Never thought I would like this game, but I've become obsessed!

#1 Posted by DrSwank (442 posts) -

After seeing the praise that the GB crew gave this game in end of the year awards, I decided to take a stab at it. This is especially rare because I haven't purchased a game on steam over $20 in a loooong time. Furthermore, I'm not a fan of turn based strategy games, and have always focused more on RTS games. Sidestrafe uploaded a few vids of XCOM recently, and I wasn't too impressed, but my wife thought it looked cool, and thought it would be a nice change of pace, so to enjoy together. I was relcutant.

I've become obsessed.

The story is excellent. The graphics are gorgeous maxed out. Each mission feels more intense than the entirety of most games I've played. And, you become so attached to the soliders, that it can be devastating to lose one.

For anyone who is reluctant about the turn based genre.... this is best in class, and truly deserves the honors that the GB crew has given it. BUY THIS GAME.

#2 Posted by Sackmanjones (4688 posts) -

You are giving the story a bit too much credit. I love the tone of the story and cutscenes though. It just reeks of 1950s alien conspiracy stuff and that's all awesome. Just returned to the game after a long break away and it's just as fantastic as it was before. I also picked up the slingshot dlc for 4.50 on Greenmangaming. Any more then 5 dollars is asking a bit too much for that dlc in my opinion. A fair warning to all. The content is solid but.... There just ain't much of it to justify the price.

#3 Posted by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

Game is indeed top drawer. :)

#4 Edited by LackingSaint (1791 posts) -

I know, right? I've been spending an embarrassing amount of time playing this game, despite never really spending much time with this genre. I totally agree that the story is great; I think it works perfectly with allowing the player to create their own personal tales for their soldiers, in that most narrative stuff is really just opening up and giving context to the world, rather than trying to crowbar in some big message or deep characterisation.

#5 Posted by morrelloman (608 posts) -

Is the point of this game to just get your butt handed to you? I can not handle it. Even on Easy. Should I start over again? I haven't even attacked the alien base and I've lost a couple of countries.

#6 Posted by Marcsman (3180 posts) -

@morrelloman said:

Is the point of this game to just get your butt handed to you? I can not handle it. Even on Easy. Should I start over again? I haven't even attacked the alien base and I've lost a couple of countries.

Start over , you do not want to lose countries that early.

#7 Posted by Arabes (338 posts) -

@morrelloman: Start building satellites right from the start, they should be your main concern. Make sure you build satellite nexus (or control room or whatever) in a 2x2 block, same for power generators. You need to 2 uplink and 2 nexus to cover every country and you need to have that set up for the month after you do the alien base. Do not loose any countries before that as doing hte alien base will lower the panic rating in all countries. Also make sure you do the abduction missions on continents with the highest panic rating as this will prevent those countries from leaving. That's about it.

#8 Posted by IAmNotBatman (634 posts) -

I've the opposite problem.

#9 Posted by morrelloman (608 posts) -

Thanks for the tips. Yeah the game is very logical but nonetheless unforgiving.

On my first playthru I did really well the first couple of months, but I didn't know you had to build satellites. Derp. Start over. This second time I thought I knew what I was doing, and rushed a lot, hence was getting roasted in combat. I focused on getting satellites up and it has gone to crap mad quick.

Hopefully I can start again tonight. Either way I'm just happy to be hooked. Sometimes when a game is difficult at first (Dark Souls, Deus Ex) I'm just like F-this. This game eases you in just right so you can understand why its great then it's like BAM! YOU SUCK! but wasn't that fun? You know the part where you were doing well? You want some more of that? YEAH YOU DO! Let's play some more. And I'm like word, XCOM let's be best friends.

#10 Posted by rentfn (1279 posts) -

I didn't think I would enjoy this game either but it was amazing and really fun. Each mission I'm always on edge. LOVE IT

#11 Posted by SeanFoster (866 posts) -

I want to do a new play through with the Marathon setting in the Second Wave patch.

#12 Posted by natetodamax (19192 posts) -

Once you start building up a good team, the game picks up a lot of momentum and its hard to stop. That's what makes defeat so heartbreaking.

Online
#13 Posted by Arabes (338 posts) -

@morrelloman: Ya it is logical but it does fuck you :) It's my only real complaint with the game, there seems to be only one way to do things in order to proceed without being fucked (on classic difficulty anyway). You have to have x satellites in the air by y date and the only way to achieve that is by following this specific build... You can't really afford to fail any missions prior to the alien base mission and after that if things have gone well then the game becomes very easy I preferred the old one where you could dick around with what to build/research/etc and in what order but you could still win. I know, no one wants to hear old man Arabes banging on about how things were better back 19 dickity 2 when we were all fighting the kaiser but I feel that the game could do with being a bit looser in some respects, a bit more flexible. I'm interested to see if this will be added by the new dlc. If not, then I'm just gonna have to wait for xenonauts to finally come out.

#14 Posted by LikeaSsur (1513 posts) -

I think the "story" is being given way too much credit, and I don't buy the "It's vague enough to let you make your own unique tale!" Don't give me that BS. If I wanted to make a story, I'd write it myself.

