My weekly TV column is up at Torontoist.
Fair warning: next week’s column will probably just be “Nothing is on TV that is better than playing XCOM. You should probably play XCOM.”
Damned straight nothing on TV is better than XCOM; it’s hard enough to remember to eat when playing. That lab rat with the wire in his brain’s pleasure centre, mashing frantically on the “on” button? Yeah, that’s my XCOM experience.
(Still worth it; it’s an awesome reinterpretation of one of the best video games of all time.)
You mention Mamie Gummer’s screen presence but not where she gets it from? Or do you not want her to be defined by that?
Indeed, there is nothing better on TV than playing XCOM. It is good to be in a civilized place.
The new XCOM absolutely has the “just one more turn, one more turn, one mo..why is the sun coming up?” addictive feel that the original had. (And still has, from time to time.)
However, there are a lot of changes, and they are not all good. The lack of multiple XCOM bases, the almost certain lack of Base Defence missions, and the godsdamned inability to make your own alien alloys are all negatives. (Indeed, the dumbed down economics in general is a minus.)
That said, the games is pretty as hell, the class system is and interesting and, I think overall positive addition, the new alien looks are so far really good. Creepy Sectoids, ape-like Mutoids and the downright terrifying Chrysalids. *shudder*
And it gets the vast majority of the XCOM IP more right than I ever hoped from a modern remake, so I am a happy little player. Well done 2KGames and Firaxis.
Now excuse me, I have to go save the planet.
I am playing XCOM.
I find it a nice distraction from how rude Joe Biden is.
I don’t miss the multiple bases at all, because in old X-COM the bases beyond your first were practically placeholders where you put all the not-as-good stuff. It was redundant play and they were right to eliminate it.
Base defence isn’t in the base game but they’ve already promised it will come in the inevitable expansion, and since it’s Firaxis you know the expansion will be good on many other levels as well.
Now, I just want them to release the customized armor options you got as a prerelease bonus as paid DLC…
Oh, hey, Happy Endings seasons 1 & 2 is in a DVD set!
The most surprising part of Happy Endings is the emergence of Elisha Cuthbert as a strong comedic performer.
I don’t miss the multiple bases at all, because in old X-COM the bases beyond your first were practically placeholders where you put all the not-as-good stuff.
… what X-Com were YOU playing?
My secondary bases might not have had as impressive an array of labs and production facilities as my primary base (because it made sense to centralize all that) but they had the best defenses, interceptors, and soldiers I could place in them. Know why? Because the whole point of them was to intercept and shoot down UFOs, send guys to terror sites or landings or crashes, and to not get taken out in an attack. And you needed good stuff for that!
For that matter, my primary base often didn’t have my best research. I would often build a hidden base at the north pole that didn’t have any hangers, was just an access lift and a ton of labs. This freed space at my other bases and reduced the chance of said labs getting fucked up in an attack.
My main complaint re: the new XCOM is a lack of depth at the Geoscape level. The squad-based tactical combat is great, and having to make research and budgetary decisions and suchly is also pretty cool. But deciding on base layout is basically pretty pointless since you don’t have to defend it.
And managing the panic level can be an exercise in frustration. Not in DIFFICULTY. I like that it’s hard. But in frustration. In the first game if I were sitting around idle, and had money (or at least planes and soldiers) to spare, I could take proactive steps to help countries. Planting an additional base with a radar installation was very fast, and if worst came to worst I could send a couple Interceptors out on patrol.
In the new game you can only 1) put up a satellite, a process that can take upwards of two full funding cycles if you’re starting from scratch, or 2) waiting for something BAD to happen so you can wait for something GOOD to happen.
If I lose a country, it should be because either I’m failing a lot, or the aliens are coming fast and furious and I have to triage, losing some of the planet to save the rest of it. But I’ve had games where literally the entire BOARD is blue except for one or two countries that are maxed or near-maxed, and I’m sitting around idle for ten, twelve days at a time between attacks.
Last game I lost Mexico because I couldn’t fit in a third satellite over North America without more uplinks. Nothing HAPPENED to Mexico for over seven weeks; no abductions, no terror sites or anything. But because they sat there that long in the red, they bailed on me. And I feel sort of annoyed about that.
Just had my squad wiped by those frontal assault aliens. Hate you, XCOM!!!
Sounds like you wasted a bunch of money, Murc. The secondary bases were good for interceptions and radar… which is why the new game got rid of redundant secondary bases. Sure you could set up teams there but more often or not they’d be lame rookies who’d get slaughtered by base invasions.
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