XCOM 2 Will Push Your Resistance Movement To Its Limits

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zombiejoe:

You can lose in XCOM.

I have lost troops, but I have never lost a campaign. Every ending I got was the same;

In regards for your possible explanation, while it is feasible, I would have the Devs tell us the official reason why.

008Zulu:

zombiejoe:

You can lose in XCOM.

I have lost troops, but I have never lost a campaign. Every ending I got was the same;

In regards for your possible explanation, while it is feasible, I would have the Devs tell us the official reason why.

It is possible to lose the campaign itself. Just because you yourself didn't do it doesn't mean it's not something that can't happen. Just look up "XCOM Enemy Unknown Game Over." The devs consider it an ending, and that's the one they want to explore.

Though I agree, a more in-depth look at how the humans lost the war wouldn't be so bad. I don't feel that its that important, but more details and story are always welcome.

To the ending discussion - I think they just wanted to avoid the immediate follow up of a plot device like TFTD, which is infamous for its difficulty curve and unexplained challenges. Yes, everyone likely shot a UFO down over the ocean, but it still feels a tad tacked on. They could easily have an XCOM 3 following this where the aliens use their control over Earth to establish underwater bases, left behind after XCom stages a rebellion.
If they wanted to. A cool ending would be you kick aliens off Earth, but they have enough time to spread to Moon/Mars requiring Xcom to launch and build stations around the solar system to combat the menace. Add back in regular base invasions, require shipping management, and escalate the scale while maintaining the idea of being underdogs entering an arms race a few dozen years late.
But I think the main reason that's been cited is that the majority of Xcom campaigns either end in failure or frequent reloading. A lot of people's first experience was failure, so it's relatable for starting the next entry. They can always say you stopped one splinter of the invasion, and they just sent the whole force afterwards which Xcom couldn't fend against.

On topic for Xcom2, I'm excited about it. Recovery of bodies was a huge missing note from EU, and will make me more likely to equip rookies with experimental tech. Hopefully the new random missions prevent players from hitting April, outlasting mutons, and then turtling as progression creeps into the endgame. New base interactions are always fun.
I'm looking forward to more customization, but I've always named soldiers after friends in each XCom game. Didn't care so much about color armor as I did about renaming. But new ways of distinguishing soldiers on the field will be cool.
Has there been any word on whether Exalt will return, or are they just part of Advent now? Same goes for EW content - it'd be cool if you could rescue mech and psi troopers.

F-I-D-O:

Has there been any word on whether Exalt will return, or are they just part of Advent now? Same goes for EW content - it'd be cool if you could rescue mech and psi troopers.

Considering that they believed in aliens uplifting humanity, them being part of the Advent is a good bet. Hm. Rescuing PSI troopers is easily possible (Though they probably wouldn't be troopers considering that XCOM was apparently beaten early on. Most likely they'd be the result of Advent experiments, but considering that they wanted to exploit humanity for "The Gift" they're likely to do that.) As for MECs...can't say. Like with PSI troopers XCOM probably wouldn't have researched it, and if they did they would've been the first to go down under fire. Though maybe the Advent

Course we could always get our hands on some MELD and start over from scratch.

erttheking:

F-I-D-O:

Has there been any word on whether Exalt will return, or are they just part of Advent now? Same goes for EW content - it'd be cool if you could rescue mech and psi troopers.

Considering that they believed in aliens uplifting humanity, them being part of the Advent is a good bet. Hm. Rescuing PSI troopers is easily possible (Though they probably wouldn't be troopers considering that XCOM was apparently beaten early on. Most likely they'd be the result of Advent experiments, but considering that they wanted to exploit humanity for "The Gift" they're likely to do that.) As for MECs...can't say. Like with PSI troopers XCOM probably wouldn't have researched it, and if they did they would've been the first to go down under fire. Though maybe the Advent

Course we could always get our hands on some MELD and start over from scratch.

Apparently not, just did some looking around and found this:
http://ap.ign.com/e3-2015/90382/news/e3-2015-no-meld-mech-troopers-in-xcom-2
Missed that reveal, and didn't realize how early Xcom was losing. I'd thought they'd put it somewhere around the base invasion or Chryssalid Alaska level from EW.
Going to get annoyed if they end up selling another expansion to put MEC and PSI back in.
Maybe some of that customization will come by rescuing alien experimental test subjects or more advanced SHIV options. I still didn't like replacing squad mates with SHIVs too often, but if they expand on it that could be fun.

Silentpony:
Just think...In XCOM 3 they'll say all of 2 never happened, your resistance failed(again!) and that all of humanity was destroyed and now you have to play as above average IQ raccoons to stop the aliens.

