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Sam Jones
10-06-2003, 04:53 AM
Since nobody else has mentioned it, it looks like Iíll be the first to offer some impressions of UFO: Aftermath. Got it on Thursday, been playing it all weekend and Iím ready to offer an opinion now: Get this game. Itís at least 80% of the ďXCOM 1 with updated graphicsĒ people have been screaming for. Iíll keep it as spoiler free as possible. Thereís also a fair bit to cover, so apologies if I donít mention your favourite features, but feel free to ask and Iíll try to answer.

The premise is very similar to XCOM - aliens have invaded, and you need to lead an elite group of soldiers on a bunch of tactical ground missions to kick them off your planet, whilst co-ordinating a greater strategic effort over the globe. So, how does it all work? Well, the first thing youíll notice is that the Strategic game has changed, despite looking almost identical to the original (the Geoscape). No more base micromanagement - each base can be Military, Research or Engineering. Mil bases increase your control over an area and can be used to launch interceptor jets and the trusty troop transports, in this case a chopper. Additional Research and Engineering bases will reduce the time needed to perform those tasks. Also, you canít build bases: they must be captured in a two part tactical mission. The tech tree is much larger than in any of the XCOM games, and most of the story in UFO is told through research reports (the rest being told via hardcoded missions, more on those later).

The game automatically generates most missions available to you with some special internal voodoo. According to the designers, it will create ďflashpointsĒ where human forces are coming into contact with the aliens and generate a mission there. Missions can be of various types: recon an area, see one alien of each type, capture a live alien, eliminate all aliens, capture a base, raid an alien base, destroy an alien installation, etc. The exceptions to this are the missions you generate by shooting down a UFO and sending a team to clean up the area. These are also two- part missions (1 - reach the entrance to the UFO, 2 - kill or capture all occupants). Other exceptions are the aforementioned story missions that will pop up when youíve met certain hidden criteria, the first of which takes you to Area 51 to grab some documents. An important point to note here is that you cannot and should not attempt every mission that appears on the strategic map. You only control the elite soldiers of Earthís forces, while there are actually many more human units all over the globe. So, you can delegate a mission to these AI forces if you donít feel like dealing with it yourself. This adds a great deal of strategy to the Geoscape game, having to choose which missions youíll do yourself and which to leave to the vanilla soldiers.

The tactical game is the meat of UFO as it was in XCOM. The graphics look dark and post apocalyptic, very reminiscent of Fallout Tactics, and the terrains are randomised, as expected, with a healthy variety of location types. The pausable/realtime Simultaneous Action System (SAS) implemented here is very slick. You can queue up a bunch of actions for each of your soldiers, un-pause and watch what happens or pause to tweak your plans at any time. Soldiers can use cover and fire round corners. Some of the static objects can be destroyed while buildings canít and also canít be entered, and while I donít really miss this too much, I realise that some will be disappointed. Thereís a shockingly large number of real world weapons (no melee), before you even get to use any alien tech. All loot is auto collected at the end of a mission, but you can take the weapons off alien corpses if you need to use them straight away. A basic RPG style experience/levelup system is implemented, making your troops valuable rather than cannon fodder. Soldiers have main attributes and derived skills. When you level up, you get to apply a point to an attribute which in turn increases several skills. There are many different types of aliens, apparently about 25 in total, and they range from utterly harmless to completely fucking deadly. Make no mistake - the tactical game is hard as all hell. You need to really use squad level tactics well to survive here.

So whatís the verdict? I like it a lot. Itís unquestionably reminiscent of XCOM, thematically and in game design. The graphics arenít the best Iíve ever seen, but theyíre not horrible either. Music is fair to good but the sound is sparse and soldier voices are horrible. The most important thing I need to make clear is that this game equals XCOM in addictiveness. It truly has the ďone more tactical mission before bedĒ qualities of itís predecessor and has kept me awake at night thinking about how Iím going to resolve a FUBARíd UFO recovery where Iíve been surrounded by Reticulans with plasma launchers. Just as in XCOM, the strategic layer combined with the story/research provide a strong motivation to plough into the next tactical mission. Who knows, you may find a new alien to kill or gun to use.

The floor is open for questions.

Mike Hussey
10-06-2003, 05:10 AM
Thanks for the first impressions, Sam. Where did you buy it? I went into the local GAME at the weekend, but didn't notice it. That could of course be because the place was packed with the sort of people who think standing in front of the displays staring gormlessly into space is a fine way to spend a Sunday.

Rob_Merritt
10-06-2003, 05:17 AM
Think its available in the UK only.

Sam Jones
10-06-2003, 05:31 AM
Thanks for the first impressions, Sam. Where did you buy it?

www.gameplay.co.uk

A word of warning: Lots of people on the official forums have been complaining that there are install errors, so it looks like the pressing plant made a load of bad discs. Mine are okay, so maybe Gamplay got a good batch :)

Mike Hussey
10-06-2003, 05:39 AM
Thanks, it looks like they're cheaper than the high street too, although it's easier returning stuff to GAME, in the event of problems, as they're only 10 minutes walk away :) .

Sam Jones
10-06-2003, 06:03 AM
Amazon.co.uk have it for £22.49 UKP

TheWombat
10-06-2003, 06:06 AM
So when is this coming to the USA?

quatoria
10-06-2003, 06:11 AM
The 16th of October, according to EB.

Mike Hussey
10-06-2003, 06:50 AM
Amazon.co.uk have it for £22.49 UKP

£24.48 including postage :) . Just ordered it, after all it is my birhtday next week.

Sam Jones
10-06-2003, 07:21 AM
£24.48 including postage :) . Just ordered it, after all it is my birhtday next week.

Go on, you deserve it.

BTW, there is a patch out already for the UK version only, which corrects a couple of text problems, a slowdown and an infinite alien energy cell exploit that I was getting quite used to!

ftp://www.cenega.com/UFO/eng_10_11a.zip

TheWombat
10-06-2003, 07:30 AM
16th, eh? Good. I was in GameStop the other day and the manager was holding an empty promo box. He was pissed because his computer still said September 22 (hah!) and had no updated info.....

John Many Jars
10-06-2003, 08:08 AM
Hmm, sounds good. I like the idea of hardcoded missions --- sometimes the original got too repetitive and I'd have to lay off it for a while, but special missions should vary things nicely if they're well-placed.

I was playing X-COM:TFTD recently (until the emu version of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance stole me right away from it). I was so strong on Molecular Control that I was wiping out bases with hardly a human casualty...But it seemed like there was no hope of my finishing, because I was bottlenecked in that crazy tech tree. I needed a live Deep One to advance at all, but I hadn't seen a Deep One since almost the beginning of the game.

