XCOM 2 Preview - The Time Has Come, Commander

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XCOM 2 Preview - The Time Has Come, Commander

After a combined 15 or more playthroughs between Enemy Unknown and Enemy Within, I expected I

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Very interesting stuff, I'm really looking forward to this.

One thing I feel that's going to be a mental block for me is looking at XCOM in a proactive way. Responding to threats as they come up and doing damage control for at-risk areas on the geoscape was a careful budget balancing act, at least for the first half of the campaign.

Going out of your way to fight the aliens in a risk/reward system (which, according to this preview, even seems to extend to combat) has a lot of potential for excelling at the game...or biting off more than you can chew.

Can't wait, get hype.

From what I've seen so far, this is what a sequel should be - a game that takes the good things about the previous one and makes them even better, while fixing the downsides.

I like the more interactive Geoscape, the weapon customization, more skills and upgrades for troops, the VASTLY increased visual customization options, etc. The stealth system looks pretty nice. I ADORE the fact that Overwatch triggers more sensibly, with soldiers firing one after another, instead of all 6 of them going off at once on the first alien to wanted into their range (wasting shots). The overall theme (resistance movement instead of global defense) looks compelling and fresh. I honestly haven't seen anything I don't like...

I don't think I can get more hyped than this.

Got like 300 hours into XCOM + enemy within + long war

The procedural maps will keep the tactical game fresh and hopefully they have a fully destructible environment working and not the "sorta destructible" way they did it in the first game.

And now it is time for the obligitory 'Melee Combat' comic link.

In spoilers since its a bit big.

rembrandtqeinstein:
I don't think I can get more hyped than this.

Got like 300 hours into XCOM + enemy within + long war

The procedural maps will keep the tactical game fresh and hopefully they have a fully destructible environment working and not the "sorta destructible" way they did it in the first game.

If you make a big enough boom you can take out floors now and enough walls some buildings might come down now.

Some mission maps I've seen have certain buildings housing a certain objective seem to either be created the same or have the same core design with outer parts variable but I'm not sure how destructible those might be due to size and importance though intentionally bring down the building might fail the mission.

Also having the floor fallout from below you or the roof on top of you causes damage on there own.

Worgen:
And now it is time for the obligitory 'Melee Combat' comic link.

In spoilers since its a bit big.

I'm not surprised the internet quickly started making jokes and porn about the vipers as soon as it was revealed they were female, that is a funny a comic though. The fact that the female vipers are what the thin men from the first game actually look like is an extra level of hilarity.

OT: damn, can't wait for this game, the modability and the procedural maps are basically the biggest things I wanted from the original reboot, to see them implemented makes this game one I'm going to pick up on release.

EternallyBored:

Worgen:
And now it is time for the obligitory 'Melee Combat' comic link.

In spoilers since its a bit big.

I'm not surprised the internet quickly started making jokes and porn about the vipers as soon as it was revealed they were female, that is a funny a comic though. The fact that the female vipers are what the thin men from the first game actually look like is an extra level of hilarity.

OT: damn, can't wait for this game, the modability and the procedural maps are basically the biggest things I wanted from the original reboot, to see them implemented makes this game one I'm going to pick up on release.

Interestingly enough, I haven't actually seen really any porn of her, I've seen sultry images but nothing I would call porn. Granted I haven't looked, but just doing a search for Toriel will come up with a few examples. Then again, she is a much bigger part of her game, so far the snake lady is just a random enemy mook.

Worgen:

EternallyBored:

Worgen:
And now it is time for the obligitory 'Melee Combat' comic link.

In spoilers since its a bit big.

I'm not surprised the internet quickly started making jokes and porn about the vipers as soon as it was revealed they were female, that is a funny a comic though. The fact that the female vipers are what the thin men from the first game actually look like is an extra level of hilarity.

OT: damn, can't wait for this game, the modability and the procedural maps are basically the biggest things I wanted from the original reboot, to see them implemented makes this game one I'm going to pick up on release.

Interestingly enough, I haven't actually seen really any porn of her, I've seen sultry images but nothing I would call porn. Granted I haven't looked, but just doing a search for Toriel will come up with a few examples. Then again, she is a much bigger part of her game, so far the snake lady is just a random enemy mook.

