XCOM 2 (Spoilers)

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XCOM 2 (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC »

EDIT - XCOM was pushed back to February 2016! D:

Apparently Firaxis and IGN just started releasing details pretty heavily about XCOM 2, which is due out this November. They're taking an interesting approach this time, with XCOM taking on the role of an underground movement that opposes the Alien-dominated government in a cyberpunk-inspired futuristic setting. Apparently this is a sequel to the original game, but the assumption is that XCOM lost the war against the Sectoids in the first game (and they lost HARD) - and twenty years later, the world is essentially run by aliens and human puppets.

In the new game XCOM operates out of a mobile aerial base, which they need to protect from Alien detection. While they're obviously touting the streamlined combat system from the first game, they're also now talking about added stealth features, such as using cover to conceal yourself from foes, looting fallen friends or foes, hacking, and melee combat. And since XCOM is less a government organization and more of a rebel faction this time around, they're really pumping up the cosmetic options, so the player can make their veterans look more unique. A more comprehensive looting system is implemented, and XCOM will now need to scavenge for resources in the field. If allies are shot down during combat, it is integral to recover their equipment - though if they're still alive, the player will also be able to pick up fallen comrades and carry them back to Evac Zones for medical treatment (or strip their gear and leave them for dead).

Oh, and the biggest thing that people wanted in XCOM 1 has been implemented: Procedurally generated levels with fully destructable environments. Also, the snakemen are back, and looking pretty wicked (though maybe I was alone in really wanting to see them again). :P

Despite the obvious flaws from the XCOM remake, I'm pretty hyped about this new one. I'm just a bit surprised they ended up announcing it before E3 (though that's when the first Gameplay trailer will be released). At the moment, it's being teased as a PC exclusive.

Debut Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2E_-2wIJIzQ
First IGN Teaser Article: http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/06/01/ ... -ign-first
Second IGN Teaser Article: http://m.ign.com/articles/2015/06/02/xc ... -overlords
Last edited by SagaDC on June 2nd, 2015, 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Lucius
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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by Lucius »

I'm crazy excited for this. I loved XCOM and Enemy Within was even better. It's one of very, very few games I can play over and over. Can. Not. Wait.
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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by sear »

I definitely didn't expect them to make this one a PC exclusive. Call me optimistic!
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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by Drool »

Wonder if it'll be as buggy as the first one. For awhile there, I had an hour of recorded game time without ever clearing the opening cinematic.
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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

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Drool wrote:Wonder if it'll be as buggy as the first one. For awhile there, I had an hour of recorded game time without ever clearing the opening cinematic.
Well honestly, in this day and age of game development, bugs are pretty much expected. The best we can hope for is that they'll be acknowledged and fixed in a timely fashion. :P
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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by Zombra »

I love the 2012 XCOM and continue to play it to this day. (By the way, if you haven't tried it with the Long War mod, you're missing out. It makes a great game even better.)

This is the first I've heard of a sequel. All the features you're talking about sound really fun.

I love it when a sequel establishes losing the first game as canon. That's fantastic. Altar Interactive did the exact same thing with UFO: Aftershock. (I also strongly recommend the UFO series for fans of either XCOM or X-Com).
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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by Woolfe »

I hope with the pc exclusivity, the control system is freed up a bit.

I also hope that they free up some of the other elements. Give you a bit more control over things, none of this in our face. Do this mission or that mission, but rather, oh something is happening in 2 locations, and you have to use your brain to work out that you can only get to one. Or even you just get a report from an offsider stating you can't make both with one team.

Heck allow us to have multiple teams.

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

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Woolfe wrote:I also hope that they free up some of the other elements. Give you a bit more control over things, none of this in our face. Do this mission or that mission, but rather, oh something is happening in 2 locations, and you have to use your brain to work out that you can only get to one. Or even you just get a report from an offsider stating you can't make both with one team.

Heck allow us to have multiple teams.

Ra Ra Ra
Agreed. I really enjoyed the remake, even with some of the "simplified" elements, but the one thing that always really bugged me was how you could only dispatch one team at a time. I know it was to force the difficulty curve, but it felt very artificial to have multiple aircrafts, dozens of soldiers, but an inability to protect more than one city at a time. It made for a pretty ineffective global organization.

No wonder the canonical ending to the first game involved XCOM failing to stop the aliens. ;)
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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by Woolfe »

:lol: heh... Yeah... for all my ranting against the game. It was "little" things in every section of the game that combined together ruined it.

The underlying premise, and gameplay was still sound.

God I hated the satellites though... Uugh.. In the originals the Radar sites provided a circle of coverage. The sats were simplified to cover an entire country. Stupid stupid... 1 sat for all of Russia, and 1 sat for all of UK... Doesn't quite make sense. Nor do sats in the first place.... These are aliens in spacecraft... they could just you know... shoot them down.... Duhn duhn daaaaahh
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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

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Woolfe wrote:God I hated the satellites though... Uugh.. In the originals the Radar sites provided a circle of coverage. The sats were simplified to cover an entire country. Stupid stupid... 1 sat for all of Russia, and 1 sat for all of UK... Doesn't quite make sense. Nor do sats in the first place.... These are aliens in spacecraft... they could just you know... shoot them down.... Duhn duhn daaaaahh
Well, to be fair, they totally DO shoot them down - but usually only if you've done something wrong. And that stops happening once you've finished researching satellite stealth systems, to keep them concealed from the alien ships.

