XCOM 2 (Spoilers)

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC » December 15th, 2015, 9:25 pm

Lucius wrote:Similar bugs like this are present in the original game. Personally, these types of bugs don't bother me much. Sometimes it can be pretty funny. Honestly any game that isn't extremely scripted, I expect visual clipping issues, which is essentially what these bugs amount to.
True, it doesn't bug me much either, but I'm sure there are some folks who find it maddening. It's somewhat exacerbated in the current demo footage because you can actually shoot right through certain pieces of terrain now, such as doors, which can make it seem very misleading during a pitched battle.

I think the worst example of it I've seen thus far was in Beaglerush's footage. Towards the end of his second mission, he finds himself flanked by an incoming pod of alien reinforcements, and he tries to buy himself time by pulling down a garage-style loading bay door to provide cover - only to find that the aliens can fire right through it. The first few shots punch holes in it, and then the third one demolishes it entirely. He chalked it up to a bug, but I'm not so sure it was.

But regardless, I'll be snagging the game on launch day, though I'm still debating between a physical or digital version of the game. You can be sure that once the game does launch, I'll be mentioning any significant bugs that I run into (along with my first-impression thoughts in general).

EDIT - I think I've mentioned it already, but one of the features I'm really looking forward to playing with is the "personnel designer". Prior to starting a game, you can pre-populate the campaign with custom soldiers, scientists, and engineers. You get to decide their names, appearances, nationalities, and even their biography entries. Then when you start the game, it will mix randomly generated characters with those custom personnel, meaning that you'll periodically run into (and get the option to rescue/recruit) your custom guys as you play.

Personally, I'm very much looking forward to inserting several characters from various science fiction properties into the line-up. The Colonial Marines from Aliens are first on the list, followed closely by Dutch's squad from Predator. :P

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by macksting » December 15th, 2015, 9:47 pm

Redshirts from TOS Trek usually have names. The Memory Alpha wiki is a great resource for names of short-lived characters.

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by Zombra » December 15th, 2015, 11:55 pm

Lucius wrote:I'm torn on pre-ordering this as well. Fortunately there is plenty of time to decide. If GMG comes out with an amazing discount on a pre-order, like they often do, then I probably will.
They did have a 30% off coupon a while back, so I snagged the preorder. I don't know what that portends for them doing it again ... good luck :)
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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by Orpheus the Bard » December 17th, 2015, 6:53 am

You know, I pre-ordered this via Steam months ago and they say it's not ready until the 5th of Febuary.
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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC » December 17th, 2015, 8:44 am

Orpheus the Bard wrote:You know, I pre-ordered this via Steam months ago and they say it's not ready until the 5th of Febuary.
Yup. It was originally going to release in November, and then it was pushed back until early February. I even edited the original post to mention that, and started a separate thread where I expressed my disappointment about the announcement. :)

Some people are saying that it was likely pushed back so that it wouldn't have to compete with the release of Fallout 4. But given that XCOM 2 is still fairly unpolished in the recent demo footage, it's more likely that they just needed some extra time to get it into release condition.

Only fifty more days until XCOM 2!

EDIT - Not a lot of new news for XCOM 2, since the press footage dropped. Still a few small new tidbits out there, though.

First, RPS just released a small video showing some footage of them playing with the soldier customization options for a couple of minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXp1iQqkcfM

Second, PCgamesn did a very short article where they asked Garth DeAngelis about the length of the game. Garth was a bit cagey with his response, but it basically boiled down to 20-30 hours with an average of 30-50 missions before campaign completion. Playtime varies widely depending on individual luck and play-style. The eight-paragraph article is here: http://www.pcgamesn.com/xcom-2/firaxis- ... omplicated

A few other websites, such as USgamer, have pushed for some more information on finer points. While most of the information covered is either already known, or just purely fluff, a few bits of new information come up. Specifically, the Interception mini-game is completely removed in XCOM 2. Instead, the player will need to go on special missions to thwart alien attempts to track down XCOM's mobile headquarters (the Avenger).

