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Author Topic: [360/PC/PS3] XCOM: Enemy Unknown - Enemy Within expansion!  (Read 39950 times)
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Blackjack
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« Reply #320 on: October 08, 2012, 12:22:22 PM »

Reviews...
Eurogamer (9/10) [PC version]
Quote
Buy XCOM, it's a belter. I know it's Big Game season, but this is so good I've chalked up 43 hours in four days and want more in the near future. XCOM absorbs you into a universe of Tonka toy soldiers and B-movie science-fiction, a rich and smartly streamlined strategy experience that's a hell of a credit to the design of the 1994 original. Re-imagining? Remake? Whatever it is, XCOM brings back and revitalises a classic.
...
I was once assaulting the control room of a crashed UFO. Two assault troopers, two snipers covering the door, one support class. I open the door and the support goes down under a barrage of laser fire - one of the assault troops panics, runs into the room, and is easily picked off. His mate panics at seeing this, and then he runs into the room. He promptly dies, one of my snipers gets mind-controlled, and the last sniper finally snaps and just hunkers down, gibbering. No-one came home. Having troops panic isn't always quite so dramatic, but boy does it have its moments.
...
This game is a winner. So much craft has gone into its atmosphere, into innumerable small details that together add enormous depth and flavour to the world: the occasional conversations overheard while fiddling around in the base; the mission loading screen, which gives you a view of the troops inside the carrier, fidgeting and tapping their feet in transit; the ridiculously cute touch of soldiers acquiring nicknames like 'Longshot' or 'Odin' after a few missions; the memorial room for fallen warriors, with a cork board of photos on the wall, which records their names - and the fact that visiting it triggers, after a few seconds, the sound of a bagpipe march.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2012, 12:29:10 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #321 on: October 08, 2012, 12:42:07 PM »

43 hours in 4 days?  Even at my peak I don't know I could pull a run like that!   icon_lol
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« Reply #322 on: October 08, 2012, 02:03:06 PM »

What are the advantages/disadvantages of PC vs. XBox?
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« Reply #323 on: October 08, 2012, 02:06:14 PM »

Quote from: IkeVandergraaf on October 08, 2012, 02:03:06 PM

What are the advantages/disadvantages of PC vs. XBox?

From what I've heard, better camera control, higher graphical options, and (much) faster load times. Verses playing on one's couch.
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« Reply #324 on: October 08, 2012, 02:14:02 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on October 08, 2012, 02:06:14 PM

Quote from: IkeVandergraaf on October 08, 2012, 02:03:06 PM

What are the advantages/disadvantages of PC vs. XBox?

From what I've heard, better camera control, higher graphical options, and (much) faster load times. Verses playing on one's couch.

I thought folks were saying the camera control was better on the console.
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« Reply #325 on: October 08, 2012, 03:04:11 PM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on October 08, 2012, 02:14:02 PM

Quote from: Destructor on October 08, 2012, 02:06:14 PM

Quote from: IkeVandergraaf on October 08, 2012, 02:03:06 PM

What are the advantages/disadvantages of PC vs. XBox?

From what I've heard, better camera control, higher graphical options, and (much) faster load times. Verses playing on one's couch.
I thought folks were saying the camera control was better on the console.
That was just that crabby Blackjack, who hates everything . Listen to CeeKay instead.  icon_smile Seriously, I just theorized that maybe moving the camera view with a thumbstick is better -- you can use a controller on the PC version btw. The 2K forums rep seemed to say that's his preference (playing PC version using a controller).

Another review of PC version (look for console reviews at IGN):
Gamespy (5/5 stars)
Quote
Those ground missions, where the gameplay switches to a top-down isometric view and you control the every movement of every soldier in turn, are the meat of XCOM. It's the part where I sit on the edge of my seat as I order my Assault soldier to take a desperate, 35% shot against a horrific Xenomorph-like Chryssalid, where success will mean the difference between victory and being impregnated with an alien baby. It's where I close my eyes as I tell my sniper to go for a weapon-disabling hit from across the map that will prevent that intimidating Cyberdisc from blasting someone with its mega-cannon and hope for the best.