So the Aftermath tech tree is a lot bigger...Does it seem like there are similar bottlenecks, or techs you absolutely have to have? Or is there room for players to have very different technical achievements?

Acoustic Rob
10-06-2003, 08:21 AM
The floor is open for questions.

OK, I'll toss you some gameplay-related questions:

Could you give us more detail about the base management? For example, establishing new bases: do you raid alien bases and then decide what to use it as once the site's secure? Do you still have to divide your roster and inventory among your military bases, or is there a central pool? Do base attacks happen, and if so, what happens if a research station is targetted?

What happens if you leave a mission to the locals and they get overwhelmed? Is there an opportunity to send in backup, or do you just get a "mission failed" message?

Is psi still a factor? I never did much with it in the original, to be honest, besides keep low-psi squaddies away from combat and mind-control the occasional grunt to open doors for me.

Is the "large number of real-world weapons" significant, or is a case of there being a dozen assault rifles with slightly different specs? And is there anything as ass-kickingly destructive as the blaster launcher? (Digression: the first time I brought a blaster launcher to a fight in the original XCOM one of my squaddies saw a snakeman slither through the living room of a farmhouse. I sent a blaster bomb through the window and had it impact the back wall of the room, figuring the blast would at least blow out the front wall of the house and let some of my squaddies target the snakeman. Instead, it *flattened* the farmhouse...all that was left standing was the back door. :shock: Next turn, the door opens up and a stunned snakeman slithers out, only to be cut down by my squaddies who had been approaching the building from the rear. End digression.)

What are the system requirements, and can it be tweaked to let it run acceptably on low-end hardware? (P3-700/384MB/GF2 in my case--yeah, I'm obsolete, but we need a new car, so....)

Alan Dunkin
10-06-2003, 09:09 AM
I played a little bit this weekend - was really disappointed you could only blow up cars and stuff and couldn't knock holes in buildings. I mean, the great thing about building entry in X-COM was that you didn't have to use doors at all if you didn't want to.

One annoying this is that the default to the real-time system is that every single event is set to pause - there are like 30 of these - so teh game pauses and shifts to the action every five seconds or so. You have to turn off most of the stuff in order to get in a decent session that doesn't require you hitting the space bar a jazillion times (this is in tactical mode).

The game could use a bit of polishing.. I went on a recon mission to go find out about some aliens.. I did that and had the option of leaving or killing them off. Well I killed them off... I think.. and nothing happened. I ran around for a bit, but couldn't find a command to End the mission. Finally I clicked on Abort and that finally ended the mission in a success - technically the button should say Cancel/Abort of change when you're done but oh well.

--- Alan

Sam Jones
10-06-2003, 09:15 AM
Could you give us more detail about the base management? For example, establishing new bases: do you raid alien bases and then decide what to use it as once the site's secure? Do you still have to divide your roster and inventory among your military bases, or is there a central pool? Do base attacks happen, and if so, what happens if a research station is targetted?

A "base mission" will appear on the geoscape when you have accumulated enough influence in a sector to take it. You send your troops to it like a normal mission. First stage is "get to the base entrance", second stage is usually elimination of a certain number of aliens/mutants within the base. When that's done, you will own the base on the geoscape, and it will be a military base by default. You can then click on it and reassign it as an Eng or Res base, with a 24hr reconfiguration penalty during which time it will operate in its new function, but at a reduced rate. As a bonus, when you take a base, you will usually also get a free little cache of equipment/guns.

There are separate human and alien base missions. Human bases are abandoned military installations that have been occupied by hostiles. Alien bases are gigantic landed UFOs, apparently v rare to see them flying, although I spotted one last night and sent my interceptors after it, only to have them chewed up by the alien fighter escort :)

There is no base management as such, you just have a squad screen from which your overall inventory is available. Early in the game, your soldiers will be located at one specific base, but you can relocate their chopper to any of your other mil bases. Later on, you can research a tech that lets your troops take the chopper from the nearest mil base to the mission.

Your bases can get attacked, but I haven't had that happen yet.


What happens if you leave a mission to the locals and they get overwhelmed? Is there an opportunity to send in backup, or do you just get a "mission failed" message?

For most missions (story and some random types), when you click on the mission icon on the geoscape, you will have options to "Accept", which dispatches your troops, "Delegate", which will assign it to the AI troops or "Reject" which will lose you the mission (the aliens win). If you delegate it, the mission disappears. After a while you'll receive a message telling you whether the delegated mission was successful or not. There is no way to recover a delegated mission that's been botched by the AI. You can research "tech" improvements that will increase the chances of success in delegated missions. Also, AI forces look to your own elite forces for inspiration - if you are doing badly, it will affect the "morale" (hidden from the player) of the AI forces and they will be less likely to succeed. Obviously, the opposite is also true.


Is psi still a factor? I never did much with it in the original, to be honest, besides keep low-psi squaddies away from combat and mind-control the occasional grunt to open doors for me.

Yes, PSI is in the game. Soldiers have a PSI stat. I'm not far enough along to have seen it in action, though.


Is the "large number of real-world weapons" significant, or is a case of there being a dozen assault rifles with slightly different specs? And is there anything as ass-kickingly destructive as the blaster launcher?

You start off with access to a basic set of equipment and weapons, which is always free and freely available. Additional earthly weapons can be salvaged from tactical missions and taking bases (some of the early "aliens" use human guns for story related reasons). I'm not sure how to answer your question on significance, really. Given that it's just a game, the guns are only going to be different graphics and stats! Your access to specific weapons is somewhat random. You may get lucky and get a sniper rifle, FN-FAL or Neostad shotgun early on, or you might not!

As for blaster launchers, I'm not sure, but I hope so! Alien weapons are *very* powerful, especially when they're used on your troops!


What are the system requirements, and can it be tweaked to let it run acceptably on low-end hardware? (P3-700/384MB/GF2 in my case--yeah, I'm obsolete, but we need a new car, so....)

I'm running it on an AMD T-bird 750, 512mb RAM, GF3Ti200 and there's no slowdowns that I've noticed. There's not much in the way of graphical tweaking available, but I have everything switched "on". Res is locked at 1024. One type of mission (UFO recovery stage 1 - outside the UFO) takes *much* longer to load in than any other, but apart from that it's fine and stable.

Oh, and a question from John Many Jars:


So the Aftermath tech tree is a lot bigger...Does it seem like there are similar bottlenecks, or techs you absolutely have to have? Or is there room for players to have very different technical achievements?

