Some quick questions regarding this game.

#1 Edited by huntad (2103 posts) -

Hello, so here are some quick things I would like some help understanding. I am either gonna get this game or Halo 4, and I can't decide. Help me?

  1. This new XCOM doesn't have randomly generated environments. Are there a good variety of maps from a strategic point of view (not talking about textures, etc.)? Or is there repetition of the exact same levels, so the strategy employed doesn't necessarily have to change? Ex. "Oh I remember there's a car over here, I'll hide behind it again".
  2. Is the game replayable in that the environments, battles, and outcomes can be dramatically different from one playthrough to the next?
  3. EDIT: Oh, and how does this game run on an Xbox 360? That is the platform I'd have to get it on. Thanks!

That's all I really want to know. I don't mind difficulty (although missing shots at 80% would make me angry), so answers to these questions would be much appreciated. I know Halo 4 and XCOM are two different games, but funds are tight and sometimes these choices have to be made, haha.

#2 Posted by Sackmanjones (5217 posts) -

1. Yes maps are repeated and you can remember some stuff from memory but enemy type and placement are varied and there are multiple spawn points in some locations.

2. It does feel a bit repetitive on some missions and I would like to see new tiles but overall I never had an issue with maps repeating. To me memorizing maps doesn't really help much except in a few cases like terror missions.

3. I don't know I have it on pc. Other than some bugs I hear all the versions are totally fine

#3 Posted by huntad (2103 posts) -

@Sackmanjones: Thanks a lot for the response! I was hoping someone would be able to answer these. I'm even more on the fence than I was before, haha.

#4 Posted by Sackmanjones (5217 posts) -
@huntad sure thing. From what I hear halo 4 is excellent too and they would both give you a ton of playtime. I've put 40 hours in xcom and could easily do more. I can't say anything about halo but you will get your money's worth with xcom both in playtime and quality
#5 Posted by Chaser324 (7188 posts) -

@huntad: On point one, the maps aren't randomly generated, but there are enough of them that you likely won't see repetition in a single play through. Even when the environments do repeat though, you can still have a very different experience because of the random enemy spawns.

I played through on 360, and I didn't have any issues that impacted my enjoyment. The only bug that bothered me a bit was that occasionally the game would give me a "failed to read disc" error (even if installed to the hard drive), and I would have to restart the game.

#6 Posted by huntad (2103 posts) -

@Sackmanjones: @Chaser324: I think I might go with XCOM then. It sounds weird that I even considered it after saying this, but I don't know that I want to play Halo 4 competitively. I want something that I can play a lot offline or, at the very least, alone.

#7 Edited by gaminghooligan (1710 posts) -

@huntad: hey man, my friend has it on the 360 and it doesn't seem to have any issues I would call game breaking. It's the same stuff on the pc mostly, just some funky camera angles on the camera shots and guys falling through the environment on death (very rare in my game). It has extreme replay value imo since while the maps and such don't change up a lot, the enemies and the squad you send in will, and there is always a random chance something could go to hell for you or something could go amazingly well. Also there are only a handful of missions that you get in the story that are a set piece moment (ex. the first alien ship encounter) and after those they are completely random. It's a really fun game and something refreshing seeing as how there aren't many games quite as unforgiving as Xcom while also being completely and totally fair.

AS for Halo 4, well it's fucking awesome lol, but if you are looking for something different Halo 4 is basically just another Halo game with some new toys at play and a much more polished game behind it. There's no problem there though because if you're a Halo fan this one is going to give you the same great experience as the others. Plus the MP is amazing, and really really fun with all those customization options to unlock and all the new vehicles and weapons.

#8 Posted by fox01313 (5177 posts) -

Xcom is very fun if you have the patience for it. Seems that the city environments in the missions for it seem to vary some but as Ryan said on one of the bombcasts, the landed alien ships tend to be roughly the same most of the time. The variety comes in with the crew you take with you & the enemies it puts against you so they tend to play out differently enough to be fun.

#9 Posted by Tennmuerti (8515 posts) -


There are about 80 maps and a usual playthrough is about 30-40 missions, so aside from similar UFO types there won't be repetition in a single playthrough, but you will start seeing some repeating maps in further runs, mixed in with the ones you haven't seen.

I'd say most of the replayability comes from the game's difficulties, not from maps. There is a world of difference between n how you play battles on normal/classic/impossible especially with ironman. How you use the environment and approach maps/fights becomes quite different. This is where the biggest difference in the replays comes from imo.

A single playthrough can be around 30 hours depending on difficulty and if you're playing on ironman mode. I'm coming up on 90 hours playtime now over multiple playthroughs.

#10 Edited by HerbieBug (4228 posts) -

XCOM is an excellent game, so I guess it depends on how invested you are in the Halos? I don't think you'll be disappointed either way.

360 version runs fine although keep in mind XCOM is kind of a buggy game on both PC and 360.

#11 Posted by Jimbo (10269 posts) -

I only played through once but I didn't feel like repeating maps was an issue at all really. The gameplay is very repetitive though, and kinda simplistic. It's a bit too 'Civ V' for my taste. And the camera is the fucking worst at times, at least on PC.

#12 Posted by huntad (2103 posts) -

@Sackmanjones: @Chaser324: @Tennmuerti: Thanks again for answering my question and taking it even further. I am loving the game. I just have one more question.

I have a priority mission to research the stun gun to disable and capture the aliens. What happens if I don't research the priority missions for a long time? Will the game go on forever, and is this to my benefit? Thanks!

#13 Posted by Tennmuerti (8515 posts) -


The stuff marked as *priority* is responsible for the main story progression in some way. So if you don't do it the "story" missions will not proceed, only the random stuff. Sometimes it is beneficial to hold off on that research and coast for a bit on random missions, but not always as story missions can be quite helpful. Generally all research marked priority is safe to do asap as it itself does not trigger story mission, but usually the special buildings do. The only real *priority* that is potentially advisable to hold off on is the Hyperrelay chamber towards the end of the game.

Personally aside from that one building and the final mission I always do the *priority* stuff as it comes along. You can grind random missions sure but overall it's largely unnecessary. Aside from 2 enemy types all other types get stronger as the time progresses anyway so the difficulty will slowly keep ramping up even if you don't do story stuff.

Specifically for the Arc Thrower research, go ahead and do it asap, as it will allow capturing live aliens (after buying the gun and the holding facility) and captured aliens allow interrogations which generally give an overall boost to some area of research, as well as leaving their guns intact (but you still need to research the gun type before being able to use it).

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