Average User Score: 6.5Aug 22, 2013I was excited when I saw footage of this new XCOM game, I thought it was a fresh idea to try and make XCOM a more streamlined (crowd friendly)I was excited when I saw footage of this new XCOM game, I thought it was a fresh idea to try and make XCOM a more streamlined (crowd friendly) experience, but boy was I wrong. I'm generally an "Any genre guy", I play it all, but this new hybrid take on turn based strategy and 3rd person shooting just doesn't work. Hell, it's even hard for me to put the words strategy and shooting in the previous sentence because the game misses both aspects by a mile.
For a shooter to be enjoyable, you need to have comfortable shooting mechanics, nice gun feel and an overall sense of power when you hit an enemy, XCOM fail completely in this aspect. The gun feel is horrible, there's no feeling of "UMFFF!" when you fire any weapons or activate any abilities, it all seems completely static. Most fights feel like all I'm doing is transporting ammunition from my ammo counter to the faces of my opponents with little to no joy at all.
This being an XCOM game it's no surprise that most of the game takes place in cover; behind walls, crates, vehicles and things of that nature, that's all fine and dandy, but it really shows how lackluster this game is when you realize there's no way of you to tell your teammates that "You have to STAY in cover!", no no, your teammates will keep blasting until they drop or get saved (And still you'll end up killing 90% of the aliens you encounter). Your teammates insist on being part of the mayhem and in many cases you either have to save them yourself or reposition them again and again using the slow-motion tactical view--- which leads me to the strategic part of the game:
Everything strategic is done using a slow-motion spider sense that enables you to tell your teammates where to go and what to do, this feature is so slow to use considering the game is still "playing" while you're moving this huge marker across the battlefield to your desired location. Imagine a level where you have a lot of different elevations, high and low, for me to tell my teammate to "Get to high ground, Here!" I have to move my marker AROUND all the obstacles on its way and up the stairs, instead of this marker just floating up and over anything in its way. This may seem like a small issue, but considering when you've finally repositioned your team the enemies will have had enough slow-mo time to move to entirely new locations, which leads to a very vicious circle of constant slow-mo management (In many cases I found it easier to just let my teammates stay waaay behind in cover and then go and shoot the baddies myself, even later in the game). Well then, I just need to do it faster and better then... but isn't that exactly the opposite of what any fan would expect from these series? It rushes the decision making, it forces crude judgement and quick thinking. In the old games I could take a dump between each move and still come out on top, but if I misclicked once BAM, my team would be in trouble, but not doomed. Now you have to think on your feet, if you place a teammate in the wrong location once and he decides to play the hero and keep blasting, BAM down he goes, down forever.
It may sound like I'm judging the game because of its difficulty, but I'm a very passionate gamer and love a serious challenge, but XCOM has simply taken a route I completely disagree with- the story and characters are all rather enjoyable (at least I enjoyed it) but I simply couldn't handle the simplistic strategy and boring shooting when I was expecting a sweet blend of XCOM mechanics and "Mass Effect"'ish firefights and storytelling.
It's also plain to see as a mostly PC gamer (Is it possible to write this without sounding like a douche?) how this game was specifically designed to be played on a console, which leads me to the conclusion that this game was nothing but an attempt to use yet another great IP to do a quick hit and run cash-in by catering to the sheeple who can't stretch their minds around too many game elements at the same time.
Call me a fanboy or whatever, but the changes done to this XCOM is the equivalent of adding shooter elements to Civilization V or changing zombies in Left 4 Dead to normal soldiers- it takes the CORE out the game. It's no longer what it was born as- It's simply not XCOM.… Expand