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[XCOM] is a genre. Daemonhunters out on consoles now!

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    HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    While the story is pretty good, it does end up being more of a linear campaign with minor resource and time management elements on top than a strategy game. And while this isn't a new problem for Aliens related media, it does fall into the trap of having humans dying more because they are suddenly holding the Idiot Ball than anything the xenomorphs do.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
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    Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    edited June 2023
    -Loki- wrote: »
    -Loki- wrote: »
    Finally got around to trying Dark Descent.

    Wow. They managed to make a tactics game that's as tense as an Alien movie. That's a feat all in itself. I think the real time aspect has a lot to do with that - you could make it turn based, real time makes you think faster and play more carfully.

    At this point, with the long rumoured Alien Isolation sequel coming, the Alien franchise has moved to video games if they don't stop shitting out Prometheus movies.

    Real time makes me shut down and let terrible things happen, to be honest.

    Playing through Tyranny has reinforced that I don't even do real time with pause anymore. I need the turn prompt to evaluate the situation and make a decision.

    Yeah, but honestly? Thats Aliens.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrQHPZrnbPk

    Which is fine! It just guarantees that I will never play the Aliens game. One of my favorite movies, but no interest in real time tactical.

    There is actually a "pause to issue commands" option. Pausing doesn't work on the overmap, but you can at least pull up the command panel and pick/aim options at your leisure instead of with these cocaine-fueled hyper-cheetahs ripping across the screen at a somewhat-slower speed. The game still frequently moves pretty quick, but you can have time for tactical thinking.

    Ninja Snarl P on
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    DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited June 2023
    -Loki- wrote: »
    -Loki- wrote: »
    Finally got around to trying Dark Descent.

    Wow. They managed to make a tactics game that's as tense as an Alien movie. That's a feat all in itself. I think the real time aspect has a lot to do with that - you could make it turn based, real time makes you think faster and play more carfully.

    At this point, with the long rumoured Alien Isolation sequel coming, the Alien franchise has moved to video games if they don't stop shitting out Prometheus movies.

    Real time makes me shut down and let terrible things happen, to be honest.

    Playing through Tyranny has reinforced that I don't even do real time with pause anymore. I need the turn prompt to evaluate the situation and make a decision.

    Yeah, but honestly? Thats Aliens.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrQHPZrnbPk

    Which is fine! It just guarantees that I will never play the Aliens game. One of my favorite movies, but no interest in real time tactical.

    There is actually a "pause to issue commands" option. Pausing doesn't work on the overmap, but you can at least pull up the command panel and pick/aim options at your leisure instead of with these cocaine-fueled hyper-cheetahs ripping across the screen at a somewhat-slower speed. The game still frequently moves pretty quick, but you can have time for tactical thinking.

    Yes, we've discussed this already. I don't like real time with pause anymore, either, indicated by me getting stressed out playing Tyranny.

    And I personally feel like real time with pause/slowdown makes it Not An XCOM. Hence hinting that Aliens should have its own thread, given that it has peaked the interest of several forumers.

    Dracomicron on
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    BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    It's definitely a weird hybrid that is unafraid to grab mechanics and ideas from a whole bunch of different places to thoughtfully do justice to the setting. More than any one other thing, though, it has powerful xcom energy (outside of the real-time element to the missions).

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    HevachHevach Registered User regular
    I don't see why real time or turn based is a genre requirement. It's certainly a lot easier to make a turn based game unforgiving without it becoming bullshit, but to me the mark of an Xcom like game is that split between a squad tactical layer and a strategic menu layer with rewards/penalties passing back and forth between the two.

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    BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    Ah, thanks Ninja.

    Dark Descent kinda reminds me of this really fun old flash game based off of an Aliens boardgame. It featured all the major action sequences of the film, like the Hive and Operations. It was turnbased, with the Marines and Ripley or Newt, depending on the lvl. Anyone remember it? This is it
    https://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/408816

    This thought suddenly struck me while playing the game early on, too. Not only do I remember that flash adaptation, but the paper version is one of my favorite out-of-print boardgames, to the point where I sunk a decent amount of hours building a 3D board with electric lighting and an infinity mirror to represent the central stairwell:
    dtepw8w6ae6f.jpg

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    DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    Hevach wrote: »
    I don't see why real time or turn based is a genre requirement. It's certainly a lot easier to make a turn based game unforgiving without it becoming bullshit, but to me the mark of an Xcom like game is that split between a squad tactical layer and a strategic menu layer with rewards/penalties passing back and forth between the two.

