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Author Topic: [360/PC/PS3] XCOM: Enemy Unknown - Enemy Within expansion!  (Read 37005 times)
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Blackjack
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« Reply #80 on: April 09, 2012, 02:57:07 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on April 09, 2012, 01:17:23 AM

It seems to be heretofore unseen stuff, from a Trainyard scenario, fwiw. Taken using an Android phone, looks very cool.  icon_cool

Seems to be kind of a transparent "radius bubble" when you're aiming a grenade toss, to give you some idea of what the damage radius will be (probably useful in judging the structural damage it might do).
« Last Edit: April 09, 2012, 03:01:39 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #81 on: April 09, 2012, 08:12:29 PM »

Something called Desktop Review was apparently at PAX and posted a report:

PAX East 2012: X-COM: Enemy Unknown Breaks Down the Alien Invasion
Didn't see much new info per se. This part seemed a bit interesting:
Quote
For instance, the support gunner can lay down suppressing fire, which, while it does not actually do any damage to the enemy, it prevents them from moving during their next turn. So [Firaxis associate producer Pete] Murray performed a “combo” by pinning down an alien with his support unit, and then having his assault trooper toss a grenade at him. Come the alien’s next turn, all he could do was fire a desperation shot from his fixed position before being blown to bits.

Meanwhile, he had directed his sniper to use his grappling hook to climb up onto the roof of the gas station for a better vantage point; like the original X-COM, there is vertical movement in Enemy Unknown. Getting his sniper into the proper position took time, however, as that particular unit has to make a choice each turn to either move or fire his weapon…he can’t do both. But once he was up on the roof, it was easy pickings for the sniper.
...
Even certain moves, like using the support unit’s suppressing fire ability, are performed in real-time, with the soldier continuously firing in bursts throughout your turn as you continue to map out the rest of your units’ moves.
There's some info of interest on bases:
Quote
“The goal here is to find a way to turn this technology on the aliens,” said Murray. “But there isn’t enough time or resources to research everything, so for each piece of technology you recover, you have decide how you want to use it.” So, for example, do you research improved armor or a health upgrade?
...
It’s from the engineering labs that you can also expand your base, but beware: each base module requires you to build more power plants in order to support them. I asked Murray if there was a finite amount of space in which to build your base, and he said, “There’s a lot of space. I’ve never built out a base, but it also gets more expensive as you dig deeper and build more.”

He added that there are also benefits to building strategically, with researching buffs granted when the right combination of modules are built adjacent to each other.
...
While I think Diablo II hard-core types will love the idea you can "lose" the game, and that's it, I'm not sure more casual gamers will be crazy about it:
Quote
And it’s in players’ best interests to manage their time wisely, because in an interesting twist that you rarely see in gaming these days, players can actually lose in X-COM…as in a legitimate, no-going-back game over.

See, the super-secret organization that is X-COM is funded by 16 nations. But the master clock is ever ticking away as you play, and as time passes, the aliens will begin attacking those nations, whether you’re ready or not.  If you don’t protect these countries from alien invasion – one way to do this is to build, upgrade, and send out interceptor ships from your base -- their panic levels rise and they will eventually stop their funding of X-COM. Once you lose the funding of eight nations, it’s game over.
So the impression is that while the game saves your overall campaign progress, it gives you no options to load an earlier progress point to try something different. That particular campaign is just over.

I think I can dig that, in theory. Though I have no doubt some haxxor is already scheming on a way around that.  paranoid
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« Reply #82 on: April 09, 2012, 09:30:41 PM »

Quote from: Blackjack on April 09, 2012, 08:12:29 PM

While I think Diablo II hard-core types will love the idea you can "lose" the game, and that's it, I'm not sure more casual gamers will be crazy about it:
Quote
And it’s in players’ best interests to manage their time wisely, because in an interesting twist that you rarely see in gaming these days, players can actually lose in X-COM…as in a legitimate, no-going-back game over.

See, the super-secret organization that is X-COM is funded by 16 nations. But the master clock is ever ticking away as you play, and as time passes, the aliens will begin attacking those nations, whether you’re ready or not.  If you don’t protect these countries from alien invasion – one way to do this is to build, upgrade, and send out interceptor ships from your base -- their panic levels rise and they will eventually stop their funding of X-COM. Once you lose the funding of eight nations, it’s game over.
So the impression is that while the game saves your overall campaign progress, it gives you no options to load an earlier progress point to try something different. That particular campaign is just over.

I think I can dig that, in theory. Though I have no doubt some haxxor is already scheming on a way around that.  paranoid
[/quote]

I don't know that that necessarily implies you can't reload to an earlier point in the game. To me, it just suggests that the game doesn't automatically take you back to some earlier point or provide a way to come back.
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« Reply #83 on: April 09, 2012, 10:09:45 PM »

I'm surprised in all the previews/impressions pieces, nobody afik has asked "What kind of game save or checkpoint save system is in place, if any, and how does it work? Does the game save at all during the turn-based combat sequences? Can you 'load' a game save at all, or is it strictly just saving overall campaign progress?" etc. I'm curious about that but nothing I've read to date addresses any of that.

While it's certainly not a dealbreaker to me, I was used in turn-based tactical games being able to reload game saves to try different strategies and experiment. Certainly if we have to barrel forward and not be able to "rewind" to try to prevent a character's death, that'll be interesting and challenging.

