The strategic layer is just too lackluster

I have to start by saying I’m sorry I backed this game. From the beginning we were told that it was made by the creator of the original x-com and at least my interpretation was always that it meant a game closer to the original x-com than firaxis XCOM. To me, the difference can be summorized in this sentence: x-com was a strategic game with some tactical gameplay, while XCOM was a tactical game with some strategic gameplay. At least I always felt the strategic part of the original x-com was the fun part: where do I build my next base? Whats needed to intercept this ufo? How do I get money to build my next gen interceptor?

So I backed this game to get about the tactical battles of XCOM, but with the strategy game of the original x-com. Now that would have been a game!

I imagined a starting haven with a few thousand people and from them I would have to recruit researchers, engineers, farmers, scavangers and soldiers, and make do with what I have. Where searching for new havens and other PP bases was hard and challenging, not to go to a grey circle and press explore. To grow food, mine iron, not research X and get 500 blue resource. Why? Why did I get those resources from that research? Noone knows!

So, I got a tactical game with lackluster strategic layer. A XCOM 2 clone instead of a x-com clone. Its not what I wanted. Its not what I expected. Its not something Im going to play.

And then, lastly, all the talk about Lovecraft. I imagined dark maps, with little visual range where, like the original x-com, monster appear suddenly out of the dark and a soldier dies. You fight for survival, and loses soldiers in the process. But no. Bright, sunny maps, where you at all times see almost all enemies. Its more about point and shoot, than slowly advancing through a horryfying, dark map, always worrying about what to find.

Now, some maps have a bit of this. But not nearly enough. In x-com almost all maps were like this.

So. I’m sorry I backed this. Probably wont even play to the finish once. Maybe I’ll be back to PP2. We’ll see.

Agreed- honestly I think a lot of the game’s issues come down to the strategic portion just being badly implemented. Off the top of my head-

  1. The utter randomness of where literally everything is. Sometimes you find four Phoenix bases practically in walking distance of your first one. Sometimes you’re still struggling to find a second base after two months. Sometimes you get screwed because the game puts an early mission on the opposite side of the world, so screw you, you don’t get to do that mission for weeks. Didn’t get any havens of the faction you like allying with anywhere near you? Too bad, you don’t get their tech until it’s too late to matter now.

  2. The actual basic Project Phoenix tech tree is more or less a waste of time, as everything worth having is locked in the faction tech. I like the idea of having the factions as a source of alternate options, but having literally all the good equipment locked behind allying with or stealing from a faction doesn’t work well, in my opinion. All I want is assault rifles that can deal with armour so I don’t have to run a team of six snipers for the 957th time, and at this point I’ve brought back multiple examples of the Anthrons’ Amazing Armour-Shreddin’ Sniper Machine Gun, so it’s not like we don’t have an example of what a better weapon looks like. (Some armour that prevents getting an arm broken every time someone takes a grenade hit would be nice, too)

  3. Resources are handled in a way that’s just obnoxious. I don’t actually mind the current ‘trade food for everything’ model- PP being one of the best sources for food in a ecosystem damaged enough growing food is genuinely hard could be neat. The problem is the implementation is a boring grind- flying a Manticore to a couple havens to click on the ‘buy 4 materials’ button 50 times each isn’t good gameplay, it’s just causing me to develop carpal tunnel in my left-clicking finger a little bit faster.

  4. This is on the border of being a concern for the tactical combat, but it’s also an issue on the strategic layer- there seems to be no rhyme or reason to how the Pandorans get stronger. Some times you get swarmed by sirens in week 2, sometimes they don’t show up until a month later, and there’s no indication I can see of what’s causing the difference. It’s not the ODI level, that doesn’t actually seem to be anything but a measure of when game over happens as far as I can see.

1 Like