That being said, I don't play XCOM for the story. It's a good enough catalyst to give me enough reason to believe aliens are invading and I'm part of the only organization that can stop it. I play XCOM for the stressful fun, for the moment-to-moment "Please, God, let this bullet hit" and then cheering or cursing under my breath. I play it for the tough decisions of whether to build more interceptors or another workshop. I build it to name all of my friends and make them soldiers, then throw them against a pack of Mutons and hope they make it out alive.

I guess the above can be summarized as "gameplay," so that's what I play it for, because it's good. Really good. Don't oversell the barely-existant story, though.

#15 Posted by LackingSaint (1791 posts) -

@LikeaSsur said:

I think the "story" is being given way too much credit, and I don't buy the "It's vague enough to let you make your own unique tale!" Don't give me that BS. If I wanted to make a story, I'd write it myself.

That being said, I don't play XCOM for the story. It's a good enough catalyst to give me enough reason to believe aliens are invading and I'm part of the only organization that can stop it. I play XCOM for the stressful fun, for the moment-to-moment "Please, God, let this bullet hit" and then cheering or cursing under my breath. I play it for the tough decisions of whether to build more interceptors or another workshop. I build it to name all of my friends and make them soldiers, then throw them against a pack of Mutons and hope they make it out alive.

I guess the above can be summarized as "gameplay," so that's what I play it for, because it's good. Really good. Don't oversell the barely-existant story, though.

You're welcome to that opinion, and I agree that most of my love for the game is just how solid the gameplay is, though I don't see why the story point is "bullshit" just because you don't like making a story for yourself as you play. Plenty of people do including myself and it made it a lot of fun thinking about theoretical character relationships based on how they act during missions and such. It's a setup that would be covered up if the game had a "real" plot; I can't go around in Bioshock making up a story because there's one set out for you, but I can in FTL. The point is that the story does exactly what it needs to do to match well with the gameplay, and in my mind that makes it successful, even if there's not a lot of built-in depth to it.

#16 Edited by LikeaSsur (1513 posts) -

@LackingSaint: Like I said, there is little to no story in XCOM. You can't claim it to have a "good story" when what makes it good is your own imagination and creativity. What makes it good by your standards is your individual interpretation, and thus, only you would find it enjoyable. Others may not have the talent/time/energy to make up a story as it goes along. They only want to be presented with and experience a "premade" story, as it were, like Mass Effect or Binary Domain.

Basically, if your reasoning for a video game having a "good story" is because you can make it up as you go along, it's a bad point. The game itself isn't making the story good, you are.

#17 Posted by MooseHead (23 posts) -

I fully back the opinion of Giantbomb's decision to name this GOTY. XCOM has been some of the best gaming I have done in the last year. It's crazy! XCOM is your own story. I have my battle stories that no one else could have experienced. It's tough, tension is high during squad missions, and every mistake is costly. The war story I have of the sacrifice of my favourite Canadian soldier Gary "Gonzo" Reynolds, defeating two cyber disks was just incredible. I was so disheartened when he died but getting through that mission was way more important overall if I didn't want to lose Germany. I thought that would be the only highlight but that first alien base mission takes the cake so far. I can't believe everyone made it out alive and the cutscene applause of my achievement gave me goosebumps. Biggest sigh of relief. The "story" in XCOM is a catalyst for your own journey.

#18 Posted by procrasturbate (277 posts) -

@MooseHead: I lost a good buddy in South Africa. It was a sad day.

#19 Posted by Armoes (64 posts) -

I love XCOM EU. That said, I felt like it could used a few more cut scenes for variety. (I know, these things cost $$, but still.)

#20 Posted by JCGamer (663 posts) -

Enjoyed the demo but I really suck at strategy games. Been trying to get into Civilization since the first one but never could. Trying to play FF Tactics but don't see myself getting all that far in it. Still- I'm interested.

#21 Posted by Mitch0712 (466 posts) -

@SeanFoster: I turned ALL the second wave toggles on, it's really fun losing your shit when an alien flanks you. (100% chance crit)

#22 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3804 posts) -

Makes me really happy that this game brought a lot of people into TBS games. I hope that we get more. A Jagged Alliance spiritual successor that played like this?

#23 Edited by Arabes (338 posts) -

@ArtisanBreads: I think I'd be kind of pissed if they made a JA successor that played like this. The combination of the "sim" style and the rpg mechanics were what made me love JA2. I don't think I'd like it if they made it play more like a board game. Now if they wanted to do another JA game that had the full mechanics and an even deeper rpg style, that would be a game I could totally get behind :)

#24 Posted by ChillyUK7 (283 posts) -

I have similar feelings, never played much Turn Based games but after the demo I knew the game was worth playing, on second playthrough (lost first saves due to PC re format) but im enjoying the second playthrough more because I named most of the soldiers after friends, it's a fairly surface level thing to do but it does help keep you attached to soldiers, kinda pissed most of them died. As for the story, so far I'm really enjoying it, some people say it's a throwback to 1950's sci fi and that may be true but what I enjoy the most is that the characters (so far at least) have a consistent, fairly realistic personality, they are professionals and don't spout generic action lines, they seem very focused and serious about their job which they should be.

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