I'm hoping there'll be a fan Q&A of some sort and maybe I could chime in on that.  icon_smile
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« Reply #84 on: April 10, 2012, 01:22:32 AM »

Don't think there's anything new here per se, but over on Game trailers, noticed:

Gametrailers' "Hit Points" Look at XCOM: Enemy Unknown

G4TV preview

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« Reply #85 on: April 11, 2012, 02:31:54 PM »

Quote from: Blackjack on April 09, 2012, 10:09:45 PM

I'm surprised in all the previews/impressions pieces, nobody afik has asked "What kind of game save or checkpoint save system is in place, if any, and how does it work? Does the game save at all during the turn-based combat sequences? Can you 'load' a game save at all, or is it strictly just saving overall campaign progress?" etc. I'm curious about that but nothing I've read to date addresses any of that.

While it's certainly not a dealbreaker to me, I was used in turn-based tactical games being able to reload game saves to try different strategies and experiment. Certainly if we have to barrel forward and not be able to "rewind" to try to prevent a character's death, that'll be interesting and challenging.

I'm hoping there'll be a fan Q&A of some sort and maybe I could chime in on that.  icon_smile

They have announced an ironman option that will save for you and not allow you to reload at will, so all your troop deaths will be permanent etc.  This is a separate toggle from the difficulty select.   If you are not using ironman mode I believe it uses a conventional save everywhere mode.

They covered this at the PAX east panel which you can watch in its entirety here
Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4a5biRyFLA&feature=relmfu
Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nh1T_vRCysg&feature=relmfu
« Last Edit: April 11, 2012, 02:33:52 PM by forgeforsaken » Logged
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« Reply #86 on: April 11, 2012, 05:03:06 PM »

Aren't you going to write us a transcript?  smirk Just kidding! Thanks for pointing that out, great stuff.  icon_smile
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« Reply #87 on: April 11, 2012, 09:40:03 PM »

Game looks fantastic!
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« Reply #88 on: April 11, 2012, 10:30:30 PM »

The difficulty discussion is as forgeforsaken said, at the end of the 2nd video of the PAX panel.

They mention four difficulty levels:
-Easy
-Normal
-Hard
-Classic

And then as he said, the separate Ironman option that you can choose at the start of your campaign. It sounds like it would save automatically at the end of each completed turn, as far as the turn-based battles.

Earlier the dev mentioned that while all versions of the game have totally free movement, the PC version will have a grid that pops up that they feel is more in the spirit of how use a mouse to scan points of interest rather than switching from one thing to the next as with a controller's shoulder buttons. So it sounds like they are putting some careful thoughts into how to best utilize a given platform's control options.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2012, 01:30:01 AM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #89 on: April 12, 2012, 02:19:54 AM »

Grabbed some screen captures of the various concept art and shots. A few fun ones, including comparisons to the original:










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« Reply #90 on: April 12, 2012, 12:10:00 PM »

Among the new enemy types, the Thinman (inspired by some of the crazier aliens in the Men in Black movies) looks/sounds fun, as sort of a warped approximation of a human. Supposedly it has very unpredictable movements, including the ability to leap up to the top of 3-story buildings.




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« Reply #91 on: May 01, 2012, 12:39:25 PM »

Think this community interview vid is new:
http://gamingtrend.com/2012/04/30/xcom-dev-permadeath-is-good/
*Some concept art but no gameplay footage per se, fwiw.
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« Reply #92 on: May 05, 2012, 10:56:27 PM »

More interviews with Jake Solomon, the Lead Designer.  Definitely worth a read:

Part One
Part Two

No surprise, but the kill cam is optional in case anyone was worried about that.  Also alien capture is definitely in.

I'm getting very psyched for this.  Jake really seems to have a good understanding of what made the first game special.  Hopefully this turns out to be great.
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« Reply #93 on: May 06, 2012, 05:02:21 AM »

Cool. Sounds like we shouldn't get too attached to soldiers, since he says he had 22 casualties  icon_eek(!) on his Normal campaign run through.

He also attempts to explain the reasoning on the 4-6 troop limits (pretty windy, figured it was worth citing the whole thing):
Quote
RPS: Talking about squad sizes generally, I know this is one of the things that people have complained about on the internet, but I haven’t actually got a full sense of it myself. Is it four or something you field per mission?

Jake Solomon: It’s four when the game begins, and then there’s a facility called the Officer Training School which gives you a number of different benefits that are related to your soldiers, and then that also is how you increase your squad size up to six at the end. You start with four, and then you can go up to six. And I totally, totally, totally understand people who are experienced with the original game. There’re some guys who would get excited when they got the Avenger because they could field forty people, they could just be like ‘That’s it, the entire brigade, everyone cram in.’

RPS: Like a bus that you took to the battlefield.

Jake Solomon: There were people who weren’t even part of XCOM, you’re like ‘Who brought the engineer? How did this guy end up here?’ The guy’s like ‘Is this going to downtown? Is this not the…?’ I always found that interminable, so I played, and maybe this factored in, but I played with more than four to six in the original game, I probably played more with eight to ten, and that’s fair.

RPS: I just squeezed in as many tanks as I could generally.

