XCOM 2 (Spoilers)

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC » June 5th, 2015, 9:59 am

I don't know, it seems more than superficial to me. If you enter a map with an assassination goal, for example, it's going to make a huge difference if you spawn into a map with three multi-storied buildings, as opposed to a map with two open parks and gas station full of explosive fuel tanks. The overall layout of the map might be predetermined to an extent, but the exact nature of the "parcels" spread over the map could have a drastic effect on how you end up playing the map - especially with the new Secondary Goals system.

Not directly related, but it's also worth mentioning that the player can now summon the Skyranger to pick them up almost anywhere on the map, provided there's enough open space. That plays into the maps somewhat, because the most common spots that are suitable for evac will be rooftops and wide open areas such as parking lots - which will be semi-randomized each time you load into a map.

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by dorkboy » June 5th, 2015, 10:23 am

Remains to be seen, I guess. I think we all agree that it's a good thing if the maps play somewhat differently each time.

Being able to summon the Skyranger into different locations does sound pretty yummy. Fine, I change my vote from Guarded Scepticism to Guarded Optimism. ;)
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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC » June 5th, 2015, 10:42 am

dorkboy wrote:Remains to be seen, I guess. I think we all agree that it's a good thing if the maps play somewhat differently each time.
Absolutely.
dorkboy wrote:Fine, I change my vote from Guarded Scepticism to Guarded Optimism. ;)
Ha ha, well, I'll take it! ;)

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by Drool » June 5th, 2015, 1:10 pm

SagaDC wrote:Not directly related, but it's also worth mentioning that the player can now summon the Skyranger to pick them up almost anywhere on the map, provided there's enough open space.
I wonder if recently opened spaces count... like a block you leveled by blowing up a gas station... :twisted:
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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC » June 6th, 2015, 2:45 pm

Another new article on IGN, this time with a short interview (and a lot of speculation from IGN) about XCOM 2's PC exclusivity. The short of it is that Firaxis decided they really wanted to focus on bringing as much depth to the game as possible, and that meant buckling down on the OS they're the most familiar with. They're not ruling out eventually bringing the game to next-gen consoles after the PC launch, but it's not something that they're currently allocating any significant resources toward.

http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/06/05/ ... -exclusive

EDIT - And another new article, this time with a short word from the devs about their open approach to a mod-friendly game design, and their plans to promptly release modding tools upon or shortly after the game releases in November.

http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/06/08/ ... -ign-first

EDIT x2 - And yet another new article, this time showcasing the Ranger class (which is essentially replacing the Assault class). Like their XCOM brethren, the Ranger is focused on short-range damage with shotguns and machetes, but they also have a secondary focus on stealth and hit-and-run tactics. Notably, they appear to have superior climbing skills, possibly bolstered by one or more of their skill tree options. Two of their end-game skill options are Reaper (killing an opponent in melee grants another free attack action) and Phantom (killing an opponent grants a free movement action). Reaper obviously favors blitzkrieg melee assaults, while Phantom favors the stealthier hit-and-run approach.

http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/06/09/ ... irst?watch

EDIT x3 - And a follow-up article, this time showcasing the Specialist (replacing the Support class). They're essentially a symbiotic unit, since the Specialist comes standard-equipped with an aerial drone called the Gremlin. The Specialist by himself is a somewhat substandard trooper, but with the Gremlin he can apparently spec himself for remote support or offense. Various abilities that the Gremlin can gain (via the Specialist's skill tree) include healing, providing offensive and defensive buffs to allies, long-range hacking, and even hijacking robotic enemies and temporarily turning them to your side. Akin to how the Ranger is the best at climbing, the Specialist is apparently the best class for hacking.

http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/06/10/ ... -ign-first

EDIT x4 - And yet another article from IGN, this time in a brief interview with Jake Solomon about why they felt that it was necessary to have XCOM lose the war against the aliens, and how it helps the second game work better from a thematic standpoint. They also confirm that at least one familiar face from the first game will be returning for the sequel. IGN is really going bananas with all these articles, especially given that the game is still five months from release.

http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/06/11/ ... -ign-first

EDIT x5 - And another article, so I guess IGN is planning to put one up every two days from now until November. This time it focuses a bit on the two Aliens we already know about, the Sectoid and the Viper. There are some details on the Sectoid's new psychic powers, and a little new information on the Viper's crowd control abilities.

http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/06/12/ ... irst?watch

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC » June 15th, 2015, 6:20 am

First live gameplay footage of XCOM 2 is going to be shown later today (11:30pm GMT) at E3.

