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Edited by BaconGames

Even if this isn't technically Ryan's last review, when I look back, this is what I'll remember as his last review.

Edited by megalowho

This is one of the best reviews on Giant Bomb. Really showcases Ryan's talent as a writer and reviewer. Great game, great man.

Edited by iNShadows

Great review Ryan. The Giantbomb crew are the best in the biz.

Posted by Kohe321

Excellent review, the writing on this site holds a seriously high standard throughout.

Posted by Lind_L_Taylor

I'd love to see a turn-based tactical for Halo that was like this.

Posted by Lind_L_Taylor

Excellent review. I'll need to pick this up soon or bug somebody to get it for me for Xmas.

Posted by DrX25

@Seppli: Actually, it's a reference to "The" Ryback, who's recently taken the nickname Big Hungry. Which makes me think that it's a screenshot from Jeff's save.

Posted by Rabid619

Been enjoying the hell out of this game every time I've played it, I love/ hate that feeling of hopelessness you feel when you see an enemy preparing an attack. Just lost a Major a couple nights ago after toying with a Muton Commander for about five turns in an attempt to capture him alive. Just as I was coming up on him with my stunner he shot her in the head. :(

I think next time I will have to create The Ryback on my team. Seems like he could be beast, long as you Feed Him More than the others. If you don't, he may just go and get something off of a Meat Hook himself. Those stupid aliens won't know what hit him when he's done with them, they'll all be Shellshocked.

Subtle wrestling reference.

Online
Posted by GunslingerPanda

Feed me more.

Posted by caseyg

Excellent Review!!

Posted by beepmachine

Great piece of writing. I'll definitely be getting this when I have the time/money.

Posted by Parad0xian

First DS now XCOM? Looks like more late nights for meeee

Posted by Zatoishwan

Its already been said but it need to be said again - this review is totally A grade.

(Actually I think this is the best review I ever read on GB. Ever!)

And to the game, wow, so far I have had a blast!

Sure, there are many things I miss from the old games, but this is good enough for me and I hope Firaxis make loads on money on this so we can get more games like this.

Posted by Solh0und

Buying it in december when I go after X-mas shopping.

Edited by Seppli

@Protonguy said:

I flippin' love this game. If they release DLC i'll get it day one (they deserve it just as a tip for this gem) but I really hope they get steam workshop going and really open it up for all to add to.

Great review Ryan, I genuinely enjoyed reading it. Please do a few more.

Lacking online distributable cash, I really hope for a proper (boxed) expansion. Looking at Firaxis' trackrecord, that's how they roll anyways - so I'm in good spirits.

Maybe I should finally cave and fork over that credit/debit card fee each year - and expose myself to online scum-baggery.

Edited by Seppli

Thinking about it some more. I really need somebody to bring back Casey 'Just the Cook' Ryback. Just like Firaxis brought back XCOM.

Posted by JoeGuy

You can't dumb down a game if its completely new and only pays huge homage to its predecessor without trying to replicate it. The game is entirely reworked, balanced and built differently and quite frankly a lot of the changes could be considered things the original could think about adding like cover systems, squad mechanics, multi-tiered environments and a fair playing experience so you don't feel cheated when your people die just stepping off the SkyRanger. It is not dumbing down to build a sleek modern game that feels just like XCOM. But it would definitely be dumb to ride the coat tails of a old game just for nostalgia's sake and not try to modernize or innovate.

Posted by JackG100

The game is nice, but could be so much better if they borrowed more from the old X-com-games. They dumbed it down, they dumbed it down alot. But it is still one of the smarter games this generation... says alot.

Posted by WhoopAssRambo3

Mr. Davis put words to it.

I sank a billion hours into this game over the weekend. Godamned Moses and Maria this game is so frakking good. I feared the worst when reading that Firaxis was breathing new life into one of my all-time favourite games, but once again Sid & co. made me a time-waster of the finest quality. I love this game. Thumbs WAY up!

Posted by DystopiaX

@MrOldboy: Other than slight selection issues with a mouse I'm not seeing or feeling any of the "lack of polish" or significant bugs that you're reporting at all. I know you mentioned this but there is the distinct possibility that reviewers are having bug free experiences. Hell, I have a friend that never experienced any bugs in his ~60 hours of playing Skyrim.

