Suggestion: discarding organic yet humanoid looking weapons

I’m ok with humanoids being infected or taken over by facecrawlers using actual machine guns, shields and grenades but the mix of having organic looking yet humanoid artwork for the weapons is bothering me just a tad and for me it kinda breaks the immersion.

Not sure what you mean. As far as I’ve seen, grenade launchers and melee are purely organic, and the machine guns are just human MGs with tendrils wrapped on it to hold it and operate it. It’s been ages since I really zoomed in on a crab and had a good look, so maybe I’m just misremembering the art at this point.

I would prefer to see a distinction between human and organic weapons. I guess in the case of the grenades they will probably in time change the VFX and audio, change it into an exploding acid ball or something.

An infected human covered in tendrils wrapping around the gun and shield would be alot better if we could clearly tell they’re still humans using humanoid weapons. In this case less tendrils and a more humanoid look would be more to my taste, I’m just having a hard time picturing the current crabmen reloading their weapons or even having functioning weapons at all.

Ofcourse all of it is still a WIP but i just wanted to bring this up.

Well, the blending of alien parts, unfortunate humans, and human technology is part of the appeal of the aesthetic, just look at early concept art with the worm with rocket launchers on its back. But you do raise a good point about reloading, especially since they will add reloading for the aliens eventually (to nerf Return Fire, among other things).

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I guess that one could fit into the Anu faction as a tamed alien perhaps at some point even using aliens as mounts but for the sake of immersion it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense seeing an evolving species strapping rocket launchers on it’s back. Unless they’re aiming for making a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously. I do hope enemy designs will be more thought out and fit into a setting that makes sense.

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I don’t see how so. The scary thing about the Pandora virus is that it’s not just some mindless animal type virus, it’s a sentient thing that can plan, is capable of higher thought, and can even be communicated with (translating the ‘language’ of the aliens–the grunts the crabmen make are actually words, like “shield up” or “firing”–is going to play a role in the story). Why wouldn’t it be capable of utilizing human technology for its own ends, and why wouldn’t it be happy to do so if it improved its chances of crushing the Phoenix Project and anyone else who opposed it?


A sentient being that’s capable of evolving to such an extent would seem much more terrifying if they would rise above using our puny human technology. Same thing goes for speech. No reason for them to come up with a language. Why would such an awe-inspiring life form have to resort to mimmicking these pathetic humans who are at the brink of extinction?

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One does need to remember, this isn’t just a virus evolving. For one, there’s strong evidence of a hive mind and an overmind. For another, while I’m sure the virus itself also mutates, it’s major effect is that it changes what it infects. It’s combining DNA and such. So it’s not just aliens using human weapons. It’s absorbed humans, and therefor knows how effective human weapons are and how they work. Crab men aren’t just mutated crabs, they’re crab and human DNA splices. At least, that’s how I understand the process. I may be way off. The thing is, if that’s true, then it does make sense that they’re using human weapons. The virus was released from ice caps, not an alien ship (that we know of). There is no “alien technology” per se. Given that the use of tools and weapons are a large part of humanity’s rise on this planet, it makes sense that virus-evolved creatures would also try to use those same tools in their attempt to replace us, if they’re lacking superior technology (plasma guns) themselves.


So then how would such an awe-inspiring lifeform even be fought? If it was THAT powerful we wouldn’t have a game at all–the Pandoravirus would just steamroll the Phoenix Project within a week and that would be that. Allowing for things like an alien language and the necessity of the aliens to incorporate and utilize human tech allows them to seem like a powerful, sinister, corrupting force while also hinting at weaknesses that can be used against them so the game isn’t completely futile and you can see a path to victory, even a narrow and perilous one.

Remember that this sentient being is ancient, not superior in tech. :slight_smile: It may remember tech from hominins, but they were probably not so superior to us. And virus conciousness can just decide that despite knowing high tech it can annihilate us with just sheer numbers with some small support of human technology (because it is commonly available). It currently doesn’t know that it will face reborn Phoenix Project with it’s vast knowledge about the problem along with combined knowledge of Anu and Synedrion. This PP advantage probably would not be enough in long term, but PP can in it’s unsuspected resistance make a devastating blow to the virus. :slight_smile: So in other words virus doesn’t have to use superior tech, even if he has proper knowledge about it. But it can reach for human tech in quick manner to defend itself against unsuspected and determined enemy.


Just to illustrate my point i’ll go back to the example you gave of the worm with rocket launchers strapped to it’s back, to me this seems more comical instead of sinister.

