XCOM 2 (Spoilers)

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by terrmathor » February 7th, 2016, 1:52 pm

I'm 5 hours into XCOM 2, and yes, its' quite difficult (veteran, here).

But it's rewarding and fun. No crash in 5 hours playing (on SteamOS/Linux, thanks Firaxis !).

Lots of fun ahead, it seems ...

Really happy about this title so far ...

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC » March 20th, 2016, 10:27 pm

Almost decided it wasn't worth mentioning, but the first official DLC pack for XCOM 2 was released last week. "Anarchy's Child", as described in the original Season Pass, is an entirely cosmetic bit of DLC that adds about a hundred new "punk"-styled cosmetic options to customize your soldiers with. For those who want more ways to customize their soldiers, this pack is certainly worth checking out. For those who want a more substantial DLC pack that affects gameplay, this is probably worth skipping.

It also notably increases the number of customization slots available, splitting the previously singular "arms" slot into four separate slots (upper left arm, upper right arm, lower left arm, lower right arm). This has temporarily broken a lot of the fan-made cosmetic mods that made use of the arm slots, but given a bit of time I'm sure most of those will be fixed to work with the new slots.

The next piece of DLC slated for release is "Alien Hunters", which will add additional "Hunter"-themed cosmetic options for your soldiers, as well as a short story-based mission, new "ruler"-type aliens, and new gear. No word on exactly when this DLC will be released, but I would guess we'll be seeing it some time in May.

In other news, this is looking like it might end up being the "Year of X-Com", since there are two (possibly three) "inspired by" titles currently in the works. I've mentioned it elsewhere, but I suppose it bears repeating - Long Wars Studios is currently preparing a Kickstarter to fund their take on the XCOM franchise, named Terra Invictus, and Goldhawk Interactive also recently announced that they're moving forward with the development of Xenonauts 2 (inspired heavily by the original X-Com series). There are also strong rumors that the recently announced "Pheonix Point" (from the maker of X-Com: UFO Defense, and slated for release later this year) will also be a game that is similar in nature to the X-Com or XCOM franchise.

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by cyseal » March 21st, 2016, 6:32 pm

I came up to this image that I laughed hard
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CarW5msUsAAcikO.jpg

Isn't there announced game similar to XCOM but uses some historical elements and magic. I'm sure I saw the trailer sometime ago but I forgot the name.

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC » March 21st, 2016, 9:08 pm

cyseal wrote:I came up to this image that I laughed hard
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CarW5msUsAAcikO.jpg
Well, most X-Com vets would just shrug that off and say, "That's X-Com!" ;)
cyseal wrote:Isn't there announced game similar to XCOM but uses some historical elements and magic. I'm sure I saw the trailer sometime ago but I forgot the name.
Well, there was Massive Chalice, last year. That game drew some comparisons to a "fantasy version of XCOM", and was developed by Double Fine. It's already out, and it's got a lot of mixed reviews.

One of the more ambitious "total conversion" mods for XCOM 2 is called "Dragonpunk", and is looking to blend fantasy and science fiction elements into a single campaign. There's a lot of concept art up on their website (Dragonpunk.org), and it has a very strong Shadowrun vibe to it, but no actual mods seem to have been released yet. They've gone pretty quiet since XCOM 2 launched in February, so it's hard to guess what the status of their project is.

It's also possible that there's something else that I just haven't seen yet. I'm always on the lookout for more turn-based tactical games, so if that's the case, then I'm eager to give it a look. :P

EDIT - Oh, and of course there was "Chaos Reborn", which came out in 2015. That game isn't exactly an XCOM-style game (it's turn-based, but pits players against each other in online battles rather than focusing on a single-player campaign). It was created by Julian Gollop, the original creator of X-Com: UFO Defense.

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Re: XCOM 2, Due This November (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC » April 29th, 2016, 7:29 pm

It's been over a month since Anarchy's Child released, and there's still no word on when we can expect to see "Alien Hunters" or "Shen's Legacy", the remaining two pieces of official DLC. Fortunately, it looks like things aren't entirely quiet. Long Wars Studios (still in partnership with Firaxis) has announced five more "Firaxis-Approved" mods for XCOM 2. The first mod has already been released, and the other four will be released sequentially over the next few months.