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by Zombra » June 15th, 2015, 8:43 am

Thanks for keeping up on this, SDC - will look forward to your links to the meaty stuff :)
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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by Lucius » June 15th, 2015, 10:27 am

SagaDC wrote:First live gameplay footage of XCOM 2 is going to be shown later today (11:30pm GMT) at E3.
Will this be live streamed? If so, where to watch?

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC » June 15th, 2015, 2:50 pm

Lucius wrote:
SagaDC wrote:First live gameplay footage of XCOM 2 is going to be shown later today (11:30pm GMT) at E3.
Will this be live streamed? If so, where to watch?
Whoops, I apparently was mistaken. The gameplay footage today will not be livestreamed. But they'll be doing a livestream of a different XCOM 2 event on Thursday at 11am.

EDIT - I am a lying liar. Either that, or I just can't figure out E3's mysterious livestream riddles. Regardless, here's a twenty-five minute gameplay demo for XCOM 2, including commentary from one of the devs:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzAKyj- ... be&t=2m20s

It covers a single mission, though certain parts of it seem to be staged for the purposes of expediting the gameplay demo.

EDIT x2 - Minor, but worth noting. Apparently, the MEC troopers are officially out for XCOM 2. A few folks asked about their inclusion, due to the presence of the mechanized Advent troops, but Garth DeAngelis more or less outright stated that the player would not be able to field MEC troopers this time around as it wouldn't fit the "resistance" theme of the new title.

Some additional details about the new looting, research, and upgrade system are leaking out as well. Word from DeAngelis is that the player will be able to loot enemy tech or data from fallen enemies, which must be carried in your troopers' backpacks. After the mission, the player will be able to "reverse engineer" captured tech, which will slowly move various research projects toward completion. Once a research project reaches 100% completion, it will unlock the relevant new upgrades or passive bonuses, as well as new research projects. This will be the primary means of customizing both trooper weapons AND trooper attributes (though troopers will still gain small amounts of attribute bonuses from going on successful missions).

EDIT x3 - Another small article from IGN, this time focusing on the Advent Troops and Advent Captains, who are the "human" soldiers of the alien regime. Not a lot of new information there, though they do mention some new abilities that the Advent Captains have (ordering troops to focus fire on a single XCOM soldier, calling in dropships with Advent reinforcements). Otherwise, the article mostly just rehashes what has already been revealed in the E3 footage.

http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/06/23/ ... -ign-first

EDIT x4 - A small new video up on IGN, this time focusing on some "previsualization" footage. This is footage that was developed early in the development process, to give the designers an idea of the style they were going for. It's obviously not representative of what the end product will be, though it does give a good general idea of what the devs wanted the game to look like from the start.

http://www.ign.com/videos/2015/06/25/ma ... -ign-first

EDIT x5 (07/18/15) - Not a lot of news since E3, but there have been a couple of interesting articles here and there. Notably, The Verge did an article including an interview with XCOM 2's lead art designer and PC Gamer did a much shorter article about some of the new sound design elements.

http://www.theverge.com/2015/7/17/89782 ... g-foertsch
http://www.pcgamer.com/every-time-you-k ... aby-cries/

EDIT x6 (07/24/15) - Another minor new article, this time about the updated Muton. This makes for eight confirmed types of enemies in the game so far.

http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/07/23/ ... n-unveiled

EDIT x7 (07/25/15) - Gamespot held a short interview over Skype, asking some of the Firaxis staff about the new "part & parcel" randomized map system. Most of it rehashes what we already know, but there are a few new minor details in there. For the most part, it's an interesting interview for those who just want to hear more about how the procedurally generated maps will work.

http://www.gamespot.com/videos/reality- ... 0-6426164/

EDIT x8 (07/27/15) - Gamespot just snagged the exclusive sneak-peek at the third XCOM class, the Sharpshooter. Sharpshooters are similar to the Snipers from XCOM, but with an alternate tree that allows them to become pistoleers. Pistols have been revamped and made more viable, with a number of abilities that appear to let them make multiple weaker attacks (versus the rifle's singular powerful attack). The article also goes a bit into the new cinematic camera, the new line-of-sight mechanics, and the new weapon customization system.

http://www.gamespot.com/articles/xcom-2 ... 0-6429035/

EDIT x9 (07/28/15) - Gamespot got another exclusive, this time focusing on the Chrysalids. While they haven't changed tremendously between games, they're now slightly weaker, but can burrow into the ground to ambush your troopers. In addition, they can multiply faster now, planting multiple eggs in every trooper or civilian they take down.

