XCOM versus Xenonauts

#1 Edited by Funkydupe (3321 posts) -

Xenonauts: a successful kickstarter project. The game is entering beta on October 9th this year. This date was chosen because XCOM: EU is released that day, and it is hoped that more people will become interested in similar games and pre-order Xenonauts as a result.

The tactical overview map of the world in Xenonauts. Can be zoomed in/out.
You can transport vehicles as well as troops to engage the alien threat.

XCOM: EU seems to be a more limited, but action-focused game based on the foundations of X-COM. Xenonauts maintains some of the more complex systems of the original. You can build multiple bases, the inventory system is intact etc. So when you've done some research on both games, the XCOM: EU is actually the furthest away from the original experience.

The chosen graphical style in Xenonauts reminds me of SWAT2.
The load-out / equipment screen looks bright and clean. Notice the inventory slots.

I've pre-ordered XCOM: EU and I'm looking forward to it. When reading up on Xenonauts though I felt that while the production values are lower, the game hits closer to home with regards to bringing back the experience I'm longing for. I hope both games will be good, but I'm naturally interested in the game which involves more features.

Good times ahead for X-COM fans.

Xenonauts is a PC only title.

#2 Posted by AlexW00d (6436 posts) -

I assume you don't actually mean September 9th?

#3 Posted by Brodehouse (10129 posts) -

I've bought both. But ... Sorry, Xenonauts. I'm gonna play XCOM until I never want to see tactical turn based for three months.

And by then, Banner Saga will be out.

Goddamnit I want to play XCOM. The last game I was this excited for was... Uncharted 2?

#4 Posted by Funkydupe (3321 posts) -

@AlexW00d: No. October 9th. Thanks! I'll edit it.

#5 Posted by Chaser324 (6744 posts) -

I backed Xenonauts on Kickstarter, and I think even in it's early alpha phases it was a very solid implementation of the XCOM formula.

However, the Firaxis game will almost certainly devour far more of my time. It's one of the greatest strategy game developers of all time updating one of the greatest strategy game franchises of all time. How can it not be incredible?

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#6 Posted by GetEveryone (4458 posts) -

@Chaser324 said:

However, the Firaxis game will almost certainly devour far more of my time. It's one of the greatest strategy game developers of all time updating one of the greatest strategy game franchises of all time. How can it not be incredible?

Word so far is that it's living up to expectations.

See: Rockpapershotgun for their two 'hands-on' articles.

#7 Posted by Russcat (140 posts) -

I know it isn't the most important aspect of a game like this, and this is an indie developer, but I'm having trouble getting over how ugly the screenshots look. Will have to keep an eye out for some gameplay footage later, I suppose.

#8 Posted by Funkydupe (3321 posts) -

I keep reading that the new XCOM won't feel "scary" enough. As in a horror setting. I'm trying hard to remember, but I'm pretty sure the mood in the first game wasn't scary either. Perhaps on the first mission when you first encounter the aliens? Its either way something I can manage to do without. I can imagine it has something to do with the Cartoonish look taking the scare value out of monsters and settings.

#9 Posted by ArbitraryWater (12114 posts) -

I backed Xenonauts on kickstarter and I've pre-ordered XCOM on steam. Of the two however, I've gotten a lot more excited about Enemy Unknown.

#10 Posted by kwyee (234 posts) -

Xenonauts is intended as an expanded remake with many of the systems from the original still in place.

Much of XCOM:EU is redesigned, but inspired by the original.

Both have a place on my HDD, and I hope both will be great. But I'm more pumped for EU probably b/c of the larger marketing budget, new ideas, and b/c it's only 2 weeks away :D

#11 Posted by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

@Funkydupe said:

I keep reading that the new XCOM won't feel "scary" enough. As in a horror setting. I'm trying hard to remember, but I'm pretty sure the mood in the first game wasn't scary either. Perhaps on the first mission when you first encounter the aliens? Its either way something I can manage to do without. I can imagine it has something to do with the Cartoonish look taking the scare value out of monsters and settings.