The first mod, called "Toolbox", provides several new ways to adjust your game settings. It allows you to bring up to twelve XCOM operatives into battle at a time, and adds several of the Second Wave options from XCOM:EW - Damage Roulette (wider damage ranges), Hidden Potential (random soldier stats), and Red Fog (aliens and soldiers suffer penalties as they get wounded). The Toolbox mod also provides greater control over the in-game camera, and more concisely displays the soldiers stats (since they can be greatly randomized with the Hidden Potential) attribute.

The second mod, entitled the "Perk Pack" will be a "soldier class construction kit". The third mod, entitled the "Laser Pack", will add a new tier of laser weaponry that fits between Magnetic and Plasma weaponry. The fourth mod, entitled the Alien Pack, will add ten new types of enemies (possibly just reskins with new abilities). The fifth mod is, for now, being kept a secret.

EDIT - There we go, the Alien Hunters pack was just given an official release date. We can expect to see it next Thursday, May 12th. It will cost $9.99 USD, though it is included automatically as part of the Reinforcement Pack that could previously be purchased for as low as $14.99 USD. The Alien Hunters pack includes one new narrative-driven mission, four new unique weapons, three new unique sets of armor, one new room upgrade, and three new unique "Ruler" alien units. There are also nine new achievements.

The new DLC will essentially add three potentially recurring alien "bosses" based on three of the already existing alien castes. These rulers are more powerful than their minions, and each feature unique behavior and tactics - including the ability to flee from the battlefield if things start going badly for them. If the player manages to take down one of the alien rulers, they'll be rewarded with a new unique set of armor that grants abilities not seen on any of the other equipment in the game. Killing the Archon Ruler, for example, will reward XCOM with the flying Icarus Suit.

https://xcom.com/news/en-dangerous-rule ... unters-dlc

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Re: XCOM 2 (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC » May 13th, 2016, 10:09 am

The "Alien Hunters" DLC pack came out yesterday, and thus far it's receiving mixed reviews. Unfortunately, Firaxis seems to have dropped the ball somewhat with the quality of their first two DLC packs. There's certainly some enjoyment to be had in there, but there are a lot of questionable design decisions.

The new content is not well-integrated into the existing campaign structure, and the new alien bosses are made artificially difficult by "bending" the rules. When you encounter an alien ruler (which can happen in any mission at any time, after they've been introduced) it will often decimate your group simply because each ruler has the ability to take an action after every soldier activation. That means that if you have a squad of six soldiers, an Alien Ruler will theoretically take up to twelve actions in the span of a single turn. If you attempt to avoid giving the Alien Ruler extra actions by ending your turn early, then the Alien Ruler will instead get a number of extra actions equal to half the number of unused action points you had remaining when you ended your turn.

At the moment, the main viable tactic for taking out the Alien Rulers is to just make sure you're kitted out with a lot of Repeaters. Alien Rulers are not immune to the "instant kill chance" that a Repeater grants, and there are already videos up on Youtube of players gunning down the Rulers with Repeaters during Legendary Iron Man runs.

Aesthetically speaking, a lot of the new gear is useful, but also looks rather silly. I was somewhat forgiving when it came to judging the "Mad Max" style of cosmetic options introduced in the Anarchy DLC, even though it was very much at odds with the "Mass Effect" style used by the default gear. But the new aesthetic for Alien Hunters doesn't match either of those aesthetics, and is instead more akin to something you would expect from "Kamen Riders" or "Power Rangers".

On the bright side, Firaxis also used the release of this new DLC as an excuse to release a new performance patch as well. I'm hearing a lot of reports that people are seeing improvements in the performance of their games, though not all issues have been fixed. Unfortunately, this new patch also means that anyone reliant on user-made mods (including ones made by Long Wars Studios) will need to take a break from the game until the various modders have fully updated their mods to be compatible with the current version of the game.

Oh well. One more DLC to go. The "Shen's Last Gift" DLC will likely be out in mid-July, and will introduce a new soldier class with unique upgradeable weapons, armor and customization features, as well as a new narrative-driven mission and map.