Jake Solomon: Right, I know, they take up like four spots. But the thing is that with six soldiers I understand that the people’s experience is with the original game and not with this game, so it’s perfectly fair, I understand the worry about that. But I will say that after playing through at this late stage, six was plenty. Because they have the classes and they slot into these roles, and because they can do many ,many things, by the end when your guys get to Major, Colonel, they have a lot of things that they can do, so it would not be fun to manage more than that group of six. So I’m really happy with how that turned out. You get a group of six and you can sort of play with, you’ve got four classes, so then it’s like a personal choice of ‘do you like running with assaults?’ And a big part of XCOM is playing with the hand you’re dealt, that’s a big thing in strategy games in general. A lot of the fun comes not from being able to carry out exactly the strategy you want but rather having these sort of setbacks occur and you coming up with a new tactic.

Part of it is guys die…I had a mission where four out of my six soldiers died, and it was a big mission and so I wasn’t going to freeload. It was the sort of thing where, and it was about halfway through the game, where you’re just sort of like ‘well, I guess we start over’, and there are two people who survived through that and then one of them died on the next mission. But then you look at your ‘B’ team and you’re like ‘I’ve got two heavies and an assault’ so you just change the squad make up and you just start playing a different way. That’s the way that it plays out.
I'm a realist though. You'll no more convince a die hard fan of X-COM that it should be changed in any way, than you'll convince Diablo II die-hards that D3 should've treated skill trees differently. Still good to heard a bit more specifically on the reasoning.
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« Reply #94 on: May 06, 2012, 08:19:15 AM »

My problem is with the reasoning behind the change, in fact. They've made the X-Com soldiers into superheroes with all these cool skills and abilities. That's not X-Com to me. The soldiers should be capable, but not absurdly so. Their job is to run into the battlefield in groups and hope that they'll come out alive on the other end. They're not supposed to use grappling hooks to fly onto roofs. The developers wanted to give the characters plenty to do, but found that having plenty to do bogged down the game. The result is that they cut the amount of soldiers instead of the amount of available skills and actions, and I feel that's the wrong decision.
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« Reply #95 on: May 11, 2012, 05:13:32 PM »

Blue's pointed out another interview, this time more of a Q&A based on fan questions, with Firaxis associate producer Pete Murray (I'd hide the URL, but it's ridiculous and you should see the whole thing icon_razz):
http://games.on.net/article/15574/We_are_making_a_worthy_successor_and_it_is_going_to_contribute_something_new_Firaxis_Answer_Your_Questions_on_XCOM_Enemy_Unknown
I cherry-picked a few, be sure to read the whole thing as our interests probably diverge.  icon_smile
Quote
GON: What will the fighter plane/UFO interceptions be like?

Pete: They’ll be very similar to what was in the original game. You’ll see UFO’s pass through your radar coverage, and then you’ll send a fighter out after them to try to shoot it down. That exact system is still being finalised so I can’t give you the full details, but if you’ve played the original game it will be pretty familiar to you.

GON: Can you confirm that there will be only one XCOM base?

Pete: Yes and no. There is one main XCOM base, and at the beginning of the game you choose a continent that you’ll be operating from. Each continent provides you with a different bonus. You can station interceptors on the different continents around the world and you can also launch satellites over individual member nations/countries, and they act as your radar coverage.

It’ll be very similar to what players did in the original game, where a lot of people had one major base and they created satellite stations, distant bases that were basically just a radar post and a refuelling spot for their interceptors.

GON: Is this a choice you make once, and that’s it?

Pete: That’s it for that entire play. You can choose from North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

GON: ... Does the move/action paradigm take into account the different stats of soldiers?

Pete: More experienced soldiers are definitely more accurate than your rookies, and certain classes are more accurate than others. A veteran sniper, for example, can pretty much hit what he aims at. We don’t have - at least in this iteration - a stat that corresponds to ‘fitness’ that would affect your movement. Movement speed is to some degree tied to class, I believe.

GON: Are there cornfields and terrifying desert wastelands?

Pete:
We have a bunch of outdoor settings, and some of them are deserty-looking and, yeah, they’re pretty terrifying. We debated whether or not to have every crop in the game be cabbages, much like the original, but I don’t know that cabbages made it in. We wanted to make sure our environments were very readable offhand, and basically a giant cornfield looks like danger no matter how you cut it. It’s a case of there being either very dangerous things in there that you can’t see, or you’re going to be exposed to them as you try to cross the field. We wanted to make sure our environments made a lot of sense from a gameplay perspective, too.

GON: ... Can you confirm the maximum squad size?

Pete: The maximum squad size is six. It starts at four and goes up to six. The reason we went with that is because it made the combat much more tactical. When we were adding things like the different classes and abilities to the soldiers, having a huge team of soldiers enabled you to inflict so much of your will on the enemy on your turn, that it actually made the game less tactically interesting. And you ended up with a lot of moves that either didn’t contribute to the success of your team or were just sort of filler.

Also having a smaller squad size means that casualties become correspondingly more important. If you only have a four man team and you take one casualty, that is a 25% loss rate. You take two people down out of a four man team and suddenly it’s much less about ‘How am I going to succeed in this mission’ and more about ‘How am I going to salvage what’s left of the operation?’ The game has a better tactical ebb and flow in terms of reacting to the situation on the battlefield and being aware of what’s going on, it makes each individual decision with each soldier correspondingly more important.

GON: How useful has the feedback from the fanbase of the original games actually been for Firaxis?

