XCOM 2 Gameplay Video Shows Off More Strategy Depth

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XCOM 2 Gameplay Video Shows Off More Strategy Depth

If you weren't excited about the sequel announcement for XCOM: Enemy Within, this gameplay demo should rekindle the spark from the original.

E3 brought us news that the excellent remake of XCOM: Enemy Unknown would be getting a sequel. Even better news was that it was going to be coming out at the end of this year. Now that Gamescom has come and gone, 2K Games has released the gameplay demo shown in Germany.

The backstory for the game, set 20 years after the original, has Earth losing the initial war against the aliens, with the XCOM organization in hiding and waiting for the right time to strike. In the process they are building a resistance network to combat the alien menace.

The demo, entitled "Welcome to the Avenger," shows off a bit more strategy depth, allowing players to "customize a mobile HQ, manage research and resources, recruit and customize soldiers, upgrade weapons, armor and abilities and ultimately build a global resistance network to save mankind from the aliens."

XCOM 2 will be available for PC only and is currently scheduled for release in November.

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Looks better than ever.
Hope they make cover less flimsy mid-late game, that was my biggest problem with the original.

I hope they explain what happened to the rest of the higher staff members XCOM like Dr. Vahlen or Bradford or if rescue ops can be done to recover them. I mean it's been less than 10 years ingame time right?

Edit: or it'd be nice to run into them as apart of other Resistance cell groups.

I for one enjoyed apocalypse; and this seems to be everything a sequel should be... to the point of making me want to risk a pre-order. Not sure what I think of the extra exposition though.

Stupidity:
Looks better than ever.
Hope they make cover less flimsy mid-late game, that was my biggest problem with the original.

Could always go the dowII route and make it pointless once you get the right armor. (Terminator armor in dowII made you extremely resilient, at the cost of destroying/preventing use of nearby cover)

Though I guess the quadruple amputees technically count in this regard.

Lucane:
I hope they explain what happened to the rest of the higher staff members XCOM like Dr. Vahlen or Bradford or if rescue ops can be done to recover them. I mean it's been less than 10 years ingame time right?

20 years it says in the OP, I honestly though Dr Shen would still be alive, just mostly machine. As for the rest, yeah I'd like that. Love what I'm seeing, can't wait to get my hands on it.

So no more RNG for your troops' class? Cool stuff.

Yes yes that's nice and all but when are the damn console ports coming?

Do I get to have more than 4 troops?

Draconalis:
Do I get to have more than 4 troops?

If you got the right skills in the officer training school in Enemy Unknown, you could have 6.

thebobmaster:

Draconalis:
Do I get to have more than 4 troops?

If you got the right skills in the officer training school in Enemy Unknown, you could have 6.

I am aware.

And if you loaded up the original game without needing some arbitrary limiter, you could have 12.

That was one of the biggest reasons I didn't like the new one.

I wasn't excited before because they completely fucked over everyone who actually tried to win in the first one. And low and behold this did absolutely nothing for me because its the exact same thing but with a worse plot. What, are they talking points from Blizzard now?!

Christ, someone tell them to just release this game as a $5 DLC for the first game. That way they can maybe save a little face in the eyes of the fans.

I really like the change from getting x number of scientist or engineers to getting one named one. In general the type of game they are trying to make just makes an insane amount more sense in this gorilla war style and feels better. Also hopefully the gorilla war style lends itself better to coming back from a loss. One of the biggest problems in the previous game is losing a mission or two made it almost impossible to win if it happened during the first 3 months.

I'm kinda hoping that they fix the DLC integration and do base attacks better than just making it another horde mode.

Silentpony:
I wasn't excited before because they completely fucked over everyone who actually tried to win in the first one. And low and behold this did absolutely nothing for me because its the exact same thing but with a worse plot. What, are they talking points from Blizzard now?!

Christ, someone tell them to just release this game as a $5 DLC for the first game. That way they can maybe save a little face in the eyes of the fans.

Speak for yourself. I'm looking forward to this a ton. Soldier customization and abilities look way more in depth, the strategic elements are massively different, and it makes SENSE to me that we'd lose against the aliens even if we squashed them in XCOM 1. When they come back for round 2 with us, I'd imagine they'd bring a far larger force and just steamroll us with superior numbers, hence the reason why they've taken over for the first game.