If the Avenger comes under attack, then it may end up being grounded by damage suffered during the attack. This will trigger a special series of "base defense" missions, where the player needs to fight off waves of alien ground troops while to give their engineering team time to get the Avenger back into the air. If any of these missions are failed, then it's game over.

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by Lucius » December 17th, 2015, 11:35 am

Oh gosh with game length, that's pretty impossible to guess at considering the style of game it is. I mean, some folks will zoom through turns in 30 seconds each, others spend 20 mins(!!!) on nearly every single turn.

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC » December 17th, 2015, 4:45 pm

Lucius wrote:Oh gosh with game length, that's pretty impossible to guess at considering the style of game it is. I mean, some folks will zoom through turns in 30 seconds each, others spend 20 mins(!!!) on nearly every single turn.
True. I tend to do other things at the same time that I'm playing many turn-based games, so sometimes it'll take me just a minute to complete a turn, while other times it will take me half an hour. While I'm writing this post, I actually have Hard West running on another screen, and my gunslingers are patiently waiting for me to finish walking them through an ambush. :P

Really, though, I tend to take my time with turn-based games even when I'm not multi-tasking. I do tend to favor getting the maximum play-time possible out of a game, though even I found the XCOM Long War mod to run a little too long.

No big news at the moment. There are a couple of filler articles from GameSpot and an indie site called "We Got This Covered" (pretty sure they just copied the article from GameSpot). Since there's been the usual rumblings from folks about how the announced DLC must be content that was cut from the finished game, Jake Solomon went on the record stating that it's not. He reiterated that they've established what the DLC content will be, but that they won't actually be working on it until the core game is finished.

http://www.gamespot.com/articles/xcom-2 ... 0-6433217/
http://wegotthiscovered.com/gaming/xcom ... t-content/

EDIT - Two new videos up on the official XCOM channel.

Firaxis Community Manager Kevin Schultz takes a run at the Guerilla Ops demo mission (23 Minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxOr_CC-5oo

Creative Director Jake Solomon and Lead Producer Garth DeAngelis take on the Black Site demo mission (82 Minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kacg5SKJy_4

EDIT 2 - The ESRB just rated XCOM 2, and they've given it a Teen rating for Blood, Use of Tobacco, and Violence. The summary given for the game is:

"This is a strategy game in which players attempt to save Earth from an alien invasion. From a ¾-top-down perspective, players manage resources, engage in combat missions, rescue characters, and terrorize alien installations. Players use rifles, machine guns, pistols, and grenades to kill enemies (e.g., human-, insect-, beast-like characters) in turn-based combat.

Attack moves occur in brief cutscenes that depict characters getting shot or wounded/killed by explosions. Splashes and pools of yellow and red blood sometimes appear when characters are injured or killed. During the course of the game, players can customize soldiers with accessories, including lit cigarettes and cigars.”

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by Drool » December 18th, 2015, 12:04 pm

SagaDC wrote:Right now the biggest bug seems to be some LOS issues caused by the semi-procedural level designs.
Meh. Graphical glitches are one thing. I was more talking about the serious crash to desktop issues XCOM had. I clocked close to two hours in the game before I could get through the opening cinematic without a CTD.
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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC » December 30th, 2015, 10:45 am

Firaxis took the holidays off, so there's not much news on the XCOM 2 front. Thirty-seven more days until the game releases.

I took some time to watch through a few more of the (numerous) videos that were released in early December, and noticed a handful of new details. Nothing major, but a few things worth noting.

This video from Arekkz Gaming explores the soldier customization a bit more than most of the others do. Apparently, he was also told that while the initial selection of customizations is relatively limited, each additional rank that a soldier gains will unlock additional customizations. More customization options will also be available through the official DLC packs, and customization options will likely be a popular subject for mods once the modkit comes out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVa4sQz3ay4


Beaglerush (best known for his Iron Man Impossible livestreams for the first XCOM) is also one of the few folks to play through one of the demo missions on "Legendary" difficulty mode. He actually makes it look pretty easy, though it's worth keeping in mind that he's exceptionally good at the previous game and that the devs are still finalizing the difficulty settings. This is a prerelease build, so things will likely change at least a bit before the final release.