Is that supposed to be a bad thing? A tactical combat game leading a squad of Rocket Raccoons? Hells yes I would play that.

But anyway, I'm absolutely stoked for this game, and I honestly love the "Resistance Movement" angle to the whole plot. It makes certain aspects of the game make so much more sense now (limited # of Soldiers, limited resources, etc.) and I love that the game now encourages you to be more proactive. When you get down to it, with the exception of a handful of story missions and being able to do Covert Ops missions, you pretty much just had to be reactive to the aliens in X-Com: EU or EW. You basically just had to wait around until they tried to abduct people or a UFO appeared or whatever. Now the game is actually encouraging you to take the fight to them and cause actual damage to their regime. Sounds awesome to me.

Real reason why the Developers made it that we lost.

They want a sequel.

It really doesn't get more complicated than that. How could you make a sequel from having the entire world behind you, you've beaten back the enemy, adapted it's strengths and made humanity grow via the new science? A bigger unknown threat with bigger guns that somehow makes you the underdog again even though you have all these enhancements?

It wasn't going to work. Everyone wants to feel like the underdog, everyone wants to feel like they accomplished something great. Who would feel like an accomplished, skillful player if a remaining ship of greys crashed to earth after you won, so they are just met with MECHs, PSI powered warriors, and Genetically Mutated Super Soldiers with really big plasma weaponry ready to party?

zombiejoe:

It is possible to lose the campaign itself. Just because you yourself didn't do it doesn't mean it's not something that can't happen. Just look up "XCOM Enemy Unknown Game Over." The devs consider it an ending, and that's the one they want to explore.

Though I agree, a more in-depth look at how the humans lost the war wouldn't be so bad. I don't feel that its that important, but more details and story are always welcome.

Games are generally meant to be won, if the devs had intended us to lose the first game, then they would have made losing the game the easiest thing to do or even railroaded us down a particular path.

If they do eventually come out with a plausible reason, I might very well accept it. But if it's just "we wanted to see what would happen" then to hell with them and their flippant attitudes.

008Zulu:

zombiejoe:

It is possible to lose the campaign itself. Just because you yourself didn't do it doesn't mean it's not something that can't happen. Just look up "XCOM Enemy Unknown Game Over." The devs consider it an ending, and that's the one they want to explore.

Though I agree, a more in-depth look at how the humans lost the war wouldn't be so bad. I don't feel that its that important, but more details and story are always welcome.

Games are generally meant to be won, if the devs had intended us to lose the first game, then they would have made losing the game the easiest thing to do or even railroaded us down a particular path.

If they do eventually come out with a plausible reason, I might very well accept it. But if it's just "we wanted to see what would happen" then to hell with them and their flippant attitudes.

Made losing the game the easiest thing to do? Frankly it's very easy to lose in XCOM. Heck it's one of the few games out there with enough teeth to say "You played for ten hours...but I don't care, you lost, go back and start over."

Games are meant to be won...I'm probably going to catch a lot of flak for this, but I think you're focusing on games purely as a power fantasy. Not every game owes you a victory. Too many people think this way nowadays frankly.

Plus this is an alternate timeline from the same time anyway.

I'm glad they're putting something of a timeline on the game. It gives an extra level of tension/pressure to your activities. I remember feeling kind of bored with XCOM:EU with how much time would take place between enemy actions that I could respond to. So hopefully with this countdown over my head, I will have more of a sense of urgency. Which would be nice.

ObsidianJones:
Real reason why the Developers made it that we lost.

They want a sequel.

It really doesn't get more complicated than that. How could you make a sequel from having the entire world behind you, you've beaten back the enemy, adapted it's strengths and made humanity grow via the new science? A bigger unknown threat with bigger guns that somehow makes you the underdog again even though you have all these enhancements?

Well, consider this; the Ethereals' main objective with the invasion wasn't about conquering mankind, but testing them. They were searching for the perfect host species who could not only adapt to their technology and psionic powers, but grow stronger from them. All the other races they conquered had failed this test in some way, becoming little more than disposable pawns for them in their quest to find new hosts to replace their failing bodies.

But, according to the Master Ethereal during his end-game dialogue, they were the greatest failure of all the aliens you've encountered. They had failed to ascend according to the designs of a different, seemingly more ancient entity.

As far as sequel hooks go, that's pretty intriguing. Sure, XCOM helped propel humanity's evolution forward by at least two centuries (both in terms of scientific and psionic discoveries) but that would probably pale in comparison to whatever could make the Ethereals inferior. We'd probably start the game out with upgraded laser weapons, better armor and some psi powers, but we'd probably have to go beyond that to combat whatever multi-dimensional Lovecraftian horrors threatened the Earth. In this scenario, I could definitely see XCOM wielding tech and powers akin to Warhammer 40K (without the try-hard edginess that series seems shackled to).

