E3 Preview: XCOM: Enemy Unknown

E3 Preview: XCOM: Enemy Unknown

The small squad starts to make sense.

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Wait ..
I was one of those players who beat highest difficulty in one sitting, without saving, and sending troops to their doom in edge-to-edge sweeps was something that did not work.

Carpet bombing with grenades was a much better strategy.

I think small squads might make for a more balanced game overall, if done correctly. I mean, anything that reduces the whole recruiting troops by the hundreds, and firing anyone who failed the psi exam, is probably a good thing.

Works for me. Though not quite the same, I always remember having three or four heavy-lifters doing all the dirty work in Final Fantasy Tactics, while the other 8 team members on the field just sat around, or played cards or something.

Plus when there's only 4 people, losing a a guy, a quarter of your squad, is going to hurt that much more.

I always found some of the tactics needed at higher level to be quite disturbing when I was doing the brainless grunt slaughter tricks. I mean, taking in massive amounts of highly trained personal, discriminating against everyone who didn't have a quirk of genetics....

Then getting everyone with that quirk of genetics quickly killed off because someone messed up. At the rate I often went through troops, I'm surprised we could find any psi possessing individuals left near the end.

Still, I'm going to miss the awesomeness of 24 highly trained Psonic badasses standing side to side for the first time. It was one of those moments in video gaming where yuor first sight sticks with you.

I guess it does from a character design and difficulty standpoint, but will you behaving up to six troops total, or is that just all you can command at once (like with Mass Effect Squads)? With permanent deaths that would seem especially harsh on the player.

Having only watched the original game being LP'ed by Kikoskia from youtube, i think i would prefer smaller squads. Dont have to wade through every single FREAKING NEW GUY and deplete their time units so they do something and gather xp rather than watching the Skyranger.

I can understand why they reduced the squad size. I only ever went around with a group of around 6. Although, having the ranger full of 14 recruits and then getting half of them pasted and the brave few being left as scarred veteran bad-asses was quite something. I really wanted those guys to make it out alive, especially if they were there from the beginning.

This is looking better and better! Squads of 4-6 seems like a good move

DVS BSTrD:
I guess it does from a character design and difficulty standpoint, but will you behaving up to six troops total, or is that just all you can command at once (like with Mass Effect Squads)? With permanent deaths that would seem especially harsh on the player.

Well only a guess here, but I doubt you'd send the entirety of your troops on ever mission, so you can probably have like 10-15 so you can let some rest while others go.

That is entirely conjecture on my part based on no actual data.

...I think you played a far more brutal game of X-Com than I did.

Tanks, baby.

This game looks bloody fantastic. Day one purchase indeed!

Also aren't all of Firaxis' games moddable? So it's probably possible we're gonna get an increased unit mod.

Well, I'll take Steve's word on it. X-Com, I believe, is his favourite game ever made ( http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/6.338401-Why-X-COM-Is-the-Greatest-Game-Ever ) so I'm going to assume if there are big problems with this version he's going to come down on them.

I guess the small squad size does make sense. I really can't wait to get my hands on that game.

Whilst playing Xcom I only ever used a squad of 5 elite people. It was just much more manageable and allowed me to keep a less experienced but still formidable force in reserve. However that is the real problem. There has been no word about if the 6 are ALL you get or if that's just the away team.

If 6 is the total amount of soldiers you can have that will be an incredibly stupid choice. You then have 6 guys who are basically your permanent soldiers. There won't be a team of backup soldiers or a Bravo Squad that goes on less dangerous missions to train.

Now it's just 6 guys who are all you have. Apparently humanities last hope is run by chimps.

Four soldiers in one squad seems a little too small. Six, however, seems like a good number.

I'm really looking forward to this game.

I'm not sold yet over the 4-man squads. Hopefully, the upgrade to six will be more interesting, but the way i see it now, they're just forcing us to use the kind of tactics they want.

Also, am i the only one who didn't feel like the "skipping everyone else's turns" in the original wasn't a bad thing? They had their points left, which meant they could provide covering fire for the recon teams. I always had a part of my squad do this in order to be prepared in case aliens showed up from any direction and not once did it save the life of my scouts.

4 is still WAY too small a number.
They should make it 6 in the beginning, 10 through research.
I alway took 10 with me, you just needed that many soldiers when you wanted to capture a very big ufo, or wanted to kick some etherers (I don't know how they are written, the psy guys) asses on a terror mission

Sounds more and more like a game of Dawn of War 2 to think about it.