True enough, named central characters will always get way more porn, especially with the sheer amount of art Undertale has inspired. You can definitely find porn of the viper on sites like rule34.paheal.net and then just type viper into the search engine. Just, you know, don't do that at work or any place anyone else can see you.

Also, obligatory image:


Hopefully that works, I suck at posting images.

EternallyBored:

Worgen:

EternallyBored:

I'm not surprised the internet quickly started making jokes and porn about the vipers as soon as it was revealed they were female, that is a funny a comic though. The fact that the female vipers are what the thin men from the first game actually look like is an extra level of hilarity.

OT: damn, can't wait for this game, the modability and the procedural maps are basically the biggest things I wanted from the original reboot, to see them implemented makes this game one I'm going to pick up on release.

Interestingly enough, I haven't actually seen really any porn of her, I've seen sultry images but nothing I would call porn. Granted I haven't looked, but just doing a search for Toriel will come up with a few examples. Then again, she is a much bigger part of her game, so far the snake lady is just a random enemy mook.

True enough, named central characters will always get way more porn, especially with the sheer amount of art Undertale has inspired. You can definitely find porn of the viper on sites like rule34.paheal.net and then just type viper into the search engine. Just, you know, don't do that at work or any place anyone else can see you.

Also, obligatory image:


Hopefully that works, I suck at posting images.

Since we're posting silly pictures...

I'm kind of wondering if we'll get the option to make alien trophies for our soldiers with DLC or some expansion in the future of the game, since that would be boss.

Are the maps going to be larger? I didn't like the fact coming across one group of enemies activates nearly the entire map when they move.

Did they bother to explain why humanity lost in the first game, despite the ending showing humanity whipping the aliens off the planet?

008Zulu:
Did they bother to explain why humanity lost in the first game, despite the ending showing humanity whipping the aliens off the planet?

They did, in fact! Prepare to have your mind blown:

Apparently XCOM 2 takes place in an alternate universe wherein humanity failed to repel the invaders. The X-rays landed in force and thoroughly smashed any resistance XCOM could offer (think muton elites and cyberdiscs instead of sectoids in the early game). So the player takes over this alternate universe and gets to work taking back the planet.

...Is your mind blown yet?

Honestly, what other explanation could they offer? I'd prefer it if they just said 'new game, new ideas, new story, new mechanics. Deal with it.' but this is what we got. So let's all be happy.

Silverbeard:
alternate universe

Lame. A better story would have been humanity using the aliens own tech, and invading their homeworld. Then we could have played as the aliens repelling the invaders.

Worgen:
And now it is time for the obligitory 'Melee Combat' comic link.

I laughed hard.

Keen as a bean for this game, sure hope it's worth the wait. Also keen to hear about a possible future expansion later on like we got with Enemy within.

008Zulu:
Did they bother to explain why humanity lost in the first game, despite the ending showing humanity whipping the aliens off the planet?

Oh but the aliens toys are beyond mere whips. In fact they're kinky on a level you can't even comprehend. Not even XXXCom's most elite squad the Bad Dragons matches a fraction of their kinkiness.

Dr. McD:
Oh but the aliens toys are beyond mere whips. In fact they're kinky on a level you can't even comprehend. Not even XXXCom's most elite squad the Bad Dragons matches a fraction of their kinkiness.

Yeah, the probing doesn't seem so bad by comparison.

008Zulu:
Did they bother to explain why humanity lost in the first game, despite the ending showing humanity whipping the aliens off the planet?

I thought in the first one they made note that the invasion force was essentially just a scouting party. Or maybe I'm remembering that from one of the million other "aliens are defeated, oops we lost for the sake of a sequel" scenarios in games, movies, etc.

008Zulu:

Silverbeard:
alternate universe

Lame. A better story would have been humanity using the aliens own tech, and invading their homeworld. Then we could have played as the aliens repelling the invaders.

Even more lame. I don't need to control a squad of sectoids while fighting boring humans using fancy kit.
Plus invading the alien's homeworld might be difficult since a) we don't know where it is and b) every alien race comes from a different homeworld. They're more akin to a united federation than one unilateral empire. They don't have 'one' homeworld.

Long story short: I'm glad you're not the XCOM 2 dev team!

Silverbeard:
Long story short: I'm glad you're not the XCOM 2 dev team!

Yes, Heaven forbid they try something new.

The ending of XCOM "1" was ambiguous enough that they could have built a story on top of that.

