End of Game [EXTREME SPOILERS]


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#1 Pete

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 06:41 PM

Okay, so you've been warned - this will be a thread to discuss the end of the game, but in case you didn't see the mention of spoilers in the title I'm going to insert a massive space below this sentence - scroll down if you have completed it or can't wait to see what happens.




























So... I rushed the last terror mission before the Gollop Chamber was ready, losing a good Psi soldier who could have used the device - that sucked but I had another guy and was determined not to re-load so I carried on and beat the terror site (good thing I only saw one terror site with Chrysalids, Sectopods and Mutons - that was tricky!).

The final mission... I don't know, it was a bit of an anticlimax for me if I'm honest. I was doing really well up until the Sectopods - placed in an area where it's extremely difficult to kill them without losing someone. I ended up losing too many and after I'd killed them I got mowed down at the end - the last area is just plain silly for a number of reasons.

Everything before the Sectopods was a breeze, and had a bit of fun with the mind control. The Sectopods were tricky, but on my reload (first of the game - not bad!) I had them beat.

The last room is insane. I tried it half a dozen times - first one I ran in and tried gunning down the main Ethereal and got MC's a lot. Reload. Second one I tried to lure them all out of the room - that ended in failure as they won't come to you.

Several failed attempts later, I enter the room but head immediately for the back corners on either side. One person is used as a spotter, running out and ducking back into cover. My main man uses the Rift ability several times in a row when aliens are spotted. When I realised that was working - hiding at the back of the room using Rift, I kept doing it until the Uber Ethereal walked right through it and topped himself.

That was a massive anti-climax, but I didn't see another way of beating that room - 3 Ethereals all at once is just a bit much on Normal Posted Image

Add to that the fact that the voice of the high Ethereal was hard to hear and that there didn't appear to be a build-up to a cliffhanger... I dunno... I was hoping for maybe a hint at what's next in a sequel, but the ship just flies off into space and blows up rather than creating a black hole in Earth's atmosphere. I did think it would have been amusing if one of the pieces of debris took out the Skyranger in a morbidly amusing sort of way though Posted Image

That said, there was talk of an alien dimension in the research earlier, and we didn't get to go off-world, so my hopes are for a sequel - perhaps they do the whole "Elerium doesn't work any more" that they did in TFTD and you could start with laser tech? Set it in the future a bit and Psionic powers could be reduced over generations.

Anyway, I did enjoy the game a lot. I'm glad they made it, glad it's scored so highly by reviewers and is already in a few top ten lists at the moment, but not so sure I'd score it 89/100 (Metacritic) myself. There was a lot of linearity, and as Vet has said there is an issue over whether these are Schroedinger's UFOs - are they there before you spot them or do they just pop into existence? In the original UFO's could be tracked across the globe and you knew they were there in the background whether you detected them or not (or at least you had the distinct feeling they were there but invisible until you went looking for them).

I think I'm leaning towards 8/10 (more like the average user reviews on MetaCritic) because what there is there is done well - it's just that it lacks the depth of the original. To me, the research tree in this game is wonderful and rich, as are the engineering projects, but the rest is a bit light sadly. The Geoscape strategies are toned down, interceptions are toned down (no multi-interceptors on one target), aspects of tactical are toned down (though on the whole I love that side of it) and as mentioned I didn't much care for the linearity once I realised UFOs weren't popping up in the same manner they do in the original - an average game of the original can end up with over 100 crash sites, and I certainly hadn't had that many UFO missions by the end.

The bits I do like make up for the rest, and it's certainly replayable and it's the first game in a long time that had me glued to my seat with a "on more turn" feeling that I've missed for so long. I doubt I'll replay it so much that I'll get that last achievement any time soon, but some of the new stuff is great - it's just falling short in a few areas that mean I can't give it more than an 8/10 personally.