That's mostly why I'm frustrated with Firaxis ret-conning the first game's scenario to justify being the underdog again. We're going back to thwart the Ethereals' schemes again when we know from EU/EW that there's more threatening forces lurking just on the horizon. Sure, the upgraded cast of aliens look like a great challenge, but I'm not alone in thinking we could be facing entirely new foes at the moment (or even revamped aliens from TFTD).

Still chomping at the bit to play XCOM 2, but Firaxis needs to let the series move forward on a narrative level or else it risks stagnation like the original series before the reboot.

EternallyBored:
Some of your information is off, you don't get shot down then get a game over, you get a chance to defend your base and then if you lose that it's a game over. There are also human allies, they show the overworld map in one trailer emphasizing how your missions inspire the human populace to rise up and resist the aliens.

So there's a step between being shot out of the sky and game over. Given the emphasis everywhere else on how little slack the game affords players for mistakes, I don't know that that's an improvement. The game as described already seems likely to be prey to "You reached the point of no return five hours ago, you just didn't know it until now." A last-ditch effort to save your headquarters seems likely to be a mission with a lot of resources lost and little gained besides survival.

As far as the "human resistance" element goes, that's nice- but that's not the element I've seen Firaxis et. al. emphasizing in any of the print stories.

Your complaints about soldier customization just sounds pointlessly cynical, are you really trying to spin it as a negative because you get more attached to your soldiers and thus work harder to keep them alive? Sure you get that soldier that misses a dumb shot and gets crit slaughtered the next turn, but you also get your team of customized badasses that survive all odds and win the final mission, rather than being a bunch of faceless mooks only differentiated by their class and weapon load out.

I was of the habit of giving soldiers nicknames that allowed me to immediately recognize their capabilities- this is the sniper, this is the medic, this is the explosives guy, this is the offensive-psionic. Sure, I got mildly attached to characters who were good at their jobs, but mostly it was about their utility and the time/resource cost of replacing them.

To give an XCom character- especially an early XCom character- a high degree of customization is not unlike doing a careful detailing and customizing of a car that's going to be part of a demolition derby. And while I'll admit to a certain amount of intrigue to the whole "character pool" idea, another part of my mind thinks that this amounts to the developers dumping much of the workload of story-building, character arc, and emotional resonance- the parts that make people "care"- directly onto the back of the player, rather than making an effort to create those feelings themselves.

To the extent that I've had interesting, discussion-worthy moments in past XCom games, it's been about managing to drop a grenade at the feet of two sectoids that suddenly popped into line-of-sight and get away clean- not about the fact that my sniper has one green eye and one blue eye and comes from Okinawa.

Cynical? Maybe. Pointlessly? Your mileage, as said, may vary, but you haven't made that case to me.

Xcom has always been really grim, the first game ends with mass devastation to most countries, the second gets the whole world destroyed in the aftermath so that the third takes place in one of the few surviving areas not destroyed by the aliens.

While there are likely ways they could have continued the plot and made it work, your idea of just going to alien planets to fight seems less interesting than what we've currently got, and deemphasizes the earth defense aspect from the most popular of the early Xcoms as well as running the risk of just turning the units into generic space marines. I don't care about alien planets involving the species from the first game, none of the individual species were ever that interesting that I'd want to see what their planets looked like bar maybe the ethereals and snake men.

*Shrug* I think I could make it work. The aliens remain in the Earth's solar system, only now they're rudderless and disorganized- so instead of dealing with one united faction, XCom is dealing with multiple factions. The Sectoids claim to want peace, the Ethereals are plotting genocide, The Thin Men and Vipers are infiltrating Earth governments, the Mutons' broken leadership has their orphaned troops still trying to carry out terror missions; meanwhile, the leadership of Earth has ceased to take the alien threat seriously, alien tech is being capitalized for use in international conflicts, alien weapons are in the hands of criminal syndicates, and the typical human is no longer sure he or she even has anything in common with their psionically-gifted, cybernetically-enhanced saviors. An XCom game with deeper elements of diplomacy, espionage and public relations in addition to squad-based combat could, I think, be interesting indeed.

But, well, we're getting something else. And it will probably be a good game; Firaxis has an excellent track record. I'm just unconvinced it will be the game for me, which is all I've been saying.

erttheking:
I think you're focusing on games purely as a power fantasy. Not every game owes you a victory. Too many people think this way nowadays frankly.

Plus this is an alternate timeline from the same time anyway.

