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UFO: Enemy Unknown, remake by Firaxis

Discussion in 'All Other Games' started by Rub'Rum, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    It's good enough that even the serious problems with the interface are manageable. I actually find Q and E better than rotating the mouse, which is often oversensitive - but for some reason they scroll in the reverse direction to that which is standard in other games that use the system. So does the mousewheel zoom. Rocket/grenade placement, and to a slightly lesser extent elevation, are my big bugbears with the camera controls.

    I don't know how console interfaces normally play, but I don't really see why multiple selections/menus etc. are a good thing even there, and I suspect the camera controls would still be poor. There are things that are just missing from the interface - such as the minimap and the ability to centre the camera on the selected unit, both of which were present in the original and have been standard features of strategy games ever since.

    And one thing I haven't mentioned is the Geoscape interface. The only way of progressing time quickly is to scan for activity - to do which, you have to get back to the main base screen, then go into mission control, then press 'Scan Now'. Considering that this is the primary way of moving the game forward in strategic view, it should be one-clickable from the main screen, not hidden in what amounts to a submenu.

    I still want to keep every country, though I must confess I have yet to work out what individual countries do - just provide an extra satellite spot for the continent bonuses, as near as I can tell. There's no breakdown in the income page by country, and I don't know if I lose any of my income if a country pulls out.

    Which brings to mind another interface issue - I don't think I've seen a game (again, including the original), where there was no 'Menu' button in the main interface, both in strategic and combat view. In XCOM ESC is the only way I seem able to access the standard options menu, as well as the 'XCOM Database' (which I haven't used but presume is the new UFOPaedia).

    Having more non-class weapons would be good to allow choice for your rookies at least, but as you say there's not a lot you can do to differentiate weapons because they all hit only one target and only really vary in the damage they deal (and ammo usage). I think they could probably have given the assault trooper a class SMG and so made the shotgun classless, but I really have yet to see much difference other than graphics in weapons themselves - I haven't yet found myself with a main weapon that's out of range, so that's hardly a concern. It looks light on diversity, but does as well as it can with the restrictions the two-action system imposes. I'm starting to reach a point where it's noticeable that my sniper and heavy do more damage than the other troopers, but I still mostly kill on one hit (when not forced to use a pistol for some reason - which is usually when out of ammo).
     
  2. Liegence

    Liegence Warlord

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    Been very busy at work lately, just found out about this game. I've never played an XCOM game before which is odd because I love strategy games. Needless to say I went out and got it and was very excited about it... and now I'm a little bummed out.

    Because I didn't pre-order the game, I lose significant customization options? I can't wear helmets or tint my armor? That's important to me - I want to customize my troops. I had already thought about how I want my squad to look, colors and helmet styles for various ranks and designations. I was very much looking forward to "red-shirting" my expendable units. :mad:

    This is about the most ridiculous pre-order option ever arranged for advanced customers. Please tell me that someone at Firaxis has good enough sense to recognize that something like customization is important enough to all players that they're all going to want to use those options, too.

    I literally just wanted to stop playing when I found out I was denied this option. I searched steam hoping to find some kind of digital expansion to purchase this option - I am happy to shell out another $5-$10 bucks to expand for this ability. But alas, no option exists. I honestly would rather just take a refund for the whole game and move back to Civ 5. Magic for this game is already dead - now I am sitting upset on the very critical side of gaming and if I want to try and struggle through it I'm just clicking and seething. Very disappointed.

    /rant, just had to shake my tiny little fist a bit.
     
  3. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    Well, fixed my save issue. Turns out just turning autosave on does that. A bit annoying, though, that it wasnt turned on as standard. My only gripe with the game is that I think i would prefer to choose my soldiers and my gear (from scratch) before every mission. Its a bit of a pain having to unequip and then re-equip all the time. You have to do this (in my view) so that you have a decent pool of levelled up soldiers.

    A word on pistols - not only are they useful for when you run out of ammo. They are also very useful in trying to capture live aliens. The percentage of the arc thrower goes up considerably when an alien is only on 1 or 2 HP.

