission. That means it took me 22 hours of play to get plasma rifles :P I also have a few other soldiers beyond my best 6 whom I have to keep somewhat equiped so they will be available when any of my main guys get injured. My point is, even if I could have more soldiers, I couldn't afford to give them useful weapons and armor. Did I mention I'm only playing on the Normal setting?
For many, many missions, the plasmas and grenades the aliens were shooting me with would spontaneously blow themselves up no matter how I killed the alien. This drove me nuts for quite a while because the heavy plasma rifles seemed to be within my reach, yet I could never recover one. For the longest time, I thought I would have to stun one of the aliens holding it in order to get one intact that my scientists could study. Well, it turns out I had just overlooked one of the items available for research in the labs :P I don't remember what it was off the top of my head but after simply researching a few prerequisites, I was able to start researching the plasma weapons. After researching each of the light, regular, and heavy plasmas, the aliens started dropping the weapons intact instead of the weapons exploding. Obviously I could have figured this out hours earlier but that's the way xcom works sometimes :)
You can only have one base in this xcom, but it's offset by a few other features. First, you can station interceptors all over the globe to intercept UFOs. You can remotely equip them with newer gadgets just like the first game. They go out of action for a few hours wile re-equiping but it hasn't been a problem for me yet. Next, you start the game with 1 satellite over 1 country. This takes the place of the old radars and lets you detect UFOs within the area. As you progress, you build more satellite uplinks in your base, more satellites in your workshop, and then you launch them to cover more parts of the globe so you can detect UFOs in other countries. When you do detect one, you can scramble multiple interceptors only from within the continent the UFO is flying over. Unfortunately, you can only attack the UFO with one interceptor at a time as far as I can tell. However, you can attack with one interceptor, do some damage (and take quite a licking yourself) then break off pursuit and get your next interceptor to start shooting at the UFO. I don't know whether or not the damage from multiple interceptors stacks and is more likely to bring the UFO down, but I've brought down two of them this way so far. So, if the three main reasons I had multiple bases in the first xcom were to gain enhanced radar coverage of the globe, house more interceptors and scientists/engineers, and store 10,000 units of alien alloy and thousands of corpses, the new xcom lets you do all those things in slightly different ways. As far as I can tell, you have unlimited storage for junk in the base. You do have to build additional workshops and labs for more scientists and engineers, but I am only using about half my base at the moment, so there seems to be a lot of room to grow. All in all, this approach to base management is fine for me.
Firaxis is going to have to do some work on the visuals when you go into a multi-level structure. Right now, I just about go cross-eyed when moving the mouse around inside a building or UFO. As you move the mouse around, different levels or sections of the UFO pop up in your face and get in the way of what you were trying to look at. Adjusting your level manually with the mouse wheel works until you move the mouse cursor again. You just have to see it to understand what I mean. It's even more frustrating when you think you have one level selected (in the hopes your soldier will walk on and STAY on that level) only to watch him jump off the side and run along the wall somewhere that will take him 2-3 turns to get back from. I don't have any creative ideas for remedying this other than to take your time and make 100% certain your cursor is pointing to the correct level before right-clicking.
One of the most painful changes in the new xcom is the fact that you're limited to only one skyranger. Within the first few game days, you get presented with 3 terror missions simultaneously and you can only choose one. The places you don't choose will have increased panic and be closer to withdrawing from funding your activities. This bothered me a lot, at first, but as before, Firaxis probably made this change to make the game more difficult and to guarantee that your relations with countries will get progressively worse as you proceed through the game. It also forces you to think a lot harder about who you want to help, because the countries you skip will also affect the panic factor of the continents they're a part of. Right now, France, Nigeria, and Japan have withdrawn from the XCOM project in my game. This has resulted in poorer scores in my monthly reports and loss of monthly income. There's also an ominous red swirly cloud over each of these countries which makes me worry something else bad is going to happen in the future. So, the limitation of a single troop transport is how the game forces you to make hard choices often and to stay focused on stopping the alien invasion instead of decorating your countless general stores with sectoid corpses and piles of elerium.
In a nut shell, I think Firaxis eliminated the tediousness of xcom while retaining the epicness and relentless anxiety many of us know and love/hate from the first game. If you have only played the demo, please be aware that the demo comprises part of the very restrictive tutorial that is the begining of the game. After you get out of that, your freedom of movement, range of motion, and strategic options and tactical choices are wide open, very much like the first game. The music, ambience, and excellent, constant, but dynamic battlescape cinematics and cut scenes keep the game exciting and stressful at the same time. As I watch from almost directly behind as my best sniper fixes her sights on the berserker muton as it charges toward her, all in slow motion, I find myself biting my nails and praying she makes the shot. As someone who has been waiting a decade for a decent UFO Defense remake, this is very much it.

#56 LouisdeFuines



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Posted 21 October 2012 - 11:54 AM

Here in Germany Xcom1 was called: Ufo- Enemy Unknown.

