• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • Hey Guest. Check out the NeoGAF 2.2 Update Thread for details on our new Giphy integration and other new features.
  • The Politics forum has been nuked. Please do not bring political discussion to the rest of the site, or you will be removed. Thanks.

The more I go back to XCOM 2, the more it cements as one of my all-time favorites

Rentahamster

Rodent Whores
Jun 26, 2007
44,922
17,343
1,770
Best Coast
I feel that Enemy Unknown was better structured and balanced, that's all I'm saying. And that the mindfuck aliens should never exist, like the eavesdropping missions in Assassins Creed they just suck.
The core gameplay elements are pretty much the same between the two games. The main difference in the general missions is the timers, so if you were used to overwatch creeping in the first game as your only strategy, then you wouldn't be used to the new, more aggressive style, and might get turned off. Only you know what your experience was like personally, but I don't really see it as being unbalanced. Hell, the sheer existence of mimic beacons makes XCOM 2 a lot more manageable than XCOM 1.

PSI is part of the established lore, and should be worked into the gameplay. It's not shoehorned in, either. There's many countermeasures you can use to counteract its affects.
 

GymWolf

Member
Jun 11, 2019
15,162
22,075
615
Maybe i'm gonna try the game for 4 euros but the only rts i have ever played was mutant year zero and that one is kinda different.

Also tried gears tacticts but got bored after 5-6 hours (thanks gamepass).

Does xcom have a lot of missions with a timer? I hate those.
 
Last edited:

Bragr

Member
Jun 24, 2020
689
1,341
390
The core gameplay elements are pretty much the same between the two games. The main difference in the general missions is the timers, so if you were used to overwatch creeping in the first game as your only strategy, then you wouldn't be used to the new, more aggressive style, and might get turned off. Only you know what your experience was like personally, but I don't really see it as being unbalanced. Hell, the sheer existence of mimic beacons makes XCOM 2 a lot more manageable than XCOM 1.

PSI is part of the established lore, and should be worked into the gameplay. It's not shoehorned in, either. There's many countermeasures you can use to counteract its affects.
But you have to figure out the countermeasures first, which is too much trial and error. Especially since your done if they wipe your squad, it just breeds restarts of the game over and over. The game is not suited to classical perma XCOM, which the other games were, here you have to save scum. And even if it's in the lore, it should not be used if it hurts the game.
 
  • Thoughtful
Reactions: Rentahamster

Sentenza

Member
Dec 3, 2011
14,805
2,165
970
But you have to figure out the countermeasures first, which is too much trial and error. Especially since your done if they wipe your squad, it just breeds restarts of the game over and over. The game is not suited to classical perma XCOM, which the other games were, here you have to save scum. And even if it's in the lore, it should not be used if it hurts the game.
Nothing of what you are saying is true.
 

Rentahamster

Rodent Whores
Jun 26, 2007
44,922
17,343
1,770
Best Coast
But you have to figure out the countermeasures first, which is too much trial and error. Especially since your done if they wipe your squad, it just breeds restarts of the game over and over. The game is not suited to classical perma XCOM, which the other games were, here you have to save scum. And even if it's in the lore, it should not be used if it hurts the game.
I see. I'm not sure what to say here. I know that this was your personal experience with the game, but I really don't think yours was the average experience.

Trial and error comes with figuring out any game, not just XCOM 2, and I don't believe XCOM 2 forces that more than other games of its genre. Squad wipes in one battle don't have to be a game ender. Troops are replenished fairly easily and cheaply.

If someone truly has that hard a time, that is what rookie difficulty is for. XCOM 2 doesn't force you to save scum anymore than the first game. You can tailor the experience to be as easy or as difficult as you want it to be.

Not only is PSI in the lore, but it helps the gameplay too with action variety.

I think you just got frustrated way too soon and gave up too early, but that might be my personal bias talking. I love the game. I think it's brilliant.
 

Stuart360

Member
Sep 9, 2018
8,351
19,682
660
Just noticed this is £2.80 on Steam. I'm not really into these kind of games but at that price, i may just give it a go lol.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rentahamster

GinSama

Member
Jun 29, 2020
61
55
240
I have the PS4 version and yes the game is pretty good. There’s something about firaxis games that make them addicted ...
wanted to finish in ironman but it is way above me.

