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New XCOM game: XCOM Chimera Squad coming April 24

Discussion in 'All Other Games' started by SupremacyKing2, Apr 14, 2020.

  1. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    My first impressions after playing it for 2/3 hours:

    I think its a highly polished game that takes on different aspects from the turn based genre. Its got bits of Shadowrun Daggerfall, bits of SWAT, bits of Invisible Inc & bits of XCOM. There is a strong narrative that runs throughout the game which tells a compelling and interesting story that plays out procedurally with a mish mash of combat sequences and covert ops. The aesthetic is very different to traditional titles in the XCOM genre. But i dont think this is a bad thing, it makes the agents you deploy more relatable - which is an important aspect when you are not naming each of your crew to resemble members of your workplace or household (or whatever method you used in other XCOM titles). The combat and breach mechanic adds a new dynamic to combat and makes it much more enjoyable and satisfying than the system deployed in, say, Shadowrun. Theres also a huge plethora of tactical upgrades and enhancements pretty early in the game which can feel slightly overwhelming when you first start out. The combat is also much tighter in its execution and plays out over a number of phases, so each mission feels a bit like a scene in an action film which you are directing. Finally abilities work very differently now. In previous XCOMs you had an ability, which when used, would go on a cool down. Now agents can spam their basic ability almost indefinitely. So the support class (named Terminal) can heal and shoot/move every turn, the Warden class (named Cherub) can give a 1 off shield to an ally that negates 1 attack and attack afterwards. Utility items are also essentially free to use, meaning you can throw them or use them and then take your turn in the normal way. I suspect this is because you are limited to 4 agents per mission.

    Overall im impressed. I would say that the traditional versions of XCOM are probably more to my taste. But i can certainly see this title as an excellent choice for people new to the genre as its easier modes are probably quite forgiving (ive not had too much difficulty on hard mode - but then im not very far so might be proven wrong). At its price point its an excellent purchase IMO. Its miles more polished than Phoenix Point - which had an asking price more than 3 times what this is asking for.
     
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  2. SupremacyKing2

    SupremacyKing2 Deity

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    Good review. I agree with everything. Overall, I am enjoying the game. It definitely has that addictive XCOM quality to it where I want to complete a mission and see what happens next.

    I think using utilities don't cost any actions either. So you can throw a grenade and shoot. And yes, abilities with no cool downs mean you can use them every turn. In some ways, it makes the characters more unique since you know that this unit can always do this cool combo whereas this other unit can do a different combo. And units do have different play styles. But I wonder if this does not also add unecessary micro since you have to remember to use the abilities every turn before shooting?
     
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  3. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    Some of them seem quite OP if you ask me. Take Cherubs for instance. His Kinetic shield doesnt expire after a new turn, or even if you apply it to another unit. So if you use it every turn, every one of your agents can essentially have a shield after 3 turns negating a single attack (assuming they dont get hit in the intervening period - which admittedly is unlikely). It does use up 1 action though. So you cant use it, then move, then shoot. But there are sometimes breach options which give 3 actions to your agents, so in that case you can. Thats quite well designed i think. I assume when i get further into the campaign ill be thankful for it :D

    One other thing i have noticed. In previous XCOM games a flawless rating was quite common. Its not so easy in this one. Often when you breach enemies can get shots off. And as the maps are really rather small there isnt much room to manoeuvre so its easier for enemies to flank you or get good shots off. Damage of some sort, although not an inevitability, is quite a high probability. Either that or i suck :lol:
     
  4. tedhebert

    tedhebert Emperor

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    For those interested, with the release of Chimera Squad, FX has made XCOM2 free to play until april 30th via steam. Since I never got that one, I'm going to use this offer !
     
  5. SupremacyKing2

    SupremacyKing2 Deity

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    Oh, I did not realize that you could keep adding shields to every agent. I assumed only agent could get the shield at a time. That does sound OP although like you said, you are consuming an action. So it is defensive in nature when maybe it would be better to just take the shot and kill an enemy.

    I do wonder, as it is inevitable in game design, if future patches will rebalance the abilities and maybe nerf some. Personally, I tend to prefer abilities that are a little OP but force you to make a choice. OP abilities do tend to be more fun.

