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XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)

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XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« on: February 09, 2014, 01:13:58 PM »
 

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Hey guys. It came as a surprise, I can tell you that. I had never in my life played any turn- or round-based strategy games on a computer, only a few horrific attempts at real-time strategy (such as Dune2) which I have ever since abhorred. So I thought TBS games were just the same horror as RTS.

Then I came across an article for some reason which had an intriguing headline: "The perfect XCOM run: How Zemalf beat Impossible Ironman with zero deaths". I had no idea what game he played but those zero deaths and apparently on some ultra difficulty level just made me want to check it out. I then wanted to watch at least some of that 50-hours-playthrough which actually was a DLC called "XCOM: Enemy Within" but it is the same game, same principles, just with a couple of new features, so for me that will be something for later, after finishing the base game. However, I started to watch and I soon was convinced that I should give it a try.

As usual, I wanted to buy the game in my favourite games shop but they had run out of stock.. so I acquired some steam wallet codes which they did have in stock and dashed home to redeem the code and my money on steam and I purchased the game. A 9.2GB download later I could finally start to play.

And now I'm addicted  :-D

XCOM base
XCOM base
XCOM mission start
XCOM mission start
XCOM unit deployed
XCOM unit deployed
XCOM there are hostiles
XCOM there are hostiles
XCOM hands on
XCOM hands on
XCOM who are you
XCOM who are you
XCOM it's all me
XCOM it's all me
XCOM overwatch reaction
XCOM overwatch reaction
XCOM nice shot
XCOM nice shot
XCOM excellent
XCOM excellent
XCOM not a scratch
XCOM not a scratch
XCOM skilled sniper
XCOM skilled sniper
XCOM aftermath
XCOM aftermath
XCOM successful mission
XCOM successful mission
« Last Edit: February 10, 2014, 01:50:44 AM by Art Blade »

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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2014, 01:52:46 PM »
 

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As you can see, there are bazillions of things to do and you may customise your unit members almost like in an RPG.

Apart from battle tactics you need to take care of global events and research and money and who knows what. So it is a bloody mess when you first look at it but it becomes all clear after some time playing the game.

You have apparently unlimited savegame slots. Plus quicksave and autosave (after your last turn or last important change, some three consecutive autosaves will be there and they might come in handy in case you screwed up badly.

The game has a couple of minor flaws, like during a mission you can't see who of your unit got how many kills (which you can see when in the base) and stuff like that, or take a rookie with you and after his/her first mission a class (heavy, support, assault, sniper) will be randomly and permanently assigned. I ended up with three heavies in a row.. but found out that you can help it with a little trick:

(click to show/hide)

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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2014, 03:12:17 PM »
 

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By the way, so far I haven't lost any soldiers :) Also by the way, I am playing on "easy" as I haven't got any experience with that type of game and generally speaking, I like my games easy and to be an enjoyable pastime as opposed to getting angry, annoyed, a severe case of heartburn and to top it off, an exemplary cardiac arrest.  :-D

Here is a playlist/playthrough by Zemalf for his 2nd attempt on XCOM:UE. I watched some of his first attempt and could already recognise a couple of grand mistakes so I couldn't continue watching him without cringing; luckily he came up with this 2nd attempt. Check the first vid to get an idea of what a mission looks like -- he explains what is going on. :)

Let's Play XCOM: Enemy Unknown - Part 1 (S2) - I/I [Impossible][Ironman]

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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2014, 11:48:36 PM »
 

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Cool :-X

I'm wondering if this game is an updated version of an older game called "UFO: Enemy Unknown" that came out I think in the late nineties. The concept seems very similar in some regards.

I too am not crazy about RTS games. The only ones I ever liked were Dune 2 (which was the first Command and Conquer style game) and Sid Meier's Gettysburg. The C&C series with it's seemingly endless sequels, spinoffs and imitators never did anything for me.

That's why I like TBS games such as the Civilization series - I like to have time to think and plan strategies as opposed to having every game end in a virtually uncontrollable "tank rush".

Thanks for the info Art :)
 

Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2014, 01:59:13 AM »
 

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welcome, I was already waiting for you to show up here :-()

Oh and you made me edit the first post regarding RTS, I had to put it in there: "Dune2" which was horrific, same as C&C and the likes  8-X

But XCOM or for that matter, TBS, is different. It is fun to be able to move around and get action cam views of your guys aiming and firing etc, zoom in and around, customise stuff.. nice :) Only the fracking economy systems still are not exactly my strong suit.

I decided to restart (this time without tutorial) because I realised that you can only get anywhere in that game by building satellites which will reduce panic as well as generate money needed for everything else. It is absolutely necessary to get them up and running at all costs and as soon as humanly possible. Which means don't spend money on anything else in the beginning.. And boy, did I spend money. I thought I had time. That wasn't exactly true..  :-D

I know I'm new to this so hey, let's get some practice -- no need to play a lost cause to the grim end, despite the nice battles and cool unit I had.