    I initially thought the game was too easy. But now ive run in to cyber disks and mutons ive since changed my mind (im playing on normal iron man). Still not lost a mission yet, but had 1 or 2 close calls and my pool of levelled up soldiers has just taken a pounding :(.

    As for satelites, I agree, i think its a case of concentrating on 3 and ignoring the rest. You get some decent bonuses too. Ive got all of europe, all of America and 1 off south America, although dont think i will be able to complete that because i will have to build another satellite uplink and i think i could do better things with my cash.
     
  4. Kozmos

    Kozmos Jew Detective

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    If someone finds or starts a LP with videos, let me know. I want to play the game but none of my ancient hardware can run it without a slideshow so I'm going to have to settle for watching someone playing it.
     
  5. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    There are already quite a few on youtube if you search for them. Try and watch one of the classic ironman videos because they usually end up in a glorious defeat ;)
     
  6. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    Oh yes. I lost my main squad in a base assault - and unlike the older game, it seems very, very hard to recover from the loss of an experienced squad on Normal difficulty. I ended up losing my remaining team bit by bit, with 50% casualties for several missions (all rookies) before - indeed - Cyberdiscs showed up and I started losing missions altogether. I'm no longer winning them at all. I could have done better by going for easier missions to train my troops, but I needed the specialist recruits I got from completing harder ones.

    Just came from the scariest X-COM mission I can recall ever facing. Terror mission - and every enemy was a Chrysalid. I had no hope of saving civilians, just shooting the zombies, since I was hemmed in from the start. I ended up with waves of the living dead just wearing me down - seriously, one of my soldiers' POV shots looked like a scene from 28 Days Later, and it was an excellent map atmosphere-wise to boot,

    I eventually succumbed - apparently killing 22 aliens in that mission had been a poor performance, so goodness knows how many were left...

    The only thing scarier than a Chrysalid is a Cyberdisc. I do, however, have to take back my comment about the Mutons' appearance based on a single still - in game they really do look impressively formidable.

    Incidentally, are all the aliens from the original game recreated in the new one? I've yet to see snakemen, although the Thin Man autopsy (noting reptilian eyes, modification to change the natural appearance, and serpentine elements of the internal body) suggests that they may be intended as the 'new' Snakemen. No sign of Reapers, Sectopods, Celatids or Silacoids either (and no Ethereals, but I know they're in the game).

    Yes, I really didn't get a handle on that part of the game.

    I didn't play Ironman so I still have my pre base-attack save, but I've been playing as though on Ironman so I think for now I'll restart and try some different approaches. I really think the strategic side of this game is much more challenging than the original - I'm usually short of funds and/or resources, I can only research one thing at a time, you can't take down even medium UFOs without some form of researched upgrade, and any lost abduction or terror mission is nearly fatal since you end up with panic in as many as three continents.

    EDIT: You've really got to love the random mission name system. At one point I was given Operation Vengeful Vengeance.
     
  7. Rub'Rum

    Rub'Rum Hates acronyms

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    I know what you mean. I'm would say don't worry, this will almost definitely be available as DLC soon enough. However I'm not going to say don't worry, because this whole market practice is worrisome to me.
     
  8. sirtommygunn

    sirtommygunn Emperor

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    Yeah those guys are all out, though I always thought the Celatids and Silacoids were dumb enemies so I don't miss them. Would have been nice to see reapers with AI that didn't have them chase their own tails while I shot them to death.
     
  9. Maniacal

    Maniacal the green Napoleon

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    I don't recall it being mentioned, but hopefully Firaxis opens it up to modders too.
     
  10. Minor Annoyance

    Minor Annoyance Deity

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    It has been mentioned and they said there will be mod support but they haven't said how.
     
  11. Minor Annoyance

    Minor Annoyance Deity

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    I think berserkers are the functional replacement for reapers.
     
  12. PhroX

    PhroX Emperor

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    Just met my first Ethereal. Rather anticlimactic I must admit, as my two overwatching snipers took his head off as soon as he tried to make his free move from being spotted...
     
  13. sirtommygunn

    sirtommygunn Emperor

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    Guess I spoke too soon; Sectopods are in the game, and somehow they've become even more dangerous.
     