Edited by MrOldboy

I wish reviews for this game would actually look at it more honestly instead of through a pair of nostalgia goggles. The PC version (haven't played the others) has all kinds of dumb and frankly bullshit bugs. Graphical and technical bugs have bogged down the experience of this game for me substantially. It seems reviews are overlooking these issues or just think they're part of the game. Or I guess its possible they never encountered them, but I find that highly unlikely. There is also the possibility of reviewers playing the console versions, which lack these bugs on PC, and just assumed the PC version was fine since c'mon its Firaxis man..

The most egregious issue of the game its it notion of lying about the % to hit. It flat out lies and displays a value that is wrong. Some people have even reported missing 100% shots. I thought Fixaxis was one of the smarter devs that understood things like elementary school math. How can 100% not equal a hit on every shot?

and there’s no reason to believe it’s fudging any of them for dramatic effect

This game is awesome, but sometimes it feels broken...really broken. Other games get review scores lowered, quite a bit in some cases, for having so many technical bugs and just not existent polish. The game feels like it was rushed out the door, but then the devs go on various outlets and say over four years of work went into this game. Its like the team gave up at the bug testing phase of development, took a break and said "Meh, lets just start work on a patch in a month. I'm tired."

Posted by Protonguy

I flippin' love this game. If they release DLC i'll get it day one (they deserve it just as a tip for this gem) but I really hope they get steam workshop going and really open it up for all to add to.

Great review Ryan, I genuinely enjoyed reading it. Please do a few more.

Posted by TorMasturba

Will be buying this either at the Steam Christmas/thanks giving sale or when my self-restraint gives out.

Edited by Brackynews

Just played the demo. Short! About equal time for cutscenes as running around two mostly barren maps, and I think I was prompted to use 2 powers. At the very least I thought it would let me pick the other mission choice after I was done, but then I played it again and it's the same mission no matter your choice. /facepalm For a 1.5GB demo it's not helping me decide much about its potential.

It's the kind of game that deserves more of a vertical slice demo. Here's the first or second mission with two enemies at a time and forced waypoints; here's your base because you never played XCOM before; then fast forward to the tenth mission with something that will annihilate you and your species. Give it the old college try.

Anyway, thanks to Giant Bomb coverage, and no thanks to the demo, it's on my wishlist. :)

Posted by MichaelBach

Great review! I am maybe 8 hours in and having a great time with it, it's funny how a turn based game can be nerve wrecking!

Posted by seanord

Quick look sold me on this--so thanks for that Ryan and Jeff. Been playing for a few days and it is punishing. Things go bad for my guys so quickly, and for the most part I own the result. So good and deep.

Posted by Zeg

@radioactivez0r said:

@gladspooky: What's wrong with the interface? I haven't had any issues with M/KB at all.

Here's two that bug me.

First, on highly ranked soldier with Psi powers, the keyboard shortcuts go beyond 1-9 and onto F1 and F2. But for some reason F2 just seems to cycle to my next soldier. I haven't checked if that's a keybinding conflict, but even if it is, that would be its default setting which would be weird.

And secondly (somewhat more nitpickingly), the shortcut keys don't stay consistent. It's somewhat unavoidable since different soldiers will have different skills based on rank as well as class, but I would have at least liked overwatch to always be on the same button.

I've yet to try out the gamepad, but if it also helps with the finicky balcony position and long distance free aiming selections, that might sway me to it.

Posted by Krullis

I figured you'd give this game a 5 star, Ryan. It's obvious when any of you love the game when you're too busy wanting to play it rather than try and explain it in the Quick Look.

I'm not saying that's a bad thing! I mean, the game pretty much speaks for itself.

Great review!

Posted by pweidman

Wow, finally the formal review! And... extremely thorough and well done Ryan.

Plus, I couldn't agree more with your assessment. Never played the original, but this game has been a delight and the current definition of an unanticipated jewel for me.

Posted by Xeirus

@MarkWahlberg said:

Wait. Why is everyone being so agreeable in these comments? This is a review! You're supposed to get hissy and complain!

Cause this game is good yo!

