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Author Topic: [360/PC/PS3] XCOM: Enemy Unknown - Enemy Within expansion!  (Read 41843 times)
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CeeKay
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« on: January 05, 2012, 07:21:17 PM »

a second XCOM game in development!,  but this one will make people happy:

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This is the announcement you've been waiting for: One of the most beloved strategy titles of all time re-imagined by one of the best strategy studios in the world. Firaxis Games' XCOM: Enemy Unknown introduces a wider console audience to what made the storied franchise great in the first place.

Unlike 2K Marin's previously announced XCOM shooter, which sparked tempers among longtime fans for turning its back on the series' cerebral roots, this title is a full-on strategy game that puts players in command of a global anti-alien defense force. XCOM's leader needs a worldwide perspective where threats are identified, populations reassured, and national leaders mollified – but a tactical mind is just as critical considering every shot XCOM's soldiers fire on the battlefield is under the player's turn-based control.
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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2012, 08:10:12 PM »

While it's pretty much the same info, Firaxis' web site also has a news release up about it:

2K Games Announces Action Strategy Game XCOM: Enemy Unknown in Development at Firaxis Games
http://www.firaxis.com/news/news_detail.php?id=2011
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With equal emphasis on deep strategy and intense tactical combat, XCOM: Enemy Unknown will place players in control of a secret paramilitary organization called XCOM. As the XCOM commander, players will defend against a terrifying global alien invasion by managing resources, advancing technologies, and overseeing combat strategies and individual unit tactics.
Turn-based is brave in today's market, but I figure if anyone would do it, Firaxis could.  icon_cool I am curious if Sid Meier's involved at all (Brian Reynolds is long gone).

Expect some screenshots and stuff eventually here:
http://www.xcom.com/enemyunknown/index.html#
« Last Edit: January 05, 2012, 08:31:34 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2012, 10:11:39 PM »

as it's his studio i hope he does get involved in it.  maybe not to the extent that x-com becomes too much like civilization, but it certainly couldn't hurt. 

now all we need is a true sequel to alpha centauri and most tbs fans can die happy this year.
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« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2012, 09:46:21 PM »

Quote from: Caine on January 05, 2012, 10:11:39 PM

as it's his studio i hope he does get involved in it.  maybe not to the extent that x-com becomes too much like civilization, but it certainly couldn't hurt. 

now all we need is a true sequel to alpha centauri and most tbs fans can die happy this year.

A true Alpha Centauri sequel would be so awesome,  thumbsup
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« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2012, 06:09:04 PM »

First screens:
http://kotaku.com/5874369/x+com-enemy-unknown-will-re+imagine-classic-x+com-first-screens-prove-it
Quote
"Firaxis is undeniably streamlining aspects of the game and removing no small amount of micromanagement," GI's Adam Blessener writes on the magazine's website today, "but from what I've seen I wouldn't call it 'dumbing down' the game so much as getting rid of tedium and uninteresting mechanics. Soldiers still die permanently, fog of war and line of sight are hugely important in combat, and you absolutely can lose the game if you screw up too badly."

The game plays out in real-time at the global level, charging players with tracking UFOs and abductions. In player's bases, where management and research is done, time is paused. Battles are turn-based.
Keep in mind they have to accommodate a gamepad as a multiplatform title. So you'll probably see various button icon indicators here and there, like the "Y" and "X" button there.

Yeah, the character models look a bit scrawny/stick figure-like.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2012, 06:11:33 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2012, 06:20:41 PM »

If you look, the scrawny guys are labeled as enemies and their limbs go at odd angles. Those seem to be "Men In Black" and are probably aliens in disguise.
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« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2012, 06:23:00 PM »

Yeah, I noticed that too. They're also holding alien weapons. It's interesting to see that they've changed the grid into a hex map, which is an improvement in my opinion but can be a bit tricky for buildings. No buildings to see in those screenshots, so it's hard to tell how they'll handle that part.