  14. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    My first Chrysalids were anticlimactic since I ended the terror mission with one rocket. Later ones really lived up to their reputation, though. Chrysalids and Mutons wiped out my first squad in the base assault, and later I had a Chrysalid-only terror mission which was just scary.

    Shame so many aliens have been cut - granted those were mostly silly ideas (especially Celatids), and weren't very distinctive in terms of what they did (Snakemen were just not-as-tough Mutons, Sectopods a non-flying equivalent of the Cyberdisc and so forth), and I like the way the new aliens each have specialised roles, but they were still part of the 'lore' of UFO.

    Considering how drastically they upped the power of Cyberdiscs (not to mention giving Chrysalids the speed of Tenticulats without the flying) this is going to be a scary prospect if and when they get that far... I suspect I may have lost too many countries and hit the 'doom meter' cap before getting that far.
     
  15. Lib.Spi't

    Lib.Spi't Overlord of the Wasteland

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    I have to say from the strategy point of view getting 2 sattelites in south america early on is a big bonus!

    Instant interrogation and autopsy has made research super fast on and off for me :-D

    I am just waiting on my first
    Spoiler :
    Nexus Uplink

    To go on another satellite splurge :-D
     
  16. RD-BH

    RD-BH Human

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    To start with:
    ... I don't like this reimagining.
    ... I liked the original.
    ... I liked 3DS Ghost Recon-Shadow Wars (limited replay fun).
    ... I like Xenonauts (so far).

    I think this game would be improved if you could NOT hire new soldiers.
    They streamlined this game to play faster.
    You want faster?
    Start us with 14 soldiers.
    Let us take ALL of them on every mission.
    Then maybe I'll care about permadeath by the end of the game.
    Then maybe there will be some strategy to the metagame.
    Then maybe I'll name my soldiers.
    This game is missing something that could take it from "(meh)okay" to "Great!".
    This doesn't feel like it took years to make ...
    ... it barely 'looks' like it took years to make.
     
  17. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    Fortunately I began playing with the view that i would need a very very large squad, so despite losing 7 soldiers in 2 maps I still have a number of lieutenants and sergeants. The drawback to this approach is that I dont have any of the next rank, so have not been able to unlock my extra squad member. It took me ages to unlock foundry as i never even knew of its existence. Resources are very scarce in this game, even more so than in the original because at least you could manufacture alien alloys in the original, now you cannot :(.

    Im not doing too bad at the moment. I have run out of stuff to research though. I think my research has outpaced my finance (because i cannot afford the price to research the plasma field). I do think that there is some equipment that will almost never be used. like the various things you can get for your interceptor. I might be wrong though. Im scared of doing the alien base mission though untill I have plasma weapons and 3 lots of titan armour. I might just be being a light weight though
     
  18. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    Yes, that was my strategy too - base in Africa, then satellites in South America. Basing in South America is probably a waste since you don't get two bonuses straight away otherwise.

    I've run into an all-too-familiar situation from the original game: I no longer have the resources to research anything or build the next story project

    Spoiler :
    in this case, the Firestorm. One flight control short, and with no Firestorm taking UFOs not so easy... Brought down one, but the flight control was damaged (possibly due to grenades in the UFO but neither grenade was close to the flight control). Just took down a large UFO by throwing four Interceptors at it, and hopefully it will be more intact.


    I don't see a lot that won't see use - chitin plating is competing for very limited space (maybe of some use in the limited confines of UFO missions, but it's an everyone or no one piece of kit - if the guy wearing it isn't the one up against Chrysalids and Berserkers, it's wasted), and laser cannon are at a bad point in the tech tree when phoenix cannon are just around the corner (or vice versa - not sure which is actually better due to the lack of a UFOPaedia).

    The base mission is tough. It ended my first game, and is the only time I reloaded on my second - though I won on my second attempt, and with nothing more advanced than lasers and carapace/skeleton armour. I also had the luck to spawn in a place with a very long firing corridor almost into the centre of the base - my sniper excelled in that mission. I only lost a Shiv (a distraction to keep Chrysalids from attacking my troops while I killed them).