#57 3llense'g



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Posted 21 October 2012 - 03:18 PM

I was wondering something: what happens if you destroy every wall of a structure? Will it come down, like in X-com 3, or will the roof float there? :)

One of my soldiers with a broken arm can attest to the fact that the roof will, in fact, collapse, if its supports are obliterated.

That is splendid news! :)

#58 Micah



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Posted 21 October 2012 - 08:07 PM

I was wondering something: what happens if you destroy every wall of a structure? Will it come down, like in X-com 3, or will the roof float there? :)

One of my soldiers with a broken arm can attest to the fact that the roof will, in fact, collapse, if its supports are obliterated.

That is splendid news! :)

It does it in steps, a little bit of collapse per turn.

Decided to reinstall and give it a new chance.

One correction from my original post: you do have the chance to have more than one interceptor and have them based on different continents, I missed the option back then.

Once one knows not to ask it any seriousness in the way of environment using it's fun to play. But because of that I doubt it has any replayability value once one has beaten the hardest difficulty.

Yep, I'm up to 14 interceptors and 2 firestorms myself with a wide mix of lasers, plasma beams, and EMP cannons.

Once one knows not to ask it any seriousness in the way of environment using it's fun to play. But because of that I doubt it has any replayability value once one has beaten the hardest difficulty.

I don't understand what you're saying here.

#59 Conrad Gray

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 11:01 AM

Great review, Micah. The game seems to had a lot of trade-offs when considering which mechanics from the original game to retain, but they tried to justify them the best they can. I think the best thing about the situation is that the game is open to mods, so there are several fan efforts already to make it seem more like the original, as well. Firaxis will also release DLCs as well, so that will further extend the replayability. I think this new game, even with its flaws and differences, has a structure that is able to be somewhat remade and expanded upon, which gives it a lot of potential.

#60 3llense'g



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Posted 22 October 2012 - 12:15 PM

I just realized something...

you chose the class when you level up your soldier

I thought you can't choose what class your soldiers get. If you can't I hope they can mod that.

#61 Micah



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Posted 22 October 2012 - 12:59 PM

Great review, Micah. The game seems to had a lot of trade-offs when considering which mechanics from the original game to retain, but they tried to justify them the best they can. I think the best thing about the situation is that the game is open to mods, so there are several fan efforts already to make it seem more like the original, as well. Firaxis will also release DLCs as well, so that will further extend the replayability. I think this new game, even with its flaws and differences, has a structure that is able to be somewhat remade and expanded upon, which gives it a lot of potential.

Yes, I'm really looking forward to that. It reminds me of what modders did for Civ 4: Colonization to "restore" it to the functionality of the original Colonization. The mods turned out quite well, and I look forward to playing through the new xcom again after modders do the same with it.

I just realized something...

you chose the class when you level up your soldier

I thought you can't choose what class your soldiers get. If you can't I hope they can mod that.

No, you can't choose the class as far as I can tell.

#62 ExplodingLobster



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Posted 10 November 2012 - 05:31 PM

Micah, outstanding review. I agree with pretty much everything you said. The few things I miss so far have been compensated for or aren't enough of an omission to ruin the game for me, and in almost every case serve to make the game more challenging. I am on my third attempt now and dear God this game is hard! Maybe it's just me, but I got my donkey handed to me twice in a row on Normal before swallowing my pride and trying it on Easy first just so I had a chance to enjoy more of the game.
I like that they used the blueprints for the alien ships from the original (plus-sign shaped ship, terror ship with the open bay, etc.) and improved on them some. I do agree that there's not that tense moment when you first move out of the skyranger, wondering if you're going to trigger an attack before you even get off the boat, but it's plenty intense for my taste as it stands. Awesome game. Now if I could just find my copy of the original...

#63 Pherdnut



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Posted 14 November 2012 - 08:24 AM

It's a very good remake and worth any fan's time/money, but I do think they erred on the side of excess with the streamlining. I'm really not 100% confident that the world view is actually a sandbox for instance. Even after you get the hyperwave scanner and satellites everywhere, abduction missions still just kind of happen without the presence of a UFO. It also bugs the heck out of me that I can fly the transport to any corner of the world but I can only launch interceptors from an airbase on the actual continent where a UFO first appeared (even if it actually gets closer to an airbase on another continent.

And what's so terribly wrong with starting a laser cannon franchise with a factory in Antarctica? :P But seriously not being able to sell your manufactured goods gets really old at times. Why doesn't anybody want my old lasers? I know I'd buy an x-com laser rifle on e-bay. I would love a mod that made satelllites 100% about detection and country happiness 100% about actual UFO-stopping performance, and UFO-stopping actually 100% about detecting and stopping them again with funds earned from manufacture and sale of advanced technology. That worked for me. Not sure why it needed to change.

I also miss facing's relevance and I always thought pulling the actual ship departure out of the missions in Apocalypse was a mistake. Your first move now is basically 100% safe as long as you land in cover and the cover mechanic so heavily simplifies the targeting mechanic that sometimes you'll be shooting or more frustratingly get shot at straight through solid objects. Sometimes you'll actually see move that puts you in front of a wall but because there's no cover shield-ey icon, you can be pretty sure an alien whose view should be blocked by that wall will be able to shoot through it like it was air.

