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[XCOM] is a feeling, not just a game

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  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    MegaMan001 wrote: »
    I'm going to have to grab the King Arthur game next sale

    It's good, but the Hard difficulty I'm playing on stubbornly is very punishing, so maybe don't do that your first time through.

    RingoMegaMan001
  • cB557cB557 voOOP Registered User regular
    Lucascraft wrote: »
    Are there any games in the style of XCOM which also have really deep storytelling? Like a linear, narrative plot with tactical turn based action combat?

    I know games like FFT and Fire Emblem have rich storytelling. But the combat in those games is significantly different from that of XCOM.

    But XCOM, Phoenix Point, Mario + Rabbids, those games are all pretty lite on story and rely very heavily on the metagame to add context, rather than a traditional narrative.
    Oh, the HBS Shadowrun games. Can't believe it took me a day to remember to mention those. They're just straight up CRPGs but the combat is XCOM.

    GiantGeek2020CorsiniElvenshaeMoridin889
  • SiliconStewSiliconStew Registered User regular
    cB557 wrote: »
    Lucascraft wrote: »
    Are there any games in the style of XCOM which also have really deep storytelling? Like a linear, narrative plot with tactical turn based action combat?

    I know games like FFT and Fire Emblem have rich storytelling. But the combat in those games is significantly different from that of XCOM.

    But XCOM, Phoenix Point, Mario + Rabbids, those games are all pretty lite on story and rely very heavily on the metagame to add context, rather than a traditional narrative.
    Oh, the HBS Shadowrun games. Can't believe it took me a day to remember to mention those. They're just straight up CRPGs but the combat is XCOM.

    And to stay with HBS, Battletech is turn based tactical combat with to-hit rolls, rpg-lite elements of your pilots gaining experience and skills, etc and an "overworld" strategy layer of running your own mercenary company. It has a linear story campaign. But the DLC's also add many, if shorter, story based mission chains (flashpoints) on top of the unlimited random contract missions.

    I like its story, but I wouldn't call it "deeper" than what you'd find in the other similar games mentioned. I think games that give you unlimited procedurally generated missions will always feel like they dilute their bespoke story missions, regardless of how good those individual parts might be. Hard to reconcile a few hour narrative with a game you could play for hundreds of hours.

    Just remember that half the people you meet are below average intelligence.
  • cB557cB557 voOOP Registered User regular
    Yeah I would say HBS Battletech is about as story focused as XCOM.

    DracomicronMegaMan001
  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    What story is there is better told tho.

    (PSN: Morninglord) (Steam: Morninglord) (WiiU: Morninglord22) I like to record and toss up a lot of random gaming videos here.
    OrcaElvenshae
  • LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    Sorry... HBS?

    All I can think of is Hillbilly Strategy and I'm about 99% sure that's wrong.

  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    Lucascraft wrote: »
    Sorry... HBS?

    All I can think of is Hillbilly Strategy and I'm about 99% sure that's wrong.

    Hare Brained Schemes, the studio that made the Shadowrun CRPGs and Battletech.

    cB557FryOrcaElvenshaeMoridin889
  • OrcaOrca Registered User regular
    How are their other games? Battletech I've sunk over 1000 hours into and I love it.

  • cB557cB557 voOOP Registered User regular
    Orca wrote: »
    How are their other games? Battletech I've sunk over 1000 hours into and I love it.
    Shadowrun Returns is just okay, but Dragonfall and Hong Kong are amazing.

    DracomicronCorsiniMegaMan001GiantGeek2020Moridin889
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    Orca wrote: »
    How are their other games? Battletech I've sunk over 1000 hours into and I love it.
    @orca

    Dragonfall is OK to good. Hong Kong is great. I think there is a way to “back play” Seattle in either Dragonfall or Hong Kong

    The combat is never that good imo. The underlying system just that well put together in terms of control. But it’s a lot better in Hong Kong. If you have put 1000 hours into battletech it won’t fundamentally be that bad.

    The main problem with the strategy combat is that it’s AP based. In battletech you have movement end shoot. Also movement costs you a tad bit of heat and a tad bit of accuracy. In shadowrun movement costs you an AP you often could have used to shoot and flanking is both hard and risky but also not necessarily valuable enough to do. As a result combat never feels dynamic like it will even in early Xcom unless you really try. There is no hunker down ability and because getting stunned takes you out of cover it’s far easier to just pretend enemies don’t have cover by using abilities than being mobile.

    I felt like dragonfalls story didn’t really come together terribly well. But Hong Kong really resonated with me. Seattle’s story was pretty good too but the mechanics of if are really hard to get through. We’re i to describe them in literary terms Hong Kong is a tragedy and redemption, dragonfall is a political thriller, Seattle is a noir.