Not sure about the flexibility of the tech tree as I'm not too far along it, but it seems to be similarly constructed to XCOM, with dependencies. However, requirements are split into "mandatory" and "optional", so for example you can research a Cudgel autopsy with just a Cudgel corpse (mandatory) but it will go quicker if you also have a live Cudgel in captivity too (optional). Most research options are like this, though some only have mandatory requirements.

DennyA
10-06-2003, 09:17 AM
Thanks, it looks like they're cheaper than the high street too
Hey, what's the origin of the term "high street?" I know what it means, but I'm curious where it came from -- why "high"?

Alan Dunkin
10-06-2003, 09:17 AM
Your bases can get attacked, but I haven't had that happen yet.


I remember the first time this happened to me in X-COM.. didn't pay attention to base construction, just thought it was one of those things where you just filled up space. Then the attack happened and I went WHAT THE HELL and nearly lost the base. Intense stuff, I had to fanagle my way out of that one with everyone I had.

--- Alan

Acoustic Rob
10-06-2003, 10:08 AM
I lost a base defense mission when I got bit by the inventory bug--the aliens were coming in with heavy plasma and blaster bombs, but the only stuff that came up in the base inventory was worthless stuff like medpacks and light sticks. I had to reload a save and toss all my interceptors at the incoming alien battleship so I wouldn't lose the base. :?

Sam: let me re-phrase my question about significant choices. In some games (like JA2 with "more guns" selected, for example) you'd get a choice between half a dozen assault rifles with very little difference in performance--one might have a couple more hexes of range or do a couple more points of damage, but you could just as well have had a generic "assault rifle" or give everybody M-16s and not lose a lot of playability.

Sam Jones
10-06-2003, 11:01 AM
Sam: let me re-phrase my question about significant choices. In some games (like JA2 with "more guns" selected, for example) you'd get a choice between half a dozen assault rifles with very little difference in performance--one might have a couple more hexes of range or do a couple more points of damage, but you could just as well have had a generic "assault rifle" or give everybody M-16s and not lose a lot of playability.

I see what you mean. Well, since your access to the guns is drip fed depending on what you salvage from tactical missions, you will have to make some choices over what to give your various troops. However, there *are* a lot of models that are very similar to each other in performance. Guns have quite a few different stats, including range for aimed and burst, clip size, ammo types (hard/soft/universal), rate of fire in aimed/burst modes and weight. Some models do dominate, but you're not guaranteed access to them at any specific time during the game, and ammo is of course limited to what can be salvaged. The free caches of equipment upon taking a base seem to add a bunch of ammo of various types too, so you can replenish that way as well.

They *could* have just had Generic Assault Rifle Type 1, Type 2 etc, but it's more fun finding out what cool new weapons you're going to find next. I was surprised and impressed by the variety that they've included.

DaveC
10-06-2003, 11:11 AM
Okay, I want this game. How long until it's released over here?

Alan Dunkin
10-06-2003, 12:41 PM
Just got Uzis and shotguns for my first try.. noticed some of the aliens were carrying USP's and Glocks and the like. Kinda funky (guess they are converts or somethin, didn't get research done yet).

--- Alan

DrCrypt
10-06-2003, 12:59 PM
I have a high tolerance for comparatively crappy graphics even though most of my peers have gravitated out of the pixelated age, so I guess I'm just missing something here. I've seen UFO: Aftermath on the shelves, but I've held out because, well, X-Com Lite just doesn't seem to do it for me. Don't get me wrong - I've been playing X-Com on my laptop at night before I go to bed, and I love it. But updated graphics and a speed algorithm that does not require me to Paul-Sheldon-hobble my computer aside, I'm not sure why I'd turn to a game with a shallower game experience and a real-time system stapled onto the shuddering corpse the necromancers are attempting to resurrect over the original. Hell, I -like- the base micromanagement. So right now, a game that is merely a prettier, shallower version of X-Com isn't going to get my bucks. Besides the trifurcation of the tech tree, what does this game bring to the table that is actually new? Or should I just blindly support it in the hopes that it will get the Gollops funding to do that epic Laser Squad Nemesis: Earth: whatever single player title they are always threatening to make if I pay them for another three years of LSN based upon a half case of bourbon full of empty promises about the Greys? And if so, didn't I debate against that sort of pansy simpering in a thread a couple weeks ago, even as far as using the word simpering in the attention grabbing first sentence? Thanks in advance. Crypty.

Robert Sharp
10-06-2003, 02:58 PM
Okay, I want this game. How long until it's released over here?

C'mon, Dave, at least read the earlier posts :).

Theodore Rex DX
10-06-2003, 10:53 PM
I love the aliens in this game. The puffy ones on two legs.

I have never played X-Com.

Should I go play X-Com?

Mark Asher
10-06-2003, 11:00 PM
I love the aliens in this game. The puffy ones on two legs.

I have never played X-Com.

Should I go play X-Com?

It's a classic, but a bit hard on the eyes now. It's a 320x240 game. Gameplay still holds up.

tromik
10-06-2003, 11:07 PM
I love the aliens in this game. The puffy ones on two legs.

I have never played X-Com.

Should I go play X-Com?

It's a classic, but a bit hard on the eyes now. It's a 320x240 game. Gameplay still holds up.

Works with XP?! Where would you find it...offline that is. The bane of living without a credit card...

tromik
10-06-2003, 11:09 PM
I'm confused, is the combat pausible real-time, normal turn-based, or "we-go" turn-based, like CMBO or LSN?

Alan Dunkin
10-06-2003, 11:11 PM
As mentioned in another thread I think, you have to go and find a program called Xcomutil and the web page for it - explains how to get XCOM1 to work but not TFTD..

--- Alan

Mark Asher
10-06-2003, 11:34 PM
I'm confused, is the combat pausible real-time, normal turn-based, or "we-go" turn-based, like CMBO or LSN?

It's normal turn-based with opportunity fire. You leave your guys with enough action points and they'll fire if an alien moves into view during the aliens' turn. Same for the aliens.

Sam Jones
10-07-2003, 05:43 AM
I've discovered something extremely stupid about Aftermath. I'll describe.

When you install the game and start it up for the first time, you're presented with the main menu, as in any other game. The options look like this where (g) means greyed out.

Load Game (g) Play Save Game(g)
Options Game(g) Credits

Basically, since you're starting for the first time, you click "Play" upon which you're taken straight into the Geoscape, based in the US, and offered the Tutorial tactical mission to learn about controlling your squad.