Games are a power fantasy, no one would want to play an unemployed couch crusher meekly living out their day to day life. Here's the thing; You win a victory, it makes you happy. And since games are meant to be fun, they are meant to be won.

Is the alternate timeline confirmed? If so, I will wait until they get back on track before deciding if they are worthy of my money.

008Zulu:

erttheking:
I think you're focusing on games purely as a power fantasy. Not every game owes you a victory. Too many people think this way nowadays frankly.

Plus this is an alternate timeline from the same time anyway.

Games are a power fantasy, no one would want to play an unemployed couch crusher meekly living out their day to day life. Here's the thing; You win a victory, it makes you happy. And since games are meant to be fun, they are meant to be won.

Is the alternate timeline confirmed? If so, I will wait until they get back on track before deciding if they are worthy of my money.

Power fantasy? Where is the power fantasy in Papers Please, Silent Hill 2, the Pokemon Channel, Gone Home, most visual novels, Animal Crossing, Eternal Darkness, Outlast, Amesia the Dark Descent, This War of Mine, and Tetris. Saying games are a power fantasy is a massive disservice to the medium. Having games always be about empowerment just limits what games can do. A lot of games make their emotional impact by disempowering you. Games do not owe you a victory.

008Zulu:

erttheking:
I think you're focusing on games purely as a power fantasy. Not every game owes you a victory. Too many people think this way nowadays frankly.

Plus this is an alternate timeline from the same time anyway.

Games are a power fantasy, no one would want to play an unemployed couch crusher meekly living out their day to day life. Here's the thing; You win a victory, it makes you happy. And since games are meant to be fun, they are meant to be won.

Is the alternate timeline confirmed? If so, I will wait until they get back on track before deciding if they are worthy of my money.

You know it's really frustrating that you say that like you are just so cocksure about what makes a video game a video game.
Spec Ops: The Line is explicitly the opposite of what you are saying video games are, going out of it's way to actively belittle you for trying to pretend to be something that you're not.
There are games meant to be challenging, not something to empower you but to test your mettle and determination, games where the central theme is a lesson to be learned and not a "Congrats, you are the winner" to be had.
The idea of a medium being constrained to a single narrow viewpoint is how you ruin a medium.

erttheking:
Power fantasy?

Papers Please; You decide who does or doesn't get in to the country.
Silent Hill 2; While the objective is finding your missing wife, solving the puzzles is exercising intellectual power, which makes you feel good.
Pokemon Channel; Is a glorified pet simulator, not a game.
Gone Home/visual novels; Interactive text don't count as games either, they are interactive text.
Animal Crossing; Collecting items that can be traded with other players. There are players who exploit this need, this is exercising power.

...And so forth.

erttheking:
A lot of games make their emotional impact by disempowering you. Games do not owe you a victory.

Yes they do. Here's why;

When a game dis-empowers you, it is creating a set of circumstances for you to overcome. When you overcome them, you win. Winning is good. You don't play a game to feel worse than when you first sat down and started it, it's counter-intuitive to the whole idea of games being entertainment.

[quote="Radoh" post="6.884361.22320474"]There are games meant to be challenging, not something to empower you but to test your mettle and determination, games where the central theme is a lesson to be learned and not a "Congrats, you are the winner" to be had. /quote]

Would you agree that overcoming challenges is empowering? But with games such as Call of Duty (etc) that do have these "lessons to be learned" in the Single Player story, the people who buy and play these games exclusively for the multiplayer, really caring about lessons of morality in war that the games strive to raise awareness of? If you believe the marketing info of the companies that make these games, most gamers are focusing on the multiplayer. So the message is lost. Now if these multiplayer fans play through the single player, do you think they would care about the message then, or are the playing the single player to kill time until the servers are back up?

Is it a generalisation on my behalf that people only play games to win? Yes it is, but it's also the view supported by the games industry as a whole.

008Zulu:

erttheking:
Power fantasy?

Papers Please; You decide who does or doesn't get in to the country.
Silent Hill 2; While the objective is finding your missing wife, solving the puzzles is exercising intellectual power, which makes you feel good.
Pokemon Channel; Is a glorified pet simulator, not a game.
Gone Home/visual novels; Interactive text don't count as games either, they are interactive text.
Animal Crossing; Collecting items that can be traded with other players. There are players who exploit this need, this is exercising power.

...And so forth.

erttheking:
A lot of games make their emotional impact by disempowering you. Games do not owe you a victory.

Yes they do. Here's why;

When a game dis-empowers you, it is creating a set of circumstances for you to overcome. When you overcome them, you win. Winning is good. You don't play a game to feel worse than when you first sat down and started it, it's counter-intuitive to the whole idea of games being entertainment.