Not that I mind I did have some fun mulching through xenos scum with Avitus, Tarkus, Thule, and my tanky Commander.

Come to think of it I am going to make an expy of my Blood Raven squad when the game comes out.
Or maybe an Stargate team....

Amaror:
4 is still WAY too small a number.
They should make it 6 in the beginning, 10 through research.
I alway took 10 with me, you just needed that many soldiers when you wanted to capture a very big ufo, or wanted to kick some etherers (I don't know how they are written, the psy guys) asses on a terror mission

I ended my X-COM playthroughs using two teams of 4-5 for most of the missions, with a backup team of squaddies in case I badly found myself needing manpower (the Breeding Vats in Apocalypse most definitely demanded it unless you wanted to get mind-controlled and blow up your entire team with a Blaster Bomb).

I've already tracked down my old disk so I can install the original to show it to friends.

After the "Xshock" (or would it be "Biocom"?) reboot shooter debacle, I think I actually whooped when I saw the first dev diary video for the new game.

I look forward to having my old squad back together again. 'Trencher' on heavy weapons, 'Deadeye' on the longrifle, 'Breach' with his explosive toys, 'Sarge' toting the spare clips, and the psi twins hanging back in the 'Ranger. The rest of the expedition team were cycled for training before getting shipped out to other bases for security duty.

What I really miss were the artificial limitations I ended up using with later playthroughs... "No Heavy Weapons (Autocannon, Heavy Cannon/Laser/etc.) without Powered Armor", "No Psi-Amps", "Leave No Evidence (burn/blow-up all alien remains)", "Earth/Hybrid-Tech Only", and so on. Having just plain pistols and rifles for half of the game meant a LOT of soldier recruitment.

Here's to hoping that the tiny snippets of footage depicting stealth armor, grappling hooks, and the other proposed soldier rank upgrades are as awesome as I think they'll be.

Danceofmasks:
Wait ..
I was one of those players who beat highest difficulty in one sitting, without saving, and sending troops to their doom in edge-to-edge sweeps was something that did not work.

Carpet bombing with grenades was a much better strategy.

I think small squads might make for a more balanced game overall, if done correctly. I mean, anything that reduces the whole recruiting troops by the hundreds, and firing anyone who failed the psi exam, is probably a good thing.

My favourite method of clearing a building was to:
-make a hole in the wall with a laser
-throw a high explosive package inside
-follow up with an incendiary rocket
-throw in a couple proximity grenades in case something still survived inside

In open areas I used tanks to scout things rather than risk my troopers. It meant that I usually used smaller squads.

SangRahl:
I've already tracked down my old disk so I can install the original to show it to friends.

After the "Xshock" (or would it be "Biocom"?) reboot shooter debacle, I think I actually whooped when I saw the first dev diary video for the new game.

I look forward to having my old squad back together again. 'Trencher' on heavy weapons, 'Deadeye' on the longrifle, 'Breach' with his explosive toys, 'Sarge' toting the spare clips, and the psi twins hanging back in the 'Ranger. The rest of the expedition team were cycled for training before getting shipped out to other bases for security duty.

What I really miss were the artificial limitations I ended up using with later playthroughs... "No Heavy Weapons (Autocannon, Heavy Cannon/Laser/etc.) without Powered Armor", "No Psi-Amps", "Leave No Evidence (burn/blow-up all alien remains)", "Earth/Hybrid-Tech Only", and so on. Having just plain pistols and rifles for half of the game meant a LOT of soldier recruitment.

Here's to hoping that the tiny snippets of footage depicting stealth armor, grappling hooks, and the other proposed soldier rank upgrades are as awesome as I think they'll be.

It's actually more like X Effect or Mass Com. The squad abilities functioned almost identically to the ones in Mass Effect. Hell even the aliens looked like the Husks.

CD-R:

It's actually more like X Effect or Mass Com. The squad abilities functioned almost identically to the ones in Mass Effect. Hell even the aliens looked like the Husks.

Nope, husks were more interesting than the boss fights involving Pythagorean solids that the shooter was trying to sell.

Coming to Xbox and PS3 too? That's just going to give purists a reason to hate. 'Shitty game, consolisation, blah blah'.

If there's a demo I'll happily check this out, but I can't say I'm buying it because I never played the old XCOM games.

I see the Yogscast live stream where Lewis played it, and it does look interesting, but we'll see.