For anyone doubting that Firaxis will be able to pull this off, they've at least got the right attitude. This video shows that they certainly understand what makes X-Com so good.
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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2012, 08:38:58 PM »

wow!  and nice "score" in the dev department as i think firaxis is spot on to handle this one.  i know i still jealously guard my original 3 xcom disks, and even break them out every now and then (the last time a few months ago!).  yes, i keep a computer around with a disk drive slywink
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« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2012, 12:36:02 AM »

Definitely not liking those early screens.  It'll be a decent game but I don't think it will be quite what we wanted.
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« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2012, 05:47:13 AM »

Quote from: Canuck on January 10, 2012, 12:36:02 AM

Definitely not liking those early screens.  It'll be a decent game but I don't think it will be quite what we wanted.

And what makes you say that? It's not like these screens really tell us much about what's different from the original, new enemy type and hexes notwithstanding.
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« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2012, 08:22:12 AM »

It looks like they're fighting an army of Sheldon Cooper clones slywink  Also, not to nitpick, but the texture on the trees and rocks looks really bad, and it appears that they used the same texture for both.  I hope it's just an early shot.
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« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2012, 10:00:22 AM »

Quote from: EddieA on January 10, 2012, 08:22:12 AM

It looks like they're fighting an army of Sheldon Cooper clones slywink  Also, not to nitpick, but the texture on the trees and rocks looks really bad, and it appears that they used the same texture for both.  I hope it's just an early shot.

I agree that the combat screenshot isn't the best first impression we could have gotten. It looks very dated. But hey, isn't that faithful to the X-Com spirit? I mean, the original also looked very dated when it was released slywink
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« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2012, 02:35:04 AM »

This one will not fly or die by its look, but by its feel. The alien and terrain graphics in the original x-com were both marginal. What they need to recreate is the creepy environment (sound, mostly) and suspense. Screenshots don't convey either of those things.
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« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2012, 02:17:46 PM »

Will buy this for myself and my extended family whether they want it or not
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« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2012, 09:42:25 PM »

New article with new screenshots that look considerably better than the previous ones. Makes me wonder why they just didn't start out with these.
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« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2012, 09:52:33 PM »

I hope that name "Biased" John Beissener in one of the screenshots means you can name your characters, as I loved doing that in the original.
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« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2012, 09:56:37 PM »

Quote from: EddieA on January 11, 2012, 09:52:33 PM

I hope that name "Biased" John Beissener in one of the screenshots means you can name your characters, as I loved doing that in the original.

They acknowledge renaming as a great feature of the original in the first video that was posted, so I'd be very, very surprised if they don't allow you to do that this time around also.
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« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2012, 11:32:12 AM »

There are some more screenshots here, showing off the globe and research screens.
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« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2012, 01:24:34 PM »

 drool

I'm glad this game is also coming out for the consoles; otherwise, I'd be severely tempted to buy a new computer for it.
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« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2012, 01:07:29 AM »

Much pontificating by Bitmob, noticed at Blue's:
http://bitmob.com/articles/retrospective-x-com-is-brilliant-because-its-broken
Quote
You’ll undertake hundreds of missions over which you’ll spill the virtual blood of hundreds more soldiers. At almost every step of the way, the extraterrestrials will unveil new, deadly technology that will shake up your plans, keeping your fear alive.

In other words, you’ll take a beating from the aliens for most of your campaign. So when you finally get the upper hand, you won't be able to contain your eagerness. You’re tired of playing Rocky Balboa the chump and ready to play Rocky Balboa the champ. All you'll want is to mop the floor with alien scum mission after mission. And you will. Turning the tables is empowering, and your dominance over a force you’ve submitted to for so long is a feeling worth relishing.

This is X-Com. All the talk of destructible terrain, nameable soldiers, and iconic foes is too focused on the minute-to-minute play than experiencing the awesome responsibility of defending the planet from an alien invasion. I want to be the underdog, and the original game's various oddities coalesce to form that narrative; this is why it still lingers in my heart some 18 years later. Will Enemy Unknown?
My recollection was we could save anywhere, anytime in X-COM. That made the game's often brutal difficulty pretty bearable.

What are the odds that the new multiplatform title (despite modern consoles having roomy hard drives) will let us save anywhere, anytime? If it's going to be spaced-out autosaves and checkpoints, I'd just as soon not get mauled over and over for making one mistake.

