XCOM - The good, the bad and the ugly

#1 Posted by kortex (441 posts) -

Last night's TNT reminded me of aspects of the game which annoyed me the whole game long. Don't get me wrong: Game is awesome BUT there is a lot going on no one seems to care about or at least mentions when talking about or reviewing it.

1. Game is pretty ugly, both in art direction and technical realization. Everyone just says: Ah, it's Firaxis, come on. Sorry, they don't get a pass for ugly games. Especially after Civ V which looked way better than XCOM.

2. Weird shots that shouldn't happen, like through 3 walls and/or ceilings. As well as enemies jumping through roofs and stuff.

3. Graphical glitches like faces disappearing, textures popping in and out repeatedly, and camera angles which show nothing but just walls and shit.

4. Fucked up animations like a dude looking one way while he magically shoots in a completely different direction or guys who get caught on the geometry.

5. Awful savegame management, as it doesn't seem to order them in any way. It appears to be a randomized list.

6. Game crashes at least once a session.

7. Guys are falling through the floor or just disappear!!

8. Weird multiplayer issues like timer ticking during overwatch animations and sometimes it doesn't.

Maybe I am the only one with these issues but I doubt it. Again: Last nights TNT proves that I am not alone. I hope they patch it soon.

#2 Posted by JasonR86 (9376 posts) -

@kortex:

Well I can't speak too much about the TNT as I haven't had a chance to watch it yet. But I can speak to my experiences with the 360 verison.

1) It's a subjective thing. I think it looks fine. It certainly doesn't look bad. It just doesn't impress.

2) Yeah, there are some issues with the geometry and the camera for that matter.

3) The only issue I noticed was the camera that you specifically mention. I have noticed that the game tends to slow down quite a bit as I get further into the game. I think the CPU is calculating more and more stuff as the game becomes more and more advanced and difficult. I think that calculation bottlenecks the game's pace.

4) Yep, I've noticed glitches with the animations. But, I think when everything works, the game's animations are fine.

5) I haven't had any problem with the saves. My saves are in order with the newest at the top and oldest at the bottom.

6) I've never had the game crash.

7) As mentioned before, the game has some animation bugs. But it hasn't been a regular thing with my game.

8) I've never played the multiplayer so I can't speak to it.

#3 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -
@kortex

Last night's TNT reminded me of aspects of the game which annoyed me the whole game long. Don't get me wrong: Game is awesome BUT there is a lot going on no one seems to care about or at least mentions when talking about or reviewing it.

1. Game is pretty ugly, both in art direction and technical realization. Everyone just says: Ah, it's Firaxis, come on. Sorry, they don't get a pass for ugly games. Especially after Civ V which looked way better than XCOM.

2. Weird shots that shouldn't happen, like through 3 walls and/or ceilings. As well as enemies jumping through roofs and stuff.

3. Graphical glitches like faces disappearing, textures popping in and out repeatedly, and camera angles which show nothing but just walls and shit.

4. Fucked up animations like a dude looking one way while he magically shoots in a completely different direction or guys who get caught on the geometry.

5. Awful savegame management, as it doesn't seem to order them in any way. It appears to be a randomized list.

6. Game crashes at least once a session.

7. Guys are falling through the floor or just disappear!!

8. Weird multiplayer issues like timer ticking during overwatch animations and sometimes it doesn't.

Maybe I am the only one with these issues but I doubt it. Again: Last nights TNT proves that I am not alone. I hope they patch it soon.

1. Is pretty subjective - I love the style of it, and it looks fantastic for a turn-based strategy game. I also don't think a squad- level tactics game is graphically comparable to a stylised map of the world strategy game, in the same way I'm not going to compare the graphical qualities of X-Wing Alliance to Grim Fandango.

2. Agreed, but not something that bothers me personally too much

3. Haven't had any of these glitches bar the roof stuff (which is more of a camera glitch - levels are handled poorly in UFOs)

4. See 2

5. Only played Ironman, so can't comment on this one. Fair criticism if it is true.

6. That isn't an issue common to everyone. I have a weird bug where my game crashes if I use the steam overlay during a mission in my opponents turn, but I've otherwise not had a single crash

7. Never experienced that

8. Can't comment, haven't played multi yet

Anyway, not taking a shot at you or your criticisms, but it seems like a lot of the stuff to have mentioned falls into the categories of not occurring for everyone, or being what would be considered an inconsequential graphical glitch by many (again, it is totally a valid criticism).