What the game doesn't make clear is that there are difficulty and starting position options that it doesn't offer you. Not only that, but the default difficulty is "Hard" on a scale of Easy-Normal-Hard. Let's be clear here: In UFO Aftermath, hard *means* hard.

You *can* get to the difficulty and start position options, but you need to click on "Game" once you've started, create a new Player Profile and you'll be offered the choice of difficulty and starting in the US, Europe or Asia.

*Bangs* head against screen. Did anyone from Altar actually play the final build before it was duplicated?

However, you can modify the difficulty mid game by opening

%aftermathdir%\Profiles\Default\UFOOptions.txt

and look for the "difficulty" key at the bottom, changing the value to one of the following, ignoring the brackets. The default is 0.

INT 0 (hard)
INT 1 (normal)
INT 2 (easy)

Oh yeah, and the "Directors Cut" feature that's bullet-pointed on the back of the box, giving "Exciting movie style camera angles" (paraphrased) actually just wrests the camera from you and orbits round a new Alien when you spot one.

Finally, there are no alien noises whatsoever, not for movement or death. They must have blown the whole audio budget on SMG sound effects and the most hideous voice acting ever.

Alan Dunkin
10-07-2003, 09:30 AM
Sounds like Altar's take on the mis-aligned difficulty options in X-COM :)

Does the patch just released fix this?

--- Alan

dannimal
10-07-2003, 09:33 AM
I'm actually re-playing through the original X-Com right now, on my XP machine and whie the graphics aren't good, I don't find that they get in the way at all. I might be biased having played it the first time around as opposed to coming to it new today, but for me it's just as enjoyable.

I still get pissed when an "officer" (Captian or the like) gets killed. I still enjoy throwing off the yoke of the Funding Nations once I start unloading alien swag to fund my operations.

olaf
10-07-2003, 10:07 AM
So the combat is turn based in this game? I thought I read that it was real-time?

olaf

shang
10-07-2003, 10:16 AM
So the combat is turn based in this game? I thought I read that it was real-time?

olaf

No, I think that comment was about the original X-COM. Aftermath is definately not turn based. It's real time, but the game auto-pauses on certain occasions, and you can queue up orders while the game is paused.

Sam Jones
10-07-2003, 11:17 AM
Does the patch just released fix this?

No, yesterday's patch was specifically for the UK edition to bring it in line with the other Euro localised versions. It doesn't even work unless you start a new game. There's a proper patch coming soon, according to the official forums.

Tyjenks
10-07-2003, 12:14 PM
How does it run? I thought I had read it was going to be a system hog.

tromik
10-07-2003, 12:35 PM
I'm confused, is the combat pausible real-time, normal turn-based, or "we-go" turn-based, like CMBO or LSN?

It's normal turn-based with opportunity fire. You leave your guys with enough action points and they'll fire if an alien moves into view during the aliens' turn. Same for the aliens.

So, it's like JA2. Which I sucked at. Damn.

For some reason, when it comes to tactical combat, I'm much better with the "we-go" system. Except FFTA.

Sam Jones
10-07-2003, 03:19 PM
How does it run? I thought I had read it was going to be a system hog.

It runs great on my AMD 750 / 512 RAM / GF3ti200.

TheWombat
10-15-2003, 12:39 PM
Supposedly in stores tomorrow (October 16th) here in the USA. The reviews online (none in print yet over here at least) have been mediocre, Games Domain being particularly uninspired by the title. I'm wavering....

Sam Jones
10-15-2003, 03:09 PM
Supposedly in stores tomorrow (October 16th) here in the USA. The reviews online (none in print yet over here at least) have been mediocre, Games Domain being particularly uninspired by the title. I'm wavering....

I'd have to say after 30+ hours with it, I'd wait for a patch, maybe two. There comes a point in the game where regardless of difficulty level, it all becomes very fucking hard. The hardcoded storyline missions I mentioned earlier in the thread are sort of divorced from the game you've been playing on the strategic map in that the designers used some very cheesy alien placement and weapons loadouts. You can get your entire squad smoked seconds after the mission begins in these story missions, with almost nothing you can do about it.

The developers are apparently addressing this discrepancy in the difficulty by making the rest of the game harder. Note the irritatingly insincere use of smiling faces.

http://www.chatbear.com/board.plm?a=viewthread&t=21,1066122999,9554&id=549960&b=4217&v=flatold

JAGuarinc
10-15-2003, 07:01 PM
I'd have to say after 30+ hours with it, I'd wait for a patch, maybe two. There comes a point in the game where regardless of difficulty level, it all becomes very fucking hard. The hardcoded storyline missions I mentioned earlier in the thread are sort of divorced from the game you've been playing on the strategic map in that the designers used some very cheesy alien placement and weapons loadouts. You can get your entire squad smoked seconds after the mission begins in these story missions, with almost nothing you can do about it.

I'm guessing you're talking about how the game progresses during/after a certain Russian mission. I liked the shift in tactics it required as at that point I had worked out a sure-fire method for plowing through any opposition. True, you can get your entire squad smoked initially (I lost two guys in my first attempt) but once you've seen their tactics, it was easier to deal with. I'm not sure that encountering a new type of alien with a different weapon loadout can exactly be called 'cheesy' though. I will say that a later story Recovery mission kicked my behind several times before I figured out a viable strategy.

I enjoyed the degree of difficulty. Between figuring out schemes for differing mission successes and the stress induced (intentional or not) by waiting for a way to combat the SPOILER as it creeped across the globe and devoured my bases just hit my sweet spot. Then again, I like the spell/counterspell of a high lvl mage duel in BG2. *shrug*


We decided to change an experience system a bit (well, rather a big bit). (It will be in 1.2 patch.)

A good change because as it is, you can get experience simply by firing weapons and/or getting hit by them. Errrr... hopefully they're addressing this.


And AI handling of mindcontrollers will also improve(however, the game will be tougher because of it).

Presumably they'll now stop using them on unconscious humans. Another good change.


Valid points about AI.
With patch 1.2 being a closed issue (at least for me) I can finally get to work on enhancing AI - to improve AI of alien rocketeers, to allow aliens to scavenge the dead bodies and maybe to improve defense capabilities of aliens in face of incomming missiles. Some minor issues are already being addressed in 1.2.

However, it all couldn't be done in 1.2 because these changes require more testing and coding - the game could suddenly become too hard or the aliens could behave strangely.

It appears they're taking into account your fears of just making the game harder. At least one dev is.