    You might also try Westland 2/3. I think HBS shadowrun are more interesting but Wasteland 2/3 is pretty slick and the combat kinda works to be mobile if you really try. Not actually sure which one has the better tactical system. But Shadowrun has the better story

    wbBv3fj.png
    Ringo
  • OrcaOrca Registered User regular
    Thanks for the info. I’ve played Wasteland 2, and it felt like a more polished and free form Fallout Tactics than anything else to me. It was fine, but I doubt I’ll replay it. Sounds like these might be in that vein? Good enough to play through once, may or may not resonate enough to come back to.

  • RingoRingo He/Him a distinct lack of substanceRegistered User regular
    Shadowrun, thanks to it being based on the RPG, can at least have a bit of replay value due to having different race/class/build progressions to try out. Plus there are user generated storylines for all 3 games

    Sterica wrote: »
    I know my last visit to my grandpa on his deathbed was to find out how the whole Nazi werewolf thing turned out.
    Edcrab's Exigency RPG
  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    Ringo wrote: »
    Shadowrun, thanks to it being based on the RPG, can at least have a bit of replay value due to having different race/class/build progressions to try out. Plus there are user generated storylines for all 3 games

    Yeah, there are a number of class-based "minigames" littered around the levels, like hacking, ley lines, drone access points, summoning, etc. You can do the levels differently based on your team composition.

    Ringo
  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    Well, I finished the main campaign of King Arthur: A Knight's Tale. Honestly I wish they'd just called it Mordred Fucks Shit Up, because that's what it actually was. King Arthur is barely a character and is more of the horcrux mcguffin of the story.

    By the end Mordred, his mom Morgwase, Morgan Le Fay, and Fairie Knight were so powerful that they needed to spend zero time healing from their final encounter with Arthur. In fact while I originally had trouble fielding a full team of unhurt knights between vitality damage and long term injuries, by the end I was hoping for events to send knights off on solo quests because I didn't have enough room at the training grounds to avoid idle, perfectly healthy minions week to week.

    So after the "final" battle there's still an existential threat to Avalon, and I started one of the post-game missions. It appears to be more generic "kill this guy and collect soul shards" missions leading to a fight with the godlike giant demon boss guy. They're innately less interesting because the mission briefing and in-mission commentary are done without voice acting... honestly Mordred's VA's hard lad reading amuses me almost as much as actually playing the game.

    So I may do the postgame stuff, but right now I'd like to finish the new Into the Breach advanced content.

  • BursarBursar Hee Noooo! PDX areaRegistered User regular
    Is Gears Tactics close enough to discuss in this thread? I was gifted a Game Pass sub and started playing it, and while the actual game play is surprisingly fun, I wish there were more environments than "destroyed desert town" and "destroyed industrial dirt factory."

    GNU Terry Pratchett
    PSN: Wstfgl | GamerTag: An Evil Plan | Battle.net: FallenIdle#1970
    Hit me up on BoardGameArena! User: Loaded D1
    egc6gp2emz1v.png
    Frem
  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    Bursar wrote: »
    Is Gears Tactics close enough to discuss in this thread? I was gifted a Game Pass sub and started playing it, and while the actual game play is surprisingly fun, I wish there were more environments than "destroyed desert town" and "destroyed industrial dirt factory."

    Absolutely. Gears Tactics has nearly all the hallmarks of an XCOM.

    Ketar
  • Vic_HazardVic_Hazard Registered User regular
    I'd go so far as to say that gears tactics has the slickest and most well made basics of any xcom.

    I love xcom but I've played so many hours that its rules are second nature. Gears is quite a lot more elegant with how it makes sense. Overwatch and stuns and everything is tight.

    Carpy
  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    Vic_Hazard wrote: »
    I'd go so far as to say that gears tactics has the slickest and most well made basics of any xcom.

    I love xcom but I've played so many hours that its rules are second nature. Gears is quite a lot more elegant with how it makes sense. Overwatch and stuns and everything is tight.

    The only thing Gears is missing to make it a full monte XCOM is a stategic layer.

    CarpyKetarMegaMan001GiantGeek2020Evil Multifarious
  • CarpyCarpy Registered User regular
    Vic_Hazard wrote: »
    I'd go so far as to say that gears tactics has the slickest and most well made basics of any xcom.

    I love xcom but I've played so many hours that its rules are second nature. Gears is quite a lot more elegant with how it makes sense. Overwatch and stuns and everything is tight.