Posted by Seppli

Love the Casey Ryback reference on that screenshot.
 
Under Siege 1 & 2 are my definite Segal movies. Well - they're the only ones I've seen on the big screen, since I was too young to enjoy his earlier works in the cinemas. I do genuinely love them however. Good stuff! Up there with the Die Hards of the world.

Posted by benefitevil

This game was all that I was expecting and more. While the game has flaws (every game does), the biggest for me is the lack of information about what each item does, it has been an amazing experience and recommend it to everyone. Pressing upon the player consequences of their actions was a big part of the original and I am glad to see the design team is using that as a selling point of the game. Do your self a favor and play/buy this game.

Posted by durden77

One of the top games of the year, no doubt. And great review Ryan.

Posted by MarkWahlberg

Wait. Why is everyone being so agreeable in these comments? This is a review! You're supposed to get hissy and complain!

Posted by Baal_Sagoth

Nice. I just visit the site flying high from my glorious first victory over the alien scum only to actually find the full review. Excellent read and great attention to detail, especially for a review of a game that has so many crucial elements that significantly affect gameplay. I still can't quite believe how good XCOM turned out to be for my tastes - I just don't even expect this kind of quality and oldschool sensibilty anymore.

So far this game is a very strong contender for the most fun I had with a game this year. So I'm glad to see it is received well on GB too!

Posted by TheSouthernDandy

@Skanker said:

@a5ehren said:

The game gets easier once you have the money to get a squad's worth of good armor and hot hot plasma. You should probably try Classic - since you can switch difficulty on the fly, just pop into one of your old missions and try it out.

Yeah, that's definitely what I'll do on my second playthrough of the game. I've heard some good things about the smarter AI in Classic/Impossible.

Yeah I did the same my first playthrough and it wasn't too difficult, but I started a new one on Classic/Ironman and wow, it turns into a completely different game. Still fun but tense as hell.

Posted by Lugburz

Play this on Classic or Impossible modes and tick the "ironman" box to really break your own nerves to appreciate this game. Normal difficulty is also very hard and playable, at least if it is your first playthrough.

Posted by Box3ru13

Finished it last night (around 40 hrs, 10hrs of MP) and this game is Top 3 with AC3 and Far Cry 3 being the only two other games coming out that could surpass it. Review echos my own sentiments.

Normal was fairly challenging but towards I stream-rolled once I got Plasma weapons and Psi Armor. Didn't even lose a country which I thought wasn't supposed to be possible(?) but it was such a damn excellent game and MP and Classic Ironman playthroughs await.

Great game and possible GOTY in my book.

Posted by ArbitraryWater

This review echoes my sentiments pretty well.

Posted by Funkydupe

Addictive.

Posted by kerse

Totally agree, fantastic game.

Posted by PlatypusPlatoon

Just a superb review through and through. Ryan can write the pants off of "real" journalists working for mainstream publications.

Posted by DharmaBum

Sounds brilliant and I need more strategy games in my life. I'm hoping my friend ends up switching to the PC version and gives me his other copy.

Posted by Phototropic

Great review. This game is crack and my GOTY so far.

Posted by Yanngc33

GOTY?

Posted by Thor_Molecules

Fantastic review, mr. Davis.

Posted by Sackmanjones

Please write more reviews Ryan, they are very professional and a great read

Edited by JoeGuy

Just finished the game on Normal yesterday, switched to Classic Iron Man. Damn if that is not the way to play. The culture shock from being slightly OP at end-game Normal difficulty, to Classic Iron Man with insta-death Rookies is pretty huge. Amazing game and damn addictive! When you get something right, a really complex plan goes pinch perfect or you pull off a unlikely shot to save a squad member it just feels good and rewarding, plain and simple. The whole game is a blast, except a tinge of shame when you check out all the Rookies you led out as bullet shields at the memorial wall.

Posted by Skanker

@a5ehren said:

The game gets easier once you have the money to get a squad's worth of good armor and hot hot plasma. You should probably try Classic - since you can switch difficulty on the fly, just pop into one of your old missions and try it out.

Yeah, that's definitely what I'll do on my second playthrough of the game. I've heard some good things about the smarter AI in Classic/Impossible.

Posted by Ghostin

GOTY.

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