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#1 Posted by kre8havoc (173 posts) -

I am really interested in this game, but I am worried that it might be so hard that I don't want to play it. Is this the kind of pulling out your hair kind of difficulty found in games?

Or is this game a bit more of knowing how to play it/game the system/and be patient with it kind of hard?

#2 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11015 posts) -

Normal difficulty is not hard, and if you have trouble with that, there is also Easy difficulty. It's not Dark Souls.

#3 Posted by kre8havoc (173 posts) -

@ArbitraryWater: That's good to know.

#4 Posted by JasonR86 (9379 posts) -

@kre8havoc:

You'll be fine. Normal is a challenge if you aren't good at strategy games (like me). Easy is likely to be...well, easy. Try the demo and see how you fair.

#5 Posted by BisonHero (5671 posts) -

@kre8havoc: I personally found the tutorial a little slow because I've played some strategy games before, but on the other hand, for someone like yourself who is afraid the game is too complicated, then let me assure you, the first like 2-3 hours of the game are a pretty decent tutorial that explains things step by step. Beyond that, if you hit the pause menu, there is an XCOM Database that is basically a decent summary of each aspect of the game (what the soldier classes are, how your base works, etc.).

If you take your time with it and just look over all the things in the base and read what they do, you should do fine, as long as you start on Normal. The combat is trial by fire, but you figure it out as you go, and soldiers are fairly inexpensive to buy.

#6 Posted by Grillbar (1773 posts) -

normal difficulty can be hard but only if you screw your self over. basically if you dont know what your doing and dont really want to sit down and take things slow, you have already lost.

that being said you should totally pick it up and just play on normal. its super fun and even if you screw yourself over you will know so much more the next time.

want im saying is that i use my first playthough for just learned the game, tactic, base building and see if i can complete it. and then second playthough will most likely be on hard and ironman settings

it can be frustrating at points, when you miss a shot when its really important or move to a spot and find out it was the worse spot you could have picked but not really pulling out your hair bad imo

#7 Posted by MegaLombax (381 posts) -

I'm a newcomer in XCom and I'm currently playing on easy. I think once I'm used to the game, I'll change it to normal. Easy is okay, you still get squadmates dying if you arent careful.

#8 Edited by Dagbiker (6898 posts) -

I am playing on Easy, and so far it has not been too difficult, I have lost mexico. I am stuck on one mission, and have replayed it 3 times. Then just decided to build up my tech, and armaments.

Its not hard, but when it gets fucked, it gets real fucked.

#9 Edited by HerbieBug (3844 posts) -

I'm no strategy game afficionado and usually avoid the genre. Last game I played like this was Valkyria Chronicles. The tutorial is very good. Everything is explained clearly. Normal has been treating me well so far. Good balance. So far on normal I have found that I'm not going to get really screwed on a mission unless I do something flagrantly stupid. It can, however, be pretty harsh in punishing mistakes early on while you're still learning. Like, hey, dashing all your troops across the map without cover = dead squaddie jam sandwich. So don't do that. You learn, you don't do it again, all is well.

I think it's approachable for pretty much anyone who regularly plays video games.

#10 Edited by HH (523 posts) -

it' not that difficult once you understand how it works, which you will after a few hours of play, and i haven't found it to be frustrating in the slightest, on the contrary, it's smooth, rewarding, exhilarating, it's fucking great. get it.

#11 Posted by Morningstar (2049 posts) -

Once you understand how to best use your resources it gets a lot easier.

#12 Posted by SirBlimE (167 posts) -

Currently playing on Normal, and I have yet to loose a single soldier, and I haven't retried any missions yet. It should be said that I've played the original X-com games a LOT. I feel normal is a decent challenge for newcomers.

#13 Posted by beeftothetaco (418 posts) -

It's alright. As long as you're prepared to deal with some hit percentage bullshit (missing a shot at an enemy directly in front of you or an enemy shooting through a wall and hitting your dude, for example) you'll probably enjoy it. I'm doing it on Normal with Ironman on, and let me tell you, it's no fucking joke.

#14 Posted by bigsmoke77 (778 posts) -

@kre8havoc: For my first run at Normal, I lost like 11 dudes and they where mostly all cannon fodder rookies. Didn't loose one country, Ryan is making it out to be harder than it is in my opinion. Really really fun game, trying to do a classic ironman mode and its kicking me in the ass when I try a mission rated "very difficult".

#15 Posted by Bell_End (1208 posts) -

im playing on normal and was breezing through until i reached the second mission with cyberdiscs and mutons. and now the challenge has stepped up quite a bit. have to be honest and say i've reloaded my save game at the start of the mission a few times.

#16 Edited by TheHT (10284 posts) -

I haven't played an X-COM game before and have been playing this one on normal. At first it was challenging, but I knew early on I wouldn't be able to hold all countries. Once I lost some countries, got some sattelites up, and levelled up some soldiers, things became steady and manageable. Now I'm fully geared up and it's a bit too easy.

If you're really worried about it, play on easy, but it's worth playing through some challenging encounters since it helps build your tactical sense and keeps you from making lazy haphazard decisions because you can get away with it.