    The only thing Gears is missing to make it a full monte XCOM is a stategic layer.

    Which is a kinda big omission. Until I played Gears I didn't realize how much I valued the little bit of forced downtime the strategic layer provides nor how exhausted I'd get by playing back-to-back-to-back-to-back missions.

    DracomicronRingoBloodySloth
  • LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    edited August 12
    Does Gears Tactics not have the in-between-missions upgrades, training, research, base stuff of XCOM?

    Bursar wrote: »
    while the actual game play is surprisingly fun, I wish there were more environments than "destroyed desert town" and "destroyed industrial dirt factory."

    I have not played Gears 4 or 5, but this is pretty much the template/environment of Gears 1-3. So I guess in that regard it sounds pretty on-brand?

    Lucascraft on
  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited August 12
    Lucascraft wrote: »
    Does Gears Tactics not have the in-between-missions upgrades, training, research, base stuff of XCOM?

    Not really. You basically just handle level and equipment upgrades, then select your next team and mission.

    There's also often a cutscene.

    You're not sending your troopers to training or choosing what to research or exploring non-combat locations.

    Dracomicron on
    Carpy
  • Vic_HazardVic_Hazard Registered User regular
    You're also not managing wounds and stuff like that, and your story characters dying is a loss condition.

    It's more like a RPGey campaign where you mostly bring the same squad. The firefights and reveals and stuff are spot on though

    CarpyBloodySloth
  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited August 14
    Vic_Hazard wrote: »
    You're also not managing wounds and stuff like that, and your story characters dying is a loss condition.

    It's more like a RPGey campaign where you mostly bring the same squad. The firefights and reveals and stuff are spot on though

    I loved developing my non-hero units for specialized missions (this is my Grenade All Day chica, this is my Executions For E'rybody specialist dude, etc.). Some of the builds were just nuts.

    It's a shame they never developed a Gears Tactics sequel where they took the proven combat system and spun it into an actual XCOM with a bonafide strategy layer and non-linear storytelling.

    Dracomicron on
  • LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    edited August 14
    If Gears Tactics is more of a linear story with a core cast of characters, that might be right up my alley.

    I love XCOM and it’s clones for what it is. But this is one of those sub-genres that’s rich with possibility, and I think there’s a lot more that can be done with it. For example, add more RPG elements. Replace research and base management with more traditional RPG fare, such as visiting towns, buying and selling loot and gear. Basically, I think what I’m asking for is a traditional JRPG, but with XCOM combat instead of Final Fantasy combat. Tell a grand, epic scope story with heroes and villains and all that, but in the style of XCOM.

    Lucascraft on
  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    Vic_Hazard wrote: »
    You're also not managing wounds and stuff like that, and your story characters dying is a loss condition.

    It's more like a RPGey campaign where you mostly bring the same squad. The firefights and reveals and stuff are spot on though

    I loved developing my non-hero units for specialized missions (this is my Grenade All Day chica, this is my Executions For E'rybody specialist dude, etc.). Some of the builds were just nuts.

    It's a shame they never developed a Gears Tactics sequel where they took the proven combat system and spun it into an actual XCOM with a bonafide strategy layer and non-linear storytelling.

    There was zero reason to develop non hero units, since they never gained levels quickly enough to keep pace with new recruits. So the game was more about just shuffling gear and assigning skill points every time you got a new dude, which was kind of tedious

    The tactics layer was phenomenal though, for sure

  • Tiger BurningTiger Burning Dig if you will, the pictureRegistered User, SolidSaints Tube regular
    Lucascraft wrote: »
    If Gears Tactics is more of a linear story with a core cast of characters, that might be right up my alley.

    I love XCOM and it’s clones for what it is. But this is one of those sub-genres that’s rich with possibility, and I think there’s a lot more that can be done with it. For example, add more RPG elements. Replace research and base management with more traditional RPG fare, such as visiting towns, buying and selling loot and gear. Basically, I think what I’m asking for is a traditional JRPG, but with XCOM combat instead of Final Fantasy combat. Tell a grand, epic scope story with heroes and villains and all that, but in the style of XCOM.

    Although it's kind of janky and a labor of love of a very small dev team, this describes Troubleshooter: Abandoned Children pretty well.

    Ain't no particular sign I'm more compatible with
    RingoFrem
  • InvictusInvictus Registered User regular
    Lucascraft wrote: »
    If Gears Tactics is more of a linear story with a core cast of characters, that might be right up my alley.