While the guy's right X-Com didn't have in-game tutorials, the fairly thick printed manual did have a few printed tutorials on various features:
http://cdn.steampowered.com/Manuals/7760/x-com%20ufo%20defense%20manual.pdf
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« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2012, 04:53:16 AM »

The thing about XCom was that you didn't need to make a mistake to get wiped out.  Sometimes just coming down the ramp lead to a slaughter zone.  Other times a missed shot from either side would open up line of sight for more enemies leading to a lethal crossfire. It was the definition of a 'save early, safe often' game.  Still loved it though.
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« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2012, 07:01:34 AM »

Quote from: Blackjack on January 13, 2012, 01:07:29 AM

What are the odds that the new multiplatform title (despite modern consoles having roomy hard drives) will let us save anywhere, anytime? If it's going to be spaced-out autosaves and checkpoints

I estimate the chance to be about 0%, give or take. Such save methods don't work well with randomly generated missions.

I'd love it if the game had an option to disable saving during missions though. I always felt the game was better before I discovered that it was actually possible to save outside of the Geoscape.

Quote from: Hrothgar on January 13, 2012, 04:53:16 AM

The thing about XCom was that you didn't need to make a mistake to get wiped out.  Sometimes just coming down the ramp lead to a slaughter zone.  Other times a missed shot from either side would open up line of sight for more enemies leading to a lethal crossfire.

That was one of the things that made the game good. Seeing half your squad, including your most cherished soldiers, get absolutely massacred hurt, but it was oh-so-satisfying to get revenge later. It's like reading a George R. R. Martin novel. The game was designed so that losing a bunch of men, or even an entire mission, wouldn't lose you the entire game though.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2012, 07:03:57 AM by TiLT » Logged
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« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2012, 11:14:54 PM »

New article!

The article is a bit silly, but one of the screenshots seems to depict our first proof of destructible terrain, hooray! smile
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« Reply #23 on: January 20, 2012, 03:43:23 PM »

Saw this on Blue's -- the Godfather Weighs in... (the Gollops have no involvement with either upcoming XCOM title)

Julian Gollop on XCOM
http://www.edge-online.com/features/julian-gollop-xcom
He seems a wee bit pessimistic after viewing screenshots:
Quote
I'm guessing it isn't a hugely big-budget title, so I think they'll be sticking to fairly safe ground. I don't think there will be any technical innovations in their game engine. The innovations that would be interesting are the procedurally generated environments, a more sophisticated destruction model for the terrain, and the AI systems. If Firaxis can do all that, it would be great, but I suspect they're probably not going down that route, judging by the screenshots.

Quote
Is there anything about X-COM you'd like to see being addressed in this remake?
Yeah, of course. Mainly in the realm of accessibility, which some people might call 'dumbing down' In the early 90s of course you didn't have in-game tutorials or help, because it was all in the big thick manual. Today people do not read manuals, they expect the game to teach them how to play it. Which is fair enough. In Shadow Wars [on 3DS] we put a fair amount of effort into making the game accessible, teaching the systems as you're playing the game, hopefully keeping the player interested as they're learning.

This is the major thing, but it doesn't mean you have to dumb anything down in the sense that the full complexity of the game would be eventually revealed to the player as he learns all the systems. That was one thing that was difficult about the original UFO [X-COM was known as UFO in the UK]. It put you there and forced you to make decisions straight away without much idea of what you were supposed to be doing!
It's interesting to read the thoughts of someone Don Quixote-like still trying to convince publishers of the merits of turn-based squad strategy titles.

He mentioned a German-developed browser-based game called UFO Online that he says has more in common with the German title Incubation that I loved back in 1997:
http://ufo-online.gamigo.com/
*This is in closed beta at the moment, that you can register for.

I might check that out sometime. Gamigo is maybe a tad better known as publisher of the space mmo Dark Prophecy.
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« Reply #24 on: January 20, 2012, 04:21:25 PM »

I dunno. I'm seeing destructible terrain in the screenshots, including debris that gets spread across a large area. The AI and procedurally generated environments can't really be commented on since we have nothing to base it on at this point. I would be surprised if the latter isn't in the game however. Even the original X-COM had that, after all, at least in a primitive way.

Anyway, here's a page which contains all the articles Game Informer has published about XCOM so far. I'm particularly pleased with the music article as it seems they're really sticking close to the roots there. The new music contains some truly recognizable themes.
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« Reply #25 on: January 20, 2012, 06:16:45 PM »

Julian Gollop hasn't developed a successful game of his own in some time. Although I think his team did do the 3DS Ghost Recon game since he moved to Ubisoft Romania or something.