The UFOPaedia is kinda weak.

Negatives aside, the action is very cool. The soldier specialties and leveling/ability choice dynamic seemed lame at first but is actually a stroke of genius. And the easily skipped movie sequences added some nice flavor to the game, although I still have no idea what the people turning into green goo is all about, or why that qualifies as an "abduction." But seriously, snipers? Wow. Take the squad-view perk over being able to shoot after a move. Trust me on this one. You'll like it a lot when you get a Colonel.

Anyway, I'll be playing for months I'm sure but I think they did so much to control the pace of the game that any 2 games of the same difficulty level are going to be very similar experiences. Whereas in the original, one event, like whether you were able to bag a sectoid leader on the first terror mission could drastically alter the course of the game. And you never knew if you were really starting out on the right part of the planet or if you're idiot skyranger pilot happened to land right in the middle of a circle of cyberdiscs. Uncertainty and sanboxiness are key ingredients of what made the original so insanely replayable IMO. This one captures the core essence of what made the missions and new toys fun and added some nice new touches of its own but takes just a little bit too much control of the player's experience for its own good, IMO.

#64 greep



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Posted 19 November 2012 - 02:54 AM

I'm just going to wait for the steam sale :/ you know it's going to be 25-40% off in just a few weeks.

Edit: sweeeeet, 2 days later and it's 33% off <3

Edited by greep, 21 November 2012 - 04:35 PM.

#65 greep



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Posted 24 November 2012 - 03:25 AM

A have a lot to say, but 2K games will not let me! Their forum has a convinient premoderation of posts, and no doubt, my post will not get through. If you are interested, here it is (warning, wall of text and excessive negativism towards developers)

---------------------------- Remake is inferior to the original in every single way ----------------------------------

Let me start with a few words. I was a huge fan of original. I played and completed X-Com 1, 2, 3, 4 countless number of times. I finished X-Com 1 ironman on superhuman at least thrice. I loved every single game of the series (up to 4). I was so happy about this remake, true to original, made by guys who loved the original etc etc. I watched every video, read every article. I heard they're going to go with 1 base, with absence of time units, but i hoped it will be for greater good. I heard they're going to make it for consoles too, but they promised separate interface for PC's so i hoped it wont affect PC interface. I was going to buy this game, even though i rarely do buy games, especially without trying them first.

But then i installed Steam just to play one game - FTL - and saw a demo available for free.

I played it.

Unfortunately, every single hope was in vain...

I will now make a detailed comparison of original to the remake, in order to give solid proof to my position.

1. It begins at the start of the game. In the original, I could skip the intro. In the remake, I cannot. W T F? Too much ego, guys? "How can the player not watch our company logo every time, its so beatiful!"

Well, here you go, original gets a head start in list of features!

2. You wanted to remake an original, stay true to it.... Tell me... Where did tha awesome x-com logo went, and why do we have this ugly insignia?... Okay, even if that's subjective, you're making an x-com game, true to the original.... Why not give it five difficulty levels and call them appropriately (novice...superhuman)?

Way to kick every fan of the series in the nuts before he even started playin...

3. Okay, what's this game called again? Is it "enemy unknown"? Then why the heck do we see our damn enemy right at the title screen, in the main menu? Yes, you could argue, that original had mutons in the intro, but i'm talking ingame models.

In the original, you downed your first ufo and went in and had first contact and went like... What is that thing? And no way to zoom in, no way to see what is it holding... You cant even see its face if it's looking away from camera. And then it shoots you and kills your dude.... And another dude.... And after you finally kill it, you are curious and look at its corpse and go like "Eek!"... Or you may have learned that he's alive! "Oh my god we have a live one here, what do we do?"

But in this "remake" you are familiarised with the enemy from the go. There it runs around the streets in circles, look at it. There you see it in your tutorial, you see what it can do and how deadly it is (while losing nothing, because this is supposed to happen, you know those 3 casualties are scripted and they do not really feel like losses)

So by the time you're sent on your real mission, not really "unknown" anymore, is it?

4. But even before we begin with the actual game.... What is this mouse? Whats with the delay? W T F? I guess the game was made for consoles, and no matter what they said about separate interfaces, it shows that game was made for consoles, but man, such a delayed mouse pointer? W T F? You cannot even change it anywhere! You're stuck with this slowpoke pointer for the whole game! What can i say?
Original game increases its lead.

5. Tutorial... Why this even starts in battlescape? Why are you forced to make stupid tactical desicions? (which x-com vet would send one guy rushing inside a building while other guys are more than a turn away and cannot shoot if an alien is inside?) Why dont you see whole interface at once and are locked in features (like, cannot zoom out)?

Having a tutorial which you have to play through is so wrong for many reasons! Want to teach players who do not read manuals? Simple - make a well designed interface, good tooltips and a help button that shows an overlay like Diablo 2. Thats it! But let's break this down to exact points.