You are REALLY stretchering the definition of power fantasy. In Papers Please you don't get to decide crap. If you break the rules the government smashes down on you. In the circumstances where there's a story break in the monotony, you're either still following regulations or a reward to make up for you breaking the rules, in other words it disables the penalty which basically putting it in the "admit" folder. Also Gone Home and visual novels are games. Say whatever you want, they're games. Pokemon channel is also a game, because it is played on a game console. Say it's a SHIT game if you want, but it's a game. You pulling out arbitrary definitions of failure states or whatever doesn't change that. Or are you saying Ace Attorney isn't a real game. Because it's a visual novel.

Well then, XCOM 2 is creating a set of circumstances for you to overcome, I don't see the problem. Things got worse in the Alien invasion and now you have to fight back against it. Unless every sequel to a pre-existing game isn't ever allowed to have things get worse. In which case you'd probably have a problem with Resistance, Gears of War, Wolfenstein the New Order, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3, Apollo Justice Ace Attorney, Anomaly 2 and Borderlands 2.

You don't play a game to feel worse than when you sat down? You sir have never played Spec Ops the Line. Games are an art. A genre. They aren't just toys. Games like Red Dead Redemption have horrifically depressing endings because you can't always win. Always winning is boring.

008Zulu:

Radoh:
There are games meant to be challenging, not something to empower you but to test your mettle and determination, games where the central theme is a lesson to be learned and not a "Congrats, you are the winner" to be had.

Would you agree that overcoming challenges is empowering? But with games such as Call of Duty (etc) that do have these "lessons to be learned" in the Single Player story, the people who buy and play these games exclusively for the multiplayer, really caring about lessons of morality in war that the games strive to raise awareness of? If you believe the marketing info of the companies that make these games, most gamers are focusing on the multiplayer. So the message is lost. Now if these multiplayer fans play through the single player, do you think they would care about the message then, or are the playing the single player to kill time until the servers are back up?

Is it a generalisation on my behalf that people only play games to win? Yes it is, but it's also the view supported by the games industry as a whole.

Why in the hell are you bringing up Call of Duty which has nothing to do with anything that I was saying? Multiplayer is neither a relevant point to be made about any of the games listed by myself or by erttheking, least of all XCOM.
Deliberately ignoring single player content because "people buy COD for the Multiplayer" has zero relevance to why people bought XCOM, Spec OPS: The Line, or will be buying XCOM 2.
If you can't think of something relevant to bring up in the current conversation, then ignoring the entire argument and moving on to something tangentially related to the subject just weakens your overall argument.

Holy shitballs the salt in this thread.

I don't get it, I really don't. The whole bit on "Oh mah gawd, We lost game 1, it's all invaleed nao!" Maybe 008Zulu's side on it helps me understand, but I'm not going to say my thoughts on that matter. Yes, you play to win the game, but if a game isn't fun to play, only fun to win, you're not having a good time.

zombiejoe:

008Zulu:
[...]

I have lost troops, but I have never lost a campaign. Every ending I got was the same;

In regards for your possible explanation, while it is feasible, I would have the Devs tell us the official reason why.

It is possible to lose the campaign itself. Just because you yourself didn't do it doesn't mean it's not something that can't happen. Just look up "XCOM Enemy Unknown Game Over." The devs consider it an ending, and that's the one they want to explore.

Though I agree, a more in-depth look at how the humans lost the war wouldn't be so bad. I don't feel that its that important, but more details and story are always welcome.

There's a book detailing the loss, I don't have it, there's people far more dedicated than me who do though. And they say it's a pretty good book.

I think the main reason why we lost, other than your reason, was that XCOM:EW was pretty absurd. When you really think about it, the aliens having that level of resources, how was a scrappy team of 12 dudes, (or even in the case of LW, a organization of 70 dudes.) was going to stop them. I can't be the only one who thinks the aliens are phoning it in pretty hard. Even in LW, where I see 4 named aliens alongside a queen and think, "Okay, Fuckin' take Africa. I'm not goddamn dealing with this."

BeerTent:
Holy shitballs the salt in this thread.

I don't get it, I really don't. The whole bit on "Oh mah gawd, We lost game 1, it's all invaleed nao!" Maybe 008Zulu's side on it helps me understand, but I'm not going to say my thoughts on that matter. Yes, you play to win the game, but if a game isn't fun to play, only fun to win, you're not having a good time.

zombiejoe:

008Zulu:
[...]

I have lost troops, but I have never lost a campaign. Every ending I got was the same;

In regards for your possible explanation, while it is feasible, I would have the Devs tell us the official reason why.