Nathan Phoenix
10-16-2003, 12:05 PM
Found one bug - if you go to develop an enhanced plasma rifle, you actually get an enhanced plasma shotgun. vice versa, if you go to make an enhanced plasma shotgun, you get an enhanced plasma rifle. This was most annoying because the suckers were taking 5.5 days to build. the first time I figured that I just clicked on the wrong one, but after i didn't get what I ordered the second time, I looked at it, and the descriptions for each weapon are correct, but the actual R&D header is not.

enhanced plasma rifles kick some serious ass - annoyed about the shotguns though, because they are about useless.

TheWombat
10-16-2003, 05:42 PM
There's a demo now. Tutorial and four fixed missions.

I tried the tutorial. Seemed ok, though the interface isn't exactly state of the art. For instance, unless I'm missing something (entirely possible), to move something from your backpack to your hands, you have to move one item to the other location, then move the other; you can't just move an item onto the other item and have them swap places. Because of the sizes of the items and the size of the pack (and the way things are organized or dis-organized in the pack) to move a shotgun from the pack to the hands, and the medkit from the hands to the pack, I had to move the medkit to the ground, then the shotgun to the hands, then the medkit to the pack. I'm hoping I was just doing something wrong, because that's a pretty weird system.

Anyhow, the graphics are fairly nice, I guess, and the camera controls are ok. The squad interface has oodles of "things" on it, stats and abilities and the like. Fairly overwhelming at first. I'll have to fiddle with it when I'm not so tired and there's not a baseball game on :) before I make up my mind....

Tyjenks
10-16-2003, 05:42 PM
No game here yet, but the UK/US patch is out. I was wondering if any of you have installed it. Any better?

EDIT: I am downloading the just released demo right now though.

tromik
10-16-2003, 07:28 PM
I'm having a great time with the demo. Hope it gets here soon.

hermyhermit
10-16-2003, 08:03 PM
Reposted from the GoneGold forums, this is my 2 cents on UFO:A after many hours of play on the UK version.

I would strongly recommend waiting for the 1.2 patch before picking up UFO:Aftermath.

I like the game, don't get me wrong, but there seems to be some people who are defending this game no matter what and the truth is, the game is flawed in more ways then one.

Here is a short list of annoyances:

1) Invetory interface. It is cumbersome. Period. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a masochist. You want to move a weapon from inventory to your hand you cannot just click it over the existing weapon you must take a weapon out of hand and carefully place it in your backpack then move the new weapon into the empty slot. How hard would it have been to have them autoswitch when you clicked one over the other? There are many small irritations like this in the interface.

2) Deployable guns don't. Deploy that is... they do but you have to queue up all your targets at once. You'd think the purpose of a deployable gun would be to setup some nice fields of fire or a perimeter for ambush right? Not in this game. You can deploy a heavy machinegun and it will fire on all targets you select which are within sight *at that moment* the minute the targets are down the gun will automatically be taken down and redeployed before you can fire on the next target. This makes a deployable weapon somewhat useless, and if you defend this you are living in a different reality. This should have been glaring during QA.

3) Mindcontrol is broken. There is a skill which supposedly protects your men from alien mind control, it is not working at all. It does work in allowing you to use mindcontrol against the enemy but it also says in its description it protects from mindcontrol, currently its totally broken. Aliens have 100% effectiveness at controlling your men and they can do it without line of sight so even if another alien sees you an offscreen alien will mind control you. Fun! Of course, you can employ the same tactic in return but then the game sort of degenerates into a cheap session of who can control the other team first and faster.

4) Extreme difficulty ramp. No matter what setting you select there are certain missions that are unavoidable and just place you into terrible situations. It is not uncommon to spawn in on a map with several powerful aliens using rocket launchers in your proximity. They are quite fast so they attack first and from great distance nuking your squad down pretty badly right at the start of the map. Likewise, you will often transports into alien vessels and get hit with a similar situation. Many aliens all around you who get the jump on you with weapons that just shred your team. The game balance is WAY off on some missions. Some are pathetically easy and others are hernia inducing and make you want to break your CD in half.


That is the short list, there are other problems but even with those glaring issues, the game is like a sparkling gem with poop all over it. It needs to be cleaned and polished in the way of a large patch, after that, it would just be a clean gem.

DaveC
10-16-2003, 08:35 PM
Too lazy to sift through the long posts, just wanted to know if any of the original X-Com team worked on this?

Matthew Gallant
10-16-2003, 08:42 PM
Too lazy to sift through the long posts, just wanted to know if any of the original X-Com team worked on this?
No Gollops.

Rywill
10-16-2003, 09:26 PM
Although you wouldn't know it reading the ActionTrip (www.actiontrip.com/reviews/ufoaftermath.phtml) review, which apparently labors under the belief that this is actually the newest game in the official series.

Mark Asher
10-16-2003, 10:31 PM
Is this game turn-based or pauseable real-time?

Veefy
10-16-2003, 10:34 PM
Is this game turn-based or pauseable real-time?

Pauseable real-time.

svenr
10-17-2003, 03:34 AM
I'd like to add that Alien Bases and crashed/landed UFOs annoy the hell out of me. The corridors are extremely cramped and there are lots of invisible (to me) obstructions. Trying to dodge a rocket inside them results in a choir of "I can't get there".

Fortunately, Alien Bases seem to get conquered if I leave them alone (on the easy difficulty setting, which is anything but), and doing the missions where I just have to eliminate a certain number of transgenants results in good territory grabs for me.

Still, for all its flaws I find the game pretty addictive. It has that "one more battle before I go to bed" thing going on that made me stay up till 8 am twice this last week. I'm looking forward to the next patch(es).

TheWombat
10-17-2003, 05:26 AM
Ok, thanks for the input. It's "wait for a patch," or actually, wait for two patches, 1.2 and the one after it where they start fixing stuff.

Tyjenks
10-18-2003, 07:50 AM
Still with the demo:

-Damn it seems hard
-how the hell do you trade between your soldiers
-when you drop something on the ground, are you supposed to be able to actually see it? I cannot.
-Why would there be 6 different types of aliens all hanging out at the same place? I liked the discovering of different races as the difficulty ramped up in X-com. The further you were along, the more dangerous the aliens became that you encountered.

Oh there's more and I will go back and attempt to get used to all the little quirks and irritants before making a final decision on UFO: Aftermath. Needless to say, the appearance of my gleeful early adopter glow that had been ebbing for a while must have been completely shat down the toilet after Empire of Magic.

I wish one company out there could make an enjoyable game and leave out so many annoyances that most players can pick out at first blush? Not to mention many are things that have been easily eliminated out of similair titles many years ago. A list of nitpicks after 10 or 15 hours of play is one thing, but these are the few that slapped me in the face after the first 15 mins.