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Re: XCOM 2 (Spoilers)

Post by Drool » May 13th, 2016, 1:46 pm

SagaDC wrote:When you encounter an alien ruler (which can happen in any mission at any time, after they've been introduced) it will often decimate your group simply because each ruler has the ability to take an action after every soldier activation.
That's some weapons-grade bullshit right there.
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Re: XCOM 2 (Spoilers)

Post by Lucius » May 13th, 2016, 8:17 pm

It's been awhile now sense release, I'm curious if this is worth buying now? I've heard awful things about it so I've been reluctant, even though I loved Firaxis's first one. Reading about these dlc is also disappointing. Didn't they learn from XCOM's first dlc? These 2 for XCOM 2 do not sound comparable to EW at all in terms of scope.

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Re: XCOM 2 (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC » May 14th, 2016, 7:12 am

Lucius wrote:It's been awhile now sense release, I'm curious if this is worth buying now?
There were definitely some pretty serious performance issues during the first couple of months after release. I didn't personally have any significant issues, other than an occasional random framerate drop during cut scenes or slightly-too-long loading screens, but I did have a friend who was completely unable to run the game for no apparent reason.

They've dropped two major patches since then, which seems to have fixed a lot of these outstanding issues. There are still some bugs and optimization issues floating around, of course, but I assume those are still on their radar and slated to be addressed as they narrow down the potential causes.
Lucius wrote:Reading about these dlc is also disappointing. Didn't they learn from XCOM's first dlc? These 2 for XCOM 2 do not sound comparable to EW at all in terms of scope.
Honestly, I think the problem here is the fact that they sold a Season Pass ahead of time. Once they monetized the DLC in advance, they essentially committed themselves to the act of finishing and releasing that DLC, no matter how well- or poorly-received it looked like it was going to be.

In comparison, with XCOM:EU they had also originally planned to release three pieces of "micro-DLC" - Operation Slingshot, Operation Progeny, and a third unnamed mission pack. But the reception for the first pack was so negative that they ended up scrapping their plans for the second and third pack, and instead focused on creating a larger and more substantial DLC expansion instead.

If they outright cancelled any of the content planned for the Season Pass, which people have already paid for, then there would be an uproar. At the very least, they do have three things going for them in regards to the mediocre DLC, though:

1) It was cheap. Depending on when you bought the Season Pass, you could have gotten all three pieces of DLC for as low as something in the area of $12-15 USD. It's hard to really get mad about something that costs less than a meal at your average restaurant.

2) Even the worst of the DLC packs still adds at least something of value to the game, in the form of new modding infrastructure. Even if you hated Anarchy's Children, for example, it still added more modular customization slots for modders to build more detailed customization objects with. Likewise, even if you hate Alien Hunters, it still adds the modding infrastructure needed to mod in other new types of equipment such as jetpacks, various new types of weapons, so on.

3) Even if you ignore the official "paid" DLC, Firaxis is still providing all sorts of free content, in the form of the mods being created through their collaboration with Long Wars Studios. New weapons, new enemies, new soldier options, new gameplay options - honestly, that's probably the sort of stuff that Firaxis should have been focusing on in the first place, but at least they're still doing it as an afterthought (and for free!).

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Re: XCOM 2 (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC » June 7th, 2016, 11:03 am

Minor news update for XCOM 2. Apparently they'll be bringing it to consoles in September of this year.

It's also possible that we'll be seeing details about the third (and possibly final) DLC pack, Shen's Last Gift, at E3 later this month. That seems to just be a rumor, though, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

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Re: XCOM 2 (Spoilers)

Post by Lucius » June 7th, 2016, 7:44 pm

SagaDC wrote:Minor news update for XCOM 2. Apparently they'll be bringing it to consoles in September of this year.

It's also possible that we'll be seeing details about the third (and possibly final) DLC pack, Shen's Last Gift, at E3 later this month. That seems to just be a rumor, though, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
I thought I heard estimated release date is late June, so I'd say it's pretty likely since Firaxis will be there, likely also showing Civ 6. Btw, finally bought XCOM 2. I'm playing through it now. It's enjoyable but it's kind of just more of the same compared to XCOM: EU/EW.