Pete: We’ve had just an amazingly positive response. It was incredible to see the number of people who were fans of the original who got super excited and went out and flooded the internet with “YAAAAY” when we announced it. It was an amazingly validating moment. That was immediately followed by trepidation, “Oh no! What are you going to do? You’re not going to make it bad, are you?”

And we’re all huge fans of the game too, so one of the things the team did when development began on the game was that Jake held these Friday afternoon play sessions where he’d just bring people into a room full of PC’s with the original XCOM loaded up and get them to play it, so people could see what the magic was from that original game, all those wonderful emergent moments where you’ve got rookies panicking and taking the shot that ends up killing the last alien or something like that. And a lot of the guys on the team who had never played it just got it really quickly, what it was about the game that people love.

They take that responsibility really seriously. It’s great to see the positive reaction from people and when people express concerns, saying “I don’t know,” or “I don’t understand,” we really want to just tell them to wait until they can give the game a try. It’s going to have all of that magic.
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« Reply #96 on: May 11, 2012, 05:15:50 PM »

I agree with a lot of what you're saying, but I don't see how using a rope to get on a rooftop 10 ft up is a superhero thing  ninja
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« Reply #97 on: May 11, 2012, 05:44:49 PM »

Quote from: Harkonis on May 11, 2012, 05:15:50 PM

I agree with a lot of what you're saying, but I don't see how using a rope to get on a rooftop 10 ft up is a superhero thing  ninja

if god had meant man to get up on a 10 foot roof he'd have made us with rope like arms  icon_wink
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« Reply #98 on: May 22, 2012, 05:26:19 PM »

XCOM: Enemy Unknown Scheduled for October 2012 Release
Quote
2K Games announced today that XCOM®: Enemy Unknown, the highly anticipated action-strategy game from Firaxis Games, will be available for purchase in North America on October 9, 2012 and internationally on October 12, 2012 for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC.

Additionally, pre-ordering XCOM: Enemy Unknown from participating retailers guarantees receiving the Elite Soldier Pack, a launch bonus offering top-of-the-line soldier customization features that will only be available for a limited time. There will also be a special edition of XCOM: Enemy Unknown available exclusively for PC that contains a variety of unique XCOM items.

“As we reimagine XCOM, one of our goals is to evolve the experience while recognizing what made X-COM one of the greatest PC games to date,” said Sarah Anderson, senior vice president of marketing for 2K. “It’s important to create an experience that is appealing to both existing fans and newcomers to the world of XCOM, which is what we’re doing with XCOM: Enemy Unknown.”

Gamers looking for the ultimate XCOM: Enemy Unknown experience can pre-order the game to guarantee the launch bonus of the Elite Soldier Pack. The Elite Soldier Pack will provide the ultimate tools for soldier customization in XCOM: Enemy Unknown, including:

        • Classic X-COM Soldier: Players will instantly receive a new recruit in their barracks inspired by the original X-COM: UFO Defense. The iconic soldier with the blonde, flattop hairstyle will return in his full glory, modernized with the rest of the XCOM universe.
        • Soldier Deco packs: Players can customize their soldier with several aesthetic upgrades to armor suits, including the new Hyperion and Reaper soldier armor kits.
        • Complete color customization: A variety of colors and tints for all armor sets in the game allow players complete control to customize their squad’s look.

Available from participating retailers at launch, a special edition of XCOM: Enemy Unknown (MSRP $59.99) will contain a copy of the game for PC and a number of unique XCOM items, including an art book; fold-out poster of the XCOM headquarters; XCOM insignia patch; and a collection of digital bonus assets such as desktop wallpaper, soundtrack and more. A standard edition of XCOM: Enemy Unknown for PC will be available exclusively via 2K’s digital distribution partners.

“XCOM: Enemy Unknown is the answer to the 15-year craving that X-COM fans have been experiencing,” said Steve Martin, president of Firaxis Games. “We wanted to find a special way to honor these die-hard fans, and the special edition and Elite Soldier Pack are just the way to do it.”
RPS has another detailed hands-on, much more detailed than I recall:
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/05/22/hands-on-safety-off-xcom-enemy-unknown/
Quote
As Alec has noted, the squaddies do, optionally, bark out the occasional ‘tag ‘em and bag ‘em’. It’s meatheaded and somewhat inappropriate. When actually playing the game those vocalised fist bumps are even more out of place since everything else, from the terrified, twitchy look on the soldiers’ faces as they leave the Skyranger to the surprisingly intense body horror and gore, is much more in keeping with the dread and suspense of the original.

It’d be a shame to switch off the voices completely because when soldiers panic, their will sapped by the death bolts crackling through the air or the sheer horror of seeing a chrysalid and what it does to a man, when they panic they really do panic. Screaming, sobbing, pleading for evacuation – they’re as doomed and vulnerable as ever an elite squad has been. And it’s not just the fear in their voices, it’s the burning trees that provide the only light at a midnight UFO recovery and the intestines looping from the ruptured remains of a civilian caught up in the whole nasty mess.
The demonstrations are still being done with gamepads at this point, so the article's from that standpoint.
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« Reply #99 on: May 22, 2012, 11:12:42 PM »

I'm glad at least one game I'm looking forward to is still coming out this year.
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« Reply #100 on: May 23, 2012, 12:16:15 PM »

Strategy Informer also had a preview that seemed to be hands-on:
http://www.strategyinformer.com/pc/xcomenemyunknown/847/preview.html
They had a screenshot of what appears to be some sort of jetpack/jumppack-using soldier moving across the screen:
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« Reply #101 on: May 23, 2012, 01:26:10 PM »