My money is begging to be spent, but either I am now too critical to buy anything or game makers are so interested in making title's that are fresh or original or innovative or whatever that they ignore standards that work perfectly well and do not need to be improved upon. It seems that mechanics are being altered to make gameplay different rather than improving on it. Note to developers: If it ain't broke in a similair game, don't fix it!

Mike Hussey
10-18-2003, 08:07 AM
Still with the demo:

-when you drop something on the ground, are you supposed to be able to actually see it? I cannot.


Yes, they should appear on the side bar thingy on the squaddie's equipment screen, but you have to be standing in exactly the right spot, which can be a bit fiddly to find at times. It took me about three attempts to be able to pick up a stunned alien in one of the 'capture a live alien' missions.

Tyjenks
10-18-2003, 08:28 AM
Still with the demo:

-when you drop something on the ground, are you supposed to be able to actually see it? I cannot.


Yes, they should appear on the side bar thingy on the squaddie's equipment screen, but you have to be standing in exactly the right spot, which can be a bit fiddly to find at times. It took me about three attempts to be able to pick up a stunned alien in one of the 'capture a live alien' missions.

Sorry, what I meant was can you see it from overhead. I dropped a grenade and walked off hoping to have someone else snag it. I could not see it anywhere and gave up after moving one spot, opening inventory, not on the ground, move another step, open inventory, not there again.....etc.

Mike Hussey
10-18-2003, 08:37 AM
Sorry, what I meant was can you see it from overhead. I dropped a grenade and walked off hoping to have someone else snag it. I could not see it anywhere and gave up after moving one spot, opening inventory, not on the ground, move another step, open inventory, not there again.....etc.

Ah, OK, not sure about that, I have picked stuff up from a dead/incapicitated soldier, but not something I dropped deliberately. I've stopped playing, waiting for the 1.2 patch in case it involves restarting the campaign.

NuclearWinter
10-18-2003, 10:10 AM
I've stopped playing, waiting for the 1.2 patch in case it involves restarting the campaign.

The 1.2 patch has been out for a good few days now...

http://www.ufo-aftermath.com/pages/support.html

Mike Hussey
10-19-2003, 08:59 AM
The 1.2 patch has been out for a good few days now...

http://www.ufo-aftermath.com/pages/support.html

Thanks, my excuse is that I had a birthday last week and was sort of... distracted :) .

quatoria
10-19-2003, 10:30 AM
I have a birthday this week (today!) so I'll forgive you if you send me a copy. ;)

Tyjenks
10-19-2003, 11:03 AM
I have a birthday this week (today!) so I'll forgive you if you send me a copy. ;)

What a lame attempt at bleeding Birthday wishes from us.




http://www.tcn.ne.jp/~menphis/takara/happy%20birthday!.jpg


So does the patch make improvements with regards to the interface issues?

quatoria
10-19-2003, 11:03 AM
Mua hah hah. It's not lame if it works, Tyler!

Tyjenks
10-19-2003, 11:04 AM
Mua hah hah. It's not lame if it works, Tyler!

Doh!

LukaszGwozdz
10-19-2003, 10:20 PM
I just finished looking at the demo, and was so disappointed I wanted to write a looong rant, but then decided it's not worth it. I didn't really have high hopes for this game, but still a part of me believed it's possible to create a good XCom style game... Unfortunately, this doesn't feel like XCom at all, it's more like a generic tactical shooter with a few UFO elements thrown on top of it. Again, I only played the demo version, but I feel like the whole atmosphere of suspense is completely missing. Or why there's a limit of 7 soldiers on the mission - because the interface doesn't show more portraits?? (hey, don't even get me started about the interface) Only one transport for soldiers?? (if what I read on newsgroups is true) And where's the strategy part of the game? Changing the roles of your bases, that's it? It really does look like XCOM Lite, I'm afraid. Someone please tell me I'm missing something.

Mark Asher
10-19-2003, 11:02 PM
Maybe this is just a case of "you can't go home again" and expect a new game to transport you back to the glory days when X-COM was young.

Nathan Phoenix
10-19-2003, 11:11 PM
Sometimes I want innovation and new ideas in games, but in this case I think I would have been happier with "X-Com with better graphics."

Ditto that for MoO2.

LukaszGwozdz
10-19-2003, 11:25 PM
That's certainly the case here, but even comparisons with UFO EU aside, this game looks like it has a workable design and poor execution. Bad UI influencing game design decisions (like the 7 soldier limitation)? That's something I haven't seen in a lot of 200x games. It would also be nice if my solders had a basic AI of their own instead of just standing there and getting shot. And the list goes on...

Mark Asher
10-19-2003, 11:38 PM
Too bad they didn't just go with a real turn-based system. More and more I'm just down on pauseable real-time.

Peter Frazier
10-20-2003, 12:16 AM
Hear hear.
Can I also say that the 3D is useless? You zoom in close, all you see is your guys and what's 20 foot in front of them. It would be nice to see exactly what they can see. You zoom out, it turns into a top-down birds eye view. What's the point of 3D if you can't create your preferred view angle?
And I'm sick of aliens all reading the same decorating magazines. Why do they think that the glitzy disco biomechanical look is so cool? What I'd give for a minimalist look in alien bases. Thanks a lot H R Giger for giving the world a new visual cliche.

Nathan Phoenix
10-20-2003, 06:28 AM
Too bad they didn't just go with a real turn-based system. More and more I'm just down on pauseable real-time.

I don't like the pausable real-time either. I missed out on the goodness of Baldurs Gate 1&2 and NWN because I could only tolerate the pausable real time for a couple hours before I just got too annoyed to play further.

Tyjenks
10-20-2003, 04:19 PM
Hear hear.
Can I also say that the 3D is useless? You zoom in close, all you see is your guys and what's 20 foot in front of them. It would be nice to see exactly what they can see. You zoom out, it turns into a top-down birds eye view. What's the point of 3D if you can't create your preferred view angle?

I second that. Doesn't Silent Storm have the same semi-zoom? Maybe it was starting to annoy me with that demo, but it blossomed into full blown irritation in this one. If I cannot get in close then don't bother! Just have 2 or 3 settings.

I was really liking pausable real time...I thought. I know you can configure the 47 different possible instances where pausing can occur in Aftermath, but I just keep thinking, "Damn this would be so much less of a chore if it just used that old-timey, crotchety, outdated turn-based thingie that Grandpa used to go on about."

Moore
10-20-2003, 04:48 PM
Silent storm's camera is at least easily moddable to point anywhere you like. I also like the engine much better, tons pretier and better interface too.