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Re: XCOM 2 (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC » June 28th, 2016, 7:25 am

Some recent chatter on Reddit and the Steam Forums seems to confirm that the third (and possibly final) DLC for XCOM 2 will re-introduce MECs into the game. Apparently the DLC will involve the player (accompanied by Lily Shen) going on a special mission to Advent's "Lost Towers Facility" to recover the late Doctor Raymond Shen's research.

The MEC units sound like they'll be based more on the streamlined, autonomous units that are already being used by ADVENT forces, rather than the cybernetic monstrosities from XCOM:EW. It sounds like the MEC units will use medieval titles rather than military ranks to represent it's levels (Squire, Knight, Cavalier, etc.). The names for thirteen skills have also been revealed at this point, and they appear to be distributed like the skills for a normal class (one skill gained automatically at Rank 2, two skills to choose between from Rank 3 to Rank 7). Beyond the names, nothing is actually known about what the skills will actually do, though it's worth noting that several of them share names with skills from XCOM:EW.

For those who are interested, the names of the skills are apparently: Wrecking Ball, Strike, Sacrifice, Repair, Overdrive, Nova, Intimidate, Hunter Protocol, Bulwark, Bombard, Arsenal, Adaptive Aim, and Absorption Field.

EDIT - And it's just been stealth-released as of midnight last night. You can view the official launch trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHG_abjJLPM

From a visual standpoint, the new unit is obviously an autonomous robot (similar to the Advent MEC Troopers). From a gameplay standpoint, it seems to operate like a hybrid of the old XCOM:EW MEC and a normal soldier. Haven't actually had a chance to try it out yet, though, since the new patch also broke pretty much all of the mods I had installed. :P

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Re: XCOM 2 (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC » July 9th, 2016, 4:37 pm

Long War Studios just released two more official mods for XCOM 2: the Long War Perk Pack, and the Long War Laser Pack.

The Long War Perk Pack heavily alters the class and perk infrastructure to allow for a system where the player can choose between three different perks at each soldier rank. Soldier classes have been further divided into seven distinct classes instead of four, including the Assault, Grenadier, Gunner, Ranger, Sharpshooter, Shinobi, and Specialist. This is further supported by the addition of seventy new character perks, spread out over the seven classes. While the mod does seem to be mostly functional, it does have a lot of conflicts with other mods due to the major changes it makes to the game's architecture, and in addition there are issues with a small number of the new perks that are introduced by this mod. The bugs will presumably be addressed in future updates.

The Long War Laser Pack is, as it sounds, a pack that re-introduces Laser and Pulse Laser weaponry to the game. Fitting in between Magnetic and Plasma weaponry, this mod makes Laser weaponry the "third tier" before final-tier Plasma weaponry. This pack includes all new art assets for the new laser weapons, by Chris "CapnBubs" Mansell (of the wildly popular CapnBubs Accessory mod). It is also fully compatible with the Long War Submachine Gun mod, in which case it will also add the Laser Stengun to the game.

Long War Studios is planning to release two more mods in the future, though they have not yet given much in the way of details or a planned release date. The next pack will be called the "Long War Alien Pack" and will introduce several new enemies to the core game. The final pack, to be released after the Alien Pack, is still being kept a secret.

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Re: XCOM 2 (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC » January 18th, 2017, 2:28 pm

It's been a while, but it's time for another XCOM 2 update. Surprising pretty much no one, Long Wars Studios (recently renamed "Pavonis Interactive") announced that their final Firaxis-sponsored mod for XCOM 2 will be a full-fledged "Long Wars 2". There's no word on exactly when it will be released, but it is presumably going to be out some time this year.

EDIT - Apparently it's out now!

This mod will add numerous new elements to the game, including:

1) It is assumed, but not confirmed, that Long Wars 2 will be designed to be compatible with the other Long Wars Studios mods. The other LWS-made mods add new weapon categories (SMG and Lasers), new enemy variants, new perks, new game options, and an "officer system".

EDIT - All of the other LWS/Pavonis-made mod packs are already integrated into the new Long War 2 overhaul. You won't have to worry about installing them separately. Most other mods are not compatible with LW2, due to the sheer volume of changes made to the base game. The LW2 mod pack also disables controller support.