Quote from: Blackjack on May 23, 2012, 12:16:15 PM

Strategy Informer also had a preview that seemed to be hands-on:
http://www.strategyinformer.com/pc/xcomenemyunknown/847/preview.html
They had a screenshot of what appears to be some sort of jetpack/jumppack-using soldier moving across the screen:

This video from Kotaku with about three minutes of gameplay is encouraging. He's demonstrating how you can use an Xbox360 controller while playing the PC version. Looks pretty good.
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« Reply #102 on: May 23, 2012, 10:38:24 PM »

Quote from: jztemple2 on May 23, 2012, 01:26:10 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on May 23, 2012, 12:16:15 PM

Strategy Informer also had a preview that seemed to be hands-on:
http://www.strategyinformer.com/pc/xcomenemyunknown/847/preview.html
They had a screenshot of what appears to be some sort of jetpack/jumppack-using soldier moving across the screen:

This video from Kotaku with about three minutes of gameplay is encouraging. He's demonstrating how you can use an Xbox360 controller while playing the PC version. Looks pretty good.
Those aliens looked pretty nasty.  Some serious tearing and rending going on there.  Can't wait for October  icon_biggrin
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« Reply #103 on: May 24, 2012, 01:58:06 AM »

Quote from: ydejin on May 23, 2012, 10:38:24 PM

Quote from: jztemple2 on May 23, 2012, 01:26:10 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on May 23, 2012, 12:16:15 PM

Strategy Informer also had a preview that seemed to be hands-on:
http://www.strategyinformer.com/pc/xcomenemyunknown/847/preview.html
They had a screenshot of what appears to be some sort of jetpack/jumppack-using soldier moving across the screen:

This video from Kotaku with about three minutes of gameplay is encouraging. He's demonstrating how you can use an Xbox360 controller while playing the PC version. Looks pretty good.
Those aliens looked pretty nasty.  Some serious tearing and rending going on there.  Can't wait for October  icon_biggrin

Looks like some seriously Zerg inspired aliens.
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« Reply #104 on: May 25, 2012, 05:28:49 AM »

Are those the new version of the Chrysalid? It certainly looked that way from how they infected humans, who later turned into new aliens.

Also, Wilhelm Scream at the end there. slywink
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« Reply #105 on: May 25, 2012, 03:33:20 PM »

i was soooooo disturbed the first time i saw a chrysalid do that to one of my squaddies in the original xcom - no warning, no time to respond - just this creature running out of a darkened aisle in a blown out store, while my guy screamed and melted into an alien
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« Reply #106 on: May 25, 2012, 05:25:01 PM »

Quote from: Doopri on May 25, 2012, 03:33:20 PM

i was soooooo disturbed the first time i saw a chrysalid do that to one of my squaddies in the original xcom - no warning, no time to respond - just this creature running out of a darkened aisle in a blown out store, while my guy screamed and melted into an alien

Same for me!
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« Reply #107 on: May 25, 2012, 05:29:02 PM »

Penny Arcade Report takes a closer look during a preview event in Santa Monica (again, using XBox360 controller to play a PC build of the game):

To grid or not to grid? How XCOM: Enemy Unknown modernizes turn-based strategy
Quote
You move your reticle to select where each unit goes, and the cursor snaps to positions where you’ll be under cover. It’s a wonderful mixture of freedom and precision and, while I’ll still stick to the PC version upon release, this proves that turn-based strategy can work on modern consoles.
...
Based on my time playing the game much of that “twisting” is done in the game’s presentation. The camera is dynamic, snapping down over the shoulder of a soldier as he fires at an alien hiding behind cover. The camera moves above you if you select a grenade, allowing you to throw the explosive with precision. Short cinematics pepper the action, showing you how each turn plays out [I believe someone here pointed out an article earlier that noted this is Optional-bj].
...
The game is still played on a grid, but DeAngelis explained that it was important to make it as invisible as possible for the console player. You don’t notice it when you’re positioning soldiers, but the squares become apparent as you select the place you’d like your soldier to take cover.
...
“We’re concurrently developing a PC interface that maximizes the input for a PC crowd. You can do things like zoom out a little bit further to survey the landscape, and we’re playing with a more visible grid, because when you actually have to do discrete pointing and clicking it makes more sense to see that,” DeAngelis stated. “The console version has an underlying grid, but you can’t see it. It feels more seamless. Showing [the grid] to the PC user? We’re playing with that right now, asking ourselves if it feels better.”
It does my heart good that Final Fantasy Tactics was one of the turn-based console titles they looked at -- though they say they wanted to get away from the "visible grid" chessboard feel.

It seems like they're not sure if they want to put a full grid type visual in the PC version or not. I'd hope they'd just consider making something like that optional (maybe something you can toggle on/off w/ a key if you want it?). But I'm the Compromiser.  icon_razz
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« Reply #108 on: June 08, 2012, 12:18:03 PM »

Flashy E3 trailer  icon_cool (fwiw, this is iOS-friendly HD link)
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tZdanb02280

Mix of cutscenes and gameplay, with many glimpses of alien tech.