It is possible to lose the campaign itself. Just because you yourself didn't do it doesn't mean it's not something that can't happen. Just look up "XCOM Enemy Unknown Game Over." The devs consider it an ending, and that's the one they want to explore.

Though I agree, a more in-depth look at how the humans lost the war wouldn't be so bad. I don't feel that its that important, but more details and story are always welcome.

There's a book detailing the loss, I don't have it, there's people far more dedicated than me who do though. And they say it's a pretty good book.

I think the main reason why we lost, other than your reason, was that XCOM:EW was pretty absurd. When you really think about it, the aliens having that level of resources, how was a scrappy team of 12 dudes, (or even in the case of LW, a organization of 70 dudes.) was going to stop them. I can't be the only one who thinks the aliens are phoning it in pretty hard. Even in LW, where I see 4 named aliens alongside a queen and think, "Okay, Fuckin' take Africa. I'm not goddamn dealing with this."

Agreed, friendo. The amount of salt here is tremendous. Even I'm drowning in the stuff.

I did hear about the book recently, so I guess that is a nice way to flesh out things for those who are interested in it. I might even need to check it out myself, even though I always considered XCOM to be a series more about the world scenarios and situations you're thrown in rather than a hardline story itself.

Like I've said before, even though I consider XCOM 2 to be more an "alternate timeline" than a "this is what actually happened" thing, I'm also fine believing that the aliens we went up against in EU/EW were just the start of what was to come. It seemed like what we fought was working for something much stronger. Though, I guess the book should clear up those details.

Radoh:
If you can't think of something relevant

You're the one that brought up the argument about games teaching hard lessons, not me.

erttheking:

Well then, XCOM 2 is creating a set of circumstances for you to overcome, I don't see the problem.

The problem is that it isn't following the established narrative, and they haven't bothered to explain (in universe) why.

erttheking:

You are REALLY stretchering the definition of power fantasy. In Papers Please you don't get to decide crap. If you break the rules the government smashes down on you. In the circumstances where there's a story break in the monotony, you're either still following regulations or a reward to make up for you breaking the rules, in other words it disables the penalty which basically putting it in the "admit" folder. Also Gone Home and visual novels are games. Say whatever you want, they're games. Pokemon channel is also a game, because it is played on a game console. Say it's a SHIT game if you want, but it's a game. You pulling out arbitrary definitions of failure states or whatever doesn't change that. Or are you saying Ace Attorney isn't a real game. Because it's a visual novel.

You can watch movies on a games console, doesn't make them games.

erttheking:

Unless every sequel to a pre-existing game isn't ever allowed to have things get worse. In which case you'd probably have a problem with Resistance, Gears of War, Wolfenstein the New Order, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3, Apollo Justice Ace Attorney, Anomaly 2 and Borderlands 2.

You don't play a game to feel worse than when you sat down? You sir have never played Spec Ops the Line. Games are an art. A genre. They aren't just toys. Games like Red Dead Redemption have horrifically depressing endings because you can't always win. Always winning is boring.

They can get worse, but all those examples you listed have clearly defined narratives driving them. With Spec Ops, and Red Dead, not winning is plainly obvious what the Devs had in mind. The way Xcom progressed, lead you to believe that winning was the ultimate goal.

There is no news about this game that does not make me want it more.

008Zulu:
You can watch movies on a games console, doesn't make them games.

Movies aren't interactive, though. A VN might be mostly about telling a story, but at the end of the day you're still making choices to drive the plot forward with victory and failure conditions based on choices you make. For certain definitions of "winning" and "losing", but winning and losing nonetheless. That makes them games. A different variety of game from what you'd prefer but still a game. That's all beside the point, though.

The way Xcom progressed, lead you to believe that winning was the ultimate goal.

It certainly was. Indeed, one tends to want to win a war that one is fighting. Obviously a win condition was prerequisite to playing XCOM as that's what you were working towards. Doesn't mean it actually canonically happens, though. Or happens the way you want it to. Or whatever. Honestly I see nothing wrong with the devs embracing whatever narrative they wish to tell with THEIR game. Because it is THEIR'S to do with as THEY wish.

I'd rather employ the age old tradition of "wait and see" before making any claims of RUINED FOREVER, but even now I like the direction they're taking the game. It's definitely a rather interesting idea regardless of anyone that thinks the devs owe them anything other than a game that might be enjoyable to play.

008Zulu:
Snip

Losing XCOM was always perfectly possible and for many a player it was their fate on their first playthrough. As for the narrative...a massive technologically advanced race invaded Earth. I call them winning a case of reality ensues.

Not on the gamecube, which was where Pokemon channel came out on. Also you gonna address any of the other points I made there?

