Screenshot of the Week #70: Walls, what walls?!

by on February 7, 2016

                The
XCOM 2 launch from Friday isn’t much different than the AAA releases we got in
the latest years. A barely optimized game with a ton of performance problems,
crashes and bugs is what Firaxis released after three months of delay. On top
of problems that are becoming more and more common with new releases, XCOM 2
has some more serious issues which are harder to fix, some are carried from the previous game. With the sequel release shooting through walls has
returned as well, as apparently Firaxis didn’t find a way to get rid of this
pestilence. The camera still requires a mod to have a fluid 360 degrees
rotation. The AI isn’t the greatest and the game tries to compensate in
difficulty and thrill through time based missions which lead frustration instead of tactical ingenuity. The pathfinder also had to suffer as
sometimes the units need to have their paths manually set so they avoid the
obvious dangers along the way. These are some of the often met problems
in XCOM 2, problems that more or less missed many of the professional reviews out
there.
                On the
plus side of things, XCOM 2 does improve on a lot of the features that were
skimpy in the previous game while retaining a very familiar image. The base
management and the UI are almost identical to Enemy Unknown, what changed for
the better are the options. The research system has been greatly improved with
more technologies and items available to choose from. The skill system is also
slightly better and much more balanced as each unit promotion provides skills of
almost equal value that fit into different play styles. The Geoscope has been
diversified and aside of the missions now there are events on the global map
and a Black Market to buy and sell alien technology.
                But
those who liked Enemy Unknown have been fascinated with the game’s combat
system and there are a few neat little tricks that Firaxis has pulled into the
sequel to make the combat more entertaining. Aside of the classes changes which
play directly into the combat system, the biggest change comes from level
design. XCOM 2 has a procedurally generated maps with certain aspects
randomized for a more different experience each time. The maps feature intense physics
which allows the destruction of various objects that could serve as cover and
even huge chunks of buildings. The variety of alien enemies has grown in the 20
years since the action of Enemy Unknown and their diversity makes the
battlefield interesting testing, at times, the tactical limits of one’s mind.
Now the enemy’s spawns have been randomized and they work in
groups patrolling the areas around objective. To deal with this the XCOM units
can now infiltrate in most of the missions in order to get to get to a vantage
position and take the enemies by surprise. The list of improvements brought to
the combat is much bigger and more than welcomed. These improvements will most
likely extend the game’s life for as long as Firaxis needs to come up with XCOM
3 and that’s not a bad thing. It’s a shame that the game had to be stained by
so many problems.
                In all
fairness XCOM 2 has some pretty good features in, but some poor design choices
coupled with a rushed release and a story that doesn’t seem so interesting chipping
away from its achievable greatness.
My best sniper is clearly a cheater.
In the meantime, please share our articles and follow us on Steam, Twitter and on Facebook!!
Thanks!!!

 

Nodrim