All or Nothing (XCom) vs PP

I went back and started a game of XCom 2. I was struck almost immediately (well, when a 96% chance to hit missed…ahem) by the two different systems. I much prefer PP with all the individual bullets flying around (although I grumble when every 3rd alien slug hits one of my guys). It gives you a feel that you at least got a little something for your effort when 1 out of 6 bullets hit.


There are several levels of frustration in X2. Chance to hit first, chance to crit second, chance to deal bigger ammount of damage third, chance for enemy to dodge (1/4 damage or smth like that) fourth .)

Yeah, as it stands, the best thing I say about PP is that ever since Backer Builds started coming out, I stopped playing FiraXCom, and I loved those games (well, the first one anyways, the less said about the second the better). Just the simple addiction of free aiming is a huge behemothian plus for Phoenix Point, and when adding factions, world and new classes… X3 will really have to shine to dethrone Phoenix Point :smiley:

I totally agree with the aim system. When you zoom in and manually aim you can see exactly what you are aiming at, what is blocking the shot and make up your own mind weather making the shot is worth it or not. Yes you can still be screwed by RNG but no where near as much, as a 90% full auto shot, from point blank and get NOTHING from it! It is almost refreshing to play with the PP system.

When you fire a spray and a couple land (others miss) you can say at least you got something from it. :+1:


Yes, I have high hopes for this aiming system, especially in conjunction with other differences.

I found that the problem with FiraXCom combat, especially X2, is that the severe nature of the aiming compounds the whole ‘you must kill all enemies in one turn without triggering another pod’ - at least on higher difficulties. I found it decreases options, limits movement and therefore adversely effects varied gameplay.

For example, you need to kill an enemy that’s on very low health and you have two soldiers with actions left. Both have lousy odds but one has a grenade and one is close enough to flank and get a virtual point blank shot. Tactically, you’ve done well to get to 1 enemy that just needs finishing off. This should be a rewarding part but in the end it’s often the most boring or risky, depending on how you handle it.

The obvious thing to do is flank and save the grenade. In fact, the game’s tutorial actively encourages you to flank. However, on the highest difficulty it can be a crucial mistake. Primarily, you might trigger another pod just before the end of your turn because you’re most likely going to push the fog of war. That’s a big no-no. Secondly, you can’t trust your soldier to do even a couple points of damage even at 95%. So what do you do? You use the grenade. Guaranteed hit and no risk. Problem is, I think that’s boring and it promotes turtling. I guess that’s why they then added mission timers in X2.

People say things like, ‘A 95% shot is not guaranteed, you only have yourself to blame if you don’t have a plan B’. Well, I’ve often had a plan B too but learnt that it still isn’t worth the risk. In the example above, swap out the grenade guy and let’s say you have 2 guys that are really close and able to flank. Let’s say you take leave of your senses and risk triggering another pod and get away with it. I’ve still had both soldiers miss, leaving them both at the mercy of the wounded alien. That could lead to a loss of one soldier, which then can lead to having most of the squad break. So the game seems to actively punish movement, like it hates a fluid battlefield and flanking.

I’m really hopeful this game will address those issues and that the combat mechanics, especially the aiming, leads to far more flexible, but still challenging, gameplay.

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I have not played XCom, but PP is so awesome :slight_smile:
I love the free aim.

I do think there is an advantage to XCOM2 way of doing it - mechanics are really simple to predict, manupulate and engage with. Personally, I never has a problem with missing 95% shots. With amount of shots taken some of them a bound to miss. I didn’t have a chance to give PP try, but from gameplay videos the system does seem less predictable, though more organic. The bigger issue I have with XCOM is that it doesn’t tale long before most of the shots become 100% sucking out most of the fun.

What I never understood though, is why Firaxis XCOMs stuck with ever using “one bullet” per shot. You shoot and you either hit or miss. Why not diffirenciate between weapons giving sniper rifle one all or nothing short, giving shotgun bunch of pellets doing small damage, give a rifle lets say 3 seperate rolls. As it is, most weapons feel too similar to me.

Granted they did incorporate the “multi shot” design but tied it to certain skills, usually making those hilariously powerful.

What I do hate with passion is the “pod activation” mechanic, as it gives very strong advantage to player or AI depending on how activation happens. I thought it was one of the biggest blunders of XCOM1, and was surprised they didn’t attempt to redesign the system for XCOM2, instead they gave players scouts to make the system exploitative.


