Zero Punctuation: XCOM 2

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XCOM 2

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews XCOM 2.

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I wonder how long it will take for PC Hissy to become a usable mod for Vipers?

OT: I actually disagree with a lot of the points he made about the timed missions and how the game doesn't use it's theme of being insurgents well.
While I know timed missions are a pain, it's trying to encourage a more active playstyle rather then just using Overwatch moves all the time, which I think was a neat way to mix things up
They did try to do the same in Enemy Within with MELD having a time limit to be picked up but it usually just resulted in MEC and Gene enhanced soldiers being much more annoying to get rather then anything else.

Still, Good review as always.

Hmm... humanity wouldn't accept these aliens as their benevolent overseers, eh? Maybe that's why they made the Vipers have those strangely feminine figures that make no small amount of people consider them oddly sexy...

Let me be the first to commemorate this review by pointing and shouting "BUTTS!"

(who will get that one)

Now now, this is unwarranted discrimination against snake-people who are perfectly sentient enough to infiltrate humanity 20 years ago.

I do however have problem with butt naked exhibitionist sectoids.

I dont know, I have a feeling people might be more accepting of constable hissy than you think.
image

Diablo1099:

While I know timed missions are a pain, it's trying to encourage a more active playstyle rather then just using Overwatch moves all the time, which I think was a neat way to mix things up.

So logic dictates that instead of changing the Overwatch mechanic, you change everything around the Overwatch mechanic? Subsequently all you're doing is changing a game of chess into a game of draughts.

Pandering, it's all about pandering. They're going on the premise that hardiness = fun and you (the player) cannot have fun unless you're swayed into playing an active role. Personally, I detest the wizz space kapow and preferred the more steady paced action - which could've been built upon more.

You crazy Yahtzee. XCOM2 is better in every way compared to Enemy Unknown, and I loved Enemy Unknown. Also, check out all the workshop mods (i know i know, relying on modders to fix your game for you is ehh...) because there are tons and tons of custom voice packs, little tweaks (like timers don't start till you get spotted) and character customization stuff. Think I even saw a mod to make melee attacks more accurate. The modding really lets you tailor the game to your own tastes.

Diablo1099:

OT: I actually disagree with a lot of the points he made about the timed missions and how the game doesn't use it's theme of being insurgents well.

That's actually one of the main points I agreed with him on. The whole game apparently wants to build itself around Guerrilla warfare, where every single decision is slow and considered, but then it immediately undermines its premise by forcing you to recklessly go on the offensive. It would have been more interesting if they had turned them into stealth missions where your goal is to avoid combat, or if they alerted you to the enemies presence, so that you could quickly perform an ambuscade. Instead it feels like you have to run and gun.

"FTL, a slightly more fun game"

Oh man. Now I'm really glad I didn't get this one! I could only be more turned off if he said the comedy wasn't quite up to Amy Schumer levels.

Have to agree. Would it really haven been so hard to only have the timer start once your cover was blown/the aliens spot your guys? Maybe allow sneak attacks which don't alert the aliens all over the map if you managed to take out a patrol quickly and quietly(or at least delay how long it takes for them to notice the patrol hasn't reported in)?

One of the reasons(beyond the inevitable DLC/game mode upgrade Firaxis does with all of it's games about a year after launch) I'm waiting to pick up XCOM is hoping they'll fix this on their own. I know the game can be modded but I dislike having to depend on mods for what I feel should have been a basic feature. There's only one game I put up with that in and it gets a somewhat of a pass because it's still a work in progress(despite technically being full release).

I can't get past the premise and the more I hear about it the more absurd it becomes. The gameplay might be solid, but I need the story to make sense or not be there at all.

It is a game with a stupid plot filled with stupid design decision and even dummber game mechanics, and it is absolutely ridden with bugs. But, I still liked it. It was very .. fun .. surprisingly fun even, considering how many things were wrong with it.

I.... I would recommend it?

Kind of echoes some of my fears from when the game was in development- most particularly that it wouldn't do an especially good job reconsidering the difference between a stealth guerrilla force and a publicly funded one.

It's been getting favorable reviews in most places, bugs aside, but I appreciate any excuse not to pick it up right away.

Rawbeard:
I can't get past the premise and the more I hear about it the more absurd it becomes. The gameplay might be solid, but I need the story to make sense or not be there at all.

What's absurd about it? I feel like they gave us enough "outs" to justify it.

