Some thoughts (no spoilers)


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#1 Azrael Strife

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 12:50 AM

So, I finally got to play this game and... while I am having some fun, I am not really in love with it, in fact, I think it's below all three of the original X-COMs and ALTAR's UFO series.

This is just a messy collection of thoughts and complaints about this game.

- WTF is up with the free movement the AI gets when you find any enemy units? It's nonsensical and unfair! Also, the "oops, you found us" animations on the Aliens every time you do gets old after the second time, and it's triggered every single time. There isn't even an in-game explaination, just fuck it, we get an extra move.

- This game plays like an extremely dumbed down version of X-Com, or even an strategy game. People bitch so much about the FPS version, but I'm not sure why they don't complain about this, it's insultingly watered down, filled with artificial constraints and limitations! You have to spend money (by the way, costs are so incoherent in this game) to unlock basic stuff like having 4 or 5 people in your squad, I was almost expecting that to be unlocked by inviting my Facebook friends to check out my cool farm. It's the same stupid limitation like not being able to go to multiple abduction sites, nope, it doesn't depend on your resources or capability, you just can't; looks like you're not allowed to have another Skyranger in the air...

- Speaking of limitations, not only you're not allowed to send multiple interceptors to shoot down an UFO, that's not enough, if your first interceptor failed, you're not allowed to send another UNTIL the first one returned to base... yeah, that makes sense.

- The base design is one f*cked up mess. Yes, it's cool to see how the base would look, instead of a top down look. But it's completely useless, after the novelty's worn off (which does pretty quick), it's just yet another thing that gets in your way. You cannot get a quick glimpse of your complete base, along with what's being built where, if you're masochistic enough you can browse every underground "room", which all look alike until you get a close look, of you have to go to Engineering, THEN to build facilities, and then you can have an overall look.

- Voice acting is terrible, character animations are pathetic, and at the beginning of the game they make you believe like your people on the base will have actual personalities, like, they introduce the scientist woman, the old engineer, etc. But after the first few missions, that's it, they're just... there. I wish I could just mute the boring and repeating voice cues whenever an interceptor is launched, a skyranger is sent, etc.

- How come all the aliens' weapons turn to dust when I kill them? ANOTHER limitation to prevent you from having more weapons and be forced to build them instead, why am I not flooded with Alien grenades and plasma rifles!?

- Sectoid commanders are a joke.

- The music is nice and well done, but I do miss the feeling of dread, dispair, and unknown that the original game had, the overall atmosphere of this game is aimed towards action instead of terror.

- The way the camera jumps around when you're aiming is also a piece of junk; also, no blind shooting, you have to have something in sight to be able to shoot (except for explosives); bs.

- Satellite uplinks are yet another artificial and stupid limitation to slow you down even further.

I read that the iPad version of this game plays the same. That is because this game feels more designed towards touch devices than for a PC. Touch devices usually have watered down versions of games, and this is one of them, everything in the game is made for an iPad's owner instead of a PC owner. Buttons are huge and all over your face, aiming moves the camera to a shoulder position so you can see the targets, and pre selects them for you; the overall UI feels like hand holding.
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#2 Azrael Strife

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 05:16 PM

God is this game tedious.

It started ok, fun, but now it's just boring. I don't care for any research topic, they are just not interesting, the flavor texts are flavorless, I am getting more and more annoyed with the aliens free movements; I will occassionally move twice, next to an unsuspecting Alien, and the flock (they always go together in very close quarters, for some odd reason) scatters and they all move all over the place. Sometimes they will get TWO extra movements, one their normal, and when they come across me, they will have the regular free movement, bullcrap.

Ran across a Sectopod, very deadly and scary. Also across an Ethereal, underwhelming.
I don't really like it that they have multiple variations of the same aliens instead of having more types.

Everything in the UI is designed to be annoying and cumbersome.

Can't wait to get this over with so I can uninstall it.
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#3 ñΩxicity

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 11:28 PM


"If you win it's just a game, but if you lose it's a complete waste of time"

-Al Bundy (Married With Children)

#4 Azrael Strife

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 01:04 AM

Completed it on normal difficulty.

Won't be replaying this one soon, I played a lot to complete it quickly so I could get this over with and uninstall it.

The end battle is disappointing, the Aliens motivation is underwhelming, the ending cinematic is poor.

*Uninstalls*
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#5 Space Voyager

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 01:31 PM

I agree with mostly everything you wrote. Though Sectoid Commanders can mess up your day. ;)

But I have to admit these things were not completely game breaking. Sure, the very artificial limitations are there but hey, the gameplay needs to revolve around something, right? I disliked quite some of the battlefield mechanics, too. What kept me going was that battles take far less time than in the original. THAT was killing me the last few times I tried replaying the legends.

What I miss the most in the new game is the strategy part. Seriously, there is next to no strategy involved and the game is completely dependant on the battles. And yes, the "alien triggering" is bothersome.