It is an amazingly addictive, challenging, and rewarding experience that has me absolutely hooked.
...
[On the negative side, even in a 5/5 review]
Getting those orders across clearly, however, can be a challenge due to some UI issues in tactical combat. After growing tired of the on-screen controls' endless demands for confirmation of orders I found satisfaction with the remappable keys, which allow one-button activation of common commands like Overwatch (Y, by default).

Once I got that down, the only problems were throwing grenades, which can be fussy when they reach maximum range, and moving troops around multi-story structures, which sometimes causes a crazy flickering effect that on several occasions resulted in sending a soldier to the wrong spot, out of cover, where he was promptly murdered. That part's still not cool.

A different flavor of UI trouble extends to the base view, where I can't shake the feeling that I shouldn't have to drill down into quite so many menus to access the information I want. Though it's totally usable, it's inefficient, and it makes me long for the kind of PC-specific UI makeover modders gave to Skyrim.
...
You've seen me nitpick quite a few things in this review, including several things I think could be better and a couple of issues I'd consider major that absolutely need to be fixed (Firaxis is already working on a few of them), but I don't want to leave you with the impression that XCOM: Enemy Unknown is anything less than an amazing, triumphant game right down to its core.

It's XCOM's Batman Begins, in effect -- it does a magnificent job of rebooting the series with its soul intact, delivering an awesome modern experience and paving the way for a future that doesn't just recreate the tense tactical battles and global strategy of the 18-year-old original, but builds on them. (By the way, this is one of the few times I'm actually thrilled at the prospect of DLC.)

I implore you to play it if you have any interest in turn-based tactics whatsoever -- it is indisputably the best of its genre made in at least a decade. I leave the title of Best Game Ever with the original, but playing this one has done this old X-COM fan's heart good, and I believe it will make a whole lot of new fans, too.
It sounds like Firaxis is already working on a patch for certain bugs that have cropped up. Maybe we'll get a launch day patch.

He mentions that on Normal mode (which he says is probably too easy for veteran players of this type of game until the latter parts), it took him about 22 hours to complete the campaign.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2012, 03:16:53 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #326 on: October 08, 2012, 04:14:18 PM »

From the Gamespy review:

Quote
As a fan of the old-school X-COM, I do miss the endless replayablity of randomly generated tactical maps -- Firaxis says there are more than 80 different maps in the rotation, though having played for more than 50 hours now I feel like I know most of them pretty well.

I was worried about that as soon as they mentioned no random maps.  icon_frown
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« Reply #327 on: October 08, 2012, 04:15:18 PM »

Metacritic apparently sleeps in on Columbus Day, so...

Blue's News roundup of reviews so far:
http://www.bluesnews.com/s/135808/xcom-enemy-unknown-reviews
CVG (9.2/10)
gamesTM (9/10)
Joystiq (4.5/5)
Kotaku (doesn't do ratings, mostly very enthusiastic)

PC Gamer (8.7/10) (mostly due to disappointment with base design; feeling each add-on room's generic and doesn't reflect upgrades, new troops etc. specifically enough [is how I read it-bj])

RPS (single player review; doesn't do ratings; mostly very enthusiastic, but like PC Gamer expresses disappointment in the base design stuff as not having any room for personalization/customization)

Venturebeat (multiplayer impressions, not really a review; mostly positive)
===========
So far the majority of nitpicks aren't so much on things the 1994 2-D tile-based game did that Firaxis' game doesn't (randomized level generation/design, 14-16-18 squad members instead of 4-6, etc.), it seems more that the "ant farm" base design, while initially visually appealing, just doesn't work that well, and the base room additions are too generic to let you feel you're actually designing "your" base. Bearing in mind that some of the reviews are rave about everything, including the bases.  icon_smile