2) Another new weapon category, the Coilgun, which fits into the research tree above Mag Weapons but below Beam Weapons.

EDIT - There are a total of five weapon tiers now: Ballistic, Mag Weapons, Coilguns, Laser Weapons, and Plasma Weapons. Submachine Guns are fully integrated into the game at all tech levels, and there are also a few new sidearms as well. Some classes get a Sawed-Off Shotgun as a sidearm, which is highly accurate and damaging, but with a very short range. Some classes also get the Arc Thrower (returning from XCOM:EU) as a sidearm, allowing them to stun or disorient nearby foes.

3) A new class, the "Technical". Focused heavily on crowd control and anti-personnel area attacks, the Technical is capable of making attacks with a grenade launcher, flamethrower, and single-shot rocket launcher.

EDIT - There are actually a total of nine soldier classes now - the five default classes (Sharpshooter, Ranger, Grenadier, Specialist, and Psionic), plus four new ones (Shinobi, Assault, Gunner, and Technical). Every class has three perks to choose from at each rank/level, meaning there are numerous new perks and abilities to play with.

4) Resistance Cell Management. The player will now have more control over each Resistance Base that they establish, such as deciding what tasks that cell should focus on (recruiting, scavenging, or gathering intel). The player will also be able to repurpose certain captured ADVENT resources such as MECs and turrets to help defend their Resistance Bases. Faceless are also given a greater role in the new Resistance Cell Management system, as they attempt to infiltrate your cells and dismantle them from within.

5) At least eight new types of tactical missions, plus some rebalanced features in existing tactical missions.

6) Lots of general rebalances and improvements. The LW2 mod boasts that it not only greatly increases the variety of enemies (mostly through the use of reskinned variants), but it also improves on their AI. Outside of combat missions, Advent will now attempt to directly counter the player's actions or slow the player's progress with Dark Ops.

EDIT - The player will need to manage several more squads this time around, and some missions will actually require mobilizing multiple squads at once, to attack multiple mission sites at the same time. An average XCOM LW2 campaign is expected to have roughly 100-120 missions from start to finish.

https://xcom.com/news/xcom-2-long-war-2 ... on-coilgun
https://xcom.com/news/xcom-2-long-war-2 ... lass-on-pc
https://xcom.com/news/xcom-2-long-war-2 ... ayer-on-pc
https://xcom.com/news/xcom-2-long-war-2 ... ions-on-pc

EDIT - ChristopherOdd, a Youtuber well known for his XCOM and XCOM 2 footage, was given access a little early, giving him time to throw together a video showcasing some of the new elements in the Long War 2 mod. You can check it out here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JLq_Wc0YBQ

EDIT x2 - Spent a couple of hours mucking around with the mod last night. It's definitely very ambitious, with lots of new bits and pieces to play with. Difficulty might have spiked a bit too much, though, since even early missions now seem to have an average of anywhere from 20-40 enemies in them (though, to be fair, you can sometimes bring up to ten soldiers into the field at a time).

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Re: XCOM 2 (Spoilers)

Post by SagaDC » June 12th, 2017, 4:09 pm

Firaxis just revealed the first major expansion for XCOM 2 at E3, and it's... very strange.

It adds a new series of storyline missions that involve trying to recruit three other human-led resistance factions, but also introduces a strange new enemy faction that appears to be made up of some sort of psionic demons. Also, there area lot of zombies. I appreciate that they're adding more variety and content to the game, but at the same time it's starting to feel a bit to... "science-fantasy" to me. But that's just one nerd's opinion. :P

Trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3bENBY ... e=youtu.be

The Feature List reads as follows:

NEW FACTIONS & HERO CLASSES
Three additional factions have emerged to strengthen Earth's resistance – the Reapers, Skirmishers and Templars – each with its own unique abilities and contrasting philosophies. These factions provide powerful hero class soldiers to aid in missions and new opportunities for the strategy layer.

THE CHOSEN
The Chosen are the most cunning enemies XCOM has ever faced, each with unique strengths and weaknesses that will be introduced with each new campaign. The Chosen are on the hunt for the Commander and will kidnap, interrogate, and kill XCOM’s soldiers to complete their objective. The Chosen can also invade the strategy layer and ravage XCOM’s global operations. Find and raid the Chosen’s strongholds to defeat the enemy for good.