Atmos Duality:

Amaror:
4 is still WAY too small a number.
They should make it 6 in the beginning, 10 through research.
I alway took 10 with me, you just needed that many soldiers when you wanted to capture a very big ufo, or wanted to kick some etherers (I don't know how they are written, the psy guys) asses on a terror mission

I ended my X-COM playthroughs using two teams of 4-5 for most of the missions, with a backup team of squaddies in case I badly found myself needing manpower (the Breeding Vats in Apocalypse most definitely demanded it unless you wanted to get mind-controlled and blow up your entire team with a Blaster Bomb).

If you say so.
I mostly had one in the back with a blaster, just in case. And up to 3 teams of 3 people, entering alien ships through the various entry points and scouting the map.
But don't you see, i just hate that they limit people like that. Many people played the game in different ways and now everyone will just play the way the developer wants them to play the game.
With a fixed number of guys, moving a fixed number of times,....

Amaror:

But don't you see, i just hate that they limit people like that. Many people played the game in different ways and now everyone will just play the way the developer wants them to play the game.
With a fixed number of guys, moving a fixed number of times,....

You always had a fixed number of moves. While each tile traveled was a flat 4 TUs every other action used a percentage of your total TUs so even your fastest guy could only shoot roughly 3 auto-shots if he never moved with a heavy plasma or fire a single blaster bomb per turn. As for the small squad sizes, I guess it all comes down to if its fun once we get our hands on it.

chimeracreator:

Amaror:

But don't you see, i just hate that they limit people like that. Many people played the game in different ways and now everyone will just play the way the developer wants them to play the game.
With a fixed number of guys, moving a fixed number of times,....

You always had a fixed number of moves. While each tile traveled was a flat 4 TUs every other action used a percentage of your total TUs so even your fastest guy could only shoot roughly 3 auto-shots if he never moved with a heavy plasma or fire a single blaster bomb per turn. As for the small squad sizes, I guess it all comes down to if its fun once we get our hands on it.

Well kind of, but you're soldiers TU were increasing. And 50 - 81 Tu is more choice than 2 actions, you can't deny that.
I am interrested in this game, but let's just say:
I would be certainly more pissed of about some of firefaxis decisions, if i didn't knew that xenonauts is on the way.

Amaror:

Well kind of, but you're soldiers TU were increasing. And 50 - 81 Tu is more choice than 2 actions, you can't deny that.
I am interrested in this game, but let's just say:
I would be certainly more pissed of about some of firefaxis decisions, if i didn't knew that xenonauts is on the way.

Based on what I've seen as soldiers level up they can get special abilities to allow them to perform additional actions per turn which helps balance this out. For example the sniper being allowed to move and shoot while at first it can only do one or the other or the assault soldiers run and gun which allows a full move plus an attack instead of a limited move + attack. Then there are grenades and other heavy weapons which get thrown in the mix as well. I admit it isn't as granular as the original, but it seems like the reduction removes at most 10% of the freedom while grappling hooks and being able to dive through windows add at least that much back to it.

chimeracreator:

Amaror:

Well kind of, but you're soldiers TU were increasing. And 50 - 81 Tu is more choice than 2 actions, you can't deny that.
I am interrested in this game, but let's just say:
I would be certainly more pissed of about some of firefaxis decisions, if i didn't knew that xenonauts is on the way.

Based on what I've seen as soldiers level up they can get special abilities to allow them to perform additional actions per turn which helps balance this out. For example the sniper being allowed to move and shoot while at first it can only do one or the other or the assault soldiers run and gun which allows a full move plus an attack instead of a limited move + attack. Then there are grenades and other heavy weapons which get thrown in the mix as well. I admit it isn't as granular as the original, but it seems like the reduction removes at most 10% of the freedom while grappling hooks and being able to dive through windows add at least that much back to it.

We'll see

from gaming perspective it sounds good ... but it would go against UFO canon since the 4 soldiers would have to be all supersoldiers (or have some kind of tech or intel advantage )to realistically go against future-tech mysterious beings AND survive.

So far this is still on my "to buy list" but I vehemently disagree with his assesment of larger squads and the restriction of squad sizes.

If I want to bring 16 troops and 2 tanks to a downed ethereal battlecruiser, there shouldn't be a funbusting unit limit cap (i tend to hate those whenever they are implemented) then let me worry about being bored or skipping peoples turns.

And if my base is attacked i want EVERYONE defending the base, regardless of me not having enough weapons or ammo.

Oh well, i hear that we might be able to mod the game easily so I presume larger squad mods would be one of the first mods to be made.

Edit: Minimum squad size is 4 and not 6? Oh cmon thats just ridiculous!

 

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