[PC] The Bureau: XCom Declassified

Pre-ordered this a week ago and scored the pre-order perk which was a complete bundle of previous X-Com games on Steam and some other FPS game I didn’t install yet. I managed to sink a couple of hours in this game despite all the other stuff going on in my life (work, kids, wife, kids’ events, husband stuff, reading, etc.).

I’ll start with the bad.

BAD:

  1. Check point saving – I hate this. It’s a bad idea especially when in the ‘hub’ that is your base. Nothing like having to turn the game off after doing a bunch of chatting only to discover that you have to do it again the next time you start up the game. I don’t understand why they do this check point save mechanic – it’s not like you can’t just restart the level or something? Or adjust the save game mechanism based on difficulty. I suspect that’s the reason, they didn’t want people loading games when they lost squad members.
  2. UI – the UI during order mode (Battle Focus) is decent but dominated by the mouse. I use the keyboard; SHIFT, A, 2 (to tell the left squaddie to move) and if I jiggle my mouse slightly it pops over S (main guy) kicking me out of assigning left guy something. It’s annoying as hell. They need to fix this by ignoring the mouse if the user starts using the keyboard in this mode – activate to mouse if the user clicks which is a more intentional action.
  3. While there is a story, the squadmates don’t have personality – something I can forgive since you create them on the fly – for the most part.
  4. I kinda miss base building, but it’s understandable since you’re in a base that already existed.

That’s about all I have for ‘BAD’ at the moment, which is pretty good considering…

GOOD:

  1. Plays like Mass Effect – main character is central to the story, squaddies are there to help out. It’s first person, over the shoulder view so not a turn based tactical game like the X-Com we’ve grown to love – it’s a nice change and neat perspective.
  2. A lot more options and precision control over the squaddies – kinda central to the game.
  3. There is a story you play through. I admit I do like it but find it missing something (see point 3 in the BAD above). It’s very familiar, unlike the sci-fi futuristic Mass Effect.
  4. The weapons feel good.
  5. The enemies are semi-true to X-Com: Enemy Unknown (though the Sectopods are not as scary – Mutons are cool).
  6. AI is okay, though I’m on a lower difficulty level – I’m curious to see if it scales up or they just hit more and for more.
  7. Weapon progression exists, though it’s through finding the items in missions so far.
  8. Some backpack designs come from exploring, finding in missions/side missions. I hope there are armor options…
  9. Side missions are decent – having a point to them, not just some randomization of aliens on a random map.
  10. Leveling in decent. More health, get to pick abilities at most ranks – some passive, some active.
  11. You have (special) missions you can send your squaddies on while you run with other squaddies letting you do your mission and them theirs. They’ll level from it and usually come back from the mission with something.

Overall I’m impressed with what I’ve played so far.

[PC] X-COM: Enemy Unknown Completed

I won’t gush about this game too much but I easily could. I saw this mid-September, took a look at it closer then pre-ordered it. When it came out early October it completely owned my game time. I set aside WoW, Guild Wars 2, Borderlands 2 and Torchlight 2 for it. I played through it twice; once on Easy (I thought I put it higher up after restarting after the Tutorial) then again on Normal. I’m holding off on doing Classic with Ironman mode (my family misses me), but I hear it calling so I suspect I’ll be at it again.

Gawd… I love that game.

[IRL] Gaming ADHD

So there is an influx of games I’m looking forward to not having the time to play coming out in the next short little time frame…

Borderlands 2 – this Tuesday (Sept. 18). I’ve got this pre-ordered for me and the LBO (LLO) and pre-loaded on the systems we play on. I’m not sure which of the classes I’ll play first, but I do have some interest in Axton and Zero.

Mists of Pandaria – coming out Sept. 28. I have this purchased and installed. I’m looking forward to new content to level through and some of the newer mini-games to engage in… maybe. Mostly new content to level through. I intend to play the rogue through first, then either my DK or Hunter. Paladin and Priest are in the queue as well. I also have my Mage that is slowing creeping towards 85. Further down I have a Druid sitting at 67th and a Warrior up to 60. I just need to knuckle down and get them trough TBC, WotLK and Cata. heh.

X-Com Enemy Unknown – coming out Oct. 9th. I’ve got this pre-purchased and waiting for pre-loading on Steam. This is a throw back to X-Com UFO Defense which is an ancient PC game that I loved. Unlike the more recent interpretations (UFO Aftermath, etc.) this one is more of a true interpretation of X-Com. It is going to include base building (something the others lacked), some of the ship combat (and upgrades) and all the squad based missions and researching and ZOMG… I’m excited just typing about it. There are some additions to the missions, they’re adding in some cinematic effects for some of the actions – so when you shoot a target, it plays it out. If an alien moves to attack you, it plays out in a mini-video using the ingame engine. A lot of it is just moving the camera around – it looks pretty cool (Video here) but I can see it get a little annoying after a time.

So those are things that are going to consume some of my time later this month and into the next.

(And some Guild Wars 2 here and there).