War of the Chosen is Out - Impressions?

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#1 Posted by avantegardener (2030 posts) -

So I'm currently downloading at the moment. The hype around this game on the site has been low to non-existent. I know XCOM-2 may not have been the most well received sequel, but I thought it was pretty solid (technical hiccups aside).

Anyone excited about this expansion?

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#2 Posted by YoThatLimp (2397 posts) -

I'm ~2 hours in and I think it's incredible. I don't really want to spoil anything but man this feels like a completely new game.

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#3 Posted by ToTheNines (1596 posts) -

hopefully it's not story heavy.

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#4 Posted by YoThatLimp (2397 posts) -

hopefully it's not story heavy.

So far there has been quite a bit of story as the new factions are being introduced, etc

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#5 Edited by SeanFoster (967 posts) -

All I can think about at work today is getting home and firing this up.

One of the things I'm most eager for is how much better the game appears to run with the udpate, no more multiple minute load screens!

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#6 Edited by OurSin_360 (5195 posts) -

I want it but man the price is steep for dlc, i have all the other stuff but haven't tried any of it yet. I may wait for a sale, still have yet to even beat this gsme after wiping my first play through lol.

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#7 Posted by Tearhead (2445 posts) -

Something I wanted cleared up. Is this a brand new campaign, or is the DLC ingrained within the base campaign. Is it just the same story with some new stuff in it?

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#8 Edited by Chaser324 (8290 posts) -

@tearhead:It's the same campaign but with a lot of new content added on top of it.

@tothenines: There is a significant amount of story added. Some of it can be disabled by turning off the "Lost and Abandoned" mission (in the same way that you could disable the story mission for the Shen's Last Gift and Alien Rulers DLC), but that's not really recommended for a first play through.

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#9 Posted by ArbitraryWater (14957 posts) -

All of the new faction stuff seems super cool, though a lack of options was never really my problem with this game's strategic meta-layer. (When am I going to have time to invest in psionics? Or SPARKs?) The new hero classes seem like they're a lot of fun, and I liked that introductory story mission in the abandoned city. Honestly, I found the super aliens in the Alien Hunters DLC to be super annoying, so I hope that The Chosen are less obnoxious and don't get free reactions any time one of your characters so much as sneezes.

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#10 Edited by Mikemcn (8295 posts) -

Being able to double the avatar project timeline without mods is choice.

Photo mode pictures also show up on buildings in missions, which is fun and silly. Eric miller who died in the first volley of fire in the first xcom mission is now a beacon of hope for the resistance,his memorial photo can be found all across the resistance. I like this expansion!

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#11 Posted by BoccKob (471 posts) -

I'm really not liking how they said they optimized and bug-fixed a lot of issues, but it's only available to people who buy the $40 expansion. It really sours me on it despite wanting to get into XCOM again. Especially since reinstalling XCOM 2 the other day gives me some weird virtual device crash at the end of tutorial cutscene every time, so I have to skip the opening story stuff if I want to play the game at all.

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#12 Posted by mems1224 (1918 posts) -

played about 3 hours and its fucking incredible so far. the performance is night and day, it runs so much better now. All the features they added have also been pretty cool and interesting so far. My favorite thing is the photo mode that adds nothing to the gameplay but you can make kick ass propaganda posters that appear throughout the game.

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#13 Posted by Anund (1258 posts) -

I played maybe four hours and man, it's great! The new enemies are really cool, the factions seem awesome. There is SO MUCH going on, it's almost overwhelming. I finally decided to put on my big boy pants and do an ironman playthrough and the tension is great. It definitely feels like a new game and it's completely worth the price of admission.

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#14 Posted by dudeglove (12956 posts) -

It's 30 gigs, which means it's still downloading for me. I'll probably have a stab at it later tonight.