For me, the only thing I don’t like about the Firaxis XCOMs is the strategy layer, which somehow feels both too simple and completely impenetrable at the same time.

As it stands I’d say XCOM is still a far more engaging and tactically interesting game, but we’ve only seen a tiny slice of Phoenix Point and I remain very optimistic. Julian Gollop is brilliant at making complex interlocking systems work (no small skill) and I think once things start coming together it’ll be exciting times.


Really? You hold shotgun or assault rifle, enemy is at range of your hand or maybe 2 meters away and is almost dead, there is almost 100% chance to hit, you shoot… And BANG! “This is XCOM baby!”

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:slight_smile: 5% roll is bound to happen eventually, and those close range shots tend to be 100% more often then not (XCOM2 at least. I thing XCOM1 was capped at 95 but I might be misremembering things). I do dislike that it’s all or nothing case - as expressed above I am surprised they kept using “one roll per shot” system.

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I think this was done intentionally - to make the game as fast and simple as possible. This worked, actually, and (partly) because of that game sells well. Complicated game systems usually mean “hardcore fans only”, and such game can become a financial failure.

I use this phenomenon to remove face huggers when I don’t have a tech or pistol close enough. Shoot from far enough away with an AR, and you can wind up with just one bullet hitting. I generally avoid this except in situations where face huggers have grabbed like 4 people in one turn. It does work, though!

Even if you are close, if you aim so just a small, side portion, of the reticle is on the edge of the face hugger. As you said, it only takes one slightly wide bullet on the right side to work… and usualy does.

In a moment of desperation I used an armadillo HMG to remove a face hugger once by aiming to the side. It worked perfectly, but sounds like I was more lucky than skillful!

I have started carrying a handgun on all soldiers, just for face huggers, now I have started playing again. Comes in handy in several other situations too. Damaged arm, low AP, need to remove just a few HP off alien… sidearm FTW every time!

I’m OK trying it with the AR. You’ve got big brass balls using an armadillo gun! Glad it worked, though

That was my last roll of the dice, whole squad on the wrong side of the map. Alien face hugged solo soldier with a Firecat by himself (my fault for sending him out solo). Couldn’t allow the aliens to have a Firecat!

Only thing that could get there in the same move was the Armadillo. Pulled up, aimed to the side, one bullet clipped the facehugger and knocked it off. Too easy! It was only later I found out this was a fluke.

Probably wouldn’t risk it again, now I know better. Although if it came down to knocking off the facehugger or killing my own soldier, to stop him killing the squad, might still go with it! :smiley:

That was my reasoning with the first AR shot. My heavy and sniper with pistols and my tech all got face hugged in one round the turn previous. My two assaults would be dead right quick, so I went for it.

Happens so easy when they all hatch at once. I have had 4 at once in a alien base a couple times. If the rest of the squad was not within run&gun range it would’ve defiantly been a squad wipe next alien turn.

Only takes a face hugged squaddie with a firecat to ruin your day. They are awesome when you are in control but so damaging the other way around!

Love the bullet system (individual bullet hits), love the aiming system but most of all I love the body-part health system. It’s one thing I wish Xcom had.

All those combined make each turn so much fun.

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Being able to blow off a weapon or a leg is a huge element for a game involving tactics. It’s already great, but that system alone adds a whole new layer over top of the xcom formula. Imagine being able to leg a sectopod, lol.

You’re not wrong about the simplicity of the mechanics and it does have its merits :slight_smile: If it didn’t then I wouldn’t have loved the game so much I guess.

It’s just that I found the ‘all or nothing’ frustrating on higher difficulties and, for me at least, it led to a more restricted, less organic play style. I’d avoid doing things that you would have thought make sense simply because a flanking shot at close range couldn’t even guarantee 1 damage or because of the risk of accidental pod activation. On Legendary Ironman, you simply can’t risk leaving someone exposed, you HAVE to know you’ll get the kill and, of course, activating another pod can be a mission killer.

I’m hoping that the less predictable nature of free aim will lead to more movement on the battlefield, more options to think about and more fluidity simply because the game will have to be balanced in a more flexible way.

And, of course, I agree with you completely on the pods :slight_smile:

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