6. Interface... Its horrible! Who designed this? You said you all played original game to the end... Well, in original game, i could understand every possible action i had without a tutorial, and i could control everything with my mouse! In this game, i cannot rotate camera without a keyboard! I try to zoom out and instead, i get a change of levels! I dont even know if i can zoom out because there is no "controls" in options, and no buttons on screen to do it. This is ridiculous.

Oh and that camera movement - its so sluggish, so slow even on highest speed, so unnatural and just pain in the donkey to use.



Learn from a dude who made UfoExtender in his free time - he added customizeable hotkeys to original and even new interface elements to battlescape inventory. Without having access to the source code. Your "new remake" doesnt even have cusomizeable controls... in damn 2012 i will still have to hack your game to have customizeable controls?

You hard coded controls using QWEASD.... You guys ever heard that a big portion of people does not use WASD but ESDF? No? Never crossed your mind that customiseable controls for a game that uses a lot of hotkeys is a good idea? Ehh... Nevermind.

Original wins once again. Remake has worser interface, sluggish mouse and camera movement, no way to play using only mouse, stupid default controls without a way to reassign.

7. Deprivation of game experience.
In a game about unknown enemy, first contact is one of the epic moments to be remembered. You fear him. You are curious. You want to punch his face. Anything. But there is this first contact. And you deprieved player of experiencing first contact be making it happen TWICE in the tutorial under tutorial's command! What have you done? In the original, it could be landed ufo, it could be crashlanded ufo, it could be terror or even base assault! Every time it was different and first time you played it was true first contact! You went there without any understanding what you will face! How many, what are they capable of...

In the remake, they do it for you. They kill you guys in stupidest ways possible for you to show you that "enemy is dangerous" and do it again to show you "enemy knows how to shoot up roofs" maybe? Anyways, twice your experience of first contact is ruined and deprieved.

Way to ruin the huge, epic moment, take away major part of the fun.

If you needed to make player learn to play via tutorial, at least you could do it like Amnesia did it. Do not show the enemy in the tutorial, just spook the player. First let him learn to move and act, and then let him have his first contact... alone, the way he wants it...

Let him play and enjoy the game, do not deny him this!

Another win for original, another fail for remake.

8. Okay we started actual fight... This is soooooo screwed! This i sooo many steps back from the original its ridiculous! Tactical combat in this game just... SUCKS! Lets compare it to the original and see...

9. Size of the map... Where did my map go? Where are those big landscapes? What is this tiny corridor shooter shuckeroonies? I thought i was playing a strategy, tactics game, no?

Ever heard of Jagged Alliance 2 1.13 Big map project? Even if you didnt, read the name again. Its called big map project, not small map project for a reason! Shrinking the map in a tactical game dumbs the game down and takes away a lot of what original game was about! If anything, expanding the map may add new tactics and broaden your array of choices, making the game more interesting.

So why is X-Com different? The original had huge maps, where you could flank or be flanked, could have alien hiding in some general building to the side of the map, you had a huge battle for a huge city in terror... Here we get a corridor shooter. Linear map with several hand-placed obstacles.

Yeah, original is better once again, but we are already accustomed to it, arent we?

10. But lets get back to deprivation of game experience.
Any, ANY veteran of the original game knows how important first several turns are. You can land far away from the enemy, or you can land right on top of several aliens. Turn one was player turn, and aliens had huge advantage because they had full time units and their reaction, already higher than yours, was through the roof. Basically peeking outside at turn one was a death wish, and if you landed with aliens right outside the skyrider, looking at you, you'd really consider extracting right away. You could wipe your entire squad if the alient would reaction fire at you with a small bomb launcher. Boom. All unconsious. Mission failed, skyrider lost, with all soldiers and equipment.

And it was GREAT.

There were tactics. You could throw smoke grenade inside and wait, then start going out slowly. You could have your tank peek and if anything happens, it's more likely to survive due to higher armor. You really considered risk vs reward when you saw aliens are all around skyrider exit. It was huge.

Now we are deprieved of this. Exiting skyrider is done for us. Aliens will never be right outside the skyrider, yeah, of course they wouldnt, its no fair, players would whine and dislike the game for being too cruel!

Original wins once again. Huge part of tactics of battlescape are ripped out of the game, for sake of adding a nice cinematic... yay! What's not to love?

11. Size of the squad... We're talking unknown threat here. It might be a legion! It might be something that can take control of us and use our men against ourselves. So thats why we're only taking FOUR dudes on a mission? WHO THOUGHT THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA? Even in the year 1999 we already had aircraft capable of carrying more than ten people. Original game had skyrider fit 14 troops, or 10 and 1 tank, or 6 and 2 tanks. And what do we get in original? Four measy units, with a chance of later upgrade. Yeah... What about Avenger? Twenty Six operatives? And you needed those in base siege missions, even having twenty six guys you could still lose because it was ruthless, it was unfair and it was frightening. People with blaster bomb launchers all around, aliens coming from everywhere... thank god they didnt knew how to use elevators, or you'd have a nightmare. And if you were assaulting an ethereal base - good luck trying, no matter how many people you'd bring, you could lose.