The biggest thing about this video is that it seems to be the first one where a Sectoid actually shows up (showcasing some of his new psionic abilities). This video also very heavily implies that higher difficulty settings will provide better loot drops, because BR manages to acquire some significantly more powerful loot drops this time around (compared to the loot drops he acquired in his "normal" difficulty run).

A pretty notable bug also crops up about halfway through his video, and at one point he reloads a quick save and it apparently causes two enemies to "teleport" to a new position. Again, this is a prerelease build, so the issues may already be addressed by the time the game officially releases.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5X1Tfx_TM38


EDIT - In tangentially related news, the folks over at Goldhawk are still talking about moving forward with development on Xenonauts 2. Xenonauts was an homage to the original X-Com, and seems to have been fairly well received (for a small-budget indie title). Current chatter is that they're working on their own in-house engine (a modified version of Unity) specifically geared for use in tile-based strategy games.

Xenonauts 2 is more likely to be a revised and expanded version of the first Xenonauts, rather than a full-fledged sequel or prequel. This official thread over at the Goldhawk forums discusses their various thoughts on what they might change in Xenonauts 2, and is also very careful to note that even if they move forward with the project, it's a title that would release in 2017 at the earliest (ie, it's not trying to directly compete with XCOM 2).

http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/foru ... s-2-Update


EDIT x2 - A very minor new reveal. Since there was some confusion about what the "Soldier of the Old War" part of the Resistance pre-order bonus pack was, apparently some Devs spoke up about it. It does not actually grant you an extra soldier or special character. Instead, it grants you access to some custom costume pieces based on the XCOM uniform from the first game, so you can make one or more of your soldiers look like old-school XCOM vets.


EDIT x3 (01-06-2016) - A short new article is up on IGN, showcasing another new type of enemy, the Gatekeeper. This is the fourteenth enemy type that has been revealed thus far, but given that the XCOM 2 devs have stated that there are over thirty enemy types in the new game, we haven't even seen over half of them yet.

http://www.ign.com/articles/2016/01/07/ ... -in-action

There is also a short article on the official XCOM website showcasing a new map environment - City Slums:

https://xcom.com/news/en-the-environmen ... om-2-slums

I'm also hearing that there will be a new Liveplay from Firaxis tomorrow (Thursday, 01-07-2016) at 2pm EST on Twitch. I don't have any official announcements to link to, but I've heard it repeated a few times over on some of the other discussion forums.


EDIT x4 (01-07-2016) - An extensive overview has been released, showcasing the "secret" fifth soldier class. It is now confirmed that the secret class is the Psi-Operative. ChristopherOdd has released an overview of the class that showcases all of the new class abilities, as well as how the class functions differently from the other four classes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjE_JSqLt0Y

The NDA for the XCOM 2 press demo has now been lifted, so online journalists are now releasing massive amounts of new information about XCOM 2. There's a sudden deluge of new information, but thus far the best synopsis I have seen is this hour-long video from TotalBiscuit. He is careful to avoid any major plot spoilers, but does discuss the backstory and strategic layers of the game rather exhaustively, including revealing several new details about the Geoscape and Base Management aspects.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqLNE8VXDGU


EDIT x5 (01-08-2016) - Two more enemies revealed: the newly refined Sectopod, and the even deadlier new Outsider. While I don't have any pictures of the new Outsider (sorry!), I do have a couple of shots of the sleek new Sectopod.

https://twitter.com/XCOM/status/685276058023636992

https://cdn2.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/UWRkU0 ... od_1.0.jpg

That brings the total number of different enemy types up to an impressive 17. That's the same number of enemies that were included in XCOM:EW. And, according to the devs, there are still over a dozen additional enemies that they haven't even shown us yet.

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by Orpheus the Bard » January 12th, 2016, 11:47 am

Looking forward to this next month.
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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC » January 21st, 2016, 9:08 am

Fifteen more days until XCOM 2 launches.