No. The downer endings were pretty big twists. And what? Can the devs never play with expectations? They can never throw something in you weren't expecting? Really, expecting XCOM to win and then having a game based off of that would've smashed any sense of flow, considering that also would've said "Everything in the first game you did means nothing because now you need to do it all over again and for some reason you need to start at square one." They led you to BELIEVE that winning was the ultimate goal. As the game's high difficulty shows, they also made it clear that it was very possible to fail that goa.

zombiejoe:

BeerTent:
Holy shitballs the salt in this thread.

I don't get it, I really don't. The whole bit on "Oh mah gawd, We lost game 1, it's all invaleed nao!" Maybe 008Zulu's side on it helps me understand, but I'm not going to say my thoughts on that matter. Yes, you play to win the game, but if a game isn't fun to play, only fun to win, you're not having a good time.

zombiejoe:

It is possible to lose the campaign itself. Just because you yourself didn't do it doesn't mean it's not something that can't happen. Just look up "XCOM Enemy Unknown Game Over." The devs consider it an ending, and that's the one they want to explore.

Though I agree, a more in-depth look at how the humans lost the war wouldn't be so bad. I don't feel that its that important, but more details and story are always welcome.

There's a book detailing the loss, I don't have it, there's people far more dedicated than me who do though. And they say it's a pretty good book.

I think the main reason why we lost, other than your reason, was that XCOM:EW was pretty absurd. When you really think about it, the aliens having that level of resources, how was a scrappy team of 12 dudes, (or even in the case of LW, a organization of 70 dudes.) was going to stop them. I can't be the only one who thinks the aliens are phoning it in pretty hard. Even in LW, where I see 4 named aliens alongside a queen and think, "Okay, Fuckin' take Africa. I'm not goddamn dealing with this."

Agreed, friendo. The amount of salt here is tremendous. Even I'm drowning in the stuff.

I did hear about the book recently, so I guess that is a nice way to flesh out things for those who are interested in it. I might even need to check it out myself, even though I always considered XCOM to be a series more about the world scenarios and situations you're thrown in rather than a hardline story itself.

Like I've said before, even though I consider XCOM 2 to be more an "alternate timeline" than a "this is what actually happened" thing, I'm also fine believing that the aliens we went up against in EU/EW were just the start of what was to come. It seemed like what we fought was working for something much stronger. Though, I guess the book should clear up those details.

As someone who's read the novel, let me save you some time. XCOM 2 : Resurrection is pretty bad, not just as a tie-in novel meant to flesh out the world, but as a piece of literature in general. 90% of the book is spent following a group of underdeveloped characters that received the bare minimum of emotional depth as they're listlessly herded to each major plot point. Speaking of which, the main story rushes along like it has ADHD. There's no reprieve to let the actions and consequences hit a resonant note with the readers. It's a safe bet to say the author's understanding of the source material came from glancing at a wiki page and he churned it out to get a check.

Overall, you can look up the book's major events and details in any XCOM 2 thread and save yourself the time. There's only vague hints that establish why XCOM lost the first, and they could have been easily implemented into a few flashback cut-scenes in XCOM 2 and achieved more immersion that way. If you're looking for a story that captures the sense of urgency, fear and triumph in the face of adversity, you won't find it in XCOM 2: Resurrection. You're better off watching Beaglerush's Let's Play series or reading fan-based character accounts to get the XCOM experience outside the game.

Hell, there's an XCOM EW / My Little Pony FIM crossover fic that fleshes out the game's setting and characters in creative ways that stays truer to the spirit of XCOM than this novel does.

I will say this much for the novel, though. It has convinced me that XCOM 2 is set not only in an alternate timeline, but one in which the Ethereals knew of the defeat in EU/EW. In EU/EW, the Ethereals' invasion was meant to push XCOM and mankind to their limits to see if they could evolve into the perfect new host for them. According to the novel, the invasion was less of a planetary science experiment and more of a full-on war. All tracking satellites were shot down almost as soon as they were launched, abductions were designed to instill mass panic instead of furthering their research efforts, and the aliens ended up discovering XCOM's base and ancillary facilities after infiltrating the first few nations that pulled out of the project. And then they bombarded them all simultaneously.

Some will see it as the logical progression of an alien invasion of this type, but for those who've completed any successful EU/EW campaign can tell these are calculated strikes to ensure mankind (and XCOM in particular) don't get any chance to study their technology. And the only plausible narrative reason I can find for this is that the aliens know what happens if they give XCOM opportunities to reverse-engineer their abilities; they are defeated. In this timeline, they already know humans have the abilities they're searching for and are trying to minimize the risks of any resistance movement studying even a fraction of their technology.