Very well done to the team for working so hard to revive the franchise though - you've had a cracking go at it and it's a great game, it's just that if you put your sceptical had on it feels like it's been streamlined a bit too much for the console audience and for accessibility whereas many people who have played the original know that it could have been so much more than it is, and it really does pain me to say that.

I love the game, it's just that I love the original more still.

Going to jump on multiplayer over the weekend if I get a chance, but now I need to do some work that I've been putting off Posted Image

FA is working on an official review as we speak by the way Posted Image
I want to see the inside of the UFO in my avatar.

#2 Pete

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 06:46 PM

Also, at the time of writing, Eurogamer Germany and Sweden have given it 100 out of 100 according to MetaCritic :blink:
I want to see the inside of the UFO in my avatar.

#3 silencer_pl

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 06:58 PM

That is why you need that ghost armour - you never send soldier blindly because you rolfstomp something.
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#4 Pete

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 07:25 PM

But if you just use ghost armour for a turn on all your guys and line everyone up so they can see the Uber Ethereal when they decloak next turn and cut him down is that a more satisfying ending? Posted Image

Assuming that would be possible of course.
I want to see the inside of the UFO in my avatar.

#5 The Veteran

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 08:08 PM

I hid everyone in the entrance and overwatched every turn. Killed all three of the Ethereals as they walked/flew by me and then fell back again :D The bodyguards strangely never came out though, just hid behind a console in the first bit of the final room...

But yes, big anticlimax... Something that confuses me more than anything else is the fact that this Temple Ship is meant to be the size of a country but it's quite clear that it's smaller than a battleship when you're in the mission itself as you can see Earth through the bottom of it! I've just read through the little concpet book that came with the special edition too and they say in their that this was what the team was most proud of! Really? Because it seems to us that it's the one bit 90% of consumers hate!

If they want to do as well with a sequel as they have done with this one then they NEED to follow the rest of the story from the original. Somehow connect that ship to a base on Mars and do the whole Cydonia thing so we can finish the game the way it's meant to end! I've still got NO idea why they cut it so short to be honest, they had a good budget, good team, were they rushing?

Now I'm playing through on easy the only thing I am absolutely HATING about this game is the fact that I'm helpless to control the panic levels across the world. As I've mentioned in other threads I'm about to lose several countries this month having already lost one, when in my Normal playthrough I only lost two the whole time and I didn't really know what I was doing! It seems to me that I was just luckier in my mission options in my normal game as in my Easy one I'm doing a bang up job of wiping out aliens left right and centre but the panic is uncontrollable! Every abduction gives me at least 2/3 choices in countries that WILL panic if I don't attend. Not to mention that when you DON'T attend a mission, panic rises in the entire continent so for every one country you calm down, a possible maximum of EIGHT other countries begin to panic more! WTF is with that?!?!

Add to that that we are completely incapable of lowering the panic ANYWHERE until we get given a mission by pure luck and you've got a broken game mechanic. People are praising this game because it can still be fun even when you're not losing, just like the original. There's a big difference though as you could only lose the original if you did a bad job protecting the world. This game seems to take some sadistic pleasure in kicking you when you're up though!

Anyway it's really just that and the friggin awful camera bug on multi-levelled maps that NOONE has commented on but me! UFOs are the most likely culprits for this as it needs to be a two tiered map WITH a ceiling which will ALWAYS be in the way when you're on the correct level forcing you to use ground floor movement despite being on the first...

Oh and seriously wtf is with #PRIORITY# messages everywhere? Make it super obvious for the retards out there why don't you... And do you know what? You can't even improvise with this system. I stunned an Outsider in my Easy game today and I got the cutscene for recovering the shard AND it was listed in mission loot BUT I can't research it until I interrogate an alien... right...
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#6 silencer_pl

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 08:13 PM

View PostPete, on 17 October 2012 - 07:25 PM, said:

But if you just use ghost armour for a turn on all your guys and line everyone up so they can see the Uber Ethereal when they decloak next turn and cut him down is that a more satisfying ending? Posted Image

Assuming that would be possible of course.