I know some people are having a total shit of a time with the game and it obviously needs some fixing, but I think it's a bit unfair to expect a game to review worse (in terms of comments on issues) when the experiences of the reviewer don't show those problems.
#4 Posted by Giantstalker (1445 posts) -

I would normally disagree with the OP on nearly every point, but I won't, if only for the fact that I can't finish the final mission due to a busted door.

XCOM needs a patch more badly than most games in recent memory; he's on the money there, this I cannot deny.

#5 Posted by kortex (441 posts) -

@Tim_the_Corsair: I never said it should get a lower score. I find it just weird how nobody even mentions it. And yes I know that glitches may occur more for some people than others.

#6 Posted by Ares42 (2443 posts) -

I started having issue with save games at one point too. Seems it's an issue when you get too many of them. I just went and deleted a bunch of saves and the list went back to it's original sorting.

#7 Posted by Grillbar (1772 posts) -

im playing on pc with max everything. might make a difference on some level or maybe not

1. a matter of taste like everyone else says, i think its fine

2. yep the animation and geometric can be kinda fucked up some times. especially with 3 layer buildings but then again it would properly suck so much if that was a handled correctly, not saying that some of it is not janky, but never had the ceiling problem before.

3. have not had any of this, i have had some weird camera angles and again placing a guy on a specific place when we are talking 3 layers can get kinda annoying, no problems with 2 or less

4. yep, but really does not bother me my team is just that awesome that they can bend space.

5. dont know what your talking about have no issues what so ever

6. never had this.

7. never had this though i have once shot a thin man just outside of the map borders with a rocket launcher, still not an issue and i think it would not have happened if he did not die

8. never tried the multiplayer so cant say anything about that.

only real problem i have had with the game is that when my sniper gets double tap but has killed everything on the first shot the only thing you can do to progress is click the attack button, just to find out that there is nothing to attack and then back out and thats the only way

#8 Posted by mordukai (7092 posts) -

Seems like you forgot "Il buono" in your post.

#9 Posted by buft (3298 posts) -

blew his hair right off, highlight of the night

i think the game looks great

#10 Posted by mason (254 posts) -

@Grillbar said:

only real problem i have had with the game is that when my sniper gets double tap but has killed everything on the first shot the only thing you can do to progress is click the attack button, just to find out that there is nothing to attack and then back out and thats the only way

I've never noticed this with my 2 double-tapping snipers, but I might have glossed over it. Can't you just switch to another soldier, or if there are no more moves hit the "end turn" key/button? On the gamepad it's the back button. Not sure what it is on a keyboard.

Oh, and regarding point 1, I think the game has a great aesthetic. Graphical fidelity is another matter but visual glitches haven't gotten in the way of my enjoyment.

#11 Posted by Kerned (1168 posts) -

The game doesn't look mind-blowing, and there are some bugs, glitches and other weirdness. However, it's enjoyable as hell, the bugs are game breaking (for me) and I have never played strategy games for the graphics.

The main issue I have is the inconsistent audio mixing. Most of the game is pretty quiet, but cutscenes are significantly louder. A perfect example: when you finish selecting your team and launch a mission, the cutscene of your ship taking off is outrageously loud. Anyone else experiencing this?

#12 Edited by MikkaQ (10224 posts) -

Okay, that's bad and ugly. So what's the good then?

@mordukai said:

Seems like you forgot "Il buono" in your post.

That's what I'm saying. You got Eli Wallach and Lee Van Cleef up in here, but where the fuck is Clint Eastwood?

#13 Posted by kortex (441 posts) -

@MikkaQ?: as i said: game is awesome, sounds good to me. everybody calm down. :)

#14 Posted by Anund (849 posts) -

The shots going through the geometry thing is too bad, but it's more of a graphical glitch. I have a feeling they don't consider geometry for other reasons than determining cover: "If you are behind this wall you have full cover from these angles and you are flanked from these angles". Then they simply calculate to hit chances based on whether you are in full/half cover or flanked along with the distance and the other factors. The geometry is really just eye-candy.

I think if they used actual hit models, where the shots had to traverse the world and hit the target model physically you would never see a "to hit" chance over 10%, since the enemies and your dudes make really small targets when they are in cover.