Here we get.. four. Yeah. Huge hit.... "Right in the jewels", as Duke Nukem'd say.

It is just a crime against the original. I can see how dumbing game down to several units and smaller map makes it easier to actually make and balance the game, but at this point, please tell me, why on earth should i like to play your game instead of the original? Its worser in every single way! But lets keep on topic.

Limiting size of the squad more than four times to that of the original is more than four steps back. It adds nothing to the gameplay, but takes away a huge part of tactical approach.

12. New turn system!
Devs said TU based system was not very good because it didnt allow you to think of your squad as a whole, but had you calculate all those little points, where you can go, how many steps you can make so you can still fire and get away... i get it. Maybe there should be a simplier yet better system that will free up the player time for something ese. Maybe you can change TU based system to some other system... But tell me, what is this abomination?

After experiencing my first combat, i have to ask, why do you ever call this XCOM Enemy Unknown anymore? It has nothing true to the original! Nothing. Battlescape tactics are completey changed and screwed, more than that, they are FUBAR.

Lets begin with comparison. What was the original system?
You had a set amount of points, which depended on your soldier stats. Better soldier had more. You could use these points to move around, movement costed the same amount (so better soldier could move further). You could use them to operate your inventory (later on that) and to fire. Firing costed fixed percent, so everybody could fire same amount of shots. When you spotted an enemy, it could react to your actions, if his reaction x his time units remaining were greater than same formula for your soldier. There were also complex mechanics of mutal suprise rule, and reaction to being fired from behind, and some cases when you could react to turning of the enemy, not only movement and action, etc. This all created a real tactical experience, where you had to think about your every step, you had to act together as a team (or you'd have "lemmings syndrome"), you usually chose to fire from beyond enemy sight range because that wouldnt put your units in danger of reaction fire. You would have different tactics on scouting the land, but generally, the game was about spotting the enemy and living to tell the tale. The danger came from the fact that on enemy turn, they could come out of the fog of war, kill your dude and hide, and you had to either suck that up, or advance in hopes of spotting them and then having a shot. But you could get your spotter shot too, without revealing enemy location, then you'd either have to aim at where he fired from, or send in another guy... etc. Well, this was dangerous, fatal battle, where you could both get an upper hand (spotter spots, other soldiers kill, spotter gets back, skip turn, repeat) or get decimated by the enemy. And then there was he act of getting inside the UFO - that was a huge tactical aspect in itself. You often had tactics that involved stunning your operative in order to save his life, or sending in a suicide unit that would die in 99% cases. But it was interesting, tactical and had a huge depth to it. You also had a lot of ways of dealing with the enemy - using a lot of grenades, or even explosives, using explosive ammunition or incendary ammunition, or trying to get in melee and stun in order to get higher score and more test subjects in your alien containtment.

What do we get in the remake?
* First of all, you are dumbed down to TWO actions per turn.
* If that's not enough, your soldier will, like an idiot, continue his action even if he spotted an enemy in process.
* If that's not enough, you are not allowed to move after shooting, or shooting twice.

Now tell me, who thought that was a good idea?
You guys ever heard of Battle for Wesnoth? Jagged Alliance 1 or 2? You said you all played X-Com, then how could you make such an awful system!?

I cannot advance step by step until i notice an enemy. WHY!? In every game i listed, your movement is interrupted if you notice an enemy, and you are allowed to reconsider. In X-Com, you can just move step-by-step, to stop when you have visual contatct. Why cannot i do it anymore? (well technically i can but then one step costs me half my turn)

I cannot shoot and then get back with remaining time. WHY? Who thought that was a good idea? I understand in games like Wesnoth and Heroes of Might and Magic it does make sense that your attack ends your turn, because we're talking armies here. But this game is about single soldiers. So what prevents me from rushing back behind cover after i took a shot? Why do i HAVE to stay near that edge of a building so that the enemy can blow it up? Why do i have to stay behind a crate where i'm vulnerable, when i could have rushed inside the building where i'd be 100% safe. Why cant i shoot from the roof and then get to the center of it and duck, so that i dont get hit on their turn unless they climb up the roof? I cannot shoot twice if i dont move. WHY? What makes it so? 1 movement = 1 shooting in terms of time, since i can either move and shoot or move and move, so what the heck, why cannot i shoot twice?

Who thought that preventing firing for those who dont have sight of the enemy is a good idea (yeah, only snipers can do that now). You ever played Airsoft, Paintball, idk, any real firearms conflict simulation? Do you know the difference between spotting the enemy and seeing him? If i advance through a forest, and enemy is laying down behind a tree, i will spot him from much smaller distance than i'd be able to see him from! Because i dont know where to look, i'm looking everywhere for the signs of him, and my brain's visual recognition isnt good enough to instantly notice a tiny part of him hiding right there. But after i did notice him, now my buddy can focus his eyes on that tree and also see him there, because he will know thats not a stone and a twig, but a mask and a gun. So whats the problem with him firing there?