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#15 Posted by matiaz_tapia (439 posts) -

There's so much going on that I'm not surprised when they said " it almost became XCOM 3". At the beginning is pretty overwhelming, the factions change a lot more than just a few new unit types. Once you get a handle for it, the bonuses you get are pretty great! Hacking bonuses,building time bonuses, getting your supplies instantly, getting new contacts instantly, etc, etc.

The game it's pretty good on letting you know what is happening and there are some UI improvements that really change the game. like being able to preview what your soldiers can see by moving to a certain location by holding left alt, or telling you when and why you are getting xp. Speaking of which you can use some of those points to buy all the class skills for your soldiers as they rank up with the new training facility, plus some extra random ones. ( Like a sharpshooter with a "salvo" skill )

But the best part: loading times. Getting into missions and back to base feels immediate. (On my PC at least)

There is simply too much to talk about, I'm really happy with it.

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#16 Edited by Zurv (845 posts) -

I really like it so far (and it runs much better too). I enjoy that there are a lot of different mission types and few timer based events.

I'm also really enjoying playing it on iron man (which i haven't like playing in the past.) This is the first time too that i joined a mission and "oh crap man, i can't do this... " and ran away :)

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#18 Edited by Tennmuerti (9262 posts) -

Enjoying it a lot so far. I'm only in the first few months and first region still atm. But already there is just sooooo much more to do on the strategy layer. somtimes it even feels a bit overwhelming, but I have a feeling that this is only at the start and it'll be more managebale soonish. The factions add a lot besides just the new soldier classes, the faction operations add a lot of interesting variety on the meta layer.

There are new cool tilesets for levels. Most importantly they seem to have added a whole BUNCH of new mission objectives. I think I am 10ish mission in and have yet to even encounter a duplicate mission objective. It definitely adds a lot of interesting variety.

The Chosen themselves along with the Sitreps also spice up the missions to make them feel less similar. Had a great early mission lst night where I was supposed to pickup advent crates all over the map, while advent were trying to remove them as well, but the sitrep was Lost so in addition of trying to scramble along the map for the crates I had hordes of Lost converging because of some damned exploded flamethrower guy then a Chosen showed up to boot, and it was like here juggle these 3-4 tactical priorities at once.

One tip if anyone is just starting out: ignore the Training Center construction at the start. It's basically a trap as I have found out much to my dismay. The benefit you get out of it in the early game is minimal, and it it's top layer spot something like the tactics school or the proving grounds would have been way more beneficial. Now I am slumming it with 4 soldiers max until later. You can always build it the training center just a bit later and not feel it. The resistance comms building on the other hand is super important to get as early as possible.

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#19 Posted by pyrodactyl (3927 posts) -

Accidentally deleted my message, oh well, short version: the only way to buy this is piece meal + vanilla game at full price. How are they expecting anyone who didn't buy XCOM 2 to jump in now? The full package is 2x full price without the cosmetic DLC. Insane.

When you release your big DLC you also release a bundle that includes all the stuff for $60. This is not rocket science. Now they're somehow pushing new players further away with this crazy idea of asking $120 for the full XCOM 2 experience. Bananas

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#20 Posted by YoThatLimp (2397 posts) -

I think it's crazy, they are separate binaries they should have made this a standalone product - this game is totally worth it though.

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#21 Edited by ArtisanBreads (9084 posts) -

Enjoying it a lot so far. I'm only in the first few months and first region still atm. But already there is just sooooo much more to do on the strategy layer. somtimes it even feels a bit overwhelming, but I have a feeling that this is only at the start and it'll be more managebale soonish.

The main complaints I have seen about the DLC is that you do get bogged down on the strategy layer, and not in a good way. I want to see for myself because I think the strategy layer of 2 is better than 1 but after a while it was very straightforward and boring to me.

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#22 Edited by ArtisanBreads (9084 posts) -

@pyrodactyl said:

Accidentally deleted my message, oh well, short version: the only way to buy this is piece meal + vanilla game at full price. How are they expecting anyone who didn't buy XCOM 2 to jump in now? The full package is 2x full price without the cosmetic DLC. Insane.