The only bug I seem to get consistently is when I scout the enemy with one of my guys and the rest of the squad takes one or more of them out using overwatch while it is still my turn, the alien head marker in the top left corner never goes away on the guy who did the scouting.

#15 Posted by prestonhedges (1965 posts) -

I like how people are actually arguing point-for-point against glitches.

#16 Posted by GERALTITUDE (2812 posts) -

There's some truth here. Game has a lot of difficulty (PC KB+M for me) dealing with layer height and there are some oddities in animations (basically, nothing in the game was animated to interact with objects/npcs close to them). Most of the bugs are minor, but they suck more and more the higher your difficulty is set, and losing guys on Ironman due to BS is pretty uncool. I think we all expect these to be patched in time?

All that said, the reason most reviewers haven't brought this stuff up, or made light of it when they did is because YO. Dude. It's 2012 and we're playing an XCOM game. IT'S 2012 AND WE'RE PLAYING AN XCOM GAME. I know gamers hate to hear this sometimes, but nobody had any reason to ever expect this game to exist, much less be a true-blue XCOM game. If you like TBS games you are on your knees thanking 2k and Firaxis for being crazy enough to make this, all bugs considered.

#17 Posted by carnifexseverian (69 posts) -

Yeah certainly some minor issues with the game. I don't have a problem with the way the game looks, though generally I never do with games. The messed up geometry can get pretty annoying though. I've had multiple occasions where the game acts like a large piece of cover (large cargo container, cave wall) is not there at all, with me & the enemy targeting & shooting straight through it. I have had the game get stuck to a point where I had to load a prior save because it was constantly stuck in "Alien Activity".

All flaws aside this game is amazing though. It really has me hankering for an old school Fallout game, made with a similar turn based combat system. I can only dream.

#18 Posted by Barrabas (323 posts) -

Yeah the game's buggy, but I still love it. One of the worst things that happened to me was a bug where somehow every one of my soldiers got selected to "on mission" status. Only 6 went on the actual mission but when I got back only the people who actually went were reset back to active status. The rest were stuck in "on mission" status. I couldn't select them for any missions because the game thought they were already selected, and I couldn't remove them from "on mission" status back to active. I was forced to dismiss every soldier I had except for the 6 who were on the previous mission. Luckily I got to keep my Colonels, but I lost a bunch of guys ranked Lieutenant - Major. If I wasn't playing on ironman I could have probably reloaded a save from before that mission. I was pretty pissed at the time.

@Giantstalker said:

I would normally disagree with the OP on nearly every point, but I won't, if only for the fact that I can't finish the final mission due to a busted door.

XCOM needs a patch more badly than most games in recent memory; he's on the money there, this I cannot deny.

The last mission is weird and won't let you progress through some doors unless you've killed everything in the previous areas. I would go back and check some of the out of the way hallways. If you're sure you checked everywhere and an enemy failed to spawn or something try restarting the mission (assuming you're not playing on ironman).

#19 Posted by coakroach (2478 posts) -

The game presentation, graphics, frame rate, animations etc., is pretty shit

That said though i'm about six or eight hours in and absolutely loving it

#20 Posted by JackG100 (399 posts) -

@Giantstalker: Tried to back in the room to execute a "cutscene"-thingie.

#21 Posted by kalokain (1 posts) -

Saves seem to have some odd order, dates are in a fairly random order on a win7 install.

Had first ever geometry bug after three completes... shot from one door to another, through various obstacles.

Unrelated but fun:

Just did the base mission with only Shiv's... funny to watch the intro sequence. Footsteps, cuts, voices, ropes but everyone is wearing Ghost Armor..,.

#22 Posted by ThePickle (4149 posts) -

Seems like most of these are just addressing minor graphical, technical things, not the core of why the game is amazing which is the gameplay. I had no issues with save management. Maybe your game is glitched or something, but my saves are all in order of when I saved them.

#23 Posted by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

@ThePickle said:

Seems like most of these are just addressing minor graphical, technical things, not the core of why the game is amazing which is the gameplay. I had no issues with save management. Maybe your game is glitched or something, but my saves are all in order of when I saved them.

Man, you say this now.

Just wait until Berserkers spawn in the middle of your squad and punch your Colonel's head clean off his shoulders.

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