    Fair enough. It isn't a hill I want to die on (why am I on a hill? Thin men would have line of sight!!).

    I do think that "what is an XCOM" is an interesting question, because there are games without a compelling strategic layer, like Gears Tactics, that are widely described as an XCOM, and some folks describe Terra Invicta as XCOM without a tactical layer.

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    SiliconStewSiliconStew Registered User regular
    Hevach wrote: »
    I don't see why real time or turn based is a genre requirement. It's certainly a lot easier to make a turn based game unforgiving without it becoming bullshit, but to me the mark of an Xcom like game is that split between a squad tactical layer and a strategic menu layer with rewards/penalties passing back and forth between the two.

    Fair enough. It isn't a hill I want to die on (why am I on a hill? Thin men would have line of sight!!).

    I do think that "what is an XCOM" is an interesting question, because there are games without a compelling strategic layer, like Gears Tactics, that are widely described as an XCOM, and some folks describe Terra Invicta as XCOM without a tactical layer.

    Those people are wrong.

    Just remember that half the people you meet are below average intelligence.
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    AxenAxen My avatar is Excalibur. Yes, the sword.Registered User regular
    What is a XCOM? A miserable little pile of secrets.

    A Capellan's favorite sheath for any blade is your back.
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    BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    One thing I am kind of bummed about related to the low recruitment rate in Aliens (even though I understand why they chose to do it that way) is that a squad wipe literally just is the end of the game and you're forced to reload. It makes it feel much more linear and less... I'm not sure what the term is. Simulationy?

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    HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited June 2023
    Hevach wrote: »
    I don't see why real time or turn based is a genre requirement. It's certainly a lot easier to make a turn based game unforgiving without it becoming bullshit, but to me the mark of an Xcom like game is that split between a squad tactical layer and a strategic menu layer with rewards/penalties passing back and forth between the two.

    Fair enough. It isn't a hill I want to die on (why am I on a hill? Thin men would have line of sight!!).

    I do think that "what is an XCOM" is an interesting question, because there are games without a compelling strategic layer, like Gears Tactics, that are widely described as an XCOM, and some folks describe Terra Invicta as XCOM without a tactical layer.

    The thing with these two I think, is that XCOM was the merging of two genres that already existed (and still exist, even if it currently outshines it's tactical parents) and is a product of the combination, not the components. One without the other just inherits back to the parent genres.

    Hevach on
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    HevachHevach Registered User regular
    One thing I am kind of bummed about related to the low recruitment rate in Aliens (even though I understand why they chose to do it that way) is that a squad wipe literally just is the end of the game and you're forced to reload. It makes it feel much more linear and less... I'm not sure what the term is. Simulationy?

    Good news: no Fuckup Cascade effect
    Bad news: Fuckup Sinkhole to Hell.

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    BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    edited June 2023
    Hevach wrote: »
    One thing I am kind of bummed about related to the low recruitment rate in Aliens (even though I understand why they chose to do it that way) is that a squad wipe literally just is the end of the game and you're forced to reload. It makes it feel much more linear and less... I'm not sure what the term is. Simulationy?

    Good news: no Fuckup Cascade effect
    Bad news: Fuckup Sinkhole to Hell.

    Honestly I enjoy the fuckup cascade a little bit. Having the game repeatedly show you just how bad things can get while continuously responding to it with "so you're telling me there's a chance!" is some of the fun of the genre.

    This game still has that, to be fair, but more on the moment-to-moment squad level, when you went too deep on a deployment, and now you're out of ammo, and you ate too many supplies on previous days, and you're trying to find the closest room to shelter up in, because you're not sure you can even get to the arc.

    BloodySloth on
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    PhyphorPhyphor Building Planet Busters Tasting FruitRegistered User regular
    Axen wrote: »
    What is a XCOM? A miserable little pile of secrets missed rolls.

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    Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    Dang, maybe like... one floor too far with this run. Nobody is stressed because it looks like they patched Reprimand to work now (it's supposed to disable Stress buildup for 30 seconds) or maybe you just need a higher-level Sergeant for it? Regardless, had it on this mission and it is ESSENTIAL for longer runs; just pop it during a Hunt or Onslaught and you cut the Stress buildup to almost nothing.