It is? XCOM 2 is $24 on Steam right now. To buy 2 and WotC it all would be $64. Given the content in 2 and what I've seen of the DLC, seems fair to me.

EDIT: You're talking all the DLC I guess? Frankly, I don't think anyone should buy the other stuff. It wasn't good. The game has great mod support and plenty of cosmetic items there too.

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#23 Posted by Tennmuerti (9262 posts) -

Accidentally deleted my message, oh well, short version: the only way to buy this is piece meal + vanilla game at full price. How are they expecting anyone who didn't buy XCOM 2 to jump in now? The full package is 2x full price without the cosmetic DLC. Insane.

When you release your big DLC you also release a bundle that includes all the stuff for $60. This is not rocket science. Now they're somehow pushing new players further away with this crazy idea of asking $120 for the full XCOM 2 experience. Bananas

For what it's worth I don't think anyone should jump into this expansion if they did not play the vanilla Xcom2. This expansion is straight up 100% for those who already have a fair degree of Xcom2 experience under their belt, not for new players at all imo. It just layers a whole new cement block on top of what was already there. I have 400+ hours of Xcom2 and was still a bit overloaded with information and options at the start of this expansion. A totally new player would feel completely lost I think.

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#24 Posted by Tennmuerti (9262 posts) -

@artisanbreads: I have a feeling it just requires a small mindset change. You will not be able to do everything or near everything like in vanilla in terms of the strategic layer. There are always things to investigate for intel or supply drops or a myriad other bonuses. But as long as you just accept that those things are optional and you only want to go for them selectively it's totally fine, you can still keep expanding like usual and the resistance operations don't take up avengers actual time.

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#25 Posted by pyrodactyl (3927 posts) -

@tennmuerti: I know how to play Xcom and I'm not the type to play the campaign more than once. That's why I never played the DLC of the first game. This seems like the perfect opportunity to get way more options in my only playthrough of XCOM 2. I would even be willing to die a few times on iron man hard so I don't blaze through the whole think like I did XCOM 1 on normal. That being said, I didn't wait almost 2 years after release for the privilege of paying 140 CAN$ for the game + 1 DLC pack (if I forget the other 2).

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#26 Edited by Mike (17528 posts) -

@pyrodactyl: Install the Long War 2 mod and play that? It's free.

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#27 Posted by pyrodactyl (3927 posts) -

@mike: I would be playing on PS4. Maybe I'll pick it up on sale down the road. My point was that this pricing scheme is super dumb. This DLC sounds great and I bet a lot of people would be interested to jump in right now. They could ride the excitement this is generating. Instead anyone not already in on XCOM 2 will be stopped dead in their track when they see the ridiculous price tag of the game + DLC(s). It's like they don't want new players to buy their game.

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#28 Posted by Zevvion (5624 posts) -

XCOM 2 is my favorite game of all time and this is my favorite expansion this year easily. Fighting the Chosen is so cool. There is so much more stuff to take into account on the strategy layer, it's actually very deep. I keep having difficult decisions all the time. It's great.

For people that use mods though, note that in an effort to improve performance, reload times and stability, among supporting the new options, they revamped entire classes and other code so almost every single mod is incompatible by default with War of the Chosen. Modders are currently busy re-releasing all their mods to support WOTC, so keep an eye out for that.

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#29 Edited by MezZa (2895 posts) -

@pyrodactyl: They are riding the excitement to be fair. Xcom2 was free to play over the weekend and 60% off on steam which makes up their largest player base if I had to guess. And sales come around often enough that it's not unheard of to be able to pick it up cheaply in a month or two. Not everybody gives a base game away for cheap right away. It took some time for Civilization V to release it's gold edition so this isn't anything unexpected with firaxis. And good luck buying Blizzard games pre-battle chest if you don't like paying for the base and the expansions.