If they are using nasty surprises - why shouldn't you. Don't tell me you grew weak on those "poor aliens" :P

And yes that would be possible. Second option - sniper with squad sight - should kill him in two shots - if not - well there is also blaster launcher :P

About the ending - many would think that next step would be TFTD - but I might think that they could go for Alliance. But that is few years after TFTD.
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#7 Pete

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 08:22 PM

Alliance follows on from Interceptor, or rather it's one of the pieces of news in Interceptor - it was a ship like the MacArthur that ended up stranded across the galaxy/universe (I can't remember which).

Essentially it's near enough the time of Apoc too - I'm being lazy and not checking the timeline on the site here Posted Image

@Vet - but you love the game still even though it kicks you in the face right? Right? Posted Image
I want to see the inside of the UFO in my avatar.

#8 silencer_pl

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 08:29 PM

Quote

The game takes place in the year 2062 (22 years after the events of X-COM: Terror from the Deep and five years before X-COM: Interceptor), when the corporate research vessel UGS Patton

From wikipedia. And yes in Interceptor there is a story behind that ship.


Cheer up Pete. This game is awseome - it was mentioned from the start that it will not be like original X-Com. Wait for the Xenonauts then :P
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#9 The Veteran

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 08:34 PM

It was the Patton (the ship in Alliance) and it happened 6 years before Interceptor I believe...

I'd love to see TFTD brought to reality the same way they've done with this title but we're nowhere near ready for it as they still haven't finished UFO yet! Remember we need a Tachyon blast!

Also, the trouble with TFTD is that there is a lot of trouble with TFTD... Apart from the whole being underwater thing, we also have to wonder why there ARE experimental underwater facilities in the first place seeing as SORESO was never established to retrieve UFOs downed in the oceans because; A - the UFOs in this game don't fly over water and B- there are only about 10 UFOs in a game :P

Also, TFTD was of course a knee jerk reaction to the positive reception of the original X-COM, demanded by corporate commander who couldn't wait for Apocalypse to get his hands on more of our cash! That said it's still a good game but I'm not sure it would be taken as seriously as this game, even by people like us who woul;d love to play it :D

Oh and result, turns out in Easy mode you can never lose more than 1 country a month which means you can essentially play for 8 months with all 16 countries on 5 red bars!
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#10 ricardo440

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 10:48 PM

View PostThe Veteran, on 17 October 2012 - 08:08 PM, said:

Add to that that we are completely incapable of lowering the panic ANYWHERE until we get given a mission by pure luck and you've got a broken game mechanic. People are praising this game because it can still be fun even when you're not losing, just like the original. There's a big difference though as you could only lose the original if you did a bad job protecting the world. This game seems to take some sadistic pleasure in kicking you when you're up though!

Doesn't building a sattellite reduce the panic in that country by 2? Perhaps it isn't as much at higher difficulty.
Also about once a month I got a "special mission" like disposing of a bomb, that clobbered panic totally.
I also found when panic rose they celebrate with a terror mission that arn't too hard to get excellent excellent good on and reduce panic.

#11 The Veteran

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 06:52 AM

You're certainly right about the satellites ricardo, that's what I used to debuff the panic in high risk countries in my normal game. Trouble is I have 4 now already in my easy game and don't even have the 20 engineers to get my next satellite hub built so can't have anymore! Ideally I'd like 25 engineers so I could build a nexus but that's dreaming! It's very difficult getting more engineers atm because I have no say in which missions I do, I simply MUST do the abduction that affects as few of the countries I care about as possible and the rewards for the last few have been poxy soldiers I don't want or need!