More importantly, Tuesday, Oct. 9 is apparently the specific release date.  icon_biggrin
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« Reply #109 on: June 09, 2012, 02:18:22 AM »

damnit... wanted... this... summer...!!!

slywink
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« Reply #110 on: June 09, 2012, 02:35:47 AM »

Do you have a link that works with computers?
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« Reply #111 on: June 09, 2012, 04:50:01 AM »

Change the "m." to "www.", that or remove it.
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« Reply #112 on: June 09, 2012, 12:51:01 PM »

Quote from: Ironrod on June 09, 2012, 02:35:47 AM

Do you have a link that works with computers?
What are those?  smirk

Sorry -- I didn't think that meant it only worked on iOS stuff. Here is the HD trailer in glorious made-for-PC form  Bring your own!

XCOM: Enemy Unknown E3 2012 Trailer [HD]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZdanb02280
*For the 720HD version, click the little "gear" icon on the menu and choose 720.

*I still find it amusing how even Firaxis seems terrified of making a trailer that ever insinuates this (the tactical combat anyway) is a turn-based strategy game. God forbid! The kids will run away terrified! The trailer makes this seem like a shooter or something.

I'm digging up some coverage from E3 on it (it kind of got lost with all the hubbub over games that are mostly years away from release), will make a separate post on some linkage about that.
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« Reply #113 on: June 09, 2012, 01:00:38 PM »

It seemed tough for the game to get much E3 attention but here's coverage out of E3.. (I'll keep adding to this post... it could get long... "That's what SHE said!" Roll Eyes)

Flesheatingzipper.com's report (with a name like THAT, it's got to be good...]
E3 2012 – XCOM: Enemy Unknown Eyes-On – Can It Live Up To The X-COM Name? Yep.
Quote
The mission they showed us involved an urban corridor with several abandoned vehicles, which provided ample cover. Firaxis then showed us their reimagining of the dreadful Chrysalids from the original game, known for turning your beloved agents into zombies, then becoming new Chrysalids as you dispatch your former agents. As the on-screen squad began to lose its footing, a call was made for reinforcements, in this case decked out in end-game armor and weaponry, along with a telepath modeled after studio head Sid Meier. icon_eek icon_lol Sid proceeded to mind control a heavy floater, forcing it to eat its own grenade. The squad mopped up the remaining alien scum until a massive Sectopod rumbled in.
...
Missions also no longer take place on randomly-built battlescapes based on the venue of your mission, whether rural, urban, taiga, etc. Instead, Firaxis have built “a bunch” of curated environments to better serve the action, making it more akin to the Gallop brothers’ own Laser Squad Nemesis or Nintendo’s Advance Wars. Producer Pete Murray assured me that these pre-fab environments would be randomly selected, leaving any two players with two totally different play experiences.

Sprinkled in with the standard alien threat missions are plot-specific missions (perhaps into alien bases?). So now XCOM has a narrative? Yep. Firaxis felt that the original game – and I agree – could feel very aimless if you weren’t regularly working at revealing that game’s narrative through research, leaving you to shoot down UFOs and respond to terror sites ad infinitum as the panic level rose. Murray also said that it’d be nearly impossible to cycle through the pre-fab environments as by then, the alien threat would be so dire that you couldn’t reach them, anyway.
I suspect the decision not to randomize battlescapes will cause some teeth-gnashing about replayability/predictability. imho, it's OK as long as the enemy mix/initial placement gets shaken up a bit on subsequent playthroughs.
=================

PC World interviews lead producer at E3
Firaxis Brings XCOM Back for a New Generation of Gamers (E3 interview w/ lead producer Garth DeAngelis)
Quote
This is an Unreal Engine 3 game. Can you talk a little bit about what role technology played in allowing you to update XCOM?

Unreal has been phenomenal. We’re trying to bring something as big as XCOM into the modern day. Destructibility is a good example, and having maps. There are tons of different maps, so you can play through the game multiple times and not see them twice. Then, not just create assets for them, but make sure everything in there can be destroyed and removed.

The player can create their own emergent paths as they’re using suppression fire. [not sure what that means?-bj] Having the engineers on our team figure that out; they have put in a lot of hours back at the studio. Unreal made it possible.

We did make it just like the original, where you can fire and blow away cover. But it’s different from the original XCOM. It’s not 2D sprites and pixels; it’s real 3D geometry assets that are very detailed. Making those work with a destruction system was a minor miracle that the team pulled off.

How are you introducing people to XCOM?

We’re calling the tutorial the Controlled Experience, internally, and it’s optional. The players don’t have to play it if they don’t want to, but we highly encourage it.

We want to make sure that all gamers, whether they’re holding a console controller or a mouse and keyboard, that they can become fluent in the systems of Enemy Unknown. As you know it’s a big game, so there are a lot of systems that interplay with each other and a lot of mechanics for the player to learn. I know the first time I fired up the first UFO Defense, that first screen has a half dozen things to do on the right. There was no direction for the player.