Just hope they release chimera squad for the consoles soon.
 

Sentenza

Member
Dec 3, 2011
14,805
2,165
970
Just noticed this is £2.80 on Steam. I'm not really into these kind of games but at that price, i may just give it a go lol.
Cool.
You'd have few days to give it a try and decide (before February 18th) if you like it just well enough to get the expansion War of the Chosen and all the other minor DLCs for few more bucks.
Which are what turns a good game in a great one.
 

manfestival

Member
Nov 12, 2009
12,757
3,587
1,255
Absolutely love the Xcom games. They really have changed things up. I am always down for more Xcom. Chimaera squad was OK but I was just happy for more xcom
 

GymWolf

Member
Jun 11, 2019
15,162
22,075
615
For people who played mutant year zero, how much more complicated is xcom 2 compared to that one? both inside and outside of combat.
 

DunDunDunpachi

Patient MembeR
Apr 18, 2018
29,332
70,266
1,405
USA
dunpachi.com
I held off on playing this until mid 2020. The first Firaxis XCOM was fun but buggy and missing the proper flexibility and spontaneity of the original PC games. Glad that I gave the second one a chance because I feel like it's a much more proper take on the original vision. Only the first game gets it truly "perfect", but every other game has its particular charm, yes, even XCOM Apocalypse, and Interceptor, and Enforcer and even The Bureau.
 

Sentenza

Member
Dec 3, 2011
14,805
2,165
970
For people who played mutant year zero, how much more complicated is xcom 2 compared to that one? both inside and outside of combat.
Combat aside they are very different games (Mutant Zero a story driven RPG, this basically a management game with tactical missions).

I'd say that when it comes to combat Mutant Zero is pretty much the poor man's version of XCOM 2. Not to mention the content there can be "level-gated", while in XCOM 2 there's no level scaling. Damage is based on equipment and the range of growth is limited and classes gaining ranks gain for the most part flexibility (i.e. ability to shot to more than an enemy in a single turn) over raw stats.

The systems in XCOM 2 are all things considered probably more logical and intuitive, I would guess.
Honestly it's hard to be objective about it because I played MYZ coming from XCOM 2 rather than the other way around, so the latter was the one that felt more intuitive to me to me.
Let's just say this one felt less "gamey" and more consistent across the board with its rules for me.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: GymWolf

voidenberg

Member
Jan 15, 2018
2,178
3,184
485
And now, I need to reinstall this game. Screw you OP!

I love XCOM 2. Usually, I`m terrible at strategy games. But XCOM is more like a strategy third-person shooter. I also call it an "Oh shit, how do I get out of this mess" simulator.

This brings back memories...
 

GymWolf

Member
Jun 11, 2019
15,162
22,075
615
Combat aside they are very different games (Mutant Zero a story driven RPG, this basically a management game with tactical missions).

I'd say that when it comes to combat Mutant Zero is pretty much the poor man's version of XCOM 2. Not to mention the content there can be "level-gated", while in XCOM 2 there's no level scaling. Damage is based on equipment and the range of growth is limited and classes gaining ranks gain for the most part flexibility (i.e. ability to shot to more than an enemy in a single turn) over raw stats.

The systems in XCOM 2 are all things considered probably more logical and intuitive, I would guess.
Honestly it's hard to be objective about it because I played MYZ coming from XCOM 2 rather than the other way around, so the latter was the one that felt more intuitive to me to me.
Let's just say this one felt less "gamey" and more consistent across the board with its rules for me.
When you say management game, what do you mean exactly?
like gaining resources, etc.?
 

Sentenza

Member
Dec 3, 2011
14,805
2,165
970
When you say management game, what do you mean exactly?
like gaining resources, etc.?
XCOM is a game about building your central base (which in this case is a giant flying ship with rooms you can fill with useful facilities), researching new technologies, preparing new, more advanced equipment... and then equipping and sending your soldiers around the world to fight in single, individual missions with variable goals, ranging from "kill everyone" to "recover this data before the enemy destroys it", with occasional variations like "Kill this high ranking officer", gather these resources", "protect the civilians in this area" and so on.