As for the special missions and terror sites, I got a Terror mission in a red country which was a godsend as I scored excellent on everything and panic got wiped out and lowered across the whole continent IIRC. As soon as I got another abduction choice the whole continent picked that panic right back up again though! There's just no balance at all in dealing with panic, I've no idea if you get less missions on easy which would effectively make it HARDER to deal with but I'm certainly gettin MORE abductions than I ever did on normal. Had at least 3 last month and every single one had an awful selection to choose from...
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#12 Sorbicol

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 10:30 AM

That's XCOM Baby. I'm getting the feeling that some the game design decisions that Firaxis took here people don't like very much? Actually it's probably the one game design decision and that's to add an element of randomness to the game at all the levels: what countries get hit by abductions, what the rewards are for each mission, whether or not your soldiers will actually hit anyone.

I don't agree that panic is uncontrollable, because the game is designed to always leave you fighting to keep it under control. That's where the hard choices come in - do you do that very hard mission if all your best soldiers are dead or injuries and you've only got rookies left, but it'll reduce panic in a country on the edge, or do you abandon that country to its fate? If every country was at panic level one or two the entire game, well i'd be bored pretty quickly. Some times you're going to have to leave a country at a high level of panic and hope they don't withdraw.

I finished my normal ironman game without ever having a total squad wipeout (although I lost plenty of soldiers) and only losing one council member, so panic is controllable. Often by the skin of your teeth, but it is manageable. My first classic ironman play through I lost badly because I struggled with the combat, which meant I was forever losing missions, had no soldiers left and couldn't get the panic levels down. That's just an understandable consequence of not winning any battles. There is rather nifty cut scene if all the countries do pull out of the project too, worth failing just to watch it.

Like everyone else here I found the final mission to be a bit of an anticlimax, and I didn't even kill the Etherals, they buggered off after a couple of turns and then My psyonics guy sacrificed himself to save the world, poor chap.

As for the camera bug on the PC UI, yes it's rage inducing however there is apparently a way around it - use a console controller. Both the 3 Moves Ahead and Gamers with Jobs podcasts have both said this, using a controller eliminates the camera issues. That's a bit sad and I hope they patch it (a long with getting the SHIVs to work) but considering that's about the worst thing I can say about the game I would have taken that when it was announced.

#13 silencer_pl

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 10:52 AM

This man deserves a cookie.

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#14 The Veteran

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 11:20 AM

Why is there a cookie? I don't understand, who is it for and why?...

Anyway, I watched the fail cutscene and I'm of the personal opinion that it sucked :P At least when you fail the original it tells you what happens to the world with mutation and slavery everywhere. This game ends with your NPCs stood in the base being sad and then that's it? What do they do next then? Just go home and cry about it??? And bearing in mind the sole purpose of the alien invasion seems to have been to 'evolve and recruit' the human race into their mercenary army what would they do to the planet and people if XCOM suddenly stops fighting back? My guess would be experiment on them ala floaters, exterminate them or just give up and bugger off. But the game doesn't answer us either way...

Another thing that I think is missing from this endgame is the infamous choice from the original. Given that the entire game is made up of tough choices, where is the final question to your psi enabled soldier when he's standing before the ethereal commander? Right up until you walk into the room they're calling you the New One and explaining that you now have risen to a level where you can join their forces. Once you start shooting at them they say something like 'this is not your path' and then either way everyone on one side dies... Why don't they give you an ultimatuum before the fight begins? A short cutscene with your volunteer approaching the commander and the commander offering the XCOM team a place alongside them to 'rule the earth as gods' It is a temple ship after all...

You could say yes and XCOM will join with the aliens moving their operations to the temple ship where no doubt the ethereals will mind control the crap out of them and use this more powerful breed of human to wipe out the remaining weaklings while abducting anyone else found to possess the gift. The end cutscene could show the volunteer with some nasty implants clearly controlling him as he slaughters the base team (tactical guy and whatnot) or something similarly upsetting for players who thought this was the right choice!