Most don't seem to think there's much reason to spend much time in the base or visiting rooms there. Maybe it's just meant to be that way, but I've read much more positive stuff about the meat of the game (tactical combat) than the base stuff so far.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2012, 04:56:29 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #328 on: October 08, 2012, 05:24:59 PM »

Quote from: Ralph-Wiggum on October 08, 2012, 04:14:18 PM

From the Gamespy review:

Quote
As a fan of the old-school X-COM, I do miss the endless replayablity of randomly generated tactical maps -- Firaxis says there are more than 80 different maps in the rotation, though having played for more than 50 hours now I feel like I know most of them pretty well.

I was worried about that as soon as they mentioned no random maps.  icon_frown

50 hours in though...
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« Reply #329 on: October 08, 2012, 05:46:52 PM »

sweet.... GMG just extended that 25% off code until the 12th, which means the $10 credit should arrive in time to use it with the code.
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« Reply #330 on: October 08, 2012, 05:58:25 PM »

Quote from: ATB on October 08, 2012, 05:24:59 PM

Quote from: Ralph-Wiggum on October 08, 2012, 04:14:18 PM

From the Gamespy review:

Quote
As a fan of the old-school X-COM, I do miss the endless replayablity of randomly generated tactical maps -- Firaxis says there are more than 80 different maps in the rotation, though having played for more than 50 hours now I feel like I know most of them pretty well.

I was worried about that as soon as they mentioned no random maps.  icon_frown

50 hours in though...

50 hours is nothing for an X-Com game, though; that's probably just two or three play throughs. I've probably put in well over 100 hours in the original X-Com and I'm guessing that's on the low side for many people here.
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« Reply #331 on: October 08, 2012, 08:08:32 PM »

Well I have to say, after watching a Giant Bomb quick look I am pretty sold. 
 You can check it out here.

http://youtu.be/dI8RYXgsqw0
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« Reply #332 on: October 08, 2012, 08:17:45 PM »

Quote from: farley2k on October 08, 2012, 08:08:32 PM

Well I have to say, after watching a Giant Bomb quick look

Quick look? It's 54 minutes icon_eek. Must like the game...
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« Reply #333 on: October 08, 2012, 09:06:39 PM »

Quote from: IkeVandergraaf on October 08, 2012, 02:03:06 PM

What are the advantages/disadvantages of PC vs. XBox?
Hey, Ars Technica's review (almost entirely glowing aside from some disappointment with PC hotkey implementations) pointed this out at what the controller feels better for, and helps better put into words some of my frustration with the camera zooming and viewpoint angles in the demo:

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2012/10/review-xcom-enemy-unknown-is-a-credit-to-the-name/
Quote
Tragically, the game seems like it was not optimized for the keyboard and mouse. Clicking on the interface feels finicky, and the hotkeys keep moving around on you as you play.

Overwatch—an action that tells your soldiers to fire during the alien’s turn, and perhaps the most-pressed key during any engagement—shifts between four different keys depending on who you’re controlling, but always remains on the Y button when using an Xbox 360 controller. Likewise, the zoom key is easier to reach on the controller (left trigger) than on the keyboard (‘G’? Really?).

And you’ll need to zoom quite a bit, because the game's camera is not perfect. It feels like Firaxis shot a movie with the wrong lens on.

You can hardly see what’s going on at times because the overall view is too narrow, and zooming back from the action during your planning phase is required to plot your advance. The zoom is especially tight on the death animations. Instead of an artful pirouette, you’re often treated to little more than a gibbous splash and an alien limb flailing out of frame. It feels as though the developers were a bit ashamed of the size of their compact maps and tried to hide the issue with a narrow field of view.
All of this is a matter of personal preference. I just get the impression if they'd done any large scale focus/beta testing, it would've pointed out some of the issues that don't become apparent until a lot of players get their hands on the game.