To be fair the "management" part is fairly streamlined and straight forward and the tactical combat maps are a good 75% of the whole experience. So saying it's "a management" game is not really true. It's a tactical combat game with a side dish of management.
 
Last edited:

Alebrije

Member
Feb 25, 2010
9,989
1,969
1,125
Do I need to play Xcom in order to get in to Xcom2? or are different stories/ plots/ characters?
 

Rentahamster

Rodent Whores
Jun 26, 2007
44,922
17,343
1,770
Best Coast
Well fuck, for 4 euros i'm gonna take the bait, thanks for the patience op.
Good luck, Commander


salute GIF
 
  • Praise the Sun
Reactions: GymWolf

Rentahamster

Rodent Whores
Jun 26, 2007
44,922
17,343
1,770
Best Coast
Do I need to play Xcom in order to get in to Xcom2? or are different stories/ plots/ characters?
Story wise, XCOM 2 takes place after XCOM 1, but the basic premise isn't hard to grasp if you start with XCOM 2.

This isn't the kind of game where story plays a huge importance in how you approach the game, given that the storyline itself is something out of a B-movie horror scifi genre.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Alebrije

Sentenza

Member
Dec 3, 2011
14,805
2,165
970
Do I need to play Xcom in order to get in to Xcom2? or are different stories/ plots/ characters?
In XCOM 1 you were leading a team of elite soldiers defending Earth from an alien invasion.
In XCOM 2 you lost that war and you are now in charge of a ragtag team of resistance soldiers against the ruling regime.

There, you know all you need to know about the backstory.
Go to watch a video summary for some additional redundant detail, but that's pretty much it.

EDIT - Here, first thing I googled at random:

 
Last edited:

King_Mandu

Banned
Dec 17, 2020
344
630
295
To any new players, DON'T be discouraged by losing soldiers or squad wipes. Half the fun is avenging your fallen soldiers named after family members and the cast of Predator or clawing your way back from a squad wipe with a set of fresh rookies and molding them into your elite team of killers who take you to the end game. There's a base memorial for a reason.
 

Sentenza

Member
Dec 3, 2011
14,805
2,165
970
Comes to mind, did I ever spend a single word so far about how absurdly fucking detailed soldier customization can be in the game?
Almost limitless in fact, once you involve mods.

This is an old clip that I recorded few days after the launch of the vanilla game:




Obviously between DLCs, expansion and mods you can obtain A LOT more of what is shown here.
 
Last edited:
Mar 26, 2010
4,178
2,140
1,035
All my love is given to Xcom: Enemy Within, I can play that game on a loop forever on Ironman mode classic. So I feel the same way about that game that OP does about XCOM2. There's something about ironman mode where it adds meaning and excitement to every decision because the consequences are real. You can lose a mission, have a great soldier die, retreat, rally and turn things around, it's awesome.

I bought XCOM2 at launch and my ancient PC was minimum specs to run it, performance was pretty bad. There were also numerous other little things I didn't like, so I dropped the game for a while. I'm another PS4 gamer though, so I eventually played it there. I actually was a bit unimpressed with a lot of the changes, and sometimes I wonder if they really were inferior or I just like XCOM so much that minor changes bothered me. Thinking back on it, one thing that I specifically remember is how infuriating grenades were. In XCOM 1, you evened the odds a lot by softening multiple enemies up with grenades. In XCOM2, you will target 2 enemies with a grenade, and one of them just won't highlight as being a target. His body will clearly be touching the blast radius, but the game is like "nah, this won't hit." Just one frustrating example that I remember, but there were others.

That bugged me, but the biggest issue was console performance just wasn't that stable. Like I said, I love to play on Ironman, where you only have one autosave and all choices are irreversible. But on PS4, that could totally end with you 30 hours deep into a massive playthrough and the game just gets stuck. You could easily be trapped in a glitchy situation where all progress is lost and you don't have other saves to go back to, it's not worth risking the commitment on console. So even though it seems to me that I don't like XCOM2 as much as XCOM1, I can't play it on my favourite mode so I don't even really get to test it. This is a problem is greatly increased by War of the Chosen, which is an awesome expansion for XCOM2 that adds a ton of amazing new stuff.