NEW ALIEN & ADVENT THREATS
A deadly new alien known as the Spectre, capable of creating dark copies of XCOM soldiers, has snuck onto the battlefield. Adopt new tactics to counter it as well as the explosive attacks of the ADVENT Purifier and the psionically charged ADVENT Priest.

NEW ENVIRONMENTS AND MISSION OBJECTIVES
Engage in tactical missions across new environments from abandoned cities devastated by alien bioweapons during the original invasion, to underground tunnels and xenoformed wilderness regions.

ENHANCED STRATEGY LAYER
Manage XCOM’s relations with factions and counter The Chosen’s operations from the Avenger. Employ new Resistance Orders to prioritize your personal strategy. Soldiers, scientists, and engineers can now be deployed for Covert Actions that award supplies and boost faction favor if successfully completed.

GREATER CUSTOMIZATION & REPLAYABILITY
Soldiers can develop bonds with compatible teammates for new abilities and perks. The SITREP system dynamically adds new modifiers to the tactical layer to make sure every mission provides a unique challenge. Advanced campaign options allow for finer adjustments to game length and difficulty.

CHALLENGE MODE
Utilize the perfect strategy in new regular one-shot community challenges to claim the top spot on the global leaderboard.

SHARE THE RESISTANCE
Customize and pose your soldiers, then add filters, text and backgrounds to generate your own unique resistance posters that appear in-game and can be shared with friends.

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Re: XCOM 2 (Spoilers)

Post by Zombra » June 12th, 2017, 8:52 pm

Sounds interesting (though I agree there's something goofy about it). Maybe I'll go back and finally finish a campaign. Hope it doesn't break too many of my favorite mods :?
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Re: XCOM 2 (Spoilers)

Post by Remo » June 13th, 2017, 4:45 am

SagaDC wrote:
June 12th, 2017, 4:09 pm
but at the same time it's starting to feel a bit to... "science-fantasy" to me.
Zombra wrote:
June 12th, 2017, 8:52 pm
Sounds interesting (though I agree there's something goofy about it).
Tone wise, I much prefer Xenonauts darker and more foreboding atmosphere, and I LOVE their stylized semi realistic art style.


Anyway, this new expansion feels a lot like EU->EW fanfare. I love the new additions! particularly the enhanced strategy layer, and hope that Long War team would stick around to make use of them ( and implement that fine tuning mechanism for difficulty and game length, I love what they did but it was a bit too long for my taste)
Last edited by Remo on June 13th, 2017, 9:20 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: XCOM 2 (Spoilers)

Post by Remo » June 13th, 2017, 5:04 am

Btw any idea what the 'Resistance orders' and 'Fire Emblem style battlefield bonds' entail ?

-------------------------------------------

New maps and objectives
  • Abandoned cities destroyed by bioweapons (spawning The Lost)
  • Underground tunnels
  • Xenoformed wilderness
Enhanced strategy layer
  • Faction relationship management on a worldwide scale
  • Resistance orders that allow you to "prioritise your personal strategy" (??)
  • Covert actions that give more uses for scientists, engineers and spare soldiers
More customisation and replayability
  • Fire Emblem style battlefield bonds between soldiers, giving new abilites and perks (??)
  • A new system that "dynamicall adds new modifiers to the tactical layer to make sure every mission provides a unique challenge"
  • Advanced options that let you fine tune difficulty and game length
Challenge mode
  • A sort of multiplayer mode that offers a global leaderboard for various in-game challenges

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Re: XCOM 2 (Spoilers)

Post by Woolfe » June 13th, 2017, 5:32 am

Fire emblem Battlefield bonds are where if you use certain characters together a lot, they start becoming friendly and getting bonuses for being on the same team.

Not sure about resistance orders.
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Re: XCOM 2 (Spoilers)

Post by Lord of Riva » June 13th, 2017, 9:54 am

that sounds like they have not understood what the bonds in FE are about.
It simply doesnt work with units that have no personality, its far more than simple stat boosts...

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