    Definitely, a flawless mission seems much harder. But I think it is by design. This is a game about a SWAT team. So combat is close quarters. So the smaller maps make sense. And some damage is inevitable.
     
  6. PPQ_Purple

    PPQ_Purple Techpriest Engineer

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    I am waiting for Japanese language mods to come out to be honest. That way I can have an anime girl brigade again.
     
  7. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    Im 7 hours in now and just killed off the first of the 3 factions. The difficulty definitely ramps up. Had a couple of agents bleed out. But there are enough tools to enable you to compensate. Made good use of the backup mechs anyway. It can also mess up your breaching plans if you lose a soldier early doors that has a breaching speciality.

    Currently i am mostly curious about team makeup. I have a suspicion that you can win with pretty much any squad and most units have a high degree of flexibility, particularly in how you kit them out (its possible to put medkits on soldiers if you do not have access to Terminal for some reason). It does make me wonder though as they obviously give you a starting batch of recruits. Presumably thats a fairly balanced setup. I swapped out the psi dude for the demolitions guy as i took on Progeny first and suspected the enemies would have high resistance to psi attacks. Dont know whether that gut feeling was well placed or not.

    All in all im really enjoying it. My only gripe is that the UI is a bit stingy with information. So its not possible to see what effects or buffs/debuffs various units have at any one given time. Some of the camera work is a little bit wonky too, particularly when breaching. I guess mods and patches can sort out that though.

    One final note, i do find it amazing that some people are criticising it for being SJW politicised. But then, people in the UK have been burning down phone masts because they think Corona virus is caused by 5G. So just like with that, the stupid are everywhere :lol:
     
  8. SupremacyKing2

    SupremacyKing2 Deity

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    Actually, the "psi dude" is really good. I use his ability that makes other units go berserk. I can routinely get a Muton or even Archon to one shot kill another enemy unit. It is super funny to force the enemy units to kill each other.
     
  9. coanda

    coanda Emperor

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    Verge's +Aim per unit in neural network is nice, and Berserk is really nice. I've found Stupor to be underwhelming though. Sometimes they resist and it does nothing. Frequently otherwise it removes one of their two actions, which is not terribly useful - they still get to shoot, they just can't move-then-shoot. Which is... not a huge improvement, most of the time? Only good if you've got an agent where an enemy could use a single blue move to flank them.

    I got Blueblood pretty early and gave him tranquilizer darts equippable, and found that he's pretty much ensuring I can get plenty of intel as a result. Thought that worked out pretty well.

    Still not too far into the game.
     
  10. PPQ_Purple

    PPQ_Purple Techpriest Engineer

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    Is the tutorial still part of the story in this game as in the other XCOMs they made or can it be skipped safely? Also is it as massively horribly heavy handed and aggravating as the last ones?
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2020
  11. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    There is a tutorial - which you can skip. As there are lots of new mechanics its definitely worth playing through it. It also feels more organic than the last ones. Yes it is scripted to a degree. But not as much as in previous ones. Having now watched a lets play by someone they missed shots that i hit and they moved soldiers to places i did not. So its not scripted in that sense. But they all have a section where you use an explosive to breach a wall. Im pretty sure that 1 of your guys will 100% get shot and bleed out to teach you about stabalise etc. The main difference in skipping the tutorial is that you can choose your starting agents whereas in the tutorial you get given them. And the initial team is balanced. You have:

    Cherub - A mobile cover tank who can give allies a static shield
    Terminal - The support class with med kit
    Godmother - A hard hitting assault with shotgun capable of massive DPS
    Vergil - a well mannered psionic sectoid who can incapacitate and crowd control mobs with his mental powers

    Then as the game progresses you add in additional agents. Not sure what the cap is. Currently i have 7.
     
  12. PPQ_Purple

    PPQ_Purple Techpriest Engineer

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    My main concerns are:
    1. Is the tutorial an organic part of the plot so that skipping it also skips part of the plot? That was the case in XCOM2.
    2. Does the tutorial force you to make ******** mistakes that get your agents killed for no good reason? I find this infuriating to no end.