    I love XCOM and it’s clones for what it is. But this is one of those sub-genres that’s rich with possibility, and I think there’s a lot more that can be done with it. For example, add more RPG elements. Replace research and base management with more traditional RPG fare, such as visiting towns, buying and selling loot and gear. Basically, I think what I’m asking for is a traditional JRPG, but with XCOM combat instead of Final Fantasy combat. Tell a grand, epic scope story with heroes and villains and all that, but in the style of XCOM.

    Final Fantasy Tactics is pretty close, no?

    Generalísimo de Fuerzas Armadas de la República Argentina
  • LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    edited August 14
    Invictus wrote: »
    Lucascraft wrote: »
    If Gears Tactics is more of a linear story with a core cast of characters, that might be right up my alley.

    I love XCOM and it’s clones for what it is. But this is one of those sub-genres that’s rich with possibility, and I think there’s a lot more that can be done with it. For example, add more RPG elements. Replace research and base management with more traditional RPG fare, such as visiting towns, buying and selling loot and gear. Basically, I think what I’m asking for is a traditional JRPG, but with XCOM combat instead of Final Fantasy combat. Tell a grand, epic scope story with heroes and villains and all that, but in the style of XCOM.

    Final Fantasy Tactics is pretty close, no?

    It's different combat. I've played tons of that kind of game. FFT, FFTA, TA2, Fire Emblems (a bunch of them), the Disgaea series, Triangle Strategy, and I'm eagerly awaiting Tactics Ogre Reborn.

    But the combat of those games is uniquely different from that of XCOM. Those other games don't use cover. They don't have the overwatch ability. They just generally work much differently. And what I want is very specifically the XCOM variant of turn-based tactical combat, with the cover mechanics, overwatch, and so forth, but then also with an epic scale RPG storyline to go with it, rather than the free-form approach of XCOM where the entire game just takes place in your base.

    Lucascraft on
    Invictus
  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    Vic_Hazard wrote: »
    You're also not managing wounds and stuff like that, and your story characters dying is a loss condition.

    It's more like a RPGey campaign where you mostly bring the same squad. The firefights and reveals and stuff are spot on though

    I loved developing my non-hero units for specialized missions (this is my Grenade All Day chica, this is my Executions For E'rybody specialist dude, etc.). Some of the builds were just nuts.

    It's a shame they never developed a Gears Tactics sequel where they took the proven combat system and spun it into an actual XCOM with a bonafide strategy layer and non-linear storytelling.

    There was zero reason to develop non hero units, since they never gained levels quickly enough to keep pace with new recruits. So the game was more about just shuffling gear and assigning skill points every time you got a new dude, which was kind of tedious

    The tactics layer was phenomenal though, for sure
    I don't feel like this is true. Yes, your new recruits started at higher level, but I seem to recall that their builds were often sub-optimized for what I wanted. I was also able to keep at least a couple non-heroes at approximate levels to the story units. Maybe it's a difficulty level thing.

    Anyway, King Arthur: A Knight's Story has the story basis on top of cover tactics and base building/team management, though I wish you could recruit randomized knights/Sir Not Appearing In This Picture.

  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    Lucascraft wrote: »
    If Gears Tactics is more of a linear story with a core cast of characters, that might be right up my alley.

    I love XCOM and it’s clones for what it is. But this is one of those sub-genres that’s rich with possibility, and I think there’s a lot more that can be done with it. For example, add more RPG elements. Replace research and base management with more traditional RPG fare, such as visiting towns, buying and selling loot and gear. Basically, I think what I’m asking for is a traditional JRPG, but with XCOM combat instead of Final Fantasy combat. Tell a grand, epic scope story with heroes and villains and all that, but in the style of XCOM.

    Wouldn’t this just be like Shadowrun Dragonfall and Hong Kong or Wasteland 2 and 3?

    cB557
  • BursarBursar Hee Noooo! PDX areaRegistered User regular
    Having raised the subject of Gears Tactics, I finished the main game and its hour-long final stage before coming back to record my opinions. There are still more "Supreme Challenges" to do, but at this point I would rather not keep playing if it's going to be throwing the same missions at me over and over to grind for equipment/achievements.

    I don't know why the maps felt randomly generated when they're apparently not; everyone apparently gets the same missions/mutators and maps at the same points, but everything looks procedurally placed.
    Like someone else mentioned, your soldiers level up incredibly slowly compared to the rewards/recruits available, but I often felt that "my" soldiers were specially built for the playstyles I wanted so I would keep them on instead. This reached its head when I still had Level 4 troops that I was actively using every chance I got while Level 6 guys of the same subclass were just chilling in the recruitment menu, bursting with upgrade points.