Aftermath would have been a LOT closer to xcom if it was silent storm with aliens. (FYI S.S. does have some scifi elements apparently. It has some SF3d style units, if you know what sf3d is)

LukaszGwozdz
10-20-2003, 05:48 PM
While real time combat in Aftermath is cumbersome, I still think that pauseable real time done right is the best way to go. I don't really understand the sentiment people seem to have for turn based combat. Nostalgia? It's less realistic (interrupts help a bit here, but it's just a crutch). It's more time consuming - if I just have to move to the other side of the field, in real time I simply select my whole team and click on the destination, in turn based games it's click click, next turn, continue moving, next turn, etc. It requires more babysitting - I guess by design my real-time troops can be more independent and intelligently choose their actions unless I override them, while turn based troops will wait for me to allocate their time units. Any advantages of turn based combat that I'm missing?

A great example (IMO) of real time combat done just right is XCOM Apocalypse, the UFO game that for some reason gets completely ignored in Aftermath reviews, like it never existed. OK, maybe overall it wasn't as good as UFO EU, but it's still a pretty good game. Definitely blows Aftermath away. Now if it only ran on my XP...

Qenan
10-20-2003, 08:17 PM
While real time combat in Aftermath is cumbersome, I still think that pauseable real time done right is the best way to go. I don't really understand the sentiment people seem to have for turn based combat. Nostalgia? It's less realistic (interrupts help a bit here, but it's just a crutch).
Who cares, it's a game, not a simulation.


It's more time consuming - if I just have to move to the other side of the field, in real time I simply select my whole team and click on the destination, in turn based games it's click click, next turn, continue moving, next turn, etc.
Ah, but I can more reliably get my squad to do what I want to do. And what difference does it make if it takes longer, so long as I am entertained? It's not a race.


It requires more babysitting - I guess by design my real-time troops can be more independent and intelligently choose their actions unless I override them, while turn based troops will wait for me to allocate their time units.

I think this is really the same point as the last one -- I want to call the shots and control my squad, and turn based games do that better.


Any advantages of turn based combat that I'm missing?

A great example (IMO) of real time combat done just right is XCOM Apocalypse, the UFO game that for some reason gets completely ignored in Aftermath reviews, like it never existed. OK, maybe overall it wasn't as good as UFO EU, but it's still a pretty good game. Definitely blows Aftermath away. Now if it only ran on my XP...

I had XCOM Apocalypse and didn't much like it. I just prefer turn-based games, in general. YMMV, etc.

Guido Jones
10-21-2003, 02:31 AM
I didn't enjoy X-Com: Apocalypse becuase it was real-time (well it had a lame turn based mode that was only sort of there). You have much better over control of your squad in Turn Based, and you don't get rushed on things.

That being said, Turn Based does take a long time to do. I've got the patience to play like that, but not everyone does.

ydejin
10-21-2003, 03:07 AM
While real time combat in Aftermath is cumbersome, I still think that pauseable real time done right is the best way to go. I don't really understand the sentiment people seem to have for turn based combat. Nostalgia? It's less realistic (interrupts help a bit here, but it's just a crutch).

I'm not convinced on that. With some exceptions, I don't think real-time is all that realistic either. The main issue for me is how smart are the units I'm operating. Yeah, turn-based isn't realistic. But neither is controlling 6-10 men (in Baldur's Gate or XCOM) all at once in real-time. In order for real-time to work realistically, the units need to have their own intelligence and I need to focus on high-level decisions as a real-life commander would, not on baby sitting individual units making sure they don't do dumb stuff. The only real-time game I can think of that really does this well is the Close Combat series, which I liked a lot. Of course the standard complaint on Close Combat is that the game practically plays itself. But if we want real-time realism, that's pretty much what we would expect. How much control does a squad or platoon leader really have once contact with the enemy is made? I've never been in combat, so I can't say for sure, but I'm guessing the squad leader has some control, but far, far less than is necessary to prevent complete disaster in most real-time strategy games -- that's because our units are by and large dumb, which isn't realistic at all. In most cases, the units need to be baby-sat because they're dumb as rocks.


A great example (IMO) of real time combat done just right is XCOM Apocalypse, the UFO game that for some reason gets completely ignored in Aftermath reviews, like it never existed. OK, maybe overall it wasn't as good as UFO EU, but it's still a pretty good game. Definitely blows Aftermath away. Now if it only ran on my XP...

I've heard this from others as well, but for me XCOM Apocalypse's real-time did not work well at all. For me, pausable real-time only works well when you can see all the units at once. So far Baldur's Gate it mostly works, as you have your front-line fighters and back-row magic users and they're all in a cluster. I can see all my party on the screen at once, so it mostly works. In XCOM, I start off with two squads on different ends of the building. I can watch one squad or the other squad. I can never watch both at once, because they're not on the same screen. I have stuff happening that I'm not watching. What fun is that? What happens when both teams are in the middle of a fire-fight ugh -- constantly starting and stopping, and moving the screen over to check the other squad and oh damn, how did that guy die, he was okay a minute ago, must have happened while I was watching the other squad. Then switching back to the first squad, and not being quite sure what happened while I was watching the previous squad. Real-time pausable with lots of pauses is more awkward than turn-based. Real-time pausable with few pauses generally means less control of units, which for those of us into detail (and those who really want to control individual unit actions) is also less fun.

Rywill
10-21-2003, 04:49 AM
Pauseable real-time doesn't mean you suddenly have to be in the shoes of a platoon commander. You can play a PRT game while still "inhabiting" / controlling each individual soldier, just like you do in a TB game. The only difference is that in PRT, the timeflow is more "realistic" (e.g., you can't move one of your guys while the enemies just have to stand and watch, and vice-versa). I agree with ydeljin that it doesn't work if your guys are spread out, though, so PRT limits tactical play by forcing you to keep all your units on one screen.

IMO, the best system is a "we go" TB/RT hybrid, like what you get in Combat Mission or Laser Squad: Nemesis. That way, you get a good amount of control while still having fairly realistic interaction with opposing forces, and you don't have to sacrifice tactical options (because you can re-watch each turn multiple times if you have guys in multiple areas).

Edited for grammar.

TheWombat
10-21-2003, 05:46 AM
...and Jagged Alliance 2 solved the "move each guy individually across the map just to get to the other side" problem by having the game be real-time until contact.

Tom Chick
10-21-2003, 05:55 AM
Didn't Tim Brooks' 101st Airborne over Normandy game predate Jagged Alliance 2? I'd be pretty surprised if you of all people overlooked that one, Wombat, so I could be wrong.