    But I got to this command floor and got greedy. Hunt that triggered a Praetorian spawn in some very cramped confines, which forced a lot of acid damage. Got through and patched up, had to activate another Hunt to retrieve a synth which then activated another Onslaught (my third on this mission, one of which is scripted though). Thought I was in a good defensive spot but nope, missed a vent on the wall. Gunned down everything from the front but a couple heavy Drones came through the wall and then just total collapse from taking hits and sprayed acid. It was a legit loss, though, I should've paid better attention to the room; if I'd shifted my resources a little, we probably would've been fine and not gotten flanked.

    Probably gonna reload and try to push through with what I have. I have shitloads of ammo, nobody is stressed yet, and I've gotta be right at the end. Just don't feel like burning a whole extra day to come back and do ten minutes of mission and wear out a whole second team. But this run is leaving so many bodies on the deck, this is nuts.

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    NoneoftheaboveNoneoftheabove Just a conforming non-conformist. Twilight ZoneRegistered User regular
    Wanna discuss Dark Descent in our own thread? Well I created one. We can now keep the XCOMers from the Aliens Descenters!

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    DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    Phyphor wrote: »
    Axen wrote: »
    What is a XCOM? A miserable little pile of secrets missed rolls.

    Yoink.

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    DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    I just got Shardpunk: Verminfall on the Steam Summer Sale.

    This is definitely XCOM-adjacent; while the strategic layer is somewhat rudimentary and the soldiers are fixed-but-most-require-unlocking, the interface is lifted right from XCOM, and there is a surprising amount of tactical depth for a pixel-graphics game. Reminds me a little of Jagged Alliance, actually.

    I do enjoy that they stole overheating weapons from Mass Effect 1, but added the wrinkle that overheated weapons do more damage but might hurt the shooter.

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    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    I’m currently playing a game called Valkyria Chronicles 4 from 2018 and while not exactly XCOM, it’s a neat little tactics game. One feature I’m finding interesting is you’ll have on average 6 individual turns during your turn, which you can spread across your units as you please. It’s not perfectly balanced, as I’ve just found out during a capture enemy camps mission, where I used a single unit to blitz across the map hoisting flags while tanking damage. That said, during better suited missions you’ve got to make full use of your soldiers (usually 10) and avoid leaving any behind for long periods as the mission objective may change or enemy reinforcements may pop out of the grass around the scout you left at the starting point.

    Unfortunately it doesn’t appear that the enemy is running on the same system, so it’s limited on how difficult it’s going to get. I imagine they deleted that line of code the moment an enemy sniper had six turns in a row and entirely headshot a playtester’s squad.

    Anyways, just wanted to say its got the bones of something very intriguing!

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    BursarBursar Hee Noooo! PDX areaRegistered User regular
    I’m currently playing a game called Valkyria Chronicles 4 from 2018 and while not exactly XCOM, it’s a neat little tactics game. One feature I’m finding interesting is you’ll have on average 6 individual turns during your turn, which you can spread across your units as you please. It’s not perfectly balanced, as I’ve just found out during a capture enemy camps mission, where I used a single unit to blitz across the map hoisting flags while tanking damage. That said, during better suited missions you’ve got to make full use of your soldiers (usually 10) and avoid leaving any behind for long periods as the mission objective may change or enemy reinforcements may pop out of the grass around the scout you left at the starting point.

    Unfortunately it doesn’t appear that the enemy is running on the same system, so it’s limited on how difficult it’s going to get. I imagine they deleted that line of code the moment an enemy sniper had six turns in a row and entirely headshot a playtester’s squad.

    Anyways, just wanted to say its got the bones of something very intriguing!

    I speak in the old ways when I say:

    Get a VC sig, you

    GNU Terry Pratchett
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    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    I say this with all sincerity: what?

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    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Oh! Signature! Like under my posts? Like if I didn’t post via phone so I don’t see those?

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    BursarBursar Hee Noooo! PDX areaRegistered User regular
    Oh! Signature! Like under my posts? Like if I didn’t post via phone so I don’t see those?

    Exactly. It was a recurring gag in the forums when talking about the first game back in... (quick search) 2009?!

    Damn.

    GNU Terry Pratchett
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    Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    Hevach wrote: »
    Hevach wrote: »
    I don't see why real time or turn based is a genre requirement. It's certainly a lot easier to make a turn based game unforgiving without it becoming bullshit, but to me the mark of an Xcom like game is that split between a squad tactical layer and a strategic menu layer with rewards/penalties passing back and forth between the two.

