Thursday, September 5, 2013

Phase II: The Invasion Continues

Remember that time I compared the new XCOM to the original XCOM?

Or how about that time I reviewed XCOM: Enemy Unknown after it released?

Well, I've got some more XCOM related news on two fronts!

First, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified has been released! It is on 360, PS4 and PC. Instead of being a strategy game like its predecessors, it is a first person shooter with strategy elements.
Not my personal preference, but always glad for more XCOM.

To break that down, the game plays similar to Gears of War, almost, in that cover is vital and every battlefield has plenty of it. From there, you can issue commands via a Mass Effect-ish wheel that, when activated, slows down time so you can issue commands and have your soldiers use abilities, move to specific locations, or target a given enemy. This system has gotten hit-or-miss reviews due to taking players a bit out of the action (without commands, your squad is apparently useless) and not reaching a true strategic layer (abilities are relatively limited, squad size is only you and two others, and the commands aren't always followed perfectly).

There is a base that you walk around and interact with other members of XCOM as well. Haven't heard much either way about this portion, though my understanding is that it's nowhere near as interesting/dynamic as in EU.

What has been getting good reviews, however, is the '60s setting and visuals. The story, of which I don't know much because I don't want to spoil it for myself, is a prelude (in someway) to Enemy Unknown. I'm not quite sure how that works, being that the aliens seem pretty fresh to folks in EU, but apprently it isn't handled particularly well either.

Personally, anything XCOM excited me, and I'd love to see more titles, even if the genre switches up.

Of course, I do have XCOM news for the strategy enthusiasts...

XCOM: Enemy Unknown is getting a decent sizes expansion in the form of XCOM: Enemy Within. While still taking place within the EU story, there are several additions, from new enemies to new classes and abilities, as well as re-balancing of the base game.
Want all of this.

One interesting aspect are two new ways to change your soldiers. One is to transfer them to the Mech class, fusing (or imbuing, or just using, I dunno) with alien technology. The other is using alien DNA to enhance your existing soldiers (like giving the ability to create psychic backlash whenever a mind control attempt is made against a given unit). Supposedly these alterations come with a moral dilemma, which I'm hoping actually impacts the story as opposed to being left up to me to feel morally bad about. Because, as Barney Stinson says, SUIT UP!

I'm also excited for the re-balance of current abilities meaning every choice actually count (versus always having my Heavy soldiers with the same EXACT abilities). Also, there are supposed to be more Second Wave options, which should add a bit of spice to your XCOM life as well.

Check out some of the release videos below:

Announcement Info:

Gameplay Info:

War Machines Trailer:

Keep it coming, XCOM!

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