Which is not to rain on the parade -- this is maybe the most enthusiastic batch of reviews for anything I've seen since Company of Heroes in 2006 -- only to say there's probably room for small improvements if there's still money in the budget to keep improving the game post-release.  icon_smile
« Last Edit: October 08, 2012, 09:11:03 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #334 on: October 08, 2012, 11:29:35 PM »

Now I'm pondering if I should get the 360 controller pc adapter  crybaby
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« Reply #335 on: October 09, 2012, 12:17:07 AM »

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It feels as though the developers were a bit ashamed of the size of their compact maps and tried to hide the issue with a narrow field of view.

this is the only thing ive heard that is a biiiit scary.  i know its a careful balancing act to get a map that is "tight" enough to avoid needless wandering - but some of my fav moments from xcom were nervously advancing a phalanx of soliders in each direction, fearfully wondering where the next shot might come from or from which direction id spot that lil' grey - i hope the devs didnt make the maps SO small that i pop out of spawn and am instantly aware of most of my surroundings after a turn or two

also i dont want to read too many reviews - but research, scientists, engineering and manufacturing are still in yes?  quotes calling the base boring - are those just comments on how it is BUILT or is there really nothing to do there?  i still want to spend a ton of time looking over my supply of stores to sell on the market for an infusion of cash while building up an R&D department which constructs enough odd tech that the MIT labs would be jealous!
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« Reply #336 on: October 09, 2012, 12:51:04 AM »

Actually, narrow field of view is more a property of it being on consoles than an attempt to hide. Because you play console games on a couch far from the TV, it actually feels more natural to have a narrower field of view.

Research is still in, as are scientists and engineers, but it's handled differently now. Scientists and engineers are a resource you can earn, not sure if you can also hire them as well. But the number of scientists and engineers determines how many labs and workshops you can build.
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« Reply #337 on: October 09, 2012, 01:02:14 AM »

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Research is still in, as are scientists and engineers, but it's handled differently now. Scientists and engineers are a resource you can earn, not sure if you can also hire them as well.

ah that sounds neat - i hope its not a linear progression and varies by user - i can go on "quest mission x" to rescue a few more scientists, whereas other players might instead pass on advancing science in favor of another path - and turtle thanks for answering the question but being vague enough to not spoil stuff!  'preciate it!
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« Reply #338 on: October 09, 2012, 01:08:03 AM »

It does vary by user. Usually whenever missions pop up that aren't due to shooting down a UFO, there will be multiple attacks at the same time and you have to choose which to go to.

Some missions are labeled as easier or more difficult, which each one offering a different rewards. Sometimes you'll have to choose a mission you don't want just to help keep the panic level of the country it's in down.
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« Reply #339 on: October 09, 2012, 04:01:41 AM »

Unlocking now.  

technically, unpacking now, I guess
« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 04:03:53 AM by Caine » Logged

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« Reply #340 on: October 09, 2012, 04:04:27 AM »

Quote from: Caine on October 09, 2012, 04:01:41 AM

Unlocking now. 

Mine still says 99%... 99%... 99%...
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« Reply #341 on: October 09, 2012, 04:15:05 AM »

unlocked!


now to play Dishonored for a bit biggrin
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« Reply #342 on: October 09, 2012, 04:26:45 AM »

Dumb question... where do I find the manual?
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« Reply #343 on: October 09, 2012, 05:32:08 AM »

hehe.  First recruit was a heavy.

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« Reply #344 on: October 09, 2012, 05:48:49 AM »

Now that was fun....

Every ran fine for me. I skipped the tutorial and went right into the game. And yes, I did set the difficulty on Easy, us old folks do want to ease into the game. It appears that you can adjust the difficulty on the fly, which is interesting.

Went on three missions and did ok. This turn based combat is bread and butter to me. Still just feeling my way around the Base and how it operates.