Some of the Youtube personalities that got copies of the press demo have, of course, started stripping it for information that Firaxis didn't necessarily intend for them to find. Although the game is supposed to be limited by a three-month in-game time limit for a campaign, enterprising folks like ChristopherOdd and BeagleRush ended up editing their .ini files to let them see much more than was intended. Recent YouTube videos have been showcasing full skill lists for all five soldier classes, as well as a lot of the second-tier equipment that you wouldn't normally be able to build during the first three months of a new campaign. I won't bother including links, but you can find the spoiler-heavy videos over on Youtube by just looking up ChristopherOdd or BeagleRush.

In other XCOM 2 news, Firaxis has another liveplay planned to stream today on Twitch. It'll be starting at 2pm EST, a couple of hours from now. They also apparently plan to have some sort of "Mega Panel" on January 30th, where they'll have more live gameplay footage as well as a discussion about the mod tools that will be included with XCOM 2. Popular rumor is that they might be announcing an official demo for XCOM 2, but there's no evidence to back up those rumors.

Finally, in a surprising (but also somehow not-so-surprising) move, Firaxis officially announced that they will be partnering with Long War Studios to develop an official new Long War mod for XCOM 2. There is very little in the way of details for this, but the Long War mods will apparently be ready in time for the game's launch in February. They will be sharing more information about this collaborative effort during the Mega Panel on January 30th.

https://xcom.com/news/en-long-war-studi ... for-launch

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by Kingrames » January 27th, 2016, 5:04 am

Wow, those aren't spoilers, they're saviors. I am now interested in this game after that description.

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC » January 31st, 2016, 8:02 am

Five days until XCOM 2 launches.

Firaxis held an hour-long "megapanel" during PAX South over the weekend. They didn't reveal a whole lot of new info, but they did talk a lot about the modding systems that are in place for XCOM 2. There are a lot of technical details in that regard, so the footage may be interesting for anyone who's planning to try their hand at creating mods for XCOM 2. They also showcased the introductory cinematic for the first real mission in the game, Operation: Gatecrasher, which hasn't been shown before.

The Firaxis panel starts about 2:20:00 in the archived video.

http://www.twitch.tv/pax2/v/38694034

They also talked a bit about the three mods that Long War Studios will be releasing alongside the core game on Friday. Sadly, the aren't currently planning to do an actual "Long War 2" for the game. Instead, they're releasing three smaller mods that are designed to showcase the kinds of things that can be done using the mod tools that will be provided with XCOM 2. These mods will be available on Day 1, provided for free through the Steam Workshop.

In order of simplest to most complex, the three planned mods are:

1) A new weapon category, the Submachine Gun. An alternative to the Assault Rifle, the Submachine Gun will inflict less raw damage than the rifle, but will grant bonuses to mobility and stealth. This mod adds a Submachine Gun weapon for each primary weapon tier, and is fully compatible with the existing weapon customization and modification system that's already in place.

2) A new enemy variant, the Muton Centurion. A more powerful "leader" unit, the Muton Centurion is bigger and tougher than the normal Muton unit. It has been reskinned to look more heavily armored, and possesses a new ability that allows it to grant combat buffs to other nearby alien units.

3) A new "officer promotion" system, similar to the one seen in the Long War mod for XCOM:EW. The player can access the new officer promotion system through the training school. By dedicating time and resources to promoting soldiers, the soldiers can gain various special "Officer Abilities" that will improve the performance of other soldiers that are assigned to their squads during missions. The down side is that you can never field more than one officer on a single mission.

While Long War Studios does not currently have any plans to go forward with a "Long War 2" mod, they have not closed the door on that possibility either. They are keeping their options open for the time being, but the bulk of their attention is presumably being focused on their own independent game - "Terra Invicta".

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by Drool » January 31st, 2016, 11:37 am

Wonder what the response will be to this. Bethesda gets blasted for releasing "incomplete" games and relying on modders. This is like that, only explicit.
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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC » January 31st, 2016, 12:53 pm

Drool wrote:Wonder what the response will be to this. Bethesda gets blasted for releasing "incomplete" games and relying on modders. This is like that, only explicit.
Thus far the response actually seems rather positive. People wanted the game to be more mod-friendly, so the XCOM 2 development team invited the Long War Studios on board to give them some recommendations. As a result, XCOM 2 is a complete game that can be (relatively) easily modified using a set of mod tools and assets that will be included with the game. The game itself seems to have been rather well tested, so they're not anticipating any game-breaking bugs.