The bottom line is, we really wanted to reduce the learning curve for anyone to get into this game so they can enjoy that special sauce that is XCOM. That’s why we created this Controlled Experience. It’s integrated into the narrative. Players can go through it, and all of a sudden they know how to play XCOM. Then we let them loose into the wild. The challenge is there. It’s extremely difficult. There are consequences for every decision they make; we just wanted to equip them with the knowledge necessary to make those decisions in the Controlled Experience.
=========================

Kotaku w/ Firaxis' Jake Solomon
Remembering the Fallen, and the Decisions for Which They Died, in XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Quote
In my two operations I investigated the first contact with the Sectoids in Germany, then went to China to clean up from a reported abduction. There was another abduction in Kansas City, so I was forced to choose which one to respond to, knowing full well the civilian panic would rise wherever I didn't go. This is a key outcome throughout the series' history. Letting a nation go unattended will result in it leaving the XCOM alliance—meaning all of its resources are unavailable to you. Sometimes a strategic neglect is necessary if there's no way to save the country.
...
an "Ironman" mode, which does not allow reloading of gamesaves (it's very much like Diablo's hardcore mode) is available from the start, if you really want to play without the means to undo a costly decision that, in hindsight, was the wrong one. Solomon said playthroughs will vary, but he expects most runs will last "into the upper 20 hours" and span between 20 and 30 operations.
...
The tutorial was very good at communicating expectations and the fact this is turn-based gives you time to explore the map and see exactly what your options are and your routes to higher ground. I was a little slow to grasp the way to change the elevation and highlight, for example how to climb to a roof. Longtime PC gamers won't play it without a mouse, and the game will show them special attention, but for console players, getting around the field and executing commands was relatively simple enough. Time units are still a part of this game, and still govern the considerate deploying of your forces.
...
the game has a memorial wall in the bar in the barracks of your home base. You enter the bar, and at first the plaques are grayed out. But as your soldiers die, these plaques are filled in with a picture, and text listing the deceased's name, their number of kills, the name and location of the operation where they died, and the date of that operation. Funeral bagpipes play as you pause at the memorial. [so cool-bj Cool]

As the death toll mounts, shot glasses are added to the bar. It is a place to go after a difficult mission, where you may have a drink for Disco, and Doc, and the Lee Brothers, and all who served your world and left it too soon.
======================
Gamasutra's E3 report
How Firaxis balances XCOM's grit with the studio's cheerful legacy
Quote
While Sid Meier isn't playing a direct role in the game's development, Solomon said that the renowned developer has offered some essential insight to define -- and in some ways rein in -- the game's more violent tone.

"I've talked to Sid [Meier] throughout development on stuff and his natural state is a much happier place than mine... but he has this rule, and I agree with him on this, and it's that you should never make your player do anything that makes them uncomfortable," Solomon said.

As an example, he pointed to one of the game's creatures: the Sectoid. As Solomon tells it, the small, feral creature used to stand upright, and sounded an awful lot like a human being.

"Sid, the first time he played the game, he was really bothered by it, and he said, 'You have got to change this. It looks like you're shooting a child!' And I was like, 'Oh my god. Yeah, that is kind of weird!'"

Thus, Firaxis altered the creature's model to make it stand on its hands and knees, with a voice that sounded much more like a blend between a bird and a monkey. It helped lessen the disturbing imagery, and made the game fit in better with the established Firaxis style.
I can't decide if it's impressive or quaint that Sid worries about making players do something that makes them feel "uncomfortable," which is as we all know, is often the whole point of many entire games in the industry today. icon_smile
====================

NZGamer.com's E3 impressions
XCOM: Enemy Unknown Impressions
*He noted the E3 demo included a battle much later in the campaign with more fully-equipped and able troops.
Quote
As soon as the squad arrived on the scene, they were attacked by several chrysalids (nasty creatures that look a bit like a praying mantis crossed with a claw), and a couple of heavy floaters ( armoured flying heavies), and then later by something called a berserker, that had the ability to exert mind control over people in the unit.

Nastily, once it turned someone its tactic seemed to focus on making the affected person eat one of their own grenades. Another member of the unit was impregnated by a chrysalid during his turn as well. [yum!-bj] All pretty rough stuff.

When it was the unit's turn to respond, we were able to see some of their different abilities and technologies come into play. One character, who to the delight of all in the room, had Sid Meier's head but the body of Mass Effect's James Vega saywhat, used his own mind control on a heavy floater and returned the favour of the earlier grenade shenanigans.

Another character, a sniper, took to the air with something like a jet pack, and a plasma rifle that made short work of his targets.

And a third, a veteran assault soldier wearing 'ghost armour' (undetectable by the aliens) used a grappling hook to position herself, and then stealthily take out another heavy floater. Then we also watched as the infected other member of the unit was effectively ripped apart as the chrysalid inside burst out of its host.
I believe the "ghost armor" and grappling hook are in display in that new trailer. The game is M-rated, but given Sid M's influence (I don't get the impression he's into excessive gore), it'll be interesting to see how these violent sequences are depicted, imho.
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« Reply #114 on: June 09, 2012, 10:11:03 PM »

XCOM: Enemy Unknown Deep Dive #2 focusing on the base.

Here's Deep Dive #1 which most of you have probably already seen.  It was the original video Firaxis put out where the developers talk about how much they loved the original XCOM.
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« Reply #115 on: June 10, 2012, 12:24:24 AM »

Crossposted on Qt3:

Gamespot XCom interview.  This has by far the longest most detailed look at combat I've seen yet -- it doesn't discuss the mechanics, but you do get a very lengthy look at a firefight.  It shows off the disc enemy and briefly shows the XCom tank (which in my view looks too fragile and not "tanky" enough, although apparently you can upgrade the chassis, so maybe this one is early on).  It shows off the destructible environment.  Fires can start and spread.  