But from quill18's recent sessions, I gathered that the NPCs won't stfu about XCOM 1's NPCs in their respective positions, so much that quill wasn't even able to skip all the story they monologue throughout scrolling the base, etc.

So that leaves hope that it's not barebones. They even embargoed story segments for the time being. Seems like they were serious about this.

I would really like to know about what you think of their art-direction. The older XCOM titles were a lot darker, not just in colour-palettes. I don't like this (yes, including XCOM EU/EW) "dubstep" style. It's hard to describe.

Like everything being super clean.

My body is ready.

I'm 100% onboard with the narrative and change in style, I already went through this with the older xcom games and Xcom:Apocalypse remains one of my fav of the series precisely because it did its own thing and advanced the story whilst sticking true to the humans defending their home from aliens theme which is what you find in all xcom games and their spinoffs.

I haven't preordered in ages, but thinking of making an exception to the rule here. Firaxis can't screw this up..right? :S

Silverbeard:

Plus invading the alien's homeworld might be difficult since a) we don't know where it is and b) every alien race comes from a different homeworld. They're more akin to a united federation than one unilateral empire. They don't have 'one' homeworld.

Aye, the ethereal empire is said to control countless worlds, or was at least in the old games. Dunno if it was mentioned in firaxis xcom.

Still the theme of counter attacking and hitting the aliens at their home was done, in Xcom apocalypse. It made more sense there since the aliens weren't an empire but from a single planet in a pocket dimension.
The coolest thing though was finding the remnants of the sectoid race, discarded by the ethereals after their failures, and now serving as food to the new aliens :D
Leading to a moral decision: do you rescue the sectoids, your former enemies, or leave their race to be lunch? Or maybe just wipe out the species with fire and sword. I'd love to see something like this make it in a future xcom game.

008Zulu:

Silverbeard:
Long story short: I'm glad you're not the XCOM 2 dev team!

Yes, Heaven forbid they try something new.

You mean like making XCOM a terrorist organization taking on a supranational entity?
Yes, that's very new. Good thing Firaxis is trying exactly that instead of repeating the first game but with the aliens doing what the humans did!

Frankster:

I haven't preordered in ages, but thinking of making an exception to the rule here. Firaxis can't screw this up..right? :S

Leading to a moral decision: do you rescue the sectoids, your former enemies, or leave their race to be lunch? Or maybe just wipe out the species with fire and sword. I'd love to see something like this make it in a future xcom game.

If anything, you can be sure that XCOM 2 won't be an Aliens: Colonial Marines sort of job. At the very least Firaxis has enough moral fibre to avoid that sort of buggery.

Regarding moral decisions: XCOM games have always been rife with implicit moral decisions rather than explicit ones. This was more true in the latest game than any other: Which country do you focus your efforts on? The richest ones? The ones with the largest human population? What happens if one of your soldiers is surrounded by chrysallids but has no moves left and you have a heavy with a clean rocket launcher shot onto the unlucky chap's position? Do you fire the rocket and kill your own soldier in exchange for damaging all the chrysallids and killing a few (that last one did happen to me on one playthrough)? Or do you try to kill the 'lids with gunfire and save your grunt's life? The player gets to decide with no nudging from the game. In a Bioware game such a choice would probably only come up once and the game would spend five minutes yelling advice at you about the goods and bads of either pick. Not so in XCOM! You just get to pick an option and live with it.

Silverbeard:
You mean like making XCOM a terrorist organization

How does humanity invading the invader's homeworld, make them terrorists?

008Zulu:

Silverbeard:
You mean like making XCOM a terrorist organization

How does humanity invading the invader's homeworld, make them terrorists?

It doesn't. Who said that?

008Zulu:
-snip-

You're so butthurt over something so inconsequential. It baffles and amuses at the same time.

On Topic:
Man, I'm loving what I see so far. Can't wait to play.

Silverbeard:
It doesn't. Who said that?

You did;

Silverbeard:
You mean like making XCOM a terrorist organization taking on a supranational entity?

Kajin:
You're so butthurt over something so inconsequential. It baffles and amuses at the same time.

You really think a coherent storyline is inconsequential? Now I'm baffled and amused.

008Zulu:

Kajin:
You're so butthurt over something so inconsequential. It baffles and amuses at the same time.

You really think a coherent storyline is inconsequential? Now I'm baffled and amused.