The aliens take over, and the aliens go "No really! Humanity shot at us first, we come in peace, look we've cured cancer and AIDS and virtually eradicated disease! And while Earth IS kind of blown up in a lot of places no worries, we have shining cities with lots of opportunity and super delicious Advent Burgers (Not a joke, characters reference Advent Burgers more than once in background conversation). Yes, we have you under total surveillance all the time and pets are banned and occasionally you might see a weirdly attractive snake lady on patrol with the regular volunteer soldiers if terrorists are known to be active in the area, but you're safe and well-provided for!"

Given that Earth is kind of shitty outside of the Advent Cities and that they only start rolling out the snake ladies and so on in the city areas once XCOM starts to become at least a mild threat, it generally works. Especially given the "we can cure any disease and provide almost-addictive food, and have lots of opportunities for you!" angle to offset the kidnapppings and totalitarian rule for most people. Especially after 20 years to get used to it.

As well as

'Course the story isn't quite "great" and there are a few headscratchers here and there, but it generally works.

That said I do agree with Yatzee 100% on how dumb it is that the Turn Counter ticks down while you are in concealment. I like the timers in general, but they're a teensy bit too strict sometimes, and they REALLY should not tick down while you're operating in concealment (There's a reason it was the first mod I picked up)

Pity he didn't like it. I think it's basically a tiny bit better than Enemy Unknown, not MUCH better, but enough of an improvement that I can feel it.

Worgen:
I dont know, I have a feeling people might be more accepting of constable hissy than you think.
image

Aw dammit, ninja'd. But yeah I agree, surprising amount of people are gonna root for Hissy-chan, especially since some bright bob on the aliens side got the idea to stick a pair of tits on her.

The speaker is a thinman, not a human. The marks on the neck and the dark glasses are a dead giveaway.

mad825:

Diablo1099:

While I know timed missions are a pain, it's trying to encourage a more active playstyle rather then just using Overwatch moves all the time, which I think was a neat way to mix things up.

So logic dictates that instead of changing the Overwatch mechanic, you change everything around the Overwatch mechanic? Subsequently all you're doing is changing a game of chess into a game of draughts.

Pandering, it's all about pandering. They're going on the premise that hardiness = fun and you (the player) cannot have fun unless you're swayed into playing an active role. Personally, I detest the wizz space kapow and preferred the more steady paced action - which could've been built upon more.

Pandering to whom exactly? Using your definiton of pandering, IE, choosing a direction a lot of players liked as its development guiding point, you're essentially complaining that the game didn't pander to you exactly.

And please, do tell how exactly would one change the Overwatch mechanic outside of removing it completely in a way that's balanced?

I really don't understand most complaints people have about XCOM 2, asides the bug department, which is completely justified, and the story, which I personally enjoyed but I can see how it can put off some people. Firaxis made the game moddable as shit exactly because this meant they could focus on one style and all the people who didn't like that style have to do is pop a mod that fixes it.

First day mod: True Concealment. Changes the concealment complaint. Tons of rebalance mods are already available, oh, and open and accessible .ini files make sure any balance complaint can be handled personally. Don't know what to do? Check the dozens of guides already out.

Silentpony:
"FTL, a slightly more fun game"

Oh man. Now I'm really glad I didn't get this one! I could only be more turned off if he said the comedy wasn't quite up to Amy Schumer levels.

"The comedy was more like if Amy Schumer wrote a movie for Melissa McCarthy only for the viewers to find out that there's more fat jokes than expected and the rest of the comedic aesthetics was done better on any random episode of Girls!"

OT: I completely lost it after PC Hissy...

Other than that, this was my reaction to the time limits:

Okay, I've never played XCOM, so I had no idea what people where talking about with the Vipers, but upon checking ...

image

Why do the snakes have tits? Not just tits, but that drawing on the right looks like they've simply traced over the image of a naked women. I guess they want to bring across that they've female for whatever reason, but it still seems strange for a reptilian alien to have a perfectly human rack.
Hey, whatever the scalies are into I guess, but something about the design makes me feel it's somehow both too anthropomorphized, and not enough.

I very much enjoyed XCOM 2. I'm on my third playthrough now. I do think they freshed things up from the first game quite a bit, with a pretty good balance (Up to the endgame, I'm always short on time and supplies to get everything I need, as I should be) . I also like the timed missions, because they do introduce a fun element of pressure. And as for it not matching the guerilla feel, most guerilla attacks rely on speed as well as stealth. There's something to be said for a shorter timer that only starts when you're spotted (although that introduces a painful element of luck, since the distance you have to travel in that time now depends on when you happen to meet your first patrol), but I'm fine with it like this.