Loved the original, loved the remake, loved the expansion for the remake and very much looking forward to the sequel to the remake.

Although Terror from the Deep was the most infuriating game ever made. I DIDN'T BRING ANY GUNS THAT WORK UNDERWATER!!!

Draconalis:

thebobmaster:

Draconalis:
Do I get to have more than 4 troops?

If you got the right skills in the officer training school in Enemy Unknown, you could have 6.

I am aware.

And if you loaded up the original game without needing some arbitrary limiter, you could have 12.

That was one of the biggest reasons I didn't like the new one.

Part of the problem with the old number was that half your force were to be used as cannon-fodder for soaking up mines and revealing enemy positions.

KenAri:

Part of the problem with the old number was that half your force were to be used as cannon-fodder for soaking up mines and revealing enemy positions.

That wasn't how I played, but really, why is that such a bad thing?

Lucane:
I hope they explain what happened to the rest of the higher staff members XCOM like Dr. Vahlen or Bradford

Bradford is back as central again, I am almost sure he is the guy talking to you throughout the video actually (you can see he though on the E3 demo gameplay - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_rDA0ZbPDs). When it comes to Vahlen they have not confirmed or denied that she will be back - my guess then would be that she is also probably there and that she is somehow connected to the main plot, therefor they decided not to speak.

Draconalis:
Do I get to have more than 4 troops?

They confirmed that they will stick to the 4-6 formula. Although with the much better mod support the game will have it won't take long until someone increases the number.

@Topic
I know I shouldn't cause you never really know how it's gonna be but.. I am fucking hyped for this. Seriously, can't wait for november.

I like most of what I see and approve of what firaxis is trying to do here...

But I feel like being bitchy so here are my own personal irks :

- Only 4-6 soldiers max still? Bloody friggin hell, at least it makes kinda sense given the guerilla theme but is still annoying. Will want mod to change this ASAP. I understand people's heads will explode if they command more then a dozen troops but c'mon, at least 8 so I can make 4 pairs sweeping the map separately or 2 combat squads please.

-A skill tree with only 2 choices at each tier is hardly what I'd call overwhelming customization. Yes I'm aware when people praise the customization they also refer to all the tattoos and scars and how much into detail you can go now when playing dress up with your toy soldiers...
But I've yet to see anyone point out the skill tree which determines how unique a soldier is in game terms is actually very, very shallow, just like in the previous game.

I really hope that option to randomize skill trees makes a return. And hopefully with that a mod to expand the skill choices to at least 3. If I want to make a stupidly unwieldy combination of 4 different classes in 1 soldier, that should be my right damnit.

Anyways that's the very worst I can say of Xcom 2 for now, which is probably a good sign.

freaper:
So no more RNG for your troops' class? Cool stuff.

well it looks like a way to opt out by benching them a few days to manually select what they'll be.

Are there going to be bigger damn maps? I got sick of revealing one enemey group that activates every other enemy group on the map.

Frankster:

- Only 4-6 soldiers max still? Bloody friggin hell, at least it makes kinda sense given the guerilla theme but is still annoying. Will want mod to change this ASAP. I understand people's heads will explode if they command more then a dozen troops but c'mon, at least 8 so I can make 4 pairs sweeping the map separately or 2 combat squads please.

I don't get this. You lose all sense of a tactical game when you command a platoon of that size against a smaller batch of opponents. You're spamming the battlefield. That's not tactical. Unless you drastically raise hte amount of opponents you're going up against, there's no challenge.

And they've said you won't be able to recruit masses of units like you did before. So no more cannon fodder.

I'm perfectly happy with smaller group sizes. Nothing at all wrong with it.

I wish I could play this game, because from what I understand they're going to put a bit more effort into the story. I enjoyed the first X-COM game, but I got bored with it after my second playthrough or so because my main motivation just wasn't that good.

Alas, I only play on consoles. Hope this does well though and I can watch some videos.

Makabriel:
You lose all sense of a tactical game when you command a platoon of that size against a smaller batch of opponents.

And I don't get this. Are you saying original xcom, xenonauts and the various xcom like games that have you commanding up to 24 men in some cases are less tactical because there's more units to command?

Wait there's a 2nd part to that sentence, let's finish reading..Against a smaller batch of opponents? Hang on, I never said that.