This creates a stupid "glued-down" system where you are glued in place this makes you vulnerable. You are made vulnerable not by the nature of the conflict (you are against an alien threat, and they already had time to spread out so you're surrounded when you land), not by the nature of the firearms (you have crappy anti-bullet armor and they have plasma weapons) but by the system that forking glues my dudes in place after they fired, so that enemy can fire back on them on their turn!


You screw the tactical part of the original beyond all recognition! It's dead!

If we'd have no skins, meaning, we'd have gray dolls fighting gray dolls with standart "guns", and we'd ask people what game is this a remake of, judging by the tactical system, noone would recognise this as an X-Com game, i'd bet my money on that!

I accept the fact that maybe, maybe there is tactics to this system as well. Maybe it also has its quirks, you can learn and progress, become better. But this system is so limited compared to the original, its just an offense to call this a remake. This is a destruction of all what original standed for, not a remake.

And if it would only end up here... But no! We go on to...

13. Lack of inventory!
WHAT THE !? Who thought that was a good idea? Dressing your characters like dolls is a huge part of any tactica game. Thats where you get familliar with your guys, where you get to know him, and then they die horribly, and you feel it because you geared that guy by hand... Not only that, but the original had a very complex and well thought system (putting something into shoulder slot costed many TU, but taking it from there costed very little TU, putting something into right hand from the other side slot, like, left leg, costed more than from corresponding right leg, etc). System was perfect, all that was missing is saving presets, so you dont have to equip them manually every time.

But no. No no no. This is a console game, and so equipment screen is a no-no. We will tell them that PC gets its own interface, but truth it, its just the same console interface buth with sluggish mouse on top of it.

We lost inventory - a huge part of the original - and what do we get instead? Nonsense! Only speficic "class" can equip specific weapon. But it gets worse... I CAN ONLY CARRY ONE ROCKET!?!?!?!?!?! What the heck? In original, even a pussy could carry more than that. Dump that heavy gun and stock more rockets, your heavy gun wont help you when you need to take out that cyberdisk bunch from the distance! Where's my incendary ammo? High explosive ammo?

Where is my ammo at all? GONE? Who thought this was a good idea? A huge part of the original was ammunition. You could easilly go out of ammo if some dude does too many autofires. You would scavenge and use enemy guns, or have to toss ammo around. It was part of the game, and important one.

Instead, we get "reload" button that magically materialises ammunition for us?

But... a big part of the original was having to chose. Plasma weapons - accurate, fast, and powerful, but cost ammo. Ammo costs elerium, and elerium is priceless. Laser weapons - less accurate, less powerful, but unlimited ammo. Chose - have an advantage but pay for it, or have unlimited ammo but less firepower.

And what about guys carrying spare clips, or ammo for small launchers, blaster bombs, rocket launchers? All gone. One rocket, period.

This is beyond ridiculous. I was deprieved of any freedom to control my dudes by the changes to the TU system, and now i'm deprieved of simply replacing that pistol with an extra grenade! What kind of "True to original" game is this?

X-Com 1 had custom inventory. X-Com 2, 3 had custom inventory, and latter even had mix-and-mach armor! But no, remake has no inventory.

Several steps back for the remake once again.

14. Enemy guns disintegrate...
Yeah... this is so true to the original, right? No, it isnt! Who though this was a good idea i dont even... What's best than taking heavy plasma off an alien corpse, and blasting the ufo wall with it to make a second door. What's best than scavenging ammunition off alien corpses? No, we dont need that, say the developers of the remake, lets dumb that down even more. No picking up items. You get scrap and be happy with it.

Another step back, thank you. Next!

15. Only one base.
Now, i agree, that most of the time, you'd use one base to launch ground missions because it was easier that way. But you could also have research bases, production bases, you could have secondary bases just in case your main base goes down in an unlucky base assault.

Forcing us to one base is stupid, limiting and just makes zero sense. X-Com 1 was about multiple bases. X-Com 2 was about multiple bases. X-Com 3 was about multiple bases. X-Com 4 was about multiple bases. But no, in a true-to-original remake, we will not allow you to have multiple bases.

What about placing my base exactly where i want it? You ever heard of "single base in arctic on superhuman" walkthough of the original? No, you never did, and you never will in your dumbed down "chose one of five pre-set country points and thats all you got".

Original wins once again, and by huge margin (more than one base vs one base, better base layout interface because top down view IS better than side view, and ability to place bases wherever you want instead of being locked to five preset points).

16. UFO Interception...
I cannot intercept by multiple aircraft...
WHAT!? You say you played the original. Well maybe you played on novice? And they gave you an avenger right at the start too? Have you ever heard about downing a Very Large with interceptors? Or firstorms? Yeah go do it with 1 aircraft at a time! This just doesnt need any more words...

What about dumbed down interception window? Where did all those options go!?!?!??! What is this? Who designed it? Its nonsence!
WHERE IS THE EPIC INTECEPTION MUSIC!?!?!?! OMG. What have you done? If you remake X-Com, either keep the epic interception music, or do it like this guy did it in the video below, not like you did it, with boring background music... heck even visuals in the original were better for the interception screen.