On the bad side, the game is technically poorly pollished with bugs, glitches and long load times. And there are some problems with the balance of actions with penalties for failure, like melee (leaves your guy exposed) and hacking (buffs enemies or spawns more if you fail). Someone forgot the high-reward part of this high-risk stake: Melee attacks deal less damage and have higher miss chances than a shotgun blast, and even my super-buffed hacker (Colonel, Gremlin Mk III, upgraded skulljack for +25 to hack and a permanent +20 to hack as reward from an earlier hack attempt) had less chance of temporarily taking over a mid-tier enemy like a Heavy MEC than my Magus (with only the Alien Psi amp, no other specials) had of mind controling the strongest psionic enemy in the game permanently. And the psion doesn't buff the enemy when you fail.

Oh, and the story relies on some pretty bizare technobabble about DNA that I'm pretty sure makes no sense whatsoever.

FirstNameLastName:
Okay, I've never played XCOM, so I had no idea what people where talking about with the Vipers, but upon checking ...

image

Why do the snakes have tits? Not just tits, but that drawing on the right looks like they've simply traced over the image of a naked women. I guess they want to bring across that they've female for whatever reason, but it still seems strange for a reptilian alien to have a perfectly human rack.
Hey, whatever the scalies are into I guess, but something about the design makes me feel it's somehow both too anthropomorphized, and not enough.

Because they have human DNA in them was my understanding. Still a little odd but these are the same creatures that were the thin men so...

Qizx:

FirstNameLastName:
Okay, I've never played XCOM, so I had no idea what people where talking about with the Vipers, but upon checking ...

image

Why do the snakes have tits? Not just tits, but that drawing on the right looks like they've simply traced over the image of a naked women. I guess they want to bring across that they've female for whatever reason, but it still seems strange for a reptilian alien to have a perfectly human rack.
Hey, whatever the scalies are into I guess, but something about the design makes me feel it's somehow both too anthropomorphized, and not enough.

Because they have human DNA in them was my understanding. Still a little odd but these are the same creatures that were the thin men so...

That would make sense, but upon reading the wiki I found this not to be the case.

http://xcom.wikia.com/wiki/Viper_%28XCOM_2%29:

Despite their resemblance to terrestrial snakes, the Viper is actually a wholly extraterrestrial species unmodified by human DNA. However, it retains the modified Thin Man's poison and high accuracy, combat abilities and intelligence.

So I have no idea what they were going for. From a realism perspective it doesn't really make sense for anything but a mammal to have, well, mammaries. I guess since they're an alien species all manner of things can be handwaved, but it still makes me wonder what they were going for with that design. Were they intentionally trying to make them attractive to a rather niche crowd? A quick look at the image search for the viper shows all manner of weird shit to suggest people want to bang them, but I guess that's par for the course of any franchise.

FirstNameLastName:
Okay, I've never played XCOM, so I had no idea what people where talking about with the Vipers, but upon checking ...

image

Why do the snakes have tits? Not just tits, but that drawing on the right looks like they've simply traced over the image of a naked women. I guess they want to bring across that they've female for whatever reason, but it still seems strange for a reptilian alien to have a perfectly human rack.
Hey, whatever the scalies are into I guess, but something about the design makes me feel it's somehow both too anthropomorphized, and not enough.

Well, 1) they're actually poison glands (yes, really), and 2) I'm assuming they've been anthropomorphised somewhat to make people feel less worried by the giant snake lady with a plasma rifle.

And 3) because someone at Firaxis has a snake fetish, presumably.

FirstNameLastName:

Qizx:

FirstNameLastName:
Okay, I've never played XCOM, so I had no idea what people where talking about with the Vipers, but upon checking ...

image

Why do the snakes have tits? Not just tits, but that drawing on the right looks like they've simply traced over the image of a naked women. I guess they want to bring across that they've female for whatever reason, but it still seems strange for a reptilian alien to have a perfectly human rack.
Hey, whatever the scalies are into I guess, but something about the design makes me feel it's somehow both too anthropomorphized, and not enough.

Because they have human DNA in them was my understanding. Still a little odd but these are the same creatures that were the thin men so...