It's a suspense thing. As in, "I don't know what the hell is around this corner so I'm afraid if I turn it there'll be a floating disc that just melts my fucking fa-oh wait it was just a Chryssalid. OH GOD IT'S A CHRYSSALID."

#12 Edited by Funkydupe (3321 posts) -

@kwyee: That is a good short description of both games. EU seems to focus more on boiling features together to make it more straight forward to play. A part of this is tied to that this game can be played and enjoyed on consoles as well as on PC. You could argue that this oversimplifies the game, and that a remake of a popular game should have more features and not less. You have one base to manage, and I suspect you can only send one team out at a time, forcing you to choose which parts of the world gets XCOM support. EU has a cover mechanic which integrates cover defense bonus and crouch, where X-COM had a crouch/stand toggle. Cover was still a big part of the original experience.

@Terramagi: I think you're right! From gameplay videos our guys seem to have a lot of points for moving around in EU, at least the Assault class has. I think that made the original really cool because you had to be really careful of how you spent your points. If you only had a few left when reaching a corner, it probably wouldn't be smart to peek around it.

Edit: posted some neat small gifs but I can't get gifs to play on these forums anymore.

#13 Posted by Halfdeaf (71 posts) -

I'm pretty sure I'll end up playing both games. Firaxis has never disappointed me before so I'm confident that EU will turn out to be a great game. I worry however that it will be a little consol-y for my taste. From what they've shown so far it seems they are leaning heavily on the side of accessibility and pretty graphics which is fine in it's own right but I want the feel of the old X-Com games. I fear it might be lost in the process of modernizing the X-Com concept.

I don't doubt it will be a good game and I will buy and probably play it a lot. The thing is that Firaxis has been successful in essentially porting a turn-based game concept to consoles but the console version lacks a little bit of the appeal the it's PC counter-parts have. Civ:Rev is a good game on it's own merits but pales in comparison with Civ 4 or even Civ 5 which is heavily inspired by Civ:Rev's accessibility and modern design. So, as a skeptic by nature I wonder if EU will be more of a snack game like Civ:Rev or a full on feast like the main Civ games with elements of the former sprinkled in. Personally I want the Civ 4 version where you would have to study how the meal was made to really enjoy it.

I have a feeling that Xenonauts will be that PC ass PC experience that I'm hoping for. No frills all excel spreadsheets kind of game. But, I'll have to wait and see how it will turn out. I've been following the development of Xenonauts since very early in the process but I haven't bought it yet. I considered it when it went live in alpha and when the kickstarted went up but X-Com remake projects are cursed and have a tendency dissappear so I decided to wait and see.

#14 Posted by Chaser324 (6744 posts) -

@Russcat said:

I know it isn't the most important aspect of a game like this, and this is an indie developer, but I'm having trouble getting over how ugly the screenshots look. Will have to keep an eye out for some gameplay footage later, I suppose.

I had the same hesitation initially, but I played the alpha a bit and it looks a lot better in motion. I imagine it'll be cleaned up even more by the time of release because they were clearly still figuring out what was going to be in the UI in the early builds, so I'm not surprised it was a bit rough around the edges.

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#15 Posted by TheBostonPops (70 posts) -

As someone who played the original X-COM a LOT, both as a kid and recently, I welcome the changes made by our new Firaxis overlords.

I mean, fuck Time Units.

#16 Edited by BlackLagoon (1460 posts) -

For someone who wants something a bit inbetween, there's also UFO: Alien Invasion.

It's free and open source, though still a bit of a work in progress.

#17 Posted by crusader8463 (14429 posts) -

I have been following Xeno for some time now and can't wait to play it. As someone who loves the TBS genre but never got into the old XCom games -because I didn't have a PC back then- but loves everything he sees about them in concept, I can't wait for both. I plan to use EU as my way of getting into the game and getting a feel for something of this style and then Xeno will most likely be the one that keeps me there after. Xeno looks to have the depth of gameplay that I want, while EU is mindless/flashy TBS fun in comparison. Which is fine, but I prefer my games to have as much depth and as many systems as it can have going, up to a certain point anyway, andas long as Xeno has some good tutorials to go along with it I will be excited.