    The roster UI felt clunky and make things very difficult to see without going into my soldiers' items one at a time to check them out. Oh, I just got an item that upgrades those pants I know someone has. Now, who's wearing them...? If I'm supposed to be able to tell the equipment apart based on appearance alone, it didn't click at all. I know they got more "elaborate" based on their rarity, but I could not tell two sets of kneepads from one another at any point. I still don't know what the appeal of the "ultra-thick back projection" on armor is. It's just a hallmark of Epic's design philosophy, I guess.

    The game crashed several times on Xbone for me, and I had more than a few turns where the enemy just wouldn't move or do anything, forcing me to reload. As fun as the core gameplay is, the game stuffed itself so full of filler that I don't want to play it again, unlike with XCom 2 where I'll dust it off every year or so for a retry.

    GNU Terry Pratchett
    PSN: Wstfgl | GamerTag: An Evil Plan | Battle.net: FallenIdle#1970
    Hit me up on BoardGameArena! User: Loaded D1
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  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    Yeah when I hit the post-endgame grind on Gears Tactics, I noped out so hard. "Wait you're telling me that I can keep playing forever with increasingly punishing missions and zero story progression???" Yeah no thanks.

    Incidentally I got 3 missions into the postgame on King Arthur and I'm not sure I want to continue. Mordred got kinda busted up in the second mission, and my spare tank, Red Knight, is slightly under-leveled for these fights. I've reloaded to try two different maps and the wide open terrain in both makes it hard to set up chokepoints (I have Guinevere set up to Ice Wall off large sections of enemies while I whittle their friends down, but that doesn't work if they can just blitzkrieg around the Maginot line.

  • RingoRingo He/Him a distinct lack of substanceRegistered User regular
    edited August 16
    Gears Tactics is 10 bucks on Steam right now, so I grabbed it, downloaded it, and..

    Apparently I have to log in to my Xbox/Microsoft account? And at 6:30am I feel this is grounds for a refund

    Edit: Not only do I have to sign in (honestly I use my Origin account more than my MS one) but that's part of its Always Online DRM

    Absolutely getting a refund

    Ringo on
    Sterica wrote: »
    I know my last visit to my grandpa on his deathbed was to find out how the whole Nazi werewolf thing turned out.
    Edcrab's Exigency RPG
    EspantaPajaroSteveRage
  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    Picked up Troubleshooter: Abandoned Children since it's on sale for 40% off and I've mostly completed King Arthur.

    We'll see how XCOM it really is.

    Saldonas
  • BursarBursar Hee Noooo! PDX areaRegistered User regular
    I was a few missions in. It's very character-specific so far, with a bewildering skill tree system. That's not saying it's bad, but I would definitely need to find my groove on it before saying whether or not I actually like it, if that makes sense.

    I do dig the art style, though.

    GNU Terry Pratchett
    PSN: Wstfgl | GamerTag: An Evil Plan | Battle.net: FallenIdle#1970
    Hit me up on BoardGameArena! User: Loaded D1
    egc6gp2emz1v.png
    DracomicronRingo
  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    I just got past the tutorial missions and I have to say I'm not entirely comfortable with the amount of law enforcement worship is going on here. Troubleshooters are basically mercenary cops (is there any other kind? Har har) that are considered elite despite a 3 month training period leading to complete independence, and they get special privileges, like being able to travel between zones and deference in papers, please situations.

    Also "Aunt Lily Love" is the sketchiest sketcher that ever sketched.

  • Casual EddyCasual Eddy The Astral PlaneRegistered User regular
    gloomhaven on steam is also a very nice "sorta-kinda" x-com like. It's all about building synergy with your team and finding powerful combos. There's no base management but it's a great value for its price.

    DracomicronRingoElvenshae
  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    gloomhaven on steam is also a very nice "sorta-kinda" x-com like. It's all about building synergy with your team and finding powerful combos. There's no base management but it's a great value for its price.

    I played it on tabletop and frankly got annoyed at some of the mechanics (needing to loot in-mission with limited moves is stupid). I suspect this would be less annoying on computer when I'm controlling the entire party instead of having to rely on my lazy, inefficient friends like @Magic Pink

    cB557RingoGiantGeek2020MegaMan001ElvenshaeFrem
  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    absolutely up yours

    DracomicroncB557RingoGiantGeek2020ElvenshaeFrem
  • Casual EddyCasual Eddy The Astral PlaneRegistered User regular
    the steam version is better than any PC version of a board game I've ever played. Having the computer take care of everything is so delightful. There's a bit of learning curve, and the occasional bug, but you can rewind actions if something doesn't go the way you thought it would. And people can join and drop out of missions or the campaign as a whole.

    Ringo
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