#6 Azrael Strife

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 05:29 PM

Yeah, the faster pace of the combat is actually a huge improvement. Endless battles that dragged on forever were one of the things that kept me from fully enjoying UFO: EU, or TFTD, and attracted me a lot more towards Apocalypse.
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#7 silencer_pl

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 09:31 PM

Close enough ? ;)

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#8 NKF

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 12:20 AM

It's fun in its own way, but the gloss has really worn off for me as well. I've had the game shelved since the start of the year. On the other hand, I'm still enjoying watching Let's Plays on YouTube of the original titles, and planning to get my new rig set up to play them again. Well, since I got it to run Magic Carpet, I think there won't be any trouble.

My data plan's too wussy to get the patch and all the fancy pantsy second wave options, but apparently that's fixed the "teleport-into-your-team-and-shoot-everyones-heads-off-immediately "feature". That's what mostly killed the replay value for me.

As for repetition - this sank in a bit too quickly to be perfectly honest.

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#9 Sorbicol

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 01:40 PM

The patch made it better but didn't totally eliminate it.

I'm not sure why it doesn't seem to get talked about here (maybe I'm just not looking for it right) but Xenonauts is now available early access on steam. I backed the kick starter and it is the closest remade x-com I've ever played.

It's got it's faults to be sure but it's almost a mechanic for mechanic remake of the original (although I'm not completely sold on the "improved" air combat engine) and I would say worth investigating. If I'm allowed to.

#10 Space Voyager

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 07:34 PM

 Sorbicol, on 21 June 2013 - 01:40 PM, said:

it's almost a mechanic for mechanic remake of the original

Exactly what is bothering me.

 Sorbicol, on 21 June 2013 - 01:40 PM, said:

If I'm allowed to.

I am not aware of any permission needed for the forum members to share their thoughts on a game or analyse it deeper... I'd love to read what you have to say about it!

#11 Thorondor

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 07:43 PM

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I'm not sure why it doesn't seem to get talked about here (maybe I'm just not looking for it right) [...]

::

Indeed. See here, Sorbicol. :)

#12 Hobbes

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 02:13 PM

I got 852 hours of playing so far and I'm still not done with this game since I haven't gone for Impossible mode yet.

I agree with the strategy issue being better on the original title, to me one of the fun parts would be to look out for alien bases. But base design is about as challenging, on the original you'd design keeping base defense in mind, while here you need to look for power, space and getting bonuses.

Overall the limitations to me give it more flavor than the original and increase the difficulty because of the choices you're forced to make. What's the point of collecting 100 Heavy Plasmas in the OG? Simply for the money, while on the NG you need to capture aliens to get their weapons and stop using explosives if you need fragments for research. Same with sending 4 Interceptors on the OG just to down a large UFO - you can still do that on the NG but you'll need to have those 4 Interceptors already on the continent rather than sending the 4 from 4 different continents.

Every game is made of limitations imposed on the player for balance/difficulty/etc. Calling them artificial is correct but that argument could also be applied to all of your favorite games.

Of course, all of this comes from comparing both the OG and the NG, which is about the same as comparing UFO Defense with Apocalypse. You couldn't really enjoy Apocalypse unless you accepted that it's the same but different that the first game. The same logic still applies to UFO Defense and Enemy Unknown and to me the combat system of the NG is the best of all the series.
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#13 Azrael Strife

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 02:23 PM

 Hobbes, on 22 June 2013 - 02:13 PM, said:

Overall the limitations to me give it more flavor than the original and increase the difficulty because of the choices you're forced to make. What's the point of collecting 100 Heavy Plasmas in the OG? Simply for the money, while on the NG you need to capture aliens to get their weapons and stop using explosives if you need fragments for research.
I've killed aliens using psionics, which one would argue that do not explode, and yet their weapons burst in flames when they are killed. Same when using regular SMGs.

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Every game is made of limitations imposed on the player for balance/difficulty/etc. Calling them artificial is correct but that argument could also be applied to all of your favorite games.
I've honestly never played a game with limitations as stupid and artificial as this one. Sure all games have limitations, but these are usually justified by some sort of realism. Your soldiers cannot fly without special armor, why? because in reality humans cannot.
Now, why can't I send 2 interceptors at once? Why can't I send another one before the previous one returned? Why do I have a single skyranger? Why can't I attack multiple terror sites or abduction sites? I have plenty of men, let me send them!
These are all incredibly ridiculous limitations, to force an artificial difficulty barrier, the difficulty barrier should be composed by the Aliens themselves and their tactics, not things you cannot do just because.

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Of course, all of this comes from comparing both the OG and the NG, which is about the same as comparing UFO Defense with Apocalypse. You couldn't really enjoy Apocalypse unless you accepted that it's the same but different that the first game. The same logic still applies to UFO Defense and Enemy Unknown and to me the combat system of the NG is the best of all the series.
Wrong, all the limitations I've pointed out are incredibly stupid for any game. I liked the original game, but I am not a hardcore fan like everyone else here. My favourite game of the saga was Apocalypse, that says a lot. The limitations are idiotic for an strategy game, not for an X-Com game. I am well in favour of change, and innovation, proof is that I am very much expecting the new XCOM (Bureau) to arrive; but this...