    I am especially aggravated if both are true. So me getting the game depends heavily on the answers to these two yes/no questions. Which is why I am trying to be as precise about them as possible.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2020
  13. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    1 - Yes
    2 - No

    The slightly longer answers:

    1 - Although plot is introduced in the tutorial, its of no consequence to anything - certainly not like in XCOM2. The game and major plot points all start once the tutorial is over.
    Spoiler If you would like to know the very basic plot which doesnt really spoil anything but ive put it in spoilers just in case :

    2 - You can choose which shots to take, where to move etc. The only thing that is "forced" is that one of your soldiers will get shot and bleed out - to teach you about stabalise.
     
  14. PPQ_Purple

    PPQ_Purple Techpriest Engineer

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    Bleed out as in all the way to death?
     
  15. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    No - critically wounded. But they dont have the debuff applied to them that you would usually get afterwards (called a scar, which is a permanent debuff to a core stat like dodge or crit which can be removed at the training grounds)
     
  16. PPQ_Purple

    PPQ_Purple Techpriest Engineer

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    Thanks for the info. I wonder if I was the only one who hated that bit or if enough people actually complained so that they made the new game not aggravating.
     
  17. SupremacyKing2

    SupremacyKing2 Deity

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    Don't ignore breach items. One thing I learned that is not super obvious in the UI is that you can select a different breach item by clicking on the little "aim" icon under the agents when you select your breach order. For example, Terminal can apply some healing to all your units during the breach, there is a holo targeting grenade that you can apply that increases aim during breach. So there are definitely some nice perks that you can take advantage of during the breach phase.
     
  18. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    Yeah i think on this point in general the UI is too stingy with the information. It took me a good long while to figure this out. Other little annoyances are:

    - The grenade that claymore uses - which doesnt damage units in cover - would be real handy if it only highlighted mobs that were going to get hit. Ive had a number of wasted grenades now because i thought they were hitting but they were not.
    - Also the grenade Claymore uses - would be nice if it told you how much damage it did
    - General statuses on mobs and their effect. Specifically - what does a flashbang actually do? I dont really know. Pretty sure it disables special abilities. But is there an aim penalty too? Im not sure.

    Annoyances aside, im having a blast so far. The abilities you get are really cool and really add power to your agents. Specifically i really like close quarter specialist with godmother. Park her next to an enemy respawn point and she just mows them down. Cherubs +15 aim buff when using kinetic shield is also really nice. And Claymores regen ability on grenades turn him into a walking machine of destruction.

    I also like how they have clearly been influenced by the modding community. A really good XCOM2 mod was Grimy's loot mod. Which basically gave you lootable weapons from enemies on occasion. And these were souped up versions of standard versions which sometimes gave you powerful abilities like hail of bullets for free. And that same mechanic is on show in this game with certain things you can get from scavenger missions and mission rewards.
     
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  19. SupremacyKing2

    SupremacyKing2 Deity

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    Another thing I am learning is that it really helps to focus on the next enemy unit in the queue. If you are able to kill the next enemy in the queue then you can get a sort of chain reaction effect where the order goes to your next unit and then you take out the next enemy unit in the queue and it goes to you next unit etc. Basically, it means that it skips the enemy and comes back to you which is very effective. If successful, you can eliminate all the enemies without them getting a chance to even fire at you. it's tough but I think that should be the main tactic in every fight. At the very least, if you eliminate a couple enemies early then you can outnumber, it will give you a big advantage in the new interleave mechanic since it means that you will get more "turns" than the enemy. For example, if I have 4 agents and there are only 2 enemies, then I am essentially going 4 times and the enemy is only going twice in the turn.
     
  20. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    Yeah, turn oder is key. You really want to either kill or disrupt everything in the immediate turn order. Im also learning that you have to kind of adopt a darkest dungeon strategy in terms of heals. Sometimes its advantageous to leave a single enemy alive before you complete a phase. Providing you have the means to incapacitate it (Virg or Cherub are pretty good - get Cherub to give a kinetic shield on an exposed target near the mob and its almost guaranteed to go after it and waste its attack. Virg is less reliable, but can burn off an action, and if its flanked it will usually move wasting its opportunity to fire), you can use that time to heal your squad with Terminal or medkits before you breach the next room. Saves on using a medi breach item anyways.

    One other thing - a medi kit is so useful to have as an item on almost any unit. Not really for the health boost. But for the poison immunity. Thats really quite useful.
     

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