http://www.gamespot.com/articles/xcom-2 ... 0-6429038/

EDIT x10 (7/29/15) - Another exclusive interview with Gamespot, though this one was pretty weak. It mostly rehashes things we already know (game will be mod-friendly, MECs and genemods are out of the game, and a bit about how it's a PC exclusive).

http://www.gamespot.com/articles/xcom-2 ... 0-6429262/

EDIT x11 (7/31/15) - A short little interview over at io9. It's clear that the interviewers on all websites are being restricted to only asking about features that have already been revealed, but this article at least includes a small amount of new information. Specifically, it mentions a bit more about the Ranger, who can be specced toward scouting (such as the ability to "spot" a target for his allies) or toward close-quarters combat. There was also a bit of chatter about the map system, including mention of maps that will be outside of the alien-run cities (shantytowns, desolate wastes, unaltered countryside). The interview closes out with a small reveal on what several of the new "Secondary Objective" goals might be (capture/rescue VIP, protect/destroy target, eliminate all enemies, etc.).

http://io9.com/what-strategies-will-you ... 1720850748

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC » December 12th, 2015, 7:47 pm

Bump! Time for me to get hyped up about XCOM 2 again, especially now that I'm suitably burned out on Fallout 2. The game comes out on February 5th, which is just under eight weeks from now.

First up, there's a swanky new trailer! Go check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0qHZG1-rEg

Second up, there's the beginnings of a Let's Play(!?!??!?!?) done by Firaxis! It's about fifty minutes long, and probably contains some spoilers, but it's the first real live gameplay that we've gotten to see so far. I haven't finished watching the whole thing just yet, but you can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIYQf5L4N2s

Third, the system requirements have been revealed, and they're nowhere near as bad as some folks might have been fearing they would be. I won't bother linking to a website, because this info is quoted on about forty different gaming sites right now.

Minimum Specs
OS: Windows 7 (64 Bit)
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E4700 2.6 GHz / AMD Phenom 9950 Quad Core 2.6 GHz
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: 1 GB ATI Radeon HD 5770 / 1 GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460
DirectX: v11
Storage: 45 GB
Sound Card: DirectX compatible

Recommended Specs
OS: Windows 7 (64 Bit)
Processor: 3GHz Quad Core
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: 2 GB ATI Radeon HD 7970 / 2 GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770
Storage: 45 GB
Sound Card: DirectX compatible

Fourth, pre-order and DLC details have been revealed! The game will retail (of course) for $59.99usd, and is currently available for pre-order through various outlets. Pre-ordering the game will net you the "Resistance Warrior" DLC Pack, which adds a "survivor of the old war" to your barracks, and unlocks an assortment of bonus outfits, headgear, and custom facial war paints to customize your soldiers with.

They've also revealed that there's a Season Pass (kind of) for XCOM 2, which you can also pre-order. It will retail for $19.99usd, but the Deluxe version of the game will come with both the core game and the season pass for a total of $74.99usd. This collective DLC is called the "Reinforcements Pack", and will consist of three themed DLC packs that will be released sequentially after the core game releases. These packs include:

- Anarchy's Children. This rebellion-themed DLC will feature more dramatic soldier customizations. Slated for Spring of 2016.

- Alien Hunters. This expansion will release even more new soldier customizations themed around XCOM being an elite alien-hunting outfit. It will add new "Ruler-class" aliens, adds some new equipment to the game, and adds a "new dramatic mission". Slated for early Summer 2016.

- Shen's Last Gift. This expansion will introduce a new core soldier class for XCOM, with unique upgradeable weapons, armor, and customization features, as well as a new narrative-driven mission and map. Given the name of the DLC, this new class will most likely involve some form of cybernetics or robotics (since Shen was the XCOM Project's chief engineer). Slated for late Summer 2016.

EDIT - Playable press demos of the game were released yesterday, so I'll start gathering other live footage of gameplay. They provide a playable version of the game, though obviously much more limited in scope than the full game will be. The demo appears to consist of a pre-mission phase where you can check out the various features of the new base and customize your troops, and then a combat mission with some randomized aspects. Most of these videos are unedited, for better or worse.