I'm using the 360 controller on the PC and it seems to be ok, once I figured out which control was which.

I did see a lot of griping in the Steam XCOM:EU forum, apparently some folks had problems getting the last files or getting it to run or some other stuff. So far, so good for me.
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« Reply #345 on: October 09, 2012, 06:32:18 AM »

my first recruit:

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« Reply #346 on: October 09, 2012, 06:40:56 AM »

I've noticed some small issues with the PC version so far - like how I had to save and then reload just to get the Engineering console to display things to buy. But beyond that, the game is solid, loads and loads of fun, and I can't wait to see how many hours I'm gonna put into it.

Now, sleep. Sadly. More game time in the morning.
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« Reply #347 on: October 09, 2012, 06:55:54 AM »

Quote from: CeeKay on October 09, 2012, 06:32:18 AM

my first recruit:



While I love the name he has, he CLEARLY is HepC!
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« Reply #348 on: October 09, 2012, 08:34:08 AM »

I've read a few reviews now that seem to be slamming the game (mildly) for having the aliens wait around for you instead of hunting you down. This is a bit annoying to read, because it simply isn't true from what I've read. It all comes down to difficulty. Here's what I know about the differences between difficulty levels so far. It's a bit vague and might be wrong or misleading, but that's because the information given so far has been the same:

  • The difficulty setting doesn't just affect hit points, though I think that is changed as well. This is probably what most people expect is the difference, but there's much more.
  • On lower difficulties many important parts of the base will be pre-built. On Classic and higher, no such luck. For example, Classic does not let you start with the Officer Training School (or whatever it's called), which means you have to unlock it and build it before you can even consider upgrading your squad size. When I looked at my starting base in the construction screen on Classic difficulty this morning, only two rooms were pre-built, with one of them being the elevator. I believe Normal difficulty has a lot more already there.
  • You will face larger amounts of enemies on higher difficulties, and probably tougher kinds of aliens as well.
  • On Normal and below, aliens will remain passive for the most part until you uncover them on the tactical map, and then they will start fighting you. On Classic and up, many aliens will supposedly patrol the map, trying to hunt you down. As Jake Solomon said in one interview: On Classic, the aliens are really trying to kill you.

So for those of you playing on Normal or below, realize that your experience with the game may not be exactly what you think it will be, and it will definitely be very different from people playing on Classic.
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« Reply #349 on: October 09, 2012, 08:44:14 AM »

I've found I kinda don't like Classic difficulty, enough though I enjoy difficulty overall. It's just that they do some things in XCOM that don't seem remotely fair. Such as a free move, then a turn after they move.

Some aliens are also stupidly accurate, whilst these highly trained, and outnumbered, "best of the best" human troops miss wildly. They also panic way too much, especially for such a low squad count.

I wish there was a setting between normal and classic where combat wasn't so arbitrarily deadly and advantaged towards aliens, but also they didn't give you any head starts like in Normal.
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« Reply #350 on: October 09, 2012, 08:49:35 AM »

Quote from: Turtle on October 09, 2012, 08:44:14 AM

Some aliens are also stupidly accurate, whilst these highly trained, and outnumbered, "best of the best" human troops miss wildly. They also panic way too much, especially for such a low squad count.

That has little to do with Classic and more to do with you using rookies. Rookies panic. That's just the way things go in this game. Level them up and you'll see them start holding their own against gruesome situations.
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« Reply #351 on: October 09, 2012, 09:14:36 AM »

From QT3 re difficulty levels

Quote
Easy:
1. Base global panic starts at 0
2. Most alien activity only raises panic by 1 in left unchecked
3. Your soldiers have 1 bonus hitpoint
4. Aliens are dumber, and there aren't as many of them
5. Soldiers cost $10

Normal:
1. Base global panic starts at 0
2. Most minor alien activity raises panic by 1 in left unchecked with some events doing up to 3
3. Your soldiers have no bonus hitpoints
4. Aliens have their AI mostly unshackled
5. Soldiers cost $10