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#30 Edited by pyrodactyl (3927 posts) -

@mezza: and those discounts aren't applied to the console version because...?

Anyway, sorry for derailing the thread, I hope I can pick this up eventually, when whoever is in charge of pricing gets their head out of their ass

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#31 Posted by Mike (17528 posts) -

@mezza: and those discounts aren't applied to the console version because...?

PC games go on sale more often and for deeper discounts than console games do, this isn't really anything new. XCOM 2 goes on sale for 60% off like every other month on Steam.

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#32 Edited by OurSin_360 (5195 posts) -

@pyrodactyl: yeah console gaming is getting less and less practical for me. Sure i guess the hardware is cheaper but i can get twice as many games on pc for a third of the cost of one console game.

40bux is too steep for me as well especially since i have the other dlc and bought the game new. Luckily a major discount will happen on pc at some point. I can get it 15% off now on gmg actually.

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#33 Posted by Ascara89 (80 posts) -

From everything I've seen of it, it looks great, wish I had the time to play it right now.

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#34 Edited by pyrodactyl (3927 posts) -

@mike said:

@pyrodactyl said:

@mezza: and those discounts aren't applied to the console version because...?

PC games go on sale more often and for deeper discounts than console games do, this isn't really anything new. XCOM 2 goes on sale for 60% off like every other month on Steam.

And there is literally no reason why they couldn't do the same thing on PS4 and Xbox one. PSN has had plenty of sales every month recently. XCOM 2 isn't discounted on consoles because 2K is dumb as hell.

@oursin_360: I care very little about seasonal sales. I know when I pick up a game after release it's because I didn't care enough about it in the first place so I don't end up finishing those games usually. This is how people end up dumping hundreds of dollars on steam and get a huge steam backlog of games they don't care that much about. The case of XCOM 2 is different though. If you're, like me, only going to play through the game once there is a good case to be made for waiting on the full experience. XCOM 2's case is a fuck up by 2K. Not a console vs PC thing. I want to buy this game but I guess 2K doesn't want my money. Or they really do want like $140 up front, which no one is going to pay. Very stupid.

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#35 Posted by dudeglove (12956 posts) -

From the 2 hours or so I've played, I've already seen about three new tilesets. The new mechanics I've seen so far look fun too.

The photo mode is hilarious and reminds me of the shenanigans had with MGSV's decal thingy.

No Caption Provided

I haven't checked soldier bios yet, and I strongly doubt this is in here, but I'd really love for there to be a thing that just adds lines to your soldier's biographies based on each successive mission.

One of my initial soldiers started in tight leather chaps and pigtails. I approve.

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#36 Posted by HalfDane1975 (256 posts) -

I hope this gets some attention from the giant bomb guys. I know they didn't love XCOM2 , but I hope @alex or someone else gives this a chance.

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#37 Posted by BoboBones (117 posts) -

This looks rad. I loved Enemy Unkown. It was my 2012 GOTY. However, I'm in the middle of too many games right now! I never even got around to XCOM 2.

I generally hate the "Should I play this, or that?" question, but I'm thinking about passing on Destiny 2 to have the time to squeeze in XCOM 2 this year. Good idea? I've been craving a Halo style FPS after taking a break from FPS games, but RTS and turned based strategy is my jam.

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#38 Edited by Zeik (4747 posts) -

@pyrodactyl: XCOM 2 was just on sale on PS4 like last week. Humble Bundle also had it as part of their 2K PlayStation bundle around the same time. It's not 2K's fault you weren't paying attention.

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#39 Posted by pyrodactyl (3927 posts) -

@zeik: Maybe they should put their game on sale when the expansion comes out. Not a week before. This makes zero sense. How was I suppose to know this expansion would be good anyway? The last 2 DLCs were pretty bad from what I heard.