#17 Posted by BisonHero (5671 posts) -

@Bell_End said:

im playing on normal and was breezing through until i reached the second mission with cyberdiscs and mutons. and now the challenge has stepped up quite a bit. have to be honest and say i've reloaded my save game at the start of the mission a few times.

Yeah, the first time I encountered a Cyberdisc was on an abduction with buildings, and it was on the second floor of a building that was hard to get line of sight to. It was terrible, because he grenaded me in a really bad way, and my heavy on that mission didn't have the HEAT ammo to do extra robot damage, and my squad was already pretty hurting from having to fight like 9 Mutons prior to that (I think this was also the first mission that was like all Mutons, instead of just a couple). I ended up losing 4 of my 6 guys, and desperately running my 2 guys back to the Skyranger, who both had 2 or less HP because I had used up all my heals already.

Only mission I had to retreat on.

#18 Posted by haggis (1677 posts) -

The game is hard, period. But not in the way most seem to expect--it's the strategic layer that's getting people screwed up, not the tactical combat layer (which is very manageable). Most games these days try hard to not let you lose on normal difficulty, but XCOM will beat you to a pulp if you let it. That said, it's not that hard, so long as you pay attention. After one playthrough, you'll have figured out the nuances and it won't be as bad the second time through. You also have to be willing to ignore what the tutorial tells you to do, and just do whatever you want.

#19 Posted by phampire (263 posts) -

In terms of how easy it is to pick up its pretty approachable, its a got a clean UI and a solid tutorial. The games description of normal seems accurate so far which is "fair but challenging". Most people, myself including, are having a blast with the game, if you are scared about the difficulty you can just save all the time which the game will let you do pretty much at any time.

#20 Posted by Blimble (302 posts) -

I'm playing on normal and it seems to be a good challenge but not that hard. Still lost Australia though. Fuck those guys

#21 Posted by project343 (2807 posts) -

@kre8havoc: I hate this type of game (tactical strategy games), and hate difficult games. Playing it on normal and having a hell of a time.

#22 Posted by Brodehouse (9370 posts) -

The game is pure RNG to start. You can't rely on _anything_ off the start of the game, which is incredibly frustrating. You can fart around and win, you can play a perfect game and still lose, because nobody has reliable accuracy or very many options. It's popcorn in the pants, some pop, some don't.

Once you get in and you can rely on a guy hitting a close range flanking shot, it actually becomes something of a strategy game with risk and reward.

#23 Posted by Brodehouse (9370 posts) -
@Brodehouse that should be 'popcorn in the pan'. I don't know what popcorn in the pants would mean.
#24 Posted by ShaggE (5984 posts) -

Definitely hard, but take it from a person who normally dislikes the genre and couldn't make heads or tails of the original game: three missions in, and you'll feel like a pro. You won't actually be PLAYING like a pro, but you'll definitely feel like one. Then it'll bitchslap you, and you'll be too hooked at that point to give up. There are few things more rewarding than pushing through a terror mission with minimal casualties by sheer force of will.

It's like Civ: You're going to suck at first, but you'll feel like a tactical god even as Ghandi bombs your cities. If Firaxis is good at anything, it's that.

#25 Posted by Mesoian (1570 posts) -

@kre8havoc said:

I am really interested in this game, but I am worried that it might be so hard that I don't want to play it. Is this the kind of pulling out your hair kind of difficulty found in games?

Or is this game a bit more of knowing how to play it/game the system/and be patient with it kind of hard?

You'll be fine. The only thing keeping me from finishing the game are the bugs that are coming in full force in the final missions.

It's been a blast up until this point.

#26 Posted by onarum (1946 posts) -

Yeah once you understand how it all works it gets pretty easy even on normal, I went for high survivability for all my troops, invested in better armor and all abilities that pertain to evasion, higher defense and that sort of thing and it worked out pretty well, + I always have 2 support on my squad for all the healing and reviving.
 
The way to go is to never rush forward, take it slow, keep the squad close together, have at least 2 of them stay a little behind in overwatch while the rest advances and you should be fine.

#27 Edited by BelligerentEngine (339 posts) -

@ArbitraryWater said:

Normal difficulty is not hard, and if you have trouble with that, there is also Easy difficulty. It's not Dark Souls.

I agree with you normal isn't hard per say, but it's more about understanding how the game works than a matter of skill. FYI Dark Souls isn't very hard either, for much the same reason.

#28 Posted by Tylea002 (2291 posts) -

There's no barrier to entry, because it starts slowly and introduces concepts extremely clearly. It will get hard, but the game equips you with the knowledge you need with a solid tutorial. It's well done.

#29 Posted by kre8havoc (173 posts) -

Ahhh, this game looks/sounds awesome! I will probably get it now.

#30 Posted by HerbieBug (3844 posts) -

@kre8havoc said:

Ahhh, this game looks/sounds awesome! I will probably get it now.

Yay! :D

I think it's head and shoulders above any other contender for Game O' The Years this year so far.

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