    Fair enough. It isn't a hill I want to die on (why am I on a hill? Thin men would have line of sight!!).

    I do think that "what is an XCOM" is an interesting question, because there are games without a compelling strategic layer, like Gears Tactics, that are widely described as an XCOM, and some folks describe Terra Invicta as XCOM without a tactical layer.

    The thing with these two I think, is that XCOM was the merging of two genres that already existed (and still exist, even if it currently outshines it's tactical parents) and is a product of the combination, not the components. One without the other just inherits back to the parent genres.

    Does anyone play these games for the strategic layer though? I mean the various games have various levels of interesting strategic layers but I’m guessing no?

    Of course then if you write that off you are left with Shadowrun or Solasta being an xcom-like.

    On the other hand is something like Chimera squad with set characters and a minimalist strategic layer really that far from shadowrun or solasta?

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    MorninglordMorninglord I'm tired of being Batman, so today I'll be Owl.Registered User regular
    edited July 2023
    Hi it's me I liked both together.

    No not the strategic layer alone.

    The two games together.
    Separating each piece out doesn't really help you understand why, because I like the sum being more than the parts.

    The tactical layer influences the strategic layer which influences the tactical layer which influences the all the way down. I like that part. Without the combination the tactical layer has no real stakes and the strategic layer has no real consequences.

    Isn't this just basically total war but turn based instead of real time and with lighter strategy instead of 4x lite?

    Morninglord on
    (PSN: Morninglord) (Steam: Morninglord) (WiiU: Morninglord22) I like to record and toss up a lot of random gaming videos here.
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    Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    edited July 2023
    Hi it's me I liked both together.

    No not the strategic layer alone.

    The two games together.
    Separating each piece out doesn't really help you understand why, because I like the sum being more than the parts.

    The tactical layer influences the strategic layer which influences the tactical layer which influences the all the way down. I like that part. Without the combination the tactical layer has no real stakes and the strategic layer has no real consequences.

    Isn't this just basically total war but turn based instead of real time and with lighter strategy instead of 4x lite?

    I feel like total war the actual real time component is a lot less relatively important than the tactical missions in xcom though. Like in total war I feel like the tactical bits serve the strategic layer while in xcom the strategic layer serves the tactical bits.

    Maybe its just me though, I have a hard time seeing xcom as not being an RPG, with persistent guys I name and pick classes and skills for, etc.

    Jealous Deva on
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    MorninglordMorninglord I'm tired of being Batman, so today I'll be Owl.Registered User regular
    edited July 2023
    Hi it's me I liked both together.

    No not the strategic layer alone.

    The two games together.
    Separating each piece out doesn't really help you understand why, because I like the sum being more than the parts.

    The tactical layer influences the strategic layer which influences the tactical layer which influences the all the way down. I like that part. Without the combination the tactical layer has no real stakes and the strategic layer has no real consequences.

    Isn't this just basically total war but turn based instead of real time and with lighter strategy instead of 4x lite?

    I feel like total war the actual real time component is a lot less relatively important than the tactical missions in xcom though. Like in total war I feel like the tactical bits serve the strategic layer while in xcom the strategic layer serves the tactical bits.

    Maybe its just me though, I have a hard time seeing xcom as not being an RPG, with persistent guys I name and pick classes and skills for, etc.

    Yes they're not identical, it's a variation of the same concept, just as you say. But the idea is the same.

    You just seem like you really love the tactical game and would like to have a game all about the tactical bit, which, I mean, I get it, it's cool. Such games exist, if you want them. They're not exactly like Xcom, but there's plenty of good tactical systems.

    Morninglord on
    (PSN: Morninglord) (Steam: Morninglord) (WiiU: Morninglord22) I like to record and toss up a lot of random gaming videos here.
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    tosoraktosorak Registered User regular
    Why only 2 layers? Where is the game with a Strategic level AND an Operational level AND a tactical layer?

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    OrcaOrca Also known as Espressosaurus WrexRegistered User regular
    tosorak wrote: »
    Why only 2 layers? Where is the game with a Strategic level AND an Operational level AND a tactical layer?

    Needs diplomatic and Econ layers!

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    MorninglordMorninglord I'm tired of being Batman, so today I'll be Owl.Registered User regular
    I will take all the layers.