    You can, I've found, survive, and come back from, a big loss (I've now had several in my current run through and no longer have anyone higher-ranked than Corporal), but you absolutely have to have bought the New Guy upgrade from the Officer School.
     
  19. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    The original is still probably my all-time favourite game, but XCOM is extremely good; I've never really got the "either-or" mentality that liking a computer game precludes liking a different one...

    My general (and somewhat lengthy) impressions so far now I've played for a couple of days.

    Campaign: Evidently the part of the game that has changed most substantially. This has both good and bad points, and one's take on the latter is likely to determine whether you'll enjoy the game as much as the first one. The campaign isn't any more scripted than in the first game - as in UFO there are fixed techs you need to progress to the next story point, and you can only achieve them by completing certain objectives mostly involving capturing a live alien of type X. However, it is a lot more linear and structured; there's no freeform 'roleplaying' element to the campaign as there was in the first game. And if you choose not to (or are unable) to take on specific missions, you will often be heavily punished - while you get to choose which of several abduction sites, say, you focus on, the 'none of the above' option is essentially fatal. Similarly a terror mission must be undertaken or you will lose a country and likely a continent from the Council; it's very unforgiving if you lose a mission, and you can't, as I often did in the first game, ignore certain terror missions in the late game in favour of taking on more UFO missions for resources I needed. By the standards of any modern computer game I can think of, the campaign is long and presents rather flexible options, but if that's what the key appeal of the original game was to you, this won't meet your expectations. It's quite likely there is an optimal strategy that will always work, as is typically the case with these kinds of linear games - you aren't going to make fast progress by lucking out on a landed UFO early on or getting an early psionic alien capture (psionics enter the campaign at a scripted point in the game) that will affect your future strategy, or indeed be hampered by bad luck in the same way.

    On the positive side, there are new mission types, a very nicely-designed psionic system that beats the old "You have psionic power, go knock yourself out mind-controlling everyone", and an interesting approach to the tech tree. This latter is actually rather large when considering techs, equipment, foundry upgrades and (the most poorly-developed) officer school. The new missions sadly don't integrate well with the story - you don't get any new story credit or even background info for escorting a VIP with vital information back to the Skyranger, for instance, and there should have been some randomisation of agent names or at least more than one of each type just to have some variety, rather than rescuing Anna Singh in China in one game and the UK the next.

    Resources are in tighter demand than in previous X-COM games - elerium is needed for most later tech and units, most missions will be alien abductions rather than UFO attacks (expanding satellite coverage doesn't seem to do a lot to increase the number of UFO encounters) which don't provide it, and you aren't going to be getting it in quantities of 100+ anymore. Nor can you manufacture alien alloys, weapon fragments or corpses of various species, all of which are required for certain advances or production. Probably for this reason you no longer lose valuable manufactured equipment when your squad members die - this I'm less happy about, and I think there should be a game option to enable "lose kit when you lose a mission" for old-timers who want to play it that way (or anyone wanting more of a challenge, although this game is not 'easy mode'). Adding grades and related voiceovers to the Council briefings is a nice touch, but unfortunately doesn't seem to make any actual difference to the game - you don't lose funding for getting a bad rating or increase it for getting a good one, and while you're more likely to lose countries if you're not doing well, you aren't going to lose any you wouldn't lose anyway because the Council gives you an F.

    Combat: This is where the new game really shines (as indeed you might hope). I've been playing on Normal, which is purportedly a level X-COM veterans should find a little easier than they're used to. In my experience, however, it starts out easier but rapidly becomes tougher - and I say this not from nostalgia but from playing UFO concurrently (on the only difficulty level originally available in that game, as my copy is unpatched). More importantly than straight difficulty, to get the results I get in UFO, I need to play in a far more sophisticated way in the new game. Not all missions will start with "pop smoke, leave Skyranger, methodically stroll down the map killing all the aliens". The new game's been criticised for limited numbers of maps, but differences in your spawning points, aliens' spawning points, number and unit mixes of aliens and mission damage to cover objects that's going to differ in each playthrough add a huge amount of replayability (though it remains unfortunate that, except with area weapons, you can't target cover objects - although you can target aliens in the knowledge that the shot will likely destroy cover whether it hits or misses, and that can be a reason for firing with a low chance of hitting).