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#40 Posted by OurSin_360 (5195 posts) -

@pyrodactyl: not just seasonal sales though,there are places that offer discounts at different times and steam has random sales like right now. The dlc for xcom is 15% of on one storefront right now for instance, i think it was 20 or 25% last week.

But i do hear you about the steam backlog, i have gotten better with that though lol.

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#41 Posted by Zeik (4747 posts) -

@zeik: Maybe they should put their game on sale when the expansion comes out. Not a week before. This makes zero sense. How was I suppose to know this expansion would be good anyway? The last 2 DLCs were pretty bad from what I heard.

The point being, it was just on sale, so it will go on sale again. If you were that desperate to grab it on sale you would have/could have. But you didn't, so I'm sure you'll live until the next one.

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#42 Edited by Tennmuerti (9262 posts) -

One thing I really wish that the expansion did was to take note from Long War 2 on how to do UI icons for soldier's abilities in combat.

In LW2 all skills/abilities/actions are very rigidly color coded. Regular blue actions will end the turn. White actions take one AP and don't end the turn if taken as your first action (or will end if no AP is left obv). Green actions are free full stop. It's just a super excellent system that lets you see and assess all your possible actions at a glance, without the need to remember them all by heart, this is especially relevant when soldiers start getting a lot of varied skills as the game progresses.

Instead we still have the same system in War of the Chosen as in vanilla with no rhyme or reason to color coding. A pistol shot is a white action, yet it will end the snipers turn regardless of remaining AP. Lightning Hands skill is a free action, but it's also color coded white on the UI. And it's not that the skills can or cannot be used after movement either, as many both white and blue coded abilities are usable after moving, nor is it cooldown or limit based. Green coding doesn't really mean anything important either, there is nothing differentiating them mechanically from anything else. Instead of making that UI aspect help the player it only muddies up the water instead.

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#43 Posted by Mikemcn (8295 posts) -

Does anyone know if the "Shen's Last Gift" stuff works itself into WOTC?

I bought it alongside WOTC to try the robot class but I would hope I'd also get the mission to appear in my WOTC playthrough at somepoint, it was checked underneath "Integrated content".

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#44 Posted by dudeglove (12956 posts) -

@mikemcn said:

Does anyone know if the "Shen's Last Gift" stuff works itself into WOTC?

At the start of a new campaign there are checkbox options that allow you to piecemeal disable/enable or "integrate" the side story DLC. Alien Hunters is explicitly mentioned though I can't remember if Shen's is (I assume it is). The "integrate" option says that the campaign is balanced around the inclusion of the DLC, unlike in the base game where if you were like me you can encounter it very quickly and those missions are mildly terrifying.

I sacrificed a sniper to take down that blasted Archon king bloke.

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#45 Edited by avantegardener (2030 posts) -

@mikemcn said:

Does anyone know if the "Shen's Last Gift" stuff works itself into WOTC?

I bought it alongside WOTC to try the robot class but I would hope I'd also get the mission to appear in my WOTC playthrough at somepoint, it was checked underneath "Integrated content".

This is the info from the boxout on the EuroGamer review:

Although Alien Hunters and Shen's Last Gift can be enabled while playing a War of the Chosen campaign, I wouldn't say it's worth buying them at this stage. The Alien Rulers are limited to guarding a facility each on the world map (at least to begin with), while Shen's Last Gift is almost non-existent. Rather than embarking on a narrative-led mission that tells the story of Lily Shen's relationship with her father, as you can do in the base game, in the expansion you're limited to building a SPARK unit in the Proving Ground with zero context for why it's there. A bit disappointing, although there really isn't much room for extra content given all that War of the Chosen has to offer.

Also, as I have just discovered here, when you select integrate DLC, it enables the bonuses, BUT disables the story content! Conversely, if you disable it, the story missions show up, but the buffs do not, as someone who has not played any of the DLC, this a bit of bummer and seems like an odd way to include it.

