Wow, what a long grueling trip that was!
I ended up siding with New Jericho at the end, though I wasn’t entirely aware I was doing that. To hopefully stop people from making the same mistake, especially if you’re like me and capped out relations with all three factions:
You get a research project from each faction that talks about a way to do the last mission. Once you complete it, the faction will give you a quest, which leads to you completing the game. So either don’t research or don’t do the quest chain for a faction unless you plan on completing the game with that faction!
From what I can see there are 4 endings - One for each faction, as well as PP. I think my next time through I’ll go for Synedrion.
This game as a whole leaves a lot to be desired, in my opinion. I’m pretty sure I researched every piece of gear in the game, and there really wasn’t an “OMG This is GODLY” piece in the entire bunch. Nothing ever felt like end-game gear. An obviously far cry from the way all other X-COM games have done.
Faction diplomacy is a joke. You can constantly raid havens for research, ships, etc, then just wait for the Pandorans to attack that specific faction’s havens and get all the rep back. There are three breakpoints in faction rep: Supported, aligned, allied. I would get close to the next breakpoint, then farm research from one particular faction until I was close to dropping into the previous breakpoint, do some haven defense missions, and eventually be right back where I was. This essentially means the faction rep is kinda meaningless.
The classes need serious balancing. There are a dozen or more threads on this already, so I won’t drag it out.
Mutogs seem to be just about useless, but maybe I just wasn’t doing it right. The Disciples of Anu were my least favorite faction, so maybe I just need to dig a little deeper into that. They’re as big as vehicles, seem to only have melee attacks, and can’t carry your soldiers. So you’re better off just making vehicles instead.
Base layouts. It’s kind of annoying that you can’t use all of the space in any given base. Sure, you don’t really NEED it. But it would be nice for those of us who like longer games to invest into eventually making fully filled, optimized bases.
And along with bases, some serious work needs to be done on their spacing and location. Anyone who considers themselves a grizzled veteran of the X-COM games knows that there is an optimal location for bases as far as coverage goes. This game is no different. So when the “North America” base is located in Alaska, the “Russia” base is located just across the way from it, and the “South America” base is located at the complete southern tip of the continent, that leaves massive areas of the map that make it really hard to defend.
You should be able to rebuild destroyed havens. Not to full Phoenix bases of course, but I think it would be awesome to have the ability to drop Anit Mist Emitters in proxy Havens to keep an area better protected. The only other option is to make sure you have good placement of Synedrion bases and protect them with your life.
The missions you are given through the main story as well by the factions need to have a leash to what areas you have uncovered so far. It’s super annoying when you start in, say, North America, and New Jericho’s first mission is in the Middle East. I see people complaining about this on here all the time. I get it, if some of the MAIN STORY missions are tied to specific locations, that’s fine. It makes sense if you have made it through any of them. But the faction ones don’t really seem to be region specific and can maybe be moved closer to where you are located.
Character customization. I honestly do not see any point to this. Firstly, soldiers can spawn as male or female with names of the opposite gender. Secondly, the only time you really see their face is in the profile pic in the bottom left of a mission, all the rest of the time it’s covered by a helmet, so what’s the real point? Just remove the profile pic during the mission and boom, no need to let us change the faces.
Along with that, I remember back before this released that there was talk about all the different ways could make our soldiers look. Well, I hate to break it to you, but all your soldiers are going to look about the same, based on what armor they have equipped. There is no armor customization, other than the colors.
Where are the behemoths/leviathans/whatever they were calling them? They advertised huge walking monstrosities we were going to have to deal with. Did that get relegated to a later DLC?
Anyway, this has gotten long enough. Overall I really like the game and am looking forward to using what I’ve learned in new ones to see all of the different endings.