It's my assumption that you'd be still be outnumbered, that was the case in the previous game.
And from the way they talk of dynamic enemy reinforcements that will be applying constant pressure to your xcom squad, nothing I've seen leads me to believe you still won't be outnumbered even with extra troops.

Anyways point is moot, there will be mods to give me what I want so yey for mods.

Frankster:

Makabriel:
You lose all sense of a tactical game when you command a platoon of that size against a smaller batch of opponents.

And I don't get this. Are you saying original xcom, xenonauts and the various xcom like games that have you commanding up to 24 men in some cases are less tactical because there's more units to command?

On the topic on less vs more solders... It's not that the games are "Less" or "More" tactical, the issue is that we're playing by completely different rules. Having 24 solders with these kinds of maps and cover based mechanics would be insane. The losses would be psychopathic. However, on the flip-side, playing with 6 solders with the TU based rules would also be positively foolish. It'd be impossible to get anything done. Doing LW with a change of rules to allow for 10 solders on most missions, I'm already just deciding to leave 2-3 solders behind and letting the rest of the group clean the place out. Early game, it's just not necessary to have a 9v9. It's quick, easy, and dull with these mechanics and rules.

That being said, 6 is small, but there is a reason we're going with the small squads, and a reason we went with them in EU/EW. We need bigger maps (Which is what we'll get in XCOM2, we don't have this AT ALL in EU/EW) and more aliens (Which, to a degree, we get with LW. However, they've toned it down in the last few betas. I want another 60 Zombie mission!!)

That's it's #1 selling point for me. The fucking maps. I actually just want modders to recreate EW/LW for XCOM2. I want some of that map-meat!! FEED ME THE MAP MEAT!

Im very much looking forward to this game.

Story
I like the new guerilla warfare angle, mainly because there's no way it shouldn't have been like this from the start since the aliens outnumbered humanity from day one along with being better armed. Not to say they should have been ruling from the start, but they shouldn't have acted like they're the outnumbered ones since not buggering about and simply .

Soldier customization
Appearance customization has increased, I like it. New camo pattens to make them look like an actual military organization, etc. That said I wouldn't mind some more aesthetic weapon variety from the start as well. Maybe an AK styled assault rifle if not an actual AK, since I can see other rebel groups not coming from former elite military organizations bringing them in now that XCOM doesn't have access to top of the line equipment and they could actually reflect that with less "uniform" weapons. If we're going to play virtual paper dolls I'd rather have less uniform equipment.

The actual abilities? Not really any more varied by the looks of it. Now apparently somewhere Firaxis has stated that XCOM 2 is basically a tutorial for Long War, but Long War isn't just long or hard, it's VARIED. And it's not just varied in soldier appearances or languages your troops can speak being added (yes, it adds more language options), but enemies get new abilities (sectoids use suppressing fire and psi powers early on for example), there are more classes, classes are more specialized and all classes have three skill trees to choose from. Also you have more troops from the start because sending a squad of four soldiers to deal with an alien invasion is idiotic, you should at least have 6 to start with to give the player a chance to continue when troops are lost, the death of ONE FUCKING SOLDIER should not even risk losing the battle, let alone put you into a downward spiral that halts the entire fucking war effort. If this a tutorial for Long War then it pretty clearly missed the fucking point when all it took from that is "Long War is harder".

Yes, Long War is harder, but it also gives an actual atmosphere of being in alien invasion to the game. Let's face facts, people are going to die in an invasion, that means the devs have to be more generous in giving replacements even if the maps are small, speaking of which...

Maps
This guy says it all really...

BeerTent:
We need bigger maps (Which is what we'll get in XCOM2, we don't have this AT ALL in EU/EW) and more aliens (Which, to a degree, we get with LW. However, they've toned it down in the last few betas. I want another 60 Zombie mission!!)

The problem with having 24 soldiers in the older xcom games. Was that it took forever to move them all, every freaking turn...
Plus for the most part the rookies where just used as cheap cannon fodder..

So i'm happy they are keeping the game balanced at 4-6 soldiers.

But with modding support, there will bound to be someone adding larger squad support..

Lucane:

freaper:
So no more RNG for your troops' class? Cool stuff.

well it looks like a way to opt out by benching them a few days to manually select what they'll be.