Also, his team wasn't the originators for the idea of X-Com, just some of the turn based strategy parts that, at the time, everyone was doing. It was microprose that recommended the larger strategy game.

So, take his comments with a grain of salt.
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« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2012, 06:53:58 PM »

Sid Meier on XCOM. The man speaks while barely moving his lips. He's a natural born ventriloquist!
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« Reply #27 on: January 20, 2012, 11:36:54 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on January 20, 2012, 04:21:25 PM

I'm particularly pleased with the music article as it seems they're really sticking close to the roots there. The new music contains some truly recognizable themes.

Very nice. I am stoked for this game.
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« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2012, 09:26:31 PM »

Lots more info and pix at Game Informers' hub:
http://www.gameinformer.com/p/xcom.aspx

In case you didn't want to sit through the Sid video, Eurogamer pulled some quotes from it:
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-01-24-xcom-enemy-unknown-to-appeal-to-action-rpg-and-rts-gamers
Quote
"In our dreams," Firaxis director of creative development Sid Meier told GameInformer, "we pull in strategy game players, we pull in action players, we pull in RPG players.

"There are cool elements of all those gaming styles in XCOM, and they're mixed together in an interesting brew.

"Our goal would be to really appeal to all those players, and to introduce them maybe to some gaming that they haven't played before. An action gamer might play the game for the action part and [think], 'Well strategy is pretty fun too.'

"It's not trying to conform to a genre, but trying to find ways to bring this topic to life in the most fun and exciting way possible."
-------
"It comes down to, this is a game we wanted to make. We loved the original iteration of it, and we thought we could do a lot with this game," said Meier.

"That's essential to us: that we get excited about the project from day one. This is something that feels very cool to us. And when we saw what we could add to the original XCOM in terms of graphics and all the things that are available today that weren't available - it seemed like a natural game to us.

"XCOM was an incredible game to start with," he went on. "The original was on every top 10 list and is a fantastic game. The fact that that property was available was amazing. That combined with the fact that we have people here that love the game, honour the game, revere the game - understand what made it great in the first place. That made it a natural product for us to do.

"The amount of time that had gone by, the state of the market, the acceptance of strategy even in the console world. Certain stars were aligning that allowed this game to make sense for us."
Promising, though I think we all know lots of games over the years on all platforms that tried to be all things to all people and ended up being nothing to nobody. paranoid

I'm not sure I understand how turn-based tactical is going to appeal to action gamers aside from the visuals. That was something used in marketing my old fave Incubation in 1997 but Quake players etc. didn't run over to it despite its gory, shooter-style visuals. I remember my screenshots for Company of Heroes in late 2006 would get people asking "Is that a shooter or an RTS" but I don't think action gamers got into it enough to broaden its appeals and sales.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2012, 09:34:13 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2012, 10:06:36 PM »

Quote from: Blackjack on January 25, 2012, 09:26:31 PM

I'm not sure I understand how turn-based tactical is going to appeal to action gamers aside from the visuals.

The interception phase is realtime shooter stuff. I can see them juicing that up for the action crowd.
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« Reply #30 on: January 26, 2012, 08:59:29 PM »

Advanced Tactics: Exploring XCOM's Combat, Part 1:

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2012/01/26/advanced-tactics-exploring-xcom-39-s-combat-part-1.aspx
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« Reply #31 on: February 07, 2012, 02:50:31 PM »

RPS posted the full kaboodle of screenshots:
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/02/06/ufogle-an-xcom-enemy-unknown-gallery/
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« Reply #32 on: February 14, 2012, 02:58:51 PM »

Blue's mentioned this brief CVG preview:
http://www.computerandvideogames.com/335242/previews/xcom-enemy-unknown-a-classic-for-a-modern-generation/
Quote
In the example we were shown by lead designer Jake Solomon, XCOM's squad was dropped off outside a petrol station. The first job is to locate the aliens: Jake quickly spots a small grey Sectoid alien hiding behind a car (good plan, invader from another galaxy!) and directs one soldier to give suppressing fire and another to toss a grenade inside the car. Boom.

Turn-based combat means each soldier can move and perform only one action per turn, with firing a weapon the most basic. It's more about tactics than brute force.