#18 Posted by Amafi (923 posts) -

@BlackLagoon: UFO:AI is nice, but the lack of destructible environments kinda ruin it for me.

I keep going back to see what updates have happened from time to time, but it's been a while now, mainly been playing Silent Storm:Sentinels, Jagged Alliance 2 and the original x-com lately.

#19 Posted by envane (1164 posts) -

speaking of destructible environments , silent storm was always an interesting take on the genre

#20 Posted by ToTheNines (834 posts) -

Oh my fucking god Funkydupe! This is exactly what I've been looking for. I've played a lot of x-com clones and spiritual successors. UFO: Afterlight being the most fun. But this is by far seems to be closest to the original. Thanks.

#21 Posted by Amafi (923 posts) -

@envane said:

speaking of destructible environments , silent storm was always an interesting take on the genre

I've enjoyed the hell out of it, especially SS: Sentinels. Almost no one I know played it though.

#22 Posted by CaLe (4052 posts) -

Hey I have a question about Xenonauts. So I bought this game, right, OK I did that part. I started playing this game so yeah, it works, and that's good. The problem is I've gone on about 7 missions and every single one of them has been the same map, with similar alien placement each time. Have they just not made many maps to play on or something? I'm seriously tired of playing the same map over and over. I'm using the most recent version on Desura.

#23 Edited by Chaser324 (6744 posts) -

@CaLe: I think I recall there being more maps than that in the alpha when I played it a few months ago, but it is an alpha, so it's in a constant state of development. It's entirely possible that they've intentionally limited it for now to a single map, or that a bug is causing the same one to show up over and over...it's an alpha.

Also, just to clarify, do you mean the same tileset, or the exact identical layout?

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#24 Posted by CaLe (4052 posts) -

@Chaser324 said:

@CaLe: I think I recall there being more maps than that in the alpha when I played it a few months ago, but it is an alpha, so it's in a constant state of development. It's entirely possible that they've intentionally limited it for now to a single map, or that a bug is causing the same one to show up over and over...it's an alpha.

Also, just to clarify, do you mean the same tileset, or the exact identical layout?

The same layout. Even the position of the aliens barely changes. It does change, but not by much. I know there are more maps because I watched some Let's Plays of it, but none of them have appeared in my game. It's the map with an office building directly behind the Skyranger, some cover to the right, and buildings beyond that cover. Then the alien ship is over at the right hand side of the map.

#25 Posted by TheBostonPops (70 posts) -
@Amafi I would love to play Silent Storm, but tracking down a copy is almost impossible. I wish GOG or Steam would release it.
#26 Posted by Amafi (923 posts) -

@TheBostonPops said:

@Amafi I would love to play Silent Storm, but tracking down a copy is almost impossible. I wish GOG or Steam would release it.

:)

http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/silent_storm_gold

Bought it a second time from there a while back just in case I lose or break my physical copy.

#27 Posted by TheBostonPops (70 posts) -

@Amafi: Holy cow, this is awesome. You seriously just made my weekend! I tried tracking down a copy of this game a year ago and then gave up hope I'd ever get a chance to play it. I'm going to start saying "I wish ... " in more forum threads now.

#28 Posted by Amafi (923 posts) -

@TheBostonPops said:

@Amafi: Holy cow, this is awesome. You seriously just made my weekend! I tried tracking down a copy of this game a year ago and then gave up hope I'd ever get a chance to play it. I'm going to start saying "I wish ... " in more forum threads now.

GoG is easily one of the best things to ever happen.

Just got Legacy of Kain:Soul Reaver 1 and 2 and Anachronox for $7. :)

Ages since I played either, really looking forward to playing through them again.

#29 Posted by realkman666 (8 posts) -

@CaLe: I think you have to start your base on a different continent to get a different map. I've seen two maps in two games. I know it repeats on the following missions, but hey, it's alpha!

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