If you say no obviously you continue the fight but what should've happened then is that the rest of the alien army turns up to ambush you (because these ethereals CLEARLY wouldn't be stupid enough to have just 2 muton bodyguards against a combat team that's effectively put a stop to their entire invasion force... And of course they're on a gigantic spaceship the size of a country so there's got to be more than 20 aliens on it right??? So you say no, aliens swarm in but your volunteer does some crazy ass psionic thing and levitates to the centre of the chamber. He becomes invulnerable and can instantly control a certain number of non ethereal lifeforms each turn (with more enemies entering the map every phase, like the thinmen in special missions) Suddenly you have a SERIOUS fight on your hands but you also have a small army. Say 6 aliens enter every turn but you can MC 3 of them and utilise them immediately (I hate that you can't use an MC'd soldier until the next turn when generally his teammates have already shot him...)

There you go, I just made a better ending scenario than the whole development team but go figure, it's not like they're professionals or anything :P

Getting back to uncontrollable panic...
Yes Sorbicol it absolutely IS uncontrollable in the sense that it's not possible to use skill to keep everyone happy. All of these either or decisions mean you just have to pick the best choice while knowingly sacrificing other countries. If there were mechanics in place to allow us to decrease panic in a country, say sending the military there some laser rifles for -1 bar panic or deploying the team in an alien activity location (soon after an abduction you failed to attend) to reassure the locals. ANYTHING would have been an improvement over the current system of 'maybe you'll get lucky and have lots of terror sites this month to calm everyone down' I mean seriously wtf is with the game when the only thing that makes people panic LESS is a large scale invasion in which the aliens primary objective is to butcher innocent civilians? I mean obviously terror sites only decrease panic if you succeed which means you've saved SOME civilians but it's also true that in abduction missions there are far fewer people at risk in the first place yet the panic caused is almost global regardless of how you perform! Plus of course there's a difference between aliens coming to your town to abduct some people and aliens coming to your town to KILL EVERYONE.

It just makes no sense that once the game FORCES the panic level up by giving us catch 22 abduction sites every week, it doens't give us NAY way to actively decrease it except satellites. And lets be honest satellites are only a -2 ONE-TIME bonus and you can't launch them without serious time and money investment.

We NEED other alternatives to controlling panic. If we perform exceptionally then panic should decrease to reflect it. Why not have an A grade reduce panic worldwide by 2 bars, B grade by 1 bar, C grade no change and D grade +1 bar? -2 bars sounds a bit generous BUT it would also allow the game to be a little MORE harsh with these abduction sites if an end of month reduction of 2 was on the cards!

How is it I'm so full of ideas that the designers didn't have :P
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#15 silencer_pl

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 11:45 AM

Maybe they had and they think they are nonsense?
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#16 The Veteran

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 12:17 PM

Mate that's your second post here in a row with no purpose. Stop spamming...
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#17 Sorbicol

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 12:32 PM

Veteran,

I think the answer to that question is like silencer said - Firaxis chose to design the game that way. I can understand why some people won't like it but for me it really works. Firaxis have streamlined the design of this game so much that every action you take will have a serious consequence in game. Personally I really like t, it makes the strategic part of the game just as important as the tactical combat, which not even the generous person could say the original achieved.

To me it al adds to the flavour o the game. You are. Facing invasion by a vastly technological superior force and trying to stop them while the world is crumbling around you nothing wrong with making panic a big part of the game that is difficult to stop overwhelming you!

#18 The Veteran

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 02:40 PM

Wait, you're saying the strategic level of gameplay in this game is superior to the original? In what way exactly? No base management, no alien vessel detection necessary, no alien bases to locate, no need to defend against alien invasions of your own base, NO WAY TO CONTROL PANIC!

