My take on Alpha Build / Backer Build One

So excited to get to play, and finally got some time yesterday.

Played XCOM from its release, including most if not all the others in its history - up to present day.

I would say my first take in one sentence is how I felt after the original game, moving to “Terror from the Deep”.

“Man, this got harder…”

I’m impressed with the build so far, especially considering that its a very, very rough release and nowhere near a polished version. Kudos to the whole team for that.

I’ll break my feedback into things I’ve liked, and things I’m not as keen on, with the understanding that the “not as keen on” is really me critiquing something I’m sure will be fixed, changed, or explained better in the full game.


  • I love the unique feel of the world, I don’t feel like it’s a copy of XCOM which is how it should be. The world feels bleak but in more of a “dirty and insidious way” than from a regular (if there is such a thing) alien invasion.

  • Monsters are unique and feel as though they are mutated from things we know, while still retaining the “alien” feel.

  • Squad interaction/moving/using skills etc. feels familiar enough that you can get immersed right away with knowledge of those that came before.

  • Shooting and moving feels real, and is very immersive - especially the physics, it’s a welcome change - but (see not so keen on)

  • Love the loot crates and somewhat limited ammo - makes every mission a scavenger hunt and adds extra spice.

  • Music is awesome, and really gives you the ambiance you need.

  • Missions are not easy, and even with the limited build, monsters use skills and appear to use tactics well (but… see not so keen on)

Not So Keen On

  • I feel like I am running out of action points and Will WAY too fast compared to the monsters.

  • The monsters seem to draw on almost unlimited action points for return fire, and as others have said - if you have 4-5 shooters even at long range, taking a shot even from cover draws a shed load of fire onto you, almost constantly.

  • I get the yellow and red circles, but not really - it works I’m sure, but I guess I just don’t understand it well enough to take advantage of yet. It’s a steep learning curve for sure, and I hope the full game “gently” introduces you to things or it will likely put a lot of ppl off from the beginning.

  • Alien Queen is horrifying, and really introduces you not only to having the right skill sets for the mission, but the right placement, the right tactics, and a dash of luck. This is awesome, but, has its downsides for now as I feel horribly unequipped and prepared to deal with her.

  • I’ve noticed that the crabmen will often go into shield mode in a position where they are essentially unshootable, and just park there blocking a passageway and returning fire constantly without reloading or so it appears. While sensible, it is irritating when you have a bunch of them doing it from a long ways off, seemingly picking off your guys at will (as theirs has run out almost instantly - pun intended).

  • We (the good guys) rarely seem to return fire, and not in the calculated volleys that the monsters do.

  • Grenades thrown in a building will still (just like in XCOM and others) occasionally explode on the ceiling right above the user, despite there being clearance for it to be thrown underhand to the target. If I’m clearing house to house and I’m throwing around a corner into a room, I’m not going to be throwing QB Style LOL. Can this be adjusted?

All that aside, just some “first takes” that I’m sure some will recognize, some will no doubt disagree with. On the whole, I love the direction the game is going into, and do recognize it is early days.

My first “we aren’t in Kansas anymore, Toto” moment came when a crabman came around the corner and “shields upped” right in front of a guy that had already burned his AP. I had another guy close by, and he fired a spray at close range into the crabman from behind, with red and yellow circle almost completely on him. One stray round slipped past, and I killed my own guy LOL.