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.

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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2014, 12:40:27 AM »
 

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Alright. During the past days I've spent most of my spare time reading up on strategies and basics and economy and whatnot regarding this game because I realised it was WAY more complex than I had imagined. Not wanting to go in blind and into certain death again, I've been taking my time getting familiar with the background of all this. I found a tremendous amount of valuable information here:

http://ufopaedia.org/index.php?title=Enemy_Unknown_(EU2012)

And I followed Zemalf's 2nd (successful) playthrough of this game mainly to watch his base construction and research decisions and how that played out during his game. Now I'm confident enough to try again and have resumed playing. I know I'm not bad at turn-based combat but I'm still bloody wary of all of the rest (research, engineering, funding.. all that stuff) -- yet I'm already on it.

I've already learned that I have to sacrifice good things, e.g. I have got only one steam tile in the base which is the only place where I could build an efficient steam-powered Thermal Power plant but unfortunately it is located right below my first (it's there by default) satellite uplink. In order to get a maximised adjacency bonus (one extra satellite for two adjacent uplinks) I will have to build 4 uplinks so that two are next to one another and two more directly beneath them, forming a square of four tiles, each represented by an uplink and each connected with two adjacent uplinks. And one of those will take away my only steam tile so I will have to build a couple of regular power plants until I have researched an even better power plant which will take time during which I will have to place satellites..  :D :-D

The battles are almost a relief, allowing me to get away from all that base stuff.. but getting on with satellites first and waiting for every one of those 16 countries to get covered by a satellite is essential and will maximise my monthly income which will give me the funds for future investments such as better weapons and armour. It means: survive the first three months and get all satellites up so worldwide panic stops and then focus on building a combat unit with uber soldiers so the final fight may be won. Gah.  :-D

Here is my first month's result, the so called council report at the end of each month has to be good because it determines what kind of funds you'll get next month. I managed with excellent results, grade A. Let's hope that I can keep it up like that :)

XCOM grade A council report
XCOM grade A council report

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.

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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2014, 12:46:19 AM »
 

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It does sound like you're hooked - have fun  :-X
Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason - Mark Twain.
 

Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2014, 12:57:20 AM »
 

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Thanks, will do :)

The game could be described like this:

It's not about what you want. It's about what you need.

By the way, that was not a quote. But you may quote me :-D

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.

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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2014, 01:20:32 AM »
 

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Reminds me of an old Rolling Stones tune  :-()
Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason - Mark Twain.
 

Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2014, 08:38:15 AM »
 

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Heh ;) :-D

It all sounds very interesting actually.

This game must definitely be an updated UFO: Enemy Unknown. That game also was big on base construction, securing funding, acquiring scientists, etc., and if you stuffed any of that up you could forget about getting anywhere useful with it. This game is obviously a follow-on.

My best mate tried to get into UFO: EU back in the day but being the kind of guy who likes to jump in and blitz it up he neglected the infrastructure side of things and so lost patience with the game, especially when his troops started getting clobbered before they could even get out of the transport aircraft that delivered them to the combat area :-() I tried to tell him, but...
 

Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2014, 05:07:32 PM »
 

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no idea, PZ. They must have nicked it off me. :-D

fragger, it is indeed a game inspired by the 1994 version but not a remake as such. The devs wanted to create something they could only dream about back in the day; something they wanted it to look like back in the day, with today's graphics and computing power and all that. Apparently the basic principles still apply, though :)

Which is why I can fully understand why that friend of yours ended up getting killed before the battle even started. You can do anything you want.. but you're likely to die by the consequences  :-D Essentially you don't have a choice but to do more or less the same thing: get satellites up, defeat enemies in turn-based combat, get more satellites up, kill more enemies.. and level up everything in between, which is the tricky bit. Every turn of a month, you'll get a council report which reflects the past month's deeds (and failures, if you screwed up something) and thereupon you'll be rewarded with scientists, engineers and cash. The better, the more. Or, if you screwed up, you'd get less money and so forth: you'd be on a path with letters painted in bright red on it that read, "you suck and you will die"  :-D

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.

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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2014, 06:34:09 PM »
 

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no idea, PZ. They must have nicked it off me. :-D

The rolling stones-You can't always get what you want
Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason - Mark Twain.
 

Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2014, 08:15:54 PM »
 

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alright. They did nick it off me.

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.

What doesn't kill us, makes us weirder.
 

Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2014, 09:10:36 PM »
 

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alright. They did nick it off me.

Wow... those boys (and that song) are really old  ????