    Few of my missions (aside from the Council missions, which have a small selection of maps, spawn you in much the same place each time and are invariably populated solely by Thin Men even in the late game) play at all alike, a difference much more pronounced than in the original. One mission I'll drop straight into a firefight with half a dozen Mutons and Berserkers where I pop smoke and suppress enemies to take the flak off, in another I'll be luring Muton Elite out of their UFO to pick off one by one, making judicious use of retreats, flanking, overwatch, hunkering down and unit abilities; in yet another I'll be flanked by Heavy Floaters popping out of nowhere, destroy them in a firefight and advance, only to be forced to withdraw under cover of overwatching heavy plasma gunners as Chryssalids pour from the UFO before finishing (and in this case losing) the mission in a firefight inside the saucer itself.

    The two-action system and the class system prompt some very careful planning - I'm now a real fan of the latter, although there are apparent balance issues at some levels (Squadsight is always the best option for a Sniper Corporal, and I try to promote Assault units heavily especially to get the 'free reaction shot within 4 tiles' promotion), and undoubtedly there will be 'best' build orders. I still think it's unfortunate that the stats of new recruits are identical.

    The deliberately small squad size (and inability to pick up dead soldiers' weapons) makes it imperative to choose the right unit mix, and I should probably vary it by mission more than I do. Classes also work well with the new psionic system in determining who to train up - I'm undecided whether snipers should be trained preferentially so that they can use a psionic ability if forced to move, for instance, or assault units so that they have a long-range attack.

    Flavourwise, for some reason I'm not finding my characters as memorable as names or getting as attached to them as I did in the original game (although I like the greater selection of random names, as well as the fact that - as a Starcraft veteran - I placed a soldier called Kerrigan in psi-training and she was the only one in that batch to be psionically gifted). I do like the new nickname system (especially when my heavy becomes Boom Boom - nicknames appear to be chosen from class-specific lists), probably because I'm focusing more on the abilities I've lost. And the ranking system does seem to mean you're unlikely to get the same types of heroic rookie stories as in the original game - your best-promoted guys are going to be the ones doing the killing. If you lose them you're often going to lose the mission; so far I've had only one 'desperate last stand' where I'd lost four members of the squad, one other was bleeding to death, and my plucky support squaddie killed the final aliens.

    AI: I found the AI lacking on first encounter, however even on nominally Normal difficulty perhaps it gives you an easier time in the tutorial game, even after the tutorial stage? It's seemed pretty capable in my recent games - floaters now drop in cover and do a good job of flanking, grenades are thrown at appropriate junctures, and if you drop smoke against Mutons, chances are they'll respond by suppressing the unit in the cloud. Aliens can still be too stationary when in position regardless of context (so that they always won't move to escape being flanked), they tend not to move much from their spawning site until spotted (so, if you're up against a UFO's door in a firefight with Heavy Floaters outside, no one inside the ship will come to help or even to see what all the fuss is about), and melee units are easy to lure into traps - run away when you spot the Chrysalid, and it will always pursue. Which makes them much less frightening once you have weapons that kill them in one shot, since you can just set up overwatch. If you have a SHIV, if you retreat your people behind it, the Chrysalid will attack the vehicle it can't convert.
     
  20. vihta

    vihta Chieftain

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    I'm really enjoying this so far. On my 3rd game of Classic / Ironman atm and it's going pretty decent. Just got first terror mission which I managed 6-0 15/18 and got achievement for getting 3xexcellent on it :king:

    My first game was basically just learning some ropes. My second game got hosed by this awful bug http://forums.2kgames.com/showthrea...ptor-Jets-in-air-resolving-at-different-times

    Even after being pretty pissed off about that bug I started new game about 30 mins later and now it's 1am and I have to get up for work at 6am :crazyeye: Haven't enjoyed a singleplayer game this much in several years.
     

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