    (PSN: Morninglord) (Steam: Morninglord) (WiiU: Morninglord22) I like to record and toss up a lot of random gaming videos here.
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    RingoRingo He/Him a distinct lack of substanceRegistered User regular
    edited July 2023
    Wanna discuss Dark Descent in our own thread? Well I created one. We can now keep the XCOMers from the Aliens Descenters!

    Is it a secret thread?

    Aha, I spotted it:

    https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/247759/using-harsh-language-aliens-dark-descent

    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.
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    SaldonasSaldonas See you space cowboy...Registered User regular
    And of course if you love the strategy layer only, there's that Terra Invicta game.

    Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/carthuun
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    fedaykin666fedaykin666 Registered User regular
    edited July 2023
    Xcom Apocalypse I thought did both Real Time and Turn Based quite well (with some balance issues.)

    It did feel that Turn Based was somehow the "proper xcom" challenging way to play with nasty melee enemies getting the drop on you and tense reaction fire or proximity mines being very important to survive.

    Real time with agents duel wielding machine guns trivialized a lot of those enemies but not ridiculously so. Both modes were good.

    Also apparently I need to play Aliens now.

    fedaykin666 on
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    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Bursar wrote: »
    Oh! Signature! Like under my posts? Like if I didn’t post via phone so I don’t see those?

    Exactly. It was a recurring gag in the forums when talking about the first game back in... (quick search) 2009?!

    Damn.

    Time flies when you’re getting the tank stuck on terrain!

    Been playing more. Turns out there’s powered Ironman suits and ancient technology in this WW2 anime game. Who could have foreseen this?!

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    SaldonasSaldonas See you space cowboy...Registered User regular
    I don't know if it's been brought up in this thread at some point, but Jagged Alliance is getting its third official installment soon. Seems it's been highly anticipated but that it's maybe a bit more XCOM like than previous iterations.

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    DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    Saldonas wrote: »
    I don't know if it's been brought up in this thread at some point, but Jagged Alliance is getting its third official installment soon. Seems it's been highly anticipated but that it's maybe a bit more XCOM like than previous iterations.

    I was looking at some early hype for that. The originals never caught me.

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    President RexPresident Rex Registered User regular
    I liked original XCOMs global layer of base building and UFO interception. The new XCOM 2 overlap and base management is weirdly slow and tedious. So much slow swooping camera.

    Also, incidentally, I started a new game of XCOM2 with War of the Chosen. And, while it is nice to randomly have the Star Trek TNG cast together, the Chosen are just sort of annoying and distracting away from a looming alien threat. And somehow they can send me constant voice messages on my secret Marvel style hover base.

    WOTC adds a bunch of new features and mini-events but they don't feel organic. Like I can only send soldiers on 1 secret mission at a time. Give me the missions and the roster and let me decide if we're doing a barrage of secret undercover ops or sending 8 soldiers to intercept the aliens on their way to terrorize civilians.

    The overmap feels like I have minimal agency other than picking where the Avenger will hover awkwardly for a week.

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    Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    edited July 2023
    Have you tried a game with dlc integration on and the war of the chosen introduction disabled? Makes things feel a lot more organic in the early game at the cost of bespoke story content.

    I’m guessing probably you already know that is an option but the early game can be a bit ridiculous if you don’t.

    Jealous Deva on
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    MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    I liked original XCOMs global layer of base building and UFO interception. The new XCOM 2 overlap and base management is weirdly slow and tedious. So much slow swooping camera.

    Also, incidentally, I started a new game of XCOM2 with War of the Chosen. And, while it is nice to randomly have the Star Trek TNG cast together, the Chosen are just sort of annoying and distracting away from a looming alien threat. And somehow they can send me constant voice messages on my secret Marvel style hover base.

    WOTC adds a bunch of new features and mini-events but they don't feel organic. Like I can only send soldiers on 1 secret mission at a time. Give me the missions and the roster and let me decide if we're doing a barrage of secret undercover ops or sending 8 soldiers to intercept the aliens on their way to terrorize civilians.

    The overmap feels like I have minimal agency other than picking where the Avenger will hover awkwardly for a week.

    The whole secret missions thing was poorly explained and kind of boring because of that gatekeeping

    I completely agree

    I am in the business of saving lives.
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    CoinageCoinage Heaviside LayerRegistered User regular
    The mods to take out all the scene transitions and to mute the Chosen are essential.

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