Sorry, but this is another huge step back from the original.

17. You cannot respond to both missions at once!?
Who thought that was a good idea? "We can only respond to one"? NO YOU ill mannered person WE CAN RESPOND TO BOTH! Buy a second skyranger and do it! This is stupid. This is so artificial limitation that it just sticks out. Really sticks. In X-Com 1, you could react to everything you managed to. In X-Com 2, same. In X-Com 3, same. In X-Com 4, same. But in remake, yeah, you cant do that. Way to remake!

Step back once again!

18. Generally, dumb down and artificial limits all around.
Original game had you decide your class. Want a heavy weapons guy - train him in certain stats. Want a marksman - train him by having him make more shots per mission. Want a guy with good reaction - geat him up with best armor, and let him take reaction shots... he will be pro in no time, or die trying. You wanted to specialise on research? Build new labs. On production? New workshops.
Everything was freeform - you could spend your money on one of the items in a huge list that you could buy (scientists, soldiers, engineers, new craft, craft armament, crew armament...), rebuild your base from scratch to fit your needs (like, to make it more defendable), etc...
However, here we have those classes everywhere. You chose a class of your base when you start, you choose what to gain when you chose what country to help, you chose the class when you level up your soldier... Everything is limited by creating artificial walls and barriers (cannot do both missions at once, cannot carry rocket launcher if you aint this class, etc).
heck, i cannot even hire scientists anymore! I have to get them through missions! What is that?
Once again, this is like taking The Elder Scrolls series game (Morowind or Oblivion, for example), and making it into a game with a character development system of Diablo 3, and calling that "remake". Nonsense!
You took away all the freedom we had.
* We cannot buy or sell stuff like we could before (we would get huge amount of different artifacts from each mission, now we get 2 corpses and 5 item debris and thats it)
* We cannot build our base where we want to
* We cannot have multiple bases
* We cannot freely plan our base
* We cannot buy personell
* We cannot complete all missions that show up
* We cannot equip our soldiers like we want to

How can you ever call this a step forward?

19. And just now, I found out this video:

Yes, you played Battle for Wesnoth, you played X-Com 1. You had a fenomenal exprerience. Just lets follow this video

* You died right after you come out of skyranger, you understood "That is X-Com for you", so that's why you removed this from your remake?
* The original game is unforgiving, that's why you automatically exit my guys out of Skyranger for me so that they dont die?
* It freaks you out when you see a sectoid in the dark, thats why your game completely deprieves you of this, by allowing you to see the enemy right from the main menu, and then you can see him with your camera easilly, see him fumble in cover, moving his limbs, so becaue you liked it, you removed it from your remake.
* The original game had soul, thats why you tried so hard to rip it off and remove it?
* They're not gonna hold your hand, that's why you hold the hand in the remake? I dont get it!
* They say, they LIE that "they're going to keep that stuff" but in truth, they remove everything, everything that was great about the original...
* Original source material still resonates.... Yeah, it does, because you see how bad the remake it is, how far the remake is from the original, how many original features were removed, crippled! Lots of features from the original are stripped and that indeed resonates when you play the remake.

After watching this video, I cant take it anymore. It hurts. I'm almost crying here at my desk. They just lie for the whole video. A true PR move, in order to sell their game. It hurts. It really hurts. Why are they doing this? They say original is sacred, holy to them, yet they mutilated, decimated it and made a horrible mess that they call a "remake true to original".

I had high hopes for this game... Oh well, I had to know better.

I'd like to thank anybody who read this far. If you have something to object, I'm all ears. I'm not a hater, I actually wanted to love this game, I hoped to play it and enjoy it as much as i did the original. But after trying the demo yesterday, it just seems impossible. Maybe I am wrong?

PS: I havent even touched a lot of stuff that is wrong about this game.
* aliens seeing you with their shoulders or backs (you can never get a "jump" on them since when you notice aliens, they interrupt you and get in cover),
* miniscule amount of stuff you can buy or sell or use as equipment,
* whole game being basically a series of scripted operations that are generated around the world (unlike in original where it was actually a player vs alien strategy game, where both gathered points, both could build bases, both had missions etc.),
* music which is truly inferior to the original (and whole game is way less spooky),
* questionable graphics (original had a sort of "cool" to it, even though it is said to be made after american comics, and i am not at all a fan of comics, but it was cool, it felt and looked good),
* bugs (you get a penallty for "enemy being above you" even though its a small sectoid outside of a building crouched behind a crate, and you're standing up behind a door inside the building),
* game being way too forgiving and easy at start (in a head-to-head fight you get hit for like 3-5 dmg and have 8 health while enemy has like 3 health and gets hit for 3 dmg or more, in order to oneshot you enemy has to flank you, which only happens in tutorial to showcase how "deadly" game is but later in game you get hit for 3 damage out of 8),
* game essentially being on time limit (you get constant panic increase in countries with every mission because with every mission you abandon some country, and when a country gets enough panic it leaves XCOM project, and when 8 countries get out its game over, so i guess its on a time limit)
* no "true" strategy - missions like abduction and stuff are generated by computer and just pop up, there is no real ufo landing there and you cant intercept it
* cannot shoot a building with plasma, laser, whatever... only grenade and rocket... you can shoot a building if there's alien behind it though.... logic? zero!
* really, it goes a long way, but i'm too tired to speak of it... i'm to disappointed... i'd better stop here

Whoo, man I feel sorry for anyone who read all that and decided not to buy it based on this.