The large, gorilla-like Mutons inside the petrol station are the bigger problem. Thankfully, it's not just cars that are destructible. Jake has his Heavy soldier rocket the side of the petrol station; boom again. The entire wall crumbles, giving his sniper line of sight on the Mutons.

This was an easy mission, but Enemy Unknown's stakes are always high. You customise, train, name and nickname a soldier, then bond with them over hours of use. Then - like a child watching a favourite toy being broken - you cringe as a rookie panics and blows up a petrol pump, killing everyone and adding more names to your base's growing memorial room...
Dunno if that was previously confirmed, but you can apparently rename soldiers.

I'm curious if you'll be able to save at all during a mission. Turn-based gaming can truly suck if you have to do a lot of turns with no ability to save progress.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2012, 03:17:47 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #33 on: February 14, 2012, 04:18:35 PM »

Quote from: Blackjack on February 14, 2012, 02:58:51 PM

I'm curious if you'll be able to save at all during a mission. Turn-based gaming can truly suck if you have to do a lot of turns with no ability to save progress.

Then again, an IRONMAN mode (with no reloading) would be much-appreciated I think. I think a lot of people like to play like that (after finishing the game a couple of times first), as long as the game's rules are fair.
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« Reply #34 on: February 14, 2012, 05:01:45 PM »

Quote from: The Rocketman on February 14, 2012, 04:18:35 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on February 14, 2012, 02:58:51 PM

I'm curious if you'll be able to save at all during a mission. Turn-based gaming can truly suck if you have to do a lot of turns with no ability to save progress.

Then again, an IRONMAN mode (with no reloading) would be much-appreciated I think. I think a lot of people like to play like that (after finishing the game a couple of times first), as long as the game's rules are fair.

Why stop there? Why not make it so that if all your troops die on a mission, the game not only ends, it uninstalls itself on PC (and grinds your disc to dust on consoles) and renders your product key permanently invalid. icon_twisted

I suspect that even though consoles have hard drives now, it'll be some sort of checkpoint save system.
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« Reply #35 on: February 14, 2012, 10:37:57 PM »

According to the Game Informer article, "The player always has access to the godlike save and reloads, which Firaxis doesn't intend to curb in any way."
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« Reply #36 on: February 16, 2012, 03:01:28 AM »

Quote from: Blackjack on February 14, 2012, 02:58:51 PM

...
Dunno if that was previously confirmed, but you can apparently rename soldiers.

Here's a screenshot showing their current soldier customization (from GameInformer's interactive X-Com base):



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« Reply #37 on: February 16, 2012, 03:56:02 AM »

odd - should i infer, from the button-presses indicated onscreen, that this is coming out for consoles as well?  also, love firaxis as a dev and am sure theyll do a nice job of it
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« Reply #38 on: February 16, 2012, 06:33:55 AM »

Quote from: Doopri on February 16, 2012, 03:56:02 AM

odd - should i infer, from the button-presses indicated onscreen, that this is coming out for consoles as well?  also, love firaxis as a dev and am sure theyll do a nice job of it

Yes definitely cross platform.  If you've seen any of the screenshots they clearly show XBox controls all over the place with X, Y, A, B, and RB, LB sprinkled about.  If you haven't seen any screenshots get yourself to GameInformer.

Here's their central XCom hub.  Two of my favorites are the Tactical Battles walkthrough (part 1 and part 2).
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« Reply #39 on: February 16, 2012, 03:53:27 PM »

Quote from: Doopri on February 16, 2012, 03:56:02 AM

odd - should i infer, from the button-presses indicated onscreen, that this is coming out for consoles as well?  also, love firaxis as a dev and am sure theyll do a nice job of it
Everything not MMO or made by Blizzard is muliti-platform now. I think we just have to accept that. I just find it increasingly annoying that the PC versions of multiplatform titles often make you scroll through various menu options (to be controller button/thumbstick/joypad friendly) rather than have menus that specifically make use of a mouse. I remember that as far back as the first Conflict games. I'm not gonna have a hissy fit if the X-COM game handles menus that way too, I've resigned myself to it.

I'm playing so many PC titles with a gamepad these days, who knows? Maybe this game will play better with a gamepad on PC, as sacrieligious as that might sound.
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