WotC seems to add so many cool things that I might possibly like it as much or better than XCOM1 if I could play Ironman. But the PS4 version is a complete shitshow, lagging and chugging severely when there are a lot of zombies on the screen, and straight up crashing way more than the vanilla release. Ironman mode would be unthinkable. I don't know what it is about these sorts of turn-based strategy "XCOM likes" that makes their console ports atrocious crash fests, but they are. Mutant Year Zero crashed more and more the further you progress on Switch, and I recently played through Wasteland 3 on PS4, which crashes just as often as Cyberpunk which was recalled for its bad performance. You would think a game that runs in real time would be harder to make stable than a turn based game, but this sort of thing seems fairly common with xcom and it's imitators. Maybe the genre is so niche that the console audience is too small for the devs to bother. Anyway I would loooove a (stable) port of XCOM1 to the Switch, that would be awesome.
 
Last edited:
  • Empathy
Reactions: Rentahamster

Rentahamster

Rodent Whores
Jun 26, 2007
44,922
17,343
1,770
Best Coast
All my love is given to Xcom: Enemy Within, I can play that game on a loop forever on Ironman mode classic. So I feel the same way about that game that OP does about XCOM2. There's something about ironman mode where it adds meaning and excitement to every decision because the consequences are real. You can lose a mission, have a great soldier die, retreat, rally and turn things around, it's awesome.

I bought XCOM2 at launch and my ancient PC was minimum specs to run it, performance was pretty bad. There were also numerous other little things I didn't like, so I dropped the game for a while. I'm another PS4 gamer though, so I eventually played it there. I actually was a bit unimpressed with a lot of the changes, and sometimes I wonder if they really were inferior or I just like XCOM so much that minor changes bothered me. Thinking back on it, one thing that I specifically remember is how infuriating grenades were. In XCOM 1, you evened the odds a lot by softening multiple enemies up with grenades. In XCOM2, you will target 2 enemies with a grenade, and one of them just won't highlight as being a target. His body will clearly be touching the blast radius, but the game is like "nah, this won't hit." Just one frustrating example that I remember, but there were others.

That bugged me, but the biggest issue was console performance just wasn't that stable. Like I said, I love to play on Ironman, where you only have one autosave and all choices are irreversible. But on PS4, that could totally end with you 30 hours deep into a massive playthrough and the game just gets stuck. You could easily be trapped in a glitchy situation where all progress is lost and you don't have other saves to go back to, it's not worth risking the commitment on console. So even though it seems to me that I don't like XCOM2 as much as XCOM1, I can't play it on my favourite mode so I don't even really get to test it. This is a problem is greatly increased by War of the Chosen, which is an awesome expansion for XCOM2 that adds a ton of amazing new stuff.

WotC seems to add so many cool things that I might possibly like it as much or better than XCOM1 if I could play Ironman. But the PS4 version is a complete shitshow, lagging and chugging severely when there are a lot of zombies on the screen, and straight up crashing way more than the vanilla release. Ironman mode would be unthinkable. I don't know what it is about these sorts of turn-based strategy "XCOM likes" that makes their console ports atrocious crash fests, but they are. Mutant Year Zero crashed more and more the further you progress on Switch, and I recently played through Wasteland 3 on PS4, which crashes just as often as Cyberpunk which was recalled for its bad performance. You would think a game that runs in real time would be harder to make stable than a turn based game, but this sort of thing seems fairly common with xcom and it's imitators. Maybe the genre is so niche that the console audience is too small for the devs to bother. Anyway I would loooove a (stable) port of XCOM1 to the Switch, that would be awesome.
The WOTC release on PC made the game run a lot better and more smoothly than the original release. I'm not sure if those same benefits carried over to console.
 

Rentahamster

Rodent Whores
Jun 26, 2007
44,922
17,343
1,770
Best Coast
Opposite I'm afraid. Particularly bad with "the lost" since that involves many zombies on screen


Hey what about Chimera Squad guys? Is that any good?
I thought Chimera Squad was great, especially since I only paid 10 bucks for it.

It's a cool take on the mechanics and lore. With the right loadout you can get pretty OP and it's fun.
 

Bragr

Member
Jun 24, 2020
689
1,341
390
I see. I'm not sure what to say here. I know that this was your personal experience with the game, but I really don't think yours was the average experience.