I agree that the new combat system is far superior to the original in several respects, I applaud the new turn based system.
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#14 Hobbes

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 03:47 PM

 Azrael Strife, on 22 June 2013 - 02:23 PM, said:

I've killed aliens using psionics, which one would argue that do not explode, and yet their weapons burst in flames when they are killed. Same when using regular SMGs.

Are you discussing if the games are realistic? Is that an usual criteria to judge a game? Then, let's start with the original UFO Defense and dump it into the toilet right away.

My point is that weapons being destroyed when the operator dies (for whatever reason, either from combat damage or a self destruction mechanism) and the need for fragments for research is, IMO, a better game mechanic than just piling up captured plasma weapons for cash as in the original game.

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I've honestly never played a game with limitations as stupid and artificial as this one. Sure all games have limitations, but these are usually justified by some sort of realism. Your soldiers cannot fly without special armor, why? because in reality humans cannot.
Now, why can't I send 2 interceptors at once? Why can't I send another one before the previous one returned? Why do I have a single skyranger? Why can't I attack multiple terror sites or abduction sites? I have plenty of men, let me send them!
These are all incredibly ridiculous limitations, to force an artificial difficulty barrier, the difficulty barrier should be composed by the Aliens themselves and their tactics, not things you cannot do just because.

Now why can't I send 10 Interceptors against a UFO on the original UFO Defense? Why only 4? Or why can I only send 1 Skyranger and 14 troops when I have 6 Skyrangers and 84 soldiers ready to take on the aliens? Why does the original game has this stupid limitation? Posted Image
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#15 silencer_pl

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 04:20 PM

Why Can't I send 50 avengers to Mars ;)
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#16 Zombie

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 04:35 PM

 Hobbes, on 25 June 2013 - 03:47 PM, said:

Now why can't I send 10 Interceptors against a UFO on the original UFO Defense? Why only 4? Or why can I only send 1 Skyranger and 14 troops when I have 6 Skyrangers and 84 soldiers ready to take on the aliens? Why does the original game has this stupid limitation? Posted Image

Oh, just a wild guess but could system resources have played a role? Posted Image The item limit, unitref limit, soldier limit and alien limit for missions were not in place to keep squad sizes low or to make things harder. They were present because the technology wasn't there to allow more. Completely a different ball of wax.Posted Image

I liked the open strategy system of the original game. It allowed you to have complete control over everything (within reason). Closed strategy systems are more scripted and offer less global control for the player. Again, two different strategy systems so it's hard to compare apples to oranges. To each his own I guess.

Az's comments about those specific limits are legitimate questions though. He wasn't after making the game easier - just removing the silly limitations that make no sense whatsoever. I mean, not being able to send another interceptor out when another one is in the air is crazy. Maybe XCOM only has one pilot though? Dunno. Posted Image

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#17 Space Voyager

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 06:44 PM

Both games have limitations. I agree that the original had fewer and less illogical limitations, but still limitations. Best games don't need hard caps, they limit the numbers by upkeep or a similar system.

And I twitch every time anybody mentions strategy in combination with either of the games. Neither has much. Everything is pretty much linear, no real choices given.

#18 Hobbes

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 07:30 PM

 Zombie, on 25 June 2013 - 04:35 PM, said:

Oh, just a wild guess but could system resources have played a role? Posted Image The item limit, unitref limit, soldier limit and alien limit for missions were not in place to keep squad sizes low or to make things harder. They were present because the technology wasn't there to allow more. Completely a different ball of wax.Posted Image

I liked the open strategy system of the original game. It allowed you to have complete control over everything (within reason). Closed strategy systems are more scripted and offer less global control for the player. Again, two different strategy systems so it's hard to compare apples to oranges. To each his own I guess.

Az's comments about those specific limits are legitimate questions though. He wasn't after making the game easier - just removing the silly limitations that make no sense whatsoever. I mean, not being able to send another interceptor out when another one is in the air is crazy. Maybe XCOM only has one pilot though? Dunno. Posted Image

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I'm fully aware of the technical limitations of the original game but saying that the game depends on the number of ships/troops/etc. you send on a mission is completely arbitrary : some people like more, some less. Apoc allowed you to bring a max of 32 soldiers to a single mission, IIRC, and send swarms of hoverbikes against the UFOs. Does that make Apoc a better game than the rest?

Limitations are rules, imposed on the player, and the developer if we are dealing with technical stuff. Calling them 'stupid' is like saying in chess: "Why can't my rook piece jump over that pawn to take the black queen? This game sucks!"

If you don't like the rules, don't play the game. And stop complaining about them.
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#19 silencer_pl

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 08:20 PM

 Zombie, on 25 June 2013 - 04:35 PM, said:

Maybe XCOM only has one pilot though?

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#20 ñΩxicity

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 10:31 PM

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Limitations are rules, imposed on the player, and the developer if we are dealing with technical stuff. Calling them 'stupid' is like saying in chess: "Why can't my rook piece jump over that pawn to take the black queen? This game sucks!"

Agreed.

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If you don't like the rules, don't play the game. And stop complaining about them


Or if you have the aptitude and time, make your own game, and play by your rules.
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