dkirschner's XCOM: Enemy Unknown (PC)
| [June 8, 2016 03:43:45 PM]
| So XCOM: Enemy Unknown is nothing short of amazing. I've been having a blast all week with this. When I realized that I could name my squad members, I went to Facebook and announced that anyone who wanted to fight for humanity could be immortalized in my XCOM game. That thread exponentially grew, and I had a list of almost 30 characters to make. Downside: I doubt I'd want any of my squad mates to die, but since they are all friends of mine, i REALLY don't want them to die! And I don't want to save spam, so a lot of them died. Today I lost a Colonel (the highest rank) sniper, my friend Mark. He had been in my squad since the very beginning, had done like 20-something missions and had like 40 kills. I had to resist not reloading, and so he's gone forever.
One unit gave his life to stun a muton berserker so that my scientists could study it and develop armor.
My girlfriend died as a lowly Squaddie (rank 2).
My friend Daniel, a Captain assault, died by a freak accident, killed by a thin man.
My friend Chris got zapped by a sectoid commander before I realized that they had a primary attack. I thought they only mind controlled people.
And so on and so forth. Every death has a story.
Here's how the character development process works. You purchase new recruits. They arrive in a few days. You outfit them and take them out on missions, and they rank up after they get X kills. At each rank, you get a perk. There are 7 ranks, and it takes a while to move all the way up, although you can be smart about who you give kills to so that your Colonels aren't just mowing down weak aliens that your Squaddies could benefit more from killing. Standard SRPG/TRPG trick.
After you acquire a particular artifact from an alien crash, you can construct a facility that lets you test your soldiers for psionic abilities. I've found one in the whole game that has psionic abilities. Turns out that's good because you have to take a psionic soldier into the final battle! Psionic soldiers maintain their regular rank, but also gain access to tiers of psionic abilities as you use those abilities in combat. My psionic guy, Thad, is fun to use to mind control enemies. Mind control basically gives you an ally for 4 rounds, and/or forces the enemies to take the time to kill the mind controlled alien. Either way, they lose a unit and usually waste some actions.
One of my favorite things about XCOM is the R&D aspect. You have scientists and engineers at your disposal. Scientists conduct research on the aliens, on weapons and other things, then send their findings to engineering, who actually manufactures the materials that you can purchase. You also go to engineering to construct facilities that power your satellites, laboratories to make research go faster, a foundry to upgrade your items, and so on. There's a little base building component where you have to excavate underground and smartly build facilities to maximize synergies and ensure you have enough power to run the place, satellites to monitor alien spacecraft, etc.
The coolest thing about R&D is that it's ALWAYS happening. You're constantly choosing something to research and watching the time tick away until it's done and you can look at it (and buy it if you have the cash). And you don't really know the stats on armor and guns until you buy it, which is a cool design. You generally know that what you just built is better than the previous thing, but not how much better. It is never bad to purchase something new because you will use it and it will help keep you alive and/or kill aliens better. I had a huge turning point in the game when I got a request from a council nation to supply 4 laser pistols. I had one and they are only like $20 to make, so I bought the rest to give to Egypt or whoever. My reward? $800. Hell yes. All of a sudden, I had a nice new piece of armor and a bunch of new plasma guns and various other upgrades. That REALLY turned the difficulty of the battles down a notch.
I'm actually sort of at that point again out of necessity. See, I fulfilled all the requirements to do the final mission, which I attempted, and could possibly beat, but didn't manage it the first time. There's one room where you have to take on two sectopods (giant deadly robots) that broke me. They killed my sniper and critically injured my support. I managed to kill them with the remaining four squad members, only to die in the final room with the two (or three?) ethereals and muton elites. So, I loaded back before the final mission because I still have a ton of equipment I never bought and upgrades, and I never created a SHIV mech, and there's just a lot I didn't do! Also, at the end, the ethereals wreaked havoc on my squad with mind control, so I'd like to purchase some of those helmets that resist it. It's cool because I can just keep scanning for alien activity and doing missions and getting money, and upgrade away until I feel I am ready for the final mission.
Of course, I run the risk of my fav soldiers dying in battles along the way. Till next time!
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dkirschner's XCOM: Enemy Unknown (PC)
Current Status: Finished playing
GameLog started on: Friday 3 June, 2016
GameLog closed on: Thursday 9 June, 2016
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