But if so, Brooks' game deserves credit for the 'real time until contact' solution.

-Tom

TheWombat
10-21-2003, 06:22 AM
Actually, you're probably right Tom. 101 was 1998, JA 2 was 1999 I think.

Rywill
10-21-2003, 07:20 AM
Didn't Fallout do the same thing? I thought it came out in like 1996.

Mark Asher
10-21-2003, 07:22 AM
Pauseable real-time doesn't mean you suddenly have to be in the shoes of a platoon commander. You can play a PRT game while still "inhabiting" / controlling each individual soldier, just like you do in a TB game. The only differences is that in PRT, the timeflow is more "realistic" (e.g., you can't move one of your guys while the enemies just have to stand and watch, and vice-versa). I agree with ydeljin that it doesn't work if your guys are spread out, though, so PRT limits tactical play by forcing you to keep all your units on one screen.

IMO, the best system is a "we go" TB/RT hybrid, like what you get in Combat Mission or Laser Squad: Nemesis. That way, you get a good amount of control while still having fairly realistic interaction with opposing forces, and you don't have to sacrifice tactical options (because you can re-watch each turn multiple times if you have guys in multiple areas).

That's still one level of control removed from the player, though. In true turn-based I move my paladin up to the orc, press the attack button, and watch him swing his sword. There's something satisfying about that level of control that I don't get in a "we go" system or pauseable real-time.

Wheelkick
10-21-2003, 07:28 AM
Didn't Fallout do the same thing? I thought it came out in like 1996.
Yes it did, and no it was released 1997.

Jason McCullough
10-21-2003, 09:16 AM
Don't think you should worry about realism when you're giving perfect orders a few times per minute to multiple people in the field, with perfect information.

Rywill
10-21-2003, 07:02 PM
Don't think you should worry about realism when you're giving perfect orders a few times per minute to multiple people in the field, with perfect information.
Not all games are like that, but even among those that are, I don't exactly get your point. It's a simulation of "imagine if I were each of these soldiers" or "imagine if each of these soldiers did exactly what I would do in their situation" or however you want to look at it. I mean, any game is abstracted to a degree, but for tactical combat games, the closer it is to "reality," the better. In a TB game, the artificial I go - you go setup is just one more layer of abstraction/nonreality between you and the game. Will it ever be totally realistic? No. Does that mean I shouldn't prefer a more realistic setup over a less realistic one? No. Do I suddenly sound like Donald Rumsfeld as featured in Doonesbury? Hell, yes!

Jason McCullough
10-22-2003, 03:12 AM
Dunno, limiting your time to respond is an odd place to put your "realism." I think people just like feeling panicked.

Mike Hussey
10-22-2003, 03:31 AM
How much control does a squad or platoon leader really have once contact with the enemy is made? I've never been in combat, so I can't say for sure, but I'm guessing the squad leader has some control, but far, far less than is necessary to prevent complete disaster in most real-time strategy games

I've never been in combat either, but according to a guy who has. on another forum where this cropped up, the answer to your question is 'virtually none', you have to physically grab someone and yell your orders into his ear and even then there's no guarantee that he'll do as he's told. If someone made an ultra-realistic combat system, no-one would want to play it. We want unrealistic control in games.

Ch. Hasslbauer
10-22-2003, 06:36 AM
I didn't enjoy X-Com: Apocalypse becuase it was real-time (well it had a lame turn based mode that was only sort of there).
What are you talking about!? (Imagine this sentence in the same tone as Chatterbox' Lazlow always exclaimed it.) X-COM: Apocalypse had about the same turn-based play mechanism as Ufo Defense, and was nearly as much fun. (Notwithstanding the game's stupid ending and its total lack of explanation what those alien attacks were motivated by.)

I was never even tempted to try the real time combat. From the start it looked like lack of control, panick and lots of dead troopers.

quatoria
10-22-2003, 06:39 AM
Key words there being "about" and "nearly".

Ch. Hasslbauer
10-22-2003, 06:43 AM
The "nearly" is absolutely meant as you understood it. The first one is still the best.
But the "about" is only there because it's a long time I played Apocalypse and thus didn't want to use "exactly". You tell me: What difference should there be in the turn based systems of Ufo Defense and Apocalypse? Write away.

Rywill
10-22-2003, 08:23 AM
Dunno, limiting your time to respond is an odd place to put your "realism." I think people just like feeling panicked.
We're talking about pausable real time here. The idea being you stop the game as often as you want to issue orders, but the big difference is that whenever you start the action, the enemy is moving and shooting at the same time.

And again, I agree that neither system portrays what it's probably like to be a squad leader in combat, unless the game is specifically designed to be that way (Close Combat, Combat Mission, etc.). But that's fine--some of these games (lots of them, actually) are more like "Imagine if there was a whole squad made up of people who did exactly what I would do in their shoes."

Jason McCullough
10-22-2003, 08:44 AM
Pausable real time is fine - if done correctly, like in BG. The problem is that everyone doesn't do it correctly, adopting some sort of horrid kludge like in FO:T which screws up the game mechanics completely.

AlexxKay
10-26-2003, 01:26 PM
I didn't enjoy X-Com: Apocalypse becuase it was real-time (well it had a lame turn based mode that was only sort of there).
What are you talking about!? (Imagine this sentence in the same tone as Chatterbox' Lazlow always exclaimed it.) X-COM: Apocalypse had about the same turn-based play mechanism as Ufo Defense, and was nearly as much fun. (Notwithstanding the game's stupid ending and its total lack of explanation what those alien attacks were motivated by.)

I was never even tempted to try the real time combat. From the start it looked like lack of control, panick and lots of dead troopers.
I tried to play it as TB, up until the Nth time one of my units got eaten by a brainsucker with an insane amount of movement points. In RT, the brainsuckers, though fast, almost always get taken out by opportunity fire. Makes a *huge* difference in the gameplay.

Ch. Hasslbauer
10-28-2003, 03:31 AM
As some years have passed since I played Apocalypse, I only remember those brainsuckers to be pesky, but somehow they didn't ruin my gameplay in turn based mode.

Perhaps it was the fact that in X-COM games, individual soldiers always were expendable. So what if Rookie Klaus Muller gets his brain eaten by a naughty brain sucker blobbie? There's always Rookie Alice Wight and the likes of her standing in line to take his place. Muhahahaha!
I think that's one of the features I loved so much about the X-COMs. It's one of their unique features never really copied in other strategy/tactics games.

Now of course I know I'm a pig.