Trial and error comes with figuring out any game, not just XCOM 2, and I don't believe XCOM 2 forces that more than other games of its genre. Squad wipes in one battle don't have to be a game ender. Troops are replenished fairly easily and cheaply.

If someone truly has that hard a time, that is what rookie difficulty is for. XCOM 2 doesn't force you to save scum anymore than the first game. You can tailor the experience to be as easy or as difficult as you want it to be.

Not only is PSI in the lore, but it helps the gameplay too with action variety.

I think you just got frustrated way too soon and gave up too early, but that might be my personal bias talking. I love the game. I think it's brilliant.
I finished the game.

Let me explain a bit better. I am a big fan of XCOM and feel the permadeath is a big part of why these games are so good. It's important I think, that the game is balanced to suit the permadeath style of XCOM. Enemy Unknown hit a perfect balance, where you could go through it on normal and feel challenged. Enemy Within was harder and started to hit upon the limit of good permadeath balance, but it worked.

This game however, I feel is poorly made for classic XCOM. Sure, if you save and reload and put it on easy and all that bullshit it's gonna be easier, but it should be structured from the beginning to suit XCOM, and it should not require restarts to learn how to deal with mindfuck aliens, or require the player to go outside the game to find cheating tactics.

For an XCOM fan, the core normal setting with permadeath is a cheap experience because they messed up the difficulty balance.

The developers have stated clearly that they try to build harder games with each iteration. Enemy Unknown was their base, Enemy Within the harder iteration, and XCOM 2 is even harder. I think they pushed too hard and fucked up the classical XCOM experience. It requires you to either learn the game with saves and loads, lower the difficulty, or play with permadeath and restart when you mess up. All those options are not good IMO, it should be possible to play through the game without any of that, which I did with the first 2. I'm a purist and ended up restarting something like 4 times, each time getting fucked by the mindfuck aliens (which I still don't know how to deal with properly), but in the end, I finished it, but only with sour grapes and disappointed in the balance of the game.
 

Sentenza

Member
Dec 3, 2011
14,805
2,165
970
XCOM 2 not really harder.
- it's not even relying more on surprise or randomness than the first one was (if anything the opposite; I always had an harder time reliably predicting things in the first one and expansion);
- it's not more depending on keeping your soldiers alive than in the past (once again, if anything the opposite is true: now a lot more of the "power creep" is focused on equipment and general tech over soldier's level);
- it's NOT a game that punishes you more than the first for skipping or failing a mission (for the third time, the opposite is true: in the first it basically equated to immediately lose support in an area or more. This doesn't happen so abruptly here);
- dulcis in fundo, it's a game that forgives you a lot more for building your base in whatever order you want, when a glaring flaw of the first is that there was basically ONE right order to build things and everything else was sub-optimal.

And these are all reasons why I'm having a hard time understanding your complains.
It seems like you are set on an idea of what the sequel is supposed to be like, but you didn't bother actually put it to the test.
 

ChoosableOne

Member
Dec 1, 2019
402
314
365
Best turn based strategy game of all time.

War of the chosen elevated an already amazing game to ridiculous heights.

You have probably waited so many years for this thread:) Relax mate, we got it:) I want to read your comment on Xcom 3, when it comes out, but i'm scared :eek:

As a casual strategy/turn based game fan, i had more fun with xcom enemy unknown(remake?). It was simple(but hard) and i liked it. It was my first Xcom game though, maybe i've had enough with this formula. I couldn't even finish the tutorial on Xcom 2.
 

anthraticus

Member
Sep 11, 2018
1,095
1,027
390
Nu X-Coms are cool games....esepcalliy considering the modern landscape.

...still no Jagged Alliance 2 though.
 

