I did in the last one! Sort of
But yes I know I keep slipping back in an attempt to drag out people still not taking the hint. To be honest it's not been helped by that interview of the guy insisting that it's meant to be an origin story of X-Com... Idiot!
On it's own merits though... Campaign map looks interesting but it's a shame it isn't global. Seriously, aliens invade North America SO often, what about everywhere else? And when they start losing in North America why don't they try relocating to Australia or something? XCOM are clearly American and they get around in cars so my guess is it'll take them a while to catch up to these aliens if they teleport from country to country every few days whilst continually slaughtering inicents the world over... Like I say, campaign map is illogical but looks like it could be ok. We've only seen a tiny shot of it so it's impossible to say but it almost looks like the old school C&C map when enemy progress is shown with a sort of WW2 campaign map red arrow and friendly advances are in blue. While I didn't see any indication of friendly movement here, this is what I'd like to think is being shown.
Just found a still of this map and I think I have it pretty well pegged. Though of course there's a chance that the big black concentration is the good guys whereas I'm assuming it's the bad...
There doesn't seem to be any base management and I'm expecting R&D to be very simplistic but we've been told a few times that we'll be able to walk around the base and talk to people who can fill us in on the background of particular missions and such. That'll be a nice touch, I hope it's not a sort of one-shot deal of 5 blokes in the briefing room who simply repeat the same line of text over and over when a conversation is initiated. I'd like to see a fully accessible base so we can walk into the labs and see what the eggheads are working on. Maybe stray into the boss's office and be told to get lost if our last mission went badly or commended if the opposite is true. They could really add depth to the game here but so far I haven't seen anything to suggest that they will.
Other things that aren't particularly clear yet (to me at least) is what will happen between missions... We've been told that they don't want to make the game a linear experience but if that's the case then what's been put in place to prevent that? Personally as far as FPS go you can only do the same thing so many times before it gets a bit samey... I'm sure there are different enemies and techs we haven't seen yet but as it stands the black globby things and the nano people things are going to get pretty old pretty fast. We've also seen the alien turrets which can apparently be beaten by destroying their power supply (guess these massively superior aliens didn't think about a self contained unit) and the sub-orbital cannons which seem to be under human control more often than not... That doesn't make for great variety so we'll have to wait and see what other enemies are around.
Continuing along the theme of mission variety we can only imagine what this will entail. There's been discussing of defending territory in order to retain it but how this is done and what the repercussions are is unknown. Similarly we haven't been told whether or not counter-attacks are possible in which we can recapture lost ground. What IS the alien presence on earth exactly? Is it a growth like in the Aftermath series? It's clearly not a covert presence so we can pretty much guarantee that any humasn left behind are exterminated immediately and the surface world lost completely to these shiny black monsters.
The actual XCOM organisation itself is a bit of a let down for me personally. I get the impression that the team was only formed recently due due to suspicions of a nearby alien presence. That doesn't excuse their complete lack of military preparedness though which leaves the operatives looking like a cross between a private eye and the local farmer. If I was an advanced alien race with nano-mech weaponry and energy walls and such I would NOT be scared of some office clerk in a tie and braces wielding a puny shotgun and taking orders from a guy who until yesterday didn't even know there WERE aliens! They seem to travel in cars and helicopters (which somehow don't get shotdown en-route by the aliens superior weapons) and in a few shots they've been shown with utterly ridiculous looking weapons and equipment yet NO ARMOUR! The scenery and civilians are more than enough to create a fully convincing 1960's USA so quite why they felt it necessary to make the soldiers look like uptown postmen is beyond me.
Of course the thing that will make or break this game (though not for me) is the FPS element itself. It seems pretty sound from what we've seen so far and the graphics certainly suit the enemies we've already seen. Both the globular and bipedal aliens look pretty nasty as intended and the nano-technology is sweet. The way it alters and in the case of weapons, activates/deactivates are all done very well for a very intimidating result.
As far as actual gameplay goes it's impossible to judge while the only thing we've seen so far is the dev's playing a short demo. The squad commands could be a good touch if they work as intended. The only ones I've seen so far are 'Capture' and 'disable' both for use on enemy tech and 'create diversion' which could be hadny but seems fairly suicidal. The squad certainly puts a lot of faith in their leader if they'll willingly stand up in front of overwhelming odds and hurl insults at their foes while he sneaks round the back to switch off a tutrret... Can turrets even BE distracted? Anyway, seems promising but we really have to wait until they let us have a go for ourselves.
Personally I'd really love to get my hands on a copy of this as it does strike me as a combination of features that hasn't really been done before. It's success will depend on just how in control the player is, in my opinion, but also on how successful they've been in eliminating the linear advancement present in almost every FPS to date. Of course it's also down to gameplay, weapon and enemy variety, missions and of course the actual story which we currently know NOTHING about save the rescue of some doctor from an alien dimension... hmm...
Ultimately we'll have to wait and see what they show us next and in reality we can't know much more until we're gven a chance to get our own hadns on a copy but right now it has a lot of potential. What we have to hope is that it doesn't remain potential and as many of those features as possible are being included in the final product. They really need to add to this title outside of the action to prevent it from being 'just another FPS' Sure it's a pretty one but it's still a pretty generic 'kill all aliens' title at the end of the day.
Pete, seeing as you're reading this, do me a favour and track down someone from 2k in charge of publicity. I want whatever I can get from these guys as soon as possible. At the very least I'd like a chance to put my own questions to these guys as there's a lot of things I'd like to know which currently hasn't been divulged! I know you have the power man, get to it
Impartial observer - out.