I hear that The Long War mod makes some pretty heavy tweaks to the whole satellite system, but I can't say I've tried it myself. Though I think I do remember hearing that one of the main changes that the Mod makes is allowing the player to intercept alien ships before they reach abduction or terror targets. Apparently the mechanics were already in place, but for some reason or another Firaxis decided to disable it for the release version.
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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by Zombra »

Yeah, Long War makes the sky battle much more dynamic. And much harder. Keeping a freaking satellite in the air is like pulling teeth from your mother-in-law. Satisfying if you can do it ... but not easy or pleasant in the attempt.
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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC »

An interesting video that discusses the new XCOM 2 trailer. It has commentary from Jake Solomon and Garth DeAngelis, who are actually involved in making the game, and mentions several new tidbits of information about the game.

http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/06/03/ ... nd-theater
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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by dorkboy »

Using cover for stealth purposes? Ok, that does admittedly sound a bit intriguing. And looting?
Hm, maybe...
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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

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dorkboy wrote:Using cover for stealth purposes? Ok, that does admittedly sound a bit intriguing. And looting?
Hm, maybe...
Yeah, in one of their recent interviews the dev stated that the most common complaint that they received about the first XCOM was the "scamper" effect - the way that enemies would automatically activate and run into cover whenever they were first spotted by the player. The stealth system is essentially their "fix" for that, allowing the player a chance to get off that first crucial barrage before enemies can react. Apparently it not only affords the player a chance to "nuke" a single target with a lot of ambush damage, but there's also a varying chance (depending on the enemy type) that other nearby enemies will be so surprised by the ambush that they lose their next turn as well, allowing the player an even greater advantage in the case of a well-executed ambush. The chance for surprise can be enhanced with certain weapon upgrades (they don't mention any specifically, but I assume it's conventional upgrades like silences or suppressors).

Of course, sneaking up on opponents isn't always a simple prospect. Certain enemies will apparently be psychic, allowing them to automatically detect approaching XCOM operatives unless you invest in researching and building dampeners to hide your minds. Likewise, mundane hazards such as "street scanners" and even run of the mill civilians can ruin your day, spotting you and alerting nearby aliens or advent troops to your presence.
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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC »

New article up on IGN, focused on the procedurally generated map system. Rather than having entirely randomized maps, they're using what they're calling the "Part and Parcel" system. It actually sounds pretty interesting, and sounds like it will add a lot more replayability to the game.

Article here: http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/06/04/ ... -ign-first
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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by dorkboy »

Idk, if they're shying away from randomization because it affects gameplay [too much], then it seems to me like they're going for a [more] cosmetic approach. :?
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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC »

Well, it's still random, just with certain predefined elements. Making an entirely destructible AND procedurally generated mapset is probably too much to hope for from any developer, at least if they also want it to have next-gen graphics. I think they've hit on a nice compromise, by using non-randomized template maps that are then randomly populated with buildings, land features, and cover objects. It's actually very similar to how the original X-Com handled randomized maps.

Regardless, it's still a big improvement over entirely non-randomized maps, at least from a replayability standpoint.
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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by Lucius »

Random maps sound good in theory, but I bet it won't take long before it's simply a matter of memorizing the buildings instead of the map.

"Ok, the bank and the tavern this time. Oh, this one is the bank and the laundromat."
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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

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Lucius wrote:Random maps sound good in theory, but I bet it won't take long before it's simply a matter of memorizing the buildings instead of the map.

"Ok, the bank and the tavern this time. Oh, this one is the bank and the laundromat."
Possibly, but that's going to be a danger in any game that you play enough times. Even classic X-Com suffered from it a bit, because a lot of the buildings that appeared on randomly generated maps were actually pre-generated - ie, you'd run into the same barn or farmhouse constantly when loading into Farmland maps, it would just be placed in different spots.

For what it's worth, though, the devs have stated that the "Part & Parcel" system is being designed with modding in mind. They fully expect people to start creating their own buildings and land plots, theoretically increasing the number of potential random land features to an unlimited degree (though then it becomes a case of quantity over quality).
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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by dorkboy »

Again, it seems to me like they're avoiding randomizing the gameplay, and instead randomizing the superficial map appearance. At least, that's how I interpret the statements in the article; "random gameplay isn't fun". I could very well be wrong and emphasizing the general structure/sequence/pacing of the map template when it's really the individual substructures (and the particular distribution of cover within each plot) that matters.

It's not as if procedurally generated maps are a new thing, nor are destructible tiles. They needn't have bothered with the "next-gen graphics" for my sake, to put it mildly. I think "pacing" is a factor, as well.
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