This lad looks pretty intimidating to me:

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If you ask me he would look just as terrifying without the launchers.
This pic is actually a perfect example of what i’m trying to point out.

The rockets seem to be slapped on there just because.
How did they end up there? Who put them there?
I would prefer to see them add a more creative weapon system that fits the setting.

Give him bigger arms and let him throw boulders at the player as a ranged attack or have him shoot the spikes on his back and head.

How did they end up there?

The creature likely encountered them in the ruin of a destroyed tank or military vehicle, as the virus expands throughout the earth and insinuates itself in the ruins of man’s former technology.

Who put them there?

The virus, capable of evolving and incorporating different things into itself, caused the worm to mutate in such a way that parts of its organs were able to interface with the mechanisms of the rocket launcher and make human technology into an extension of the virus’ will. Spooky!

Again, I mean no offense, but how are “boulders” or spike launchers any more creative or any less off-putting than hijacked human technology? Most people–I certainly would–would find virus creatures wandering around throwing random rocks everywhere to be just as arbitrary as a creature which could use human technology. And spike launchers have already been done to death with things like the Zerg from Starcraft–they’re hardly what I’d call “original.”

That said, however, reading your post, I see what you mean about not being able to clearly make out how the aliens are utilizing the human tech they’re incorporating into their bodies–like, how would one release a magazine and replace it from a machine gun with a tentacle? Still, it’s not that hard to imagine. For instance, octopus tentacles are incredibly dexterous and would be able to do things like replace magazines with ease, they can already unscrew jars underwater. So it’s not such a stretch to think of crabmen doing the same with their tentaclies. For things like the rocket launcher on the worm, perhaps the worm keeps spare rockets inside of its body cavity and uses its muscles to get them back up into the attached rocket launchers, and so on, and so forth. I don’t see how a combination of human technology with alien flesh is “immersion breaking” or “unoriginal” compared to the standard “alien creatures use biological weaponry” that’s incredibly common in science fiction, ranging from the bio-guns of the Tyranids from Warhammer 40k to the spike throwers of the Zerg to the plasma belchers of the Starship Trooper bugs, ad nauseum.

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The thing is, the aliens have no industrial capability that we’ve seen or head of, so scavenged weapons are their only choice outside of some very basic biological interpretations. It’s pretty likely we’ll see something with a projectile stinger. As it stands, their grenade LAUNCHERS appear to be biological, which seems realistically achievable, but the grenades are ours. It’s feasible to develop of biological system capable of throwing a mortar like object, but not one that can accelerate a 30 cal slug to supersonic speeds or withstand the launch of a missile, hence they need to “borrow” those parts of fou d tech.

If the apes rise up, they may make some bows and slings early on, but it’d be a short time before they started picking up OUR guns and using them against us. They might make their own incendiary devices, but they’re not going to start producing their own Firearms.

Even among humans, native Americans used the foreign Firearms against them, lacking the industrial capacity to make any. Guerilla armies often run on captured weapons, even though they may make their own explosives.

In the end, the soldiers of the pandora virus are doing what many, many pre-mechanized warfare militaries did: Capture and use any weapons and resources from the area they were in, and destroy the rest. It just becomes a necessity when your supply lines are weeks or months long and your manufacturing doesn’t exist where you are.

All that aside, if you find it jarring, then you do. Nothing is going to hit everyone’s fancy. Some people hate Fallout’s future 50s, some people hated Arcanum’s steam punk fantasy. Personally, I like the idea of the “aliens” co-opting “xcom” technology instead of the other way around, which is what we’ve had for close to 30 years.

Your opinion is perfectly valid, for you and other folks who dislike the aesthetic, but I do think snapshot is a little too deep into it to make such a big cosmetic shift now.


Very well put Finitethrills.

While I agree with the OP, the launchers do look out of place. How they attach and become integrated to be used by the creatures, needs some explaining… it would be too far into the game to go backwards now.

I guess they just need to show it happening in a cut sceen or something. If the game has research and alien autopsies, like the old school xcom, it will all be explained sooner or later.


Given the amount and quality of the lore involved in the game this far out from launch, I’d say there’s a strong chance that there’s an explanation of how it happens floating around.


Yeah, they’ve mentioned this game will definitely have autopsies. With :drstroud: and :jonas: on the case, I bet they’ll come up with great explanations for the various mixtures of flesh and technology we see in the alien parts :smiley:

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The autopsies in the original games were a great feature. Still remember reading through those reports after every research.

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