Classic:
1. Base global panic starts at 8 (1 per location)
2. If unchecked alien activity causes at least 1 panic, but will often cause 2 or 3
3. Your soldiers have -1 hitpoint
4. All aliens receive bonuses hit hitpoints, accuracy, critical change and / or damage.
5. Alien AI is unshackled
6. You receive no officer training school
7. There are even more aliens per map
8. Soldiers cost $15

Impossible:
1. Base global panic starts at 16 (2 per location)
2. If unchecked alien activity causes at least 2 panic, but will often cause even more
3. Your soldiers have -2 hitpoints
4. All aliens receive bonuses hit hitpoints, accuracy, critical change and / or damage.
5. Alien AI is unshackled
6. You receive no officer training school
7. There are even more aliens per map
8. Soldiers cost $15
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« Reply #352 on: October 09, 2012, 11:38:10 AM »

Quote from: CeeKay on October 09, 2012, 06:32:18 AM

my first recruit:



 icon_lol

I am jealous of both his hair and hit points.
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« Reply #353 on: October 09, 2012, 12:32:01 PM »

A less enthusiastic video review from IGN, aka "Butts Speaks":
http://www.ign.com/videos/2012/10/08/xcom-enemy-unknown-video-review
*8.2/10
*Complaints mostly about too much focus on cutscenes, tactical maps being too flat, generic, lifeless (i.e., other than non-moving civilians on some missions, nothing happening on the map), and small (not any room for exploration if you're into that), and feeling more at times like a cover-based squad shooter than a tactical strategy game. Oddly, he doesn't hardly comment on the base stuff at all.

Whether you agree or not, the video has a lot of neat footage from the game.
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« Reply #354 on: October 09, 2012, 01:27:51 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on October 09, 2012, 06:40:56 AM

I've noticed some small issues with the PC version so far - like how I had to save and then reload just to get the Engineering console to display things to buy.

That's weird, I'm running PC on Steam and I've never had to do that. I'll keep my eye out for it however.

UPDATE: It seems that the X360 demo is now available as well.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 01:30:49 PM by jztemple2 » Logged

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« Reply #355 on: October 09, 2012, 01:55:57 PM »

Quote from: Caine on October 09, 2012, 05:32:08 AM

hehe.  First recruit was a heavy.



Thanks man, and remember that I have high resistance to fire and rocket propelled grenades   slywink
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« Reply #356 on: October 09, 2012, 02:54:46 PM »

Hmm I like to play most games on Normal (assuming this is what the developers balanced the game for) first but I don't like that the AI is shackled.  Not sure now where to start, Classic could be painful.
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« Reply #357 on: October 09, 2012, 03:02:38 PM »

Oh, nice thing about using the X360 controller, vibration is used in the tactical map at times. Cool.
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« Reply #358 on: October 09, 2012, 03:06:32 PM »

Quote from: skystride on October 09, 2012, 02:54:46 PM

Hmm I like to play most games on Normal (assuming this is what the developers balanced the game for) first but I don't like that the AI is shackled.  Not sure now where to start, Classic could be painful.

Classic is no joke.  I just jumped into a game real quick last night skipping the tutorial and lost a unit on the first mission.  I restarted this morning to go through the tutorial and opted for Normal with Ironman turned on. 
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« Reply #359 on: October 09, 2012, 03:12:03 PM »

Quote from: forgeforsaken on October 09, 2012, 03:06:32 PM

Classic is no joke.  I just jumped into a game real quick last night skipping the tutorial and lost a unit on the first mission.  I restarted this morning...

Why? Losing units in the first mission doesn't matter. That's why the tutorial kills off most of them. They're rookies. They're there to die. As long as you don't lose veterans or the mission, everything is fine. You're supposed to die on the first mission.
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