Also some type of alien attack on your base is pretty much confirmed although "no details are being released yet."  Plus someone asked about coop and Jake Solomon didn't say yes, but he did say "we're only talking about single player now" and "yeah that [coop] certainly makes sense for XCom."
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« Reply #116 on: June 10, 2012, 05:22:32 AM »

I have to keep mentioning this, but don't be afraid of premade maps. The beloved original X-COM actually had all pre-made maps, just with random tiles replaced or damaged. I did some X-COM modding a long time ago and saw all the pre-made maps myself. slywink
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« Reply #117 on: June 10, 2012, 12:56:10 PM »

Quote from: ydejin on June 10, 2012, 12:24:24 AM

Crossposted on Qt3:

Gamespot XCom interview.  This has by far the longest most detailed look at combat I've seen yet -- it doesn't discuss the mechanics, but you do get a very lengthy look at a firefight.  It shows off the disc enemy and briefly shows the XCom tank (which in my view looks too fragile and not "tanky" enough, although apparently you can upgrade the chassis, so maybe this one is early on).  It shows off the destructible environment.  Fires can start and spread.  

Also some type of alien attack on your base is pretty much confirmed although "no details are being released yet."  Plus someone asked about coop and Jake Solomon didn't say yes, but he did say "we're only talking about single player now" and "yeah that [coop] certainly makes sense for XCom."
Ew nice catch. I had been looking for a gameplay vid from E3.  icon_cool

Around the 10:50 mark, he talks about the Sid Meier character and his conversation with Sid (Solomon really wanted to put him in there in some way). Sid asked if he could be a diplomat.  icon_lol Very fun.

While Solomon and Co. stick with the "this is all we're talking about right now" responses a lot, he did acknowledge that cooperative play "makes sense."  icon_smile Well, imho, at least on the tactical side. Not sure about "co-op base building."  icon_smile

Back in the late 1990s, I played some fun co-op games (dialup mind you) of German dev Blue Byte's Incubation. To move things along, you had to choose a turn "time limit." We found something like 30-45 seconds gave you enough time to scan the battlefield and make your moves without dragging the pace down. And you might break up a squad of 4 into two space marines each. It was a lot of fun.

I mostly played with an Australian guy I knew from another forum (his ID was Xavitor). Sadly, he died a few years ago of stomach cancer.  icon_frown When we shared memories at the forum of him, mine was about all the fun we had playing Incubation in co-op, despite the crazy (14-15 hours) time zone difference.  icon_smile
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« Reply #118 on: June 13, 2012, 04:03:03 AM »

Quote from: Blackjack on June 10, 2012, 12:56:10 PM

Around the 10:50 mark, he talks about the Sid Meier character and his conversation with Sid (Solomon really wanted to put him in there in some way). Sid asked if he could be a diplomat.  icon_lol Very fun.

I thought that little exchange was hilarious!   icon_biggrin
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« Reply #119 on: June 14, 2012, 02:50:22 PM »

GameTrailers mentioned this E3 interview with lead producer Garth DeAngelis. I don't know if it has much new, but maybe worth checking out:
http://www.gametrailers.com/video/e3-2012-lead-producer-interview/730357

I noticed this game was a popular pick amongst Joystiq's folks for favorite game they COULD ACTUALLY PLAY (so Watch Dogs, The Last of Us etc. weren't elgible) at E3.  icon_smile

Joystiq's favorite games of E3 2012
http://www.joystiq.com/2012/06/11/joystiqs-favorite-games-of-e3-2012/
Quote
Richard Mitchell, reviews editor
XCOM: Enemy Unknown: I'm a huge fan of the original X-COM (back when it had a hyphen in it!), so it's no surprise that I was excited to play Firaxis' take on it. I'm happy to say that, after playing a few rounds, it's already delivering on the promise of modernizing the PC classic. Play has been streamlined, yet it retains the tactical brilliance of the original while adding more advanced maneuvers (like conferring damage bonuses for flanking an enemy).

The tone is dead on as well, with the game going out of its way to remind you that you are the commander and that the fate of your troops (and ultimately the world) rests entirely in your hands. Suffice it to say that XCOM is one of the few E3 demos that I didn't want to put down.
===========
Alexander Sliwinski, news editor
XCOM . [he just likes to skip the subtitle, he doesn't mean the shooter game-bj].. I refuse to acknowledge this "Enemy Unknown" subtitle nonsense: I know it's not the wisest thing for a member of the press to say, but if you can avoid learning details about the game before its October launch, I'd recommend it. This is a game you'll want to be surprised by. It'll also be nice to see Firaxis step out of Civilization's long shadow. XCOM is looking fantastic and I'm already salivating to play more at Gamescom in August.
==============
Mike Schramm, contributing editor
XCOM: Enemy Unknown: The theme of this year's E3 seemed to be a return to the past, with most of the biggest and most interesting titles hearkening back to popular series and sequels of yesteryear. And XCOM is the best example of this: It's a perfect reinvention of the alien-hunting strategy series, lovingly crafted by Firaxis, mixing current-gen innovation with lots of old-school adventure and strategy techniques. Most of the titles I'm interested in from E3 have currently available equivalents to play (Splinter Cell Blacklist has Conviction, Assassin's Creed 3 has Revelations, and so on), but it's going to be a long wait until we get to play this brand new version of XCOM in October.
fwiw, the lone female staffer picked it as her runner-up, behind a Devil May Cry game.
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