The fact that we're earths last hope with superior weapons and the best soldiers ever trained yet are limited to a maximum of 6 soldiers, one transport and basically one mission a day says a lot about how they've streamlined the game... Don't get me wrong I still love the remake but to say the strategic part is more important here than in the original is just absolutely absurd! The ONLY decision we ever have to make in this new game is which of 3 abduction missions to attend. That's basically it... Sure there are other things to do outside of battlescape but lets be honest they're ALL elements that existed in the original but many of the other elements that ALSO existed in the original are no longer anywhere to be seen!

And every action has a serious consequence? Not really, abductions have serious consequences on the whole world. Every other decision is basically meaningless. Sure failing missions and not intercepting UFOs have some nasty consequences but they aren't decisions are they, just the inability to effectively combat the threat. And THAT is what the game is all about, a tangible threat from an invading enemy that can be combated with the right skill and technology. Not some spin the bottle 'whatever you do these countries will be pissed at you after your next mission' crap.

I managed to end my normal game with firestorms all over the world, I'm pretty sure I could've managed to put together a second Skyranger in order to stop pissing people off on a weekly basis because I can only fly to one place at a time... I get why they did it, to add the challenge and danger, but it doesn't work! If the aliens abduct from 3 places simultaneously why not 3 simultaneous terror sites? The game would be over instantly as 2 entire continents begin to riot uncontrollably! And if they can be in three places at once why can't we?

Anyway those game mechanics are NOT what I'm talking about. I don't care that we have one team and one range. What is really annoying me is the fact that the devs have put in place a feature that means the world is constantly angry with us every time an abduction occurs but despite this being an UNAVOIDABLE part of the game mechanics they didn't see it fit to implement some way to combat rising panic levels with pro-active missions as well.

Imagine giving a child 100 coins and telling them every time something bad happened they would have to give up 1 coin and every time they did something good they could have 1 coin back. Then imagine their surprise when you tell them that sometimes after you do something good you'll still get 1 coin but you'll also lose 5. Finish up by telling them that sometimes you'll get lucky and be given a chance to earn 2 coins without losing any but this will happen approximately 3 times less than the previous scenario... I think pretty soon that kid will be outta coins...
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#19 Sorbicol

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 09:29 PM

View PostThe Veteran, on 18 October 2012 - 02:40 PM, said:

Wait, you're saying the strategic level of gameplay in this game is superior to the original? In what way exactly? No base management, no alien vessel detection necessary, no alien bases to locate, no need to defend against alien invasions of your own base, NO WAY TO CONTROL PANIC!

Erm no base management? Just what is it you're doing when deciding what facility to build next then?!?

Seriously, the only strategic decision you had to make in the original was where to locate that first base. Europe if you had any sense because it covered the most countries. After that there was nothing to it. Aliens only invaded you if you let them (by not shooting them done or not building base defences), you'd probably build another base in America just get some additional cover there and then set up your arms manufacturing base so you could bankroll your operation. That alone negated any strategic decisions you needed to make because you could just build whatever you needed with a constant source of income independent of the council. No to mention the creepy people always willing to buy alien cadavers.

In the Firaxis version, you have to constantly balance the needs of your soldiers, the need to control panic, and what facility you need next in the base. It's like chess, and you have to formulate a strategy and apply it, unlike in the original where you could just beeline laser cannons and then become an arms dealer to just buy whatever you needed. That's not strategy, it's just exploiting the game mechanics.

That's what I mean by I mean by strategy. Firaxis have built a game where there are a million things you want to do but the game mechanics will only let you do a couple of them, and you have to decide what the best course of action will be. You have to think about it. Strategy in the original wasn't really all that profound.



#20 The Veteran

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    Munty

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 09:46 AM

You're so worng I can't even bring myself to debate it anymore. Let someone else come and have a go... Posted Image
Welcome back to the wonderful world of Fan-fiction! (it's short for fantastic!)
Go check em out, UFO TFTD and Apocalypse all under one roof!!!

Also why not check out XCom : Colonisation over in the special projects forum. Won't kill you if you do, might kill you if you don't!




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