Really, it's better to view this as a new take on the game and not a remake, what they call it doesn't matter. A remake would've been a complete waste of everyone's time: half the charm of the original was the extreme imbalance (although pretty fun with some restrictions), shitty graphics, ambient music, etc etc. If you remade the game as just the same thing with "better graphics and music, etc" you would've just duplicated a game and made it worse in the process.

So that invalidates like 7 of your 19 items, another 5 or so are just nitpicking. So I'll respond to what I actually consider valid:

9) Not sure about you, but hunting down a massive map for the final enemy was never fun for me. I sometimes even dropped my ball and got some soldiers killed just from the tedium.

10) Let's be honest, who didn't just throw a smoke grenade and hit end turn? That pretty much made the first turn not as dramatic as you're considering it. In this game, encounters can last several turns, as opposed to the original xcom which was usually just hunkering down in a corner blasting people while sending a scout to spot aliens down while you blasted him with 10 soldiers who couldn't even be reacted against.

11) Okay I agree here, this was just balony. It was important to lower the squad size, and the squad size does eventually hit 6. But really, why didn't they balance the game for at least 8 or 10 and make the soldiers a bit less powerful? And those initial fights with 4 and 5 when people panic just makes me pissed off since it's almost like fighting solo. This game would've been a 9/10 with more soldiers, I'd say this alone drops it to a 7/10 for me.

12)Eh, apples and oranges, although this does significantly change how the game plays. I think they probably figured people weren't smart enough to figure out how to properly use TUs and reaction fire.

13) And thank god it's gone! Really, who actually ever ran out of ammo (except maybe the first encounter of each game with rifle clips, if you didn't switch to cannons before then)? It was just busy work. Except for rockets. Oh and you complained about the limited amount of rockets >.>\

Other tidbts: Didn't like the music? Well I guess we have different tastes. No complicated buying and selling? Shaves off like 4 hours per game of obvious drivel. No multiple bases? Great, being invinicible was lame and I usually used one base as a challenge in the original. No freely planning your base? I don't even get the comment. No buying personell? Oh yeah, because getting 100 scientists and 50 engineers by the second month wasn't obvious to everyone. Cannot complete all missions? GOOD! I actually feel like I'm fighting against time as opposed to being invincible when i can shoot everything down.

And all of this is just comparison to xcom, not considering the games own tactics and strategy. Put this way, when I first tried the game out on classic, I was losing missions and getting my donkey kicked over and over. Every hour I put into the game I got much better, and after many hours I've vastly improved to the point of trying to hardly lose any soldiers on ironman. Oh and this is not even the highest difficulty, and I haven't even finished it. That's just the same way the original xcom was to me, and I still get that feeling of winning by a hair like I used to. Even moreso, the limited squad size really causes me to actually feel something when I lose a soldier, as opposed to just throwing "Rookie #3" through the door of an alien ship with a live grenade and expecting him to die.

tl;dr don't despair. It's an xcom that doesn't suck balls, which is a first in like a decade. Realistically, if you're an xcom fan you're getting it anyways, though >.>

And of course I prefer the original, although not by much! And I'm very glad they made a new game rather than end up finding I wasted 30 bucks for an indentical game with new graphics.

Edited by greep, 24 November 2012 - 03:35 AM.

#66 NKF



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Posted 24 November 2012 - 02:33 PM

Or yet another X-Com game that's X-Com in name only - again, again, again.

On that note, I'm starting to wonder what changes are going to happen to 2k Marin's FPS now that this is out. That is, if that title is still proceeding.


Edited by NKF, 24 November 2012 - 02:39 PM.

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#67 3llense'g



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Posted 24 November 2012 - 02:59 PM

1. Thank you for quoting that wall of text. :P

2. The FPS was changed to a squad-based FPS, last I've heard. They added what the game was missing: more Mass Effect. Oh wait, wrong franchise. :D

#68 greep



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Posted 24 November 2012 - 10:36 PM

Honestly, I haven't heard anything at all about that FPS game lately. It had as much to do with X-com as, say, super mario bros.

#69 3llense'g



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Posted 25 November 2012 - 01:34 AM

Honestly, I haven't heard anything at all about that FPS game lately. It had as much to do with X-com as, say, super mario bros.

Now don't be rude. You murder aliens in both games. And the organisation you work for has an X and the word "COM" in it's name. Those are pretty major similarities. :P Only the time period, playstyle, technology, mood, enemies and research are different. No biggie.