But that's my two cents. Take it for what it is.

008Zulu:

Radoh:
If you can't think of something relevant

You're the one that brought up the argument about games teaching hard lessons, not me.

Yes I did, then you completely ignored the point I made about Spec Ops and then moved it to COD, which is not in any stretch of the imagination the same thing, in both the focus and tone of the stories as well as the focus of development effort by the teams making it.
One of them is making a power fantasy where you are a super soldier decimating any battle you are a part of in a game where all the attention was in the Multiplayer, and the other is an in-depth look at war crimes and PTSD while painting a meta narrative of how you (the player) are looking to be something you are not and that it's pathetic that you even tried, and where the multiplayer was thrown on because they were forced to make one.
COD, as you said yourself, focuses on the Multiplayer, and the fact that Spec Ops does not should have been enough of a tip-off that you shouldn't compare the two when trying to make an argument.

Kajin:

Movies aren't interactive, though. A VN might be mostly about telling a story, but at the end of the day you're still making choices to drive the plot forward with victory and failure conditions based on choices you make. For certain definitions of "winning" and "losing", but winning and losing nonetheless. That makes them games. A different variety of game from what you'd prefer but still a game. That's all beside the point, though.

I have played a lot of visual novel games (I feel Telltale titles fall in to this category), no matter the playthrough, they always have ended the same. We don't really decide the course of the story, we are there just to read someone's creative fiction.

Kajin:

It certainly was. Indeed, one tends to want to win a war that one is fighting. Obviously a win condition was prerequisite to playing XCOM as that's what you were working towards. Doesn't mean it actually canonically happens, though. Or happens the way you want it to. Or whatever. Honestly I see nothing wrong with the devs embracing whatever narrative they wish to tell with THEIR game. Because it is THEIR'S to do with as THEY wish.

I'd rather employ the age old tradition of "wait and see" before making any claims of RUINED FOREVER, but even now I like the direction they're taking the game. It's definitely a rather interesting idea regardless of anyone that thinks the devs owe them anything other than a game that might be enjoyable to play.

Yes it is theirs to do as they please, and if not making a coherent story is a choice they want to make, then it is theirs to do so. But they have to accept the fact that people will criticize them for it.

erttheking:
snip

Winning or not winning Xcom was not my point. My point was that the sequel doesn't follow the narrative they have already established. And failing on first playthrough is an inconsequential point, unless they allow players to import saves.

Radoh:
Spec Ops

So you consider getting PTSD fun, or a good use of your time? Or even playing a character that has to go through it? I can't imagine any reason why anyone would.

008Zulu:

Radoh:
Spec Ops

So you consider getting PTSD fun, or a good use of your time? Or even playing a character that has to go through it? I can't imagine any reason why anyone would.

Alright so you started by saying all games are is a power fantasy, after pointing out that this is wrong you start arguing that there's no value in having a game that isn't a power fantasy. Great.
However since the original point I was trying to make is that not all games are power fantasies I'm officially exiting this conversation because it is a real chore talking to you about this.
I'm genuinely sorry that you don't see the value in any emotions other than ones that make you feel good.

Kajin:

Silentpony:
Its such a desperate and needless way to raise the stakes. Hitting the Reset button on the previous game's plot is weak. There are so many better ways to continue the story instead of saying "Nope, the story never happened!"

Where could they POSSIBLY take the plot, though? Congratulations! You beat back the alien invasion and won the last game! Time to repel another alien invasion, but because you were so OP at the end of last game we took away everything you had so you have to start over. Or they reboot it and say the events of the last game never happened at all and THIS is the new XCOM, bigger and shinier but pretty much just the same game. This is actually a really good idea for a sequel.

Quite simply explain that what was repelled was an analytical force, sent to assess the planet. When the last signal sent was the capital ship's destruction the Xeno's response was essentially "welp, time to stop treating them with kid gloves." It was done loosely with C&C3 as well as the anime Tekkaman Blade. It's not a hard concept but instead we're getting the "all that effort you did? waste of time."

008Zulu:

erttheking:
snip

Winning or not winning Xcom was not my point. My point was that the sequel doesn't follow the narrative they have already established. And failing on first playthrough is an inconsequential point, unless they allow players to import saves.

What is this narrative they're violating? The narrative established very early on that humanity was massively outgunned. XCOM only stopped the temple ship from destroying the entire planet out of a fluke. Really another one could've come in after that and onquered the entire race in a day.

Oh yeah, the only reason the aliens didn't conquer us faster is that they were holding back, and they stopped holding back at the end when they realized we weren't playing by their rules.

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