With Bethesda, the problem is that BethSoft releases games that are unfinished in that they're simply not fully run through QA. There are always dozens if not hundreds of bugs and scripting errors that they didn't address, and many of them remain unaddressed until fans go out of their way to fix them. In many ways, they're actually showing some surprising improvement with Fallout 4 because they're actually releasing bug patches for once. Normally if they decide to roll out bug patches, they only roll them out with the DLC launches.

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC » February 1st, 2016, 7:28 am

The "Review Embargo" just lifted, and a flood of reviews for XCOM 2 are hitting the 'net. There are already thirty professional reviews up on Metacritic, giving the game an average score of 91/100.

http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/xcom-2/critic-reviews

Oddly, the lowest review seems to be from Electronic Gaming Monthly, who gave it a 75/100. The reviewer had a valid complaint about occasional frame-freezing during animations, but primarily seemed to complain about the perceived difficulty and the nature of turn-based combat (he lists "missing a 95% shot" as the only thing in his "bad" category).

ShackNews was also relatively harsh on it, giving it an 80/100. In actually reading their review, though, I can't see where they say anything negative about the game (aside from implying that it's "too big" and there are "too many choices").

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by DragonHunterG » February 1st, 2016, 9:40 am

I'm so looking forward to this game. The first one took me by surprise by how awesome it was.

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC » February 4th, 2016, 6:02 am

The XCOM 2 preloading period started last night (though I forgot to mention it here). The final DL size is 26.5gb, though when the game unpacks tomorrow it will take up a total of about 45gb worth of space as initially advertised. The modding tools will be available for download tomorrow, and will take an additional 25gb worth of space, for a total of 70gb.

For those who have already pre-ordered the game, you can see exactly what time it will unlock using this officially released "region map":

http://i.imgur.com/CwT7Y2P.jpg

Personally, I'll be getting it at a little after midnight EST.

EDIT - The game has unlocked in some Asian regions, and I'm hearing some scattered reports of FPS problems. The main culprit seems to be with NVIDIA cards, which apparently don't have an updated "XCOM 2" compatible update yet. I know TotalBiscuit mentioned having some issues with his Titan graphics card as well. I'll keep an eyeball on it.

EDIT x2 - The game has unlocked in European and African regions.

EDIT x3 - XCOM 2 has now unlocked in all regions. Good luck, Commander.

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by sear » February 5th, 2016, 8:22 am

I'm really happy the reception has been so positive. While I don't know if it really fits in line with the old X-COM anymore (the art style is so different, even more so than the last game), it seems clear that Firaxis has built a really strong tactics/strategy game.

Not sure I will have time to play it anytime soon unfortunately, but I look forward to picking it up at some point in the future.

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC » February 7th, 2016, 12:55 pm

Been playing XCOM 2 a lot over the past day or so, and I'm most of the way through my first campaign. I'd definitely say it feels more difficult than the first game, though in large part that may be because of how quickly the aliens "escalate" their forces. Some of the mid-to-late-game enemies are obnoxious, even for high-level soldiers.

The story is interesting. It's not much of a spoiler, since they reveal it in the first few minutes of the campaign, but the events of XCOM: Enemy Within are revealed to be a "tactical simulation", which your character was forced to run through repeatedly after he was captured when XCOM fell. That way, they could essentially completely discard the original ending (which wasn't very popular anyway) and introduce an entirely new story behind the invasion.

There are already over sixty various mods on the Steam Workshop already, though at the moment it's mostly either cosmetic tweaks, difficulty tweaks, or outright "cheat" mods. A couple of folks have been getting a bit more ambitious, and there are two or three new classes as well, though at the moment the class mods are a bit glitch-prone.

As a word of warning, even the Long War Studios mods for XCOM 2 are a bit glitchy. Submachine Guns and the Muton Centurion mods seem to work fine, but the Leadership Skills mod is essentially just one big glitch bomb that's just waiting to go off (taking your inventory and/or save files with it). Hopefully they'll get around to fixing that one.

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