(click to show/hide)
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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2014, 08:07:27 AM »
 

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That they are. They no longer have much time on their side :-()

Cheers Art for the lowdown. My mate sucked and died :-D
 

Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2014, 11:23:19 AM »
 

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 :)

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.

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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2014, 11:18:38 PM »
 

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This is what a proper council report looks like.
xcom council report
xcom council report
My current team, all beefed up. To the right my senior sniper. Not on the team but in my unit: Crater, my heavy. For some missions I replace a heavy with a sniper.
XCOM current unit
XCOM current unit
Just have to show you this. This is basically an ambush. I had my guys set up to fire as soon as an enemy moves in(to) their line of sight. And that's what I call a proper sniper shot -- all across the map, through an archway, through a gap in a wall and pow, hit:
XCOM perfect sniping 1
XCOM perfect sniping 1
She got a second shot in a row and finished that enemy off  :-D
XCOM perfect sniping 2
XCOM perfect sniping 2

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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2014, 06:58:49 PM »
 

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Nice sniper position!
Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason - Mark Twain.
 

Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2014, 10:27:40 PM »
 

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Thanks :) Although I'm afraid those aliens won't agree with you, in particular the one who got his head blown off.  :-D

I had positioned my two snipers left and right of the inside entrance room at the start of the map hoping for them to be able to get a chance for literally a crossfire situation while I moved on (killing) with the rest of the team. The snipers are not so useful in close-quarters combat but hey, did they get a chance to prove how valuable they are IF placed correctly, even inside a crammed spaceship  >:D They looked alongside the walls or across the map, respectively, reaction shots fired depending on alien movement.

You can see the other sniper in the lower left corner of the first sniping pic. There are two bright lamps -- actually a teleporter escalator -- forming a diagonal, if you follow that diagonal to the left (basically looking at the upper lamp) you should see the blue armour of that second sniper and the white(ish) health/cover information.

It was indeed the best shot I've seen so far, ever  :)

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.

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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2014, 09:24:56 PM »
 

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I just did it again. The "lone sniper" presents a pretty nasty surprise to enemies who don't know what's waiting for them >:D Here, after finishing a bunch of aliens to the top right of the pic where most of my team mates are, one clever enemy ran through the door in the middle of the pic outside and was about to flank them from behind. Only he already had been flanked from behind.. and never saw it coming.  :-D I had a good chuckle at that one.

XCOM lone sniper tactic
XCOM lone sniper tactic

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.

What doesn't kill us, makes us weirder.
 

Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2014, 08:30:24 AM »
 

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 :-X :-D

Few things are more satisfying than flanking a flanker :-()
 

Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2014, 07:15:31 PM »
 

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Oh yeah, like grabbing your shoe and holding it like a club and then flattening a mosquito with the heel of your shoe, producing a satisfying BLAM-SPLAT! after it had been terrorising you all night long. I used to have one such massive blood mark on my white wall in my bedroom for years as a warning for the new guys. They never even crossed the line into that room ever since. :-D

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.

What doesn't kill us, makes us weirder.
 

Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2014, 07:24:07 PM »
 

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 :-X :-D
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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2014, 07:27:26 PM »
 

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 :laugh:
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Re: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2014, 09:54:28 PM »
 

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Oh yeah, like grabbing your shoe and holding it like a club and then flattening a mosquito with the heel of your shoe, producing a satisfying BLAM-SPLAT! after it had been terrorising you all night long. I used to have one such massive blood mark on my white wall in my bedroom for years as a warning for the new guys. They never even crossed the line into that room ever since. :-D

Nice warning sign indeed, BUT.... it was your blood matey ^-^

Excellent sniper positioning there man, I can see how you are enjoying the game. I was wondering; what happens if you let once continent uncovered and thus panic breaks out on, let's say, South America. What will be happening according gameplay? Will you just loose those countries and continent, unrecoverable, or will it result into a massive fight against severe alien presence? That would also be cool :)

I played quite a bit of C&C games, until it bored the s#!t out of me. I liked getting my army upgraded and then show off, with massive triple stripe parades on the maps. The best setting was 2 huge tropical islands with different enemies on one island, and your own base on the other. You could literally control the entire area and keep your enemy base alive just enough to have their small bursts of soldiers as daily food for the 'yet to be upgraded troops' of your own >:D
I could spend hours and hours re-structuring my troops and parades and dream of world dominance >:D :angel:

I also remember a game that looked a bit like C&C setting, but was in fact more like XCOM. A group of 4 soldiers, with their own qualities, exploring a variety of levels throughout the game. The same guy that introduced me to Dune 2 was playing that game. I don't remember the name of it, but it must have come out around '94 or something.

I really like this game, but I don't have the time to dig into it. For now I'll just keep myself busy with simple shooting and when a sequel hits the shelves I might join the party :-X :)
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