Thursday, January 3, 2013

XCOM:enemy unknown

  I have always been a fan of the x-com series, it all started when I watched a good friend of mine play "X-COM:Terror from the deep" over a decade ago, since then I've played all X-COM games.

  The game remains true to the original saga, a squad based strategy game where you must save the planet from a extra terrestrial force by upgrading your base while capturing and researching alien technology.

  Unfortunately I see many problems with this game. For starters and probably the single most annoying thing is the cover system, being constantly hit regardless of the type of cover becomes increasingly bothersome over time specially at higher difficulties and the fact that aliens use Plasma weapons doesn't help either.

  All aliens use plasma based weapons which apparently in this game render most cover useless. Plasma is highly accurate, does a good amount of damage and more importantly, it also destroys walls and sets vehicles on fire which explode on the next turn, making them into stationary bombs.

  Technology wise the progression is linear, meaning you don't have much of a choice(if any) of which path you want to take. Laser weapons become rather pointless since you can access plasma weapons fairly soon by using the stun-gun(thus not destroying their weapon).

  The mission system lacks a "auto-play" mode thus forcing you to manually play all missions. After you reach a few hours into the game and have a decent amount of tech "abduction site" type missions are nothing but an inconvenience, yet ignoring them will make the countries leave the council which is bad for your monthly income.

 The characters have a RPG element which allows them to level-up by gaining ranks. Every time a characters gains a rank it which allows you to choose between two abilities, this allows you to specialize them a bit further which is good, but since the choices aren't always that enticing you will end up choosing the same ones for each particular class. For example in the Support class you'll always pick the ability to use a medic kit 3 times over the extra smoke grenade.

  Overall the game is "OK", some good decision where made(like reducing the squad size to 6) but I think it's missing a few features which gave flavor to the game like the soldier inventory system which fans loved.


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