ChoosableOne

Member
Dec 1, 2019
402
314
365
Well, I guess that works as an excellent explanation about why you'd even think the first is better. :messenger_tears_of_joy:
I couldn't finish tutorial because it was boring:) I bought this game again but for Pc this time, i will give it a second chance. First game is better because of it's story progression(yeah it is lame but got me hooked) and it's simplicity imho. Even Enemy Within was overwhelmed me with content. I'm looking from the casual side so don't mind me:)
 

Sentenza

Member
Dec 3, 2011
14,805
2,165
970
I couldn't finish tutorial because it was boring:) I bought this game again but for Pc this time, i will give it a second chance. First game is better because of it's story progression(yeah it is lame but got me hooked) and it's simplicity imho. Even Enemy Within was overwhelmed me with content. I'm looking from the casual side so don't mind me:)
"The first game is not better under any metric" is precisely what I'm trying to tell you.
You just decided it was and never gave a chance to the sequel.

EDIT - Well, to be fair, I guess it could be made an argument for atmosphere, as that's pretty much subjective. But mechanically there's not a single area where the first tops the second. Fairness, balance, variety, flexibility. Enemy Unknown is the inferior one no matter the angle.
 
Last edited:

JayK47

Member
Nov 2, 2019
697
1,125
350
I finished the game.

Let me explain a bit better. I am a big fan of XCOM and feel the permadeath is a big part of why these games are so good. It's important I think, that the game is balanced to suit the permadeath style of XCOM. Enemy Unknown hit a perfect balance, where you could go through it on normal and feel challenged. Enemy Within was harder and started to hit upon the limit of good permadeath balance, but it worked.

This game however, I feel is poorly made for classic XCOM. Sure, if you save and reload and put it on easy and all that bullshit it's gonna be easier, but it should be structured from the beginning to suit XCOM, and it should not require restarts to learn how to deal with mindfuck aliens, or require the player to go outside the game to find cheating tactics.

For an XCOM fan, the core normal setting with permadeath is a cheap experience because they messed up the difficulty balance.

The developers have stated clearly that they try to build harder games with each iteration. Enemy Unknown was their base, Enemy Within the harder iteration, and XCOM 2 is even harder. I think they pushed too hard and fucked up the classical XCOM experience. It requires you to either learn the game with saves and loads, lower the difficulty, or play with permadeath and restart when you mess up. All those options are not good IMO, it should be possible to play through the game without any of that, which I did with the first 2. I'm a purist and ended up restarting something like 4 times, each time getting fucked by the mindfuck aliens (which I still don't know how to deal with properly), but in the end, I finished it, but only with sour grapes and disappointed in the balance of the game.
Glad to hear it is not just me. This is all I need to hear to pass on Xcom 2. I could not manage Enemy Within. Enemy Unknown was perfectly balanced in my opinion.
 

Sentenza

Member
Dec 3, 2011
14,805
2,165
970
Glad to hear it is not just me. This is all I need to hear to pass on Xcom 2. I could not manage Enemy Within. Enemy Unknown was perfectly balanced in my opinion.
"Your baseless bullshit totally confirms my baseless bullshit" is pretty much the gist of the conversation going on here.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: luffie
Oct 2, 2019
2,017
4,429
545
So i got a PS5 a couple of days ago and immediately downloaded a bunch of PS4 games including XCOM 2 and boy it's like and day, the loooooong loading (barely 15 seconds at the most) that plauged my playthroughs is gone, the frame rate is very stable the jump from over world to missions is super fast.


The only problem is i forgot most of plan of operation so i'm kind of lost even after playing 3 missions.

PS: Templar is the best unit fight me!
 
  • Praise the Sun
Reactions: Rentahamster

Sentenza

Member
Dec 3, 2011
14,805
2,165
970
Tomorrow it will be the last day the game will be on sale on Steam.
Your last chance to get a modern classic for pennies and embrace awesomeness, rather than being one of those sad tossers who keep crying about the game being too hard.
 
Last edited:

D.Final

Banned
Oct 18, 2018
5,111
2,780
620
Tomorrow it will be the last day the game will be on sale on Steam.
Your last chance to get a modern classic for pennies and embrace awesomeness, rather than being one of those sad tossers who keep crying about the game being too hard.
NoT Nintendo?
 

Rentahamster

Rodent Whores
Jun 26, 2007
44,922
17,343
1,770
Best Coast
Big sale going on

 

Videospel

Member
Mar 6, 2014
476
78
495
Thinking of getting this as the the base game is discounted right now. What about the DLC though? Does War of the Chosen alter the base game or is it a standalone campaign?
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Alpha Male