That would make sense, but upon reading the wiki I found this not to be the case.

http://xcom.wikia.com/wiki/Viper_%28XCOM_2%29:

Despite their resemblance to terrestrial snakes, the Viper is actually a wholly extraterrestrial species unmodified by human DNA. However, it retains the modified Thin Man's poison and high accuracy, combat abilities and intelligence.

So I have no idea what they were going for. From a realism perspective it doesn't really make sense for anything but a mammal to have, well, mammaries. I guess since they're an alien species all manner of things can be handwaved, but it still makes me wonder what they were going for with that design. Were they intentionally trying to make them attractive to a rather niche crowd? A quick look at the image search for the viper shows all manner of weird shit to suggest people want to bang them, but I guess that's par for the course of any franchise.

Well shit now I'm finding out Thin Men had no Human DNA at all either. I thought they did.

Also you totally should have known better than to google anything that could remotely be attractive... Or googling anything.

Nothing is safe, everything is perverse on there.

FPLOON:

Silentpony:
"FTL, a slightly more fun game"

Oh man. Now I'm really glad I didn't get this one! I could only be more turned off if he said the comedy wasn't quite up to Amy Schumer levels.

"The comedy was more like if Amy Schumer wrote a movie for Melissa McCarthy only for the viewers to find out that there's more fat jokes than expected and the rest of the comedic aesthetics was done better on any random episode of Girls!"

OT: I completely lost it after PC Hissy...

Other than that, this was my reaction to the time limits:

I think they are both funny.

I think the Vipers can best be explained by the following two comics.

image

image

Snake girl fetish is a thing now, we all have to accept that it's up there with elves and vampires.

Worgen:
I dont know, I have a feeling people might be more accepting of constable hissy than you think.

Yes I personally welcome our slithering overlords and their Ample baps. But I'll laugh if Thanatos recuses himself from commenting

I'd also buy this game if I had the money even though it would probably be far cheaper for me to just buy the First reboot of it that Yahtzee was going on and on about

I love it when Ben ends the video with something ridiculous, especially the GTA 5 review.

Oh yahtzee, but it makes perfect sense humanity accepted the alien rule. Just do a quick unprotected google search for the Vipers, and you will understand that the true power to conquer humanity comes not from superior firepower or psionics or technology, but from an ample supply of fetish waifus made readily available to the mases.

Rawbeard:
I can't get past the premise and the more I hear about it the more absurd it becomes. The gameplay might be solid, but I need the story to make sense or not be there at all.

Then you would do well in not making the mistake of viewing Yhatzee's review as anything actually resembling a real review nor an actual explanation as to the plot of the game.

If this is where you're looking for information on a game you're hopelessly lost.

This is just a bit of meaningless fun each week and anyone watching Yhatzee for facts or reviews has completely missed the point.

It would be the most precious thing in the world if Yhatzee himself actually meant these things to be taken seriously. Now that would really be funny indeed.

Now I'm really glad I didn't buy this game. Not as good as the first one is all the convincing I needed. Well, that and 'winning the first game' going to 'no, you lost' was a bit of an unnecessary kick to the teeth.

iller3:

Worgen:
I dont know, I have a feeling people might be more accepting of constable hissy than you think.

Yes I personally welcome our slithering overlords and their Ample baps. But I'll laugh if Thanatos recuses himself from commenting

I'd also buy this game if I had the money even though it would probably be far cheaper for me to just buy the First reboot of it that Yahtzee was going on and on about

I'd say that Enemy Unknown is worth it's present price on Steam, although I'd still earmark it for a sale, especially since X-COM 2 is suffering from MOTS syndrome. As for X-COM 2, I'll wait for a price cut and some patching before I add it to my library.

Angry mob: WE NEED TO OVERTHROW OUR TYRANNICAL XENO OVERLORDS!

~Arrival of sexy snake ladies~

Horny mob: Just saying, maaaaaaybe give peace a chance.

FirstNameLastName:
Okay, I've never played XCOM, so I had no idea what people where talking about with the Vipers, but upon checking ...

image

Why do the snakes have tits? Not just tits, but that drawing on the right looks like they've simply traced over the image of a naked women. I guess they want to bring across that they've female for whatever reason, but it still seems strange for a reptilian alien to have a perfectly human rack.
Hey, whatever the scalies are into I guess, but something about the design makes me feel it's somehow both too anthropomorphized, and not enough.

There is a whole TVtropes page devoted to that. I'll spare you by not linking to it.

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