I'd be in agreement with you if the storyline was this complex, grandiose narrative that dives deep into the depths of your soul and pulls out the very meaning of existence itself.

It's not, though.

Aliens show up. We fight them. That's the summary of the plot in its entirety. That was the plot the first time around and it's the plot this time around. I find it baffling that you'd take offense to a plot that is literally an excuse to fight aliens. It was an excuse plot the first time around and it's an excuse plot this time around. I find it amusing that you keep pressing this issue.

Kajin:
Aliens show up. We fight them. That's the summary of the plot in its entirety.

It's not the plot that annoys me, it's that at the end of Enemy Unknown we are shown to beat the invaders. Now the direct sequel is taking place in an alternate universe where we didn't win. There is no ingame explanation for this. Why call it a sequel to a game, when it's not a sequel at all?

Silverbeard:

Regarding moral decisions: XCOM games have always been rife with implicit moral decisions rather than explicit ones. This was more true in the latest game than any other: Which country do you focus your efforts on? The richest ones? The ones with the largest human population?

Heh when you put it that way, very true. Guess being a disembodied commander floating above everyone means one doesn't always realize the horrible decisions you make without thinking.
Makes me realize i'm very guilty of cronyism in particular, I will always protect my "favorites" at all cost even if it I have to sacrifice some fresh faced rookies...

Anyways went ahead and preordered *fingers crossed* Heck I even got the season pass ffs, first time I've ever done that...

008Zulu:

Silverbeard:
It doesn't. Who said that?

You did;

Silverbeard:
You mean like making XCOM a terrorist organization taking on a supranational entity?

He didn't say that, you're misrepresenting him, quote mining or failing at English comprehension.

The aliens arrived and were welcomed with open arms, most of humanity are more than happy with the improved way of life alien tech has brought, an end to war and national strife etc. XCOM and the player are the malcontents, the fanatics, the loonies who don't like the status quo and are blowing things up and wrecking $%&*. In this game YOU are the TERRORISTS.

008Zulu:

Kajin:
Aliens show up. We fight them. That's the summary of the plot in its entirety.

It's not the plot that annoys me, it's that at the end of Enemy Unknown we are shown to beat the invaders. Now the direct sequel is taking place in an alternate universe where we didn't win. There is no ingame explanation for this. Why call it a sequel to a game, when it's not a sequel at all?

If it's set in an alternate universe then it's not a direct sequel, now, is it? It's a sequel in the sense that it's the next game in the series, like FFVIII is the sequel to FFVII, but not that one directly follows the other. If the entire basis of your argument is "but we won in the last game", then you have no further reason to complain because this is not a direct continuation of the last game. It's the same game as the last one with a different setting.

008Zulu:

Kajin:
Aliens show up. We fight them. That's the summary of the plot in its entirety.

It's not the plot that annoys me, it's that at the end of Enemy Unknown we are shown to beat the invaders. Now the direct sequel is taking place in an alternate universe where we didn't win. There is no ingame explanation for this. Why call it a sequel to a game, when it's not a sequel at all?

That's a weird sort of semantic argument, and why I think so few people agree with you, they do this kind of thing with plenty of other series, even the last xcom was just a complete reboot that ignored everything from previous games. So it just comes off like you're mad they stuck a 2 on it, which most people don't really care that much about, because most people didn't care enough about the plot of the first game that they wanted to see a direct continuation. The characters were bare bones and barely there, even the aliens didn't have especially complex motives, the story just wasn't good enough to invest people in really wanting to see the victory ending continued.

Could they have made a sequel that directly continued from the victory ending, and made it good? Sure, but the way they are doing it now is also fine, they are basically continuing the story from the non-standard game over cutscene, with some added events to cover the intervening years between the two games and explaining what happened to the commander from the first game.

Also, there is an in game explanation for it, there are two endings, the game continues from the bad ending, just like A Link to the Past continues from the end of ocarina that assumes the hero of time lost against Ganon. Don't sit there and pretend it doesn't make sense, they even give you a cutscene for losing the game that can easily be construed as a canonical ending, not the preferred ending you want to get while playing the original game, but still a perfectly valid ending to branch off into a sequel, there have been games in the past that have branched off of the bad ending, they aren't the majority, but we don't need to sit around making excuses about how they don't make sense so you can complain about how you want the happy ending to be canon.

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