Here's one from Brenna Hillier, showcasing another battle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7skEUKA-Wk

And another from CaptainShack at TheXPGamers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmUNI778r-U

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by Zombra » December 12th, 2015, 9:49 pm

Oh my god. It's excruciating watching someone so slow and indecisive play the game. :?
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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC » December 12th, 2015, 10:44 pm

Zombra wrote:Oh my god. It's excruciating watching someone so slow and indecisive play the game. :?
True. Unfortunately, the gameplay videos are all completely unedited, and they spend a lot of time talking about gameplay features between taking actions. I think Brenna's is actually the worst one I've watched so far, because there's no commentary at all, and she takes an exceptionally long time to decide on each action during combat.

Inversely, CaptainShack's combat gameplay actually moves along pretty quickly. He plays pretty badly, but at least it moves at a pretty quick pace.

At the moment I'm watching an hour-long video from Eurogamer, with more dev commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwHPhQXavPA

EDIT - And another longer two-part video from quill18. His second video is the first one I've seen that covers the second mission in the press demo. Apparently the full press demo version of the game included two tutorial missions, which weren't allowed to be recorded, and two normal missions (one Guerilla Ops mission and one Black Site mission).

Video 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tqHWR_J7VU
Video 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AifqaBk0T2A

EDIT 2 (12/13/15) - Just finished watching quill18's videos, and they're pretty good. He moves rather quickly, and narrates the whole time. There's one point where he actually fast-forwards his footage, because he acknowledges that nothing interesting happens for a couple of turns in a row.

I'm now checking out two videos from Beaglerush: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9vG-N0ILB0 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JT_0gsOmsQE

EDIT 3 (12/13/15) - Beaglerush's videos are probably the best ones yet. Fast-paced, entertaining narration, and some nice editing.

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by Drool » December 13th, 2015, 11:41 am

Wow, those requirements are pretty modest.

Except the space requirement. Christ, but Fraxis has bloated games. 45G is a little obscene.
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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC » December 13th, 2015, 12:34 pm

Drool wrote:Wow, those requirements are pretty modest.

Except the space requirement. Christ, but Fraxis has bloated games. 45G is a little obscene.
Can't say I'm tremendously surprised, honestly. Once you added in the expansion, the first XCOM clocked in at just over 40gb. From the sounds of it, the semi-randomized battlemaps and large number of soldier-customization options are the main culprit for the sheer size of the XCOM 2 install.

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by IHaveHugeNick » December 13th, 2015, 12:56 pm

Hopefully Firaxis can redeem themselves with this, because their recent output has been mildly shit.
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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by Drool » December 13th, 2015, 1:00 pm

But... should procedural generation make the footprint smaller? You don't have to hand design maps and place things individually, you just need to set up rules. Hell, I thought part of the point of semi-randomization was that it was faster, easier, and smaller.

I mean... that's about twice as big as Fallout: New Vegas was with all 6 DLC.
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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC » December 13th, 2015, 1:10 pm

Drool wrote:But... should procedural generation make the footprint smaller? You don't have to hand design maps and place things individually, you just need to set up rules. Hell, I thought part of the point of semi-randomization was that it was faster, easier, and smaller.

I mean... that's about twice as big as Fallout: New Vegas was with all 6 DLC.
Well, it's not completely randomized maps, only partially randomized. They still have to hand-design maps that are built around various "gaps" and multiple potential entry points, and then they set up individual tables for what features might slot into each "gap". Although the first mission in the press demo is at a fixed location and on a fixed map, you can see how several of the map features change from player to player in the various videos, and one player started on a completely different part of the map than the other players did.

It's also worth keeping in mind that there are apparently five or six completely different environmental tilesets for various types of maps. Recent photos (which I haven't been linking to) have revealed countrysides, snowy fields, burned out post-apoc cities, shanty towns, rural farms, and the gleaming Advent cities.

They also have to keep their designs mod-friendly, since they're really promoting the idea of user-made content this time around.

From what I've seen in the videos, they're still trying to get the semi-randomized procedural structures to work properly with the LOS system. I can't even imagine how much trouble they'd be having if they had tried to implement an entirely procedural map system.

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by Zombra » December 13th, 2015, 1:13 pm

Eh, New Vegas was 5 years ago. This is just how big games are now. Miniaturization isn't a priority for game devs nowadays, and really, why should it be? $70 will get you 3 freakin terabytes, enough for 60 (sixty) AAA game installations. Better get with the times or be prepared to delete some porn. :P
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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by macksting » December 13th, 2015, 7:01 pm

I don't have $70, so this could be a problem.

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by Lord of Riva » December 14th, 2015, 4:05 am

damn pre-order incentives.

i hate that stuff.

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