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#46 Posted by Geralt (441 posts) -

Excellent! I'm doing a Enemy Within play-through at the moment so wait for me chosen one(s.)

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#47 Edited by Bane (755 posts) -

@mikemcn: This is from the AMA Firaxis recently did:

Q: From what I understand integrating the previous two DLCs with the expansion removes the two story missions. What was the rationale behind that? They are such a blast to play through.

A: War of the Chosen doesn't remove the missions, but it does disable them if you use our "Integrated DLC" option to balance the DLC content (particularly how the Alien Rulers work) with the new expansion features. You can still play both of the DLC story missions if you turn off that integration! Both the Alien Nest and the Lost Towers mission happen very early in the campaign, and we wanted to add another big narrative mission for WotC (Lost and Abandoned). Having three huge, lengthy missions back-to-back would be really draining for new players, so that was one of the reasons we turned them off for the default experience.

Q: As a follow up, if you opt to turn off the Integrated DLC option does that not keep the balances made to the enemy units/sparks?

A: No, the balance changes will always be there.

I turned off the "Integrated DLC" option because I haven't played the previous DLC and I wanted to see the missions. So far, the Shen's Last Gift mission appeared just as it should so I assume the other will as well when the time comes.

I've been watching a Let's Play from a guy who received a pre-release copy of the expansion from Firaxis. It seems like Firaxis touched and tweaked just about everything. There's a wide range of additions from post-mission Speaker propaganda and Resistance Radio in the Avenger bar, to entire new character classes. It really does elevate XCOM 2 to another level.

The only bad thing about it is it released so close to Destiny 2. I doubt my friends will want to hear I'm not playing Destiny because I'd rather play XCOM.

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#48 Posted by ALavaPenguin (882 posts) -

I never played xcom 2 originally, so I am not certain ALL that is in war of the chosen vs the base game.... but some stuff I def can tell is war of the chosen and I love it!

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#49 Posted by randombullseye (33 posts) -

I'm loving it.

I enjoyed XCOM 2 a lot when it came out last year, but the way it ran and not being able to use a controller really soured me. I'm not sure what was fixed in the DLC, but it runs like I would expect now, loading doesn't take forever, I feel like I'm playing more of the game than looking at load screens.

The chosen showing up are way better then the alien dlc they put out, those guys were over powered and I'm about to encounter one of them for the first time about a third of the way now. I feel like the two chosen I've encountered are good additions to the game that are a constant, but not overwhelming threat. That alien dlc they would shoot anytime any of your guys moved, giving them six extra attacks constantly. I hated that so much, really put me off the replaying with that dlc, what I'm reading says they've changed how that works, I'm very anxious to see what happens with that.

What I really am loving about this expansion, the three factions added into it. Reaper, Skirmisher, and Templar all can give you a soldier for your team that has a unique class. One's a psychic melee guy, one is a stealthy snipery character, and the other is a mobile heavy who can attack with both actions and I'm really surprised at how great they are and how well integrated that are into the game. Curious to see what their end game abilities look like, I'm maybe halfway up the tech tree for each of them.

If anybody wants to see, I've been doing iron man mode my twitch channel. https://www.twitch.tv/randombullseye I've been doing really well, only lost one guy. Probably played about ten hours of it, very excited to spend more time with it.

I played through the previous XCOM and Enemy Within well over a dozen times, I've a high opinion of that game. I made it through XCOM 2 twice, just due to personal timing more than anything and the way it used to take forever to load killed me. I really like the way mods are easy to install on steam, I have a bunch of silly voice packs like Darth Vader and Hulk Hogan on my team. With all these additions, I'm already thinking how I would play through this on the harder difficulty, some of the missed choices I made. I picked normal which is plenty tough for me. I don't believe I want to try the hardest difficulty. It feels like I'm fighting uphill on normal.

I for one love a hard game that challenges me to beat it, strategy games like this are exactly that.

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#50 Posted by Mikemcn (8295 posts) -

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