Yea, from the (very) few things I've seen the game looks much slower, which I don't mind since it puts more emphasis on growing a few troops, instead of having a college's worth of soldiers.

To anyone complaining about ANYTHING in the XCOM remake I highly recommend you check out the Long War mod. It literally fixes everything including an initial 6 man squad, more classes, WAY more weapons and equipment and a much deeper strategic game.

Also as for the sequel:

image

redrefugee:
Loved the original, loved the remake, loved the expansion for the remake and very much looking forward to the sequel to the remake.

Although Terror from the Deep was the most infuriating game ever made. I DIDN'T BRING ANY GUNS THAT WORK UNDERWATER!!!

I'd love to see TftD done in the style of EW, and half expected the game to be a remake of that. And not nearly as annoying and difficult.

This incredibly awesome trailer seems handmade to my preferences:

- Extensive customization for soldiers, from uniform and weapon design all the way to tattoos and body language, for that extra attachment to your doomed cannon fodder.
- Emphasis on asymmetrical warfare against a superior enemy and the need to prioritize working with different terror resistance cells across the globe.
- Giant, highly modifiable mobile HQ that reminds me of rebuilding the Brotherhood of Nod in Tiberium Sun.*

No sexy Vipers unfortunately, but still: I want this game!

*Ironically, since it was GDI's HQ that was airborne.

Dragonlayer:
This incredibly awesome trailer seems handmade to my preferences:

- Extensive customization for soldiers, from uniform and weapon design all the way to tattoos and body language, for that extra attachment to your doomed cannon fodder.
- Emphasis on asymmetrical warfare against a superior enemy and the need to prioritize working with different terror resistance cells across the globe.
- Giant, highly modifiable mobile HQ that reminds me of rebuilding the Brotherhood of Nod in Tiberium Sun.*

No sexy Vipers unfortunately, but still: I want this game!

*Ironically, since it was GDI's HQ that was airborne.

GDI's HQ wasn't airborne. It was a space station. Getting back on topic, this game looks awesome. I can't wait to get my forces crubstomped by the starting Sectoid because I severely underestimated his psi abilities.

The Jovian:

Dragonlayer:
This incredibly awesome trailer seems handmade to my preferences:

- Extensive customization for soldiers, from uniform and weapon design all the way to tattoos and body language, for that extra attachment to your doomed cannon fodder.
- Emphasis on asymmetrical warfare against a superior enemy and the need to prioritize working with different terror resistance cells across the globe.
- Giant, highly modifiable mobile HQ that reminds me of rebuilding the Brotherhood of Nod in Tiberium Sun.*

No sexy Vipers unfortunately, but still: I want this game!

*Ironically, since it was GDI's HQ that was airborne.

GDI's HQ wasn't airborne. It was a space station. Getting back on topic, this game looks awesome. I can't wait to get my forces crubstomped by the starting Sectoid because I severely underestimated his psi abilities.

GDI's supreme HQ, the Philadelphia, was indeed a space station but I was referring to the Kodiak.

image

Nod has the Montauk, the over-sized subterranean APC that traveled along an incredibly convenient world-spanning subway network.

Frankster:
[quote="Makabriel" post="7.881246.22198519"]
And I don't get this. Are you saying original xcom, xenonauts and the various xcom like games that have you commanding up to 24 men in some cases are less tactical because there's more units to command?

Yep, any potential resource allocation issues go out the window when you can bring more than two of everything you would ever possibly need. I haven't played xenonauts but in XCOM I always started off with one or two guys with rocket launchers; everyone else with rifles in hand, stun prod in their packets and a high explosive on their belt. For night missions everyone also got a flare which was either on belt or in hand at the start of combat. By the end of the game replace rifle with heavy plasma and add a psi-enchancer to their other hand for an easy win on most any mission while the rocket carriers get replaced by blaster launcher or plasma tanks (who also serve the purpose of cannon fodder for initial ramp shots).

Since the new XCOM forced soldier lineup changes due to levels and wounds along with giving a number of distinct classes I had to change up my tactics every fight which kept things a lot fresher. Ultimately the slow crawl was still nearly always the right tactical action, but how that played out depending on if you had a squad with two supports, two snipers and two heavies compared to one support, three assaults, a heavy and a shiv.

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