Saturday, 29 December 2012

X-Com: Enemy Unknown

Well Sa-t-an-ta (I have fogroteen how to spell, I think), wasn't bad to me this year. I got a copy of X-Com Enemy Unknown from my other half who has now lost the use of the remote control (when asked, all I have been able to say is that it is hidden in my secret mountain top lair or behind the sofa). For those of you who have gone back more than a few posts you will probably have picked up on the fact that I like a bit of X-Com. I like it so much that the blog even has a label for X-Com.

It has had a few detractors. Maybe it has lost some of it's re-playability. It doesn't seem to have as long a legs as the original. This could be me being a bit of an old fart. The game is one of my sacred cows and it hasn't done a bad job of it. I read a complaint online that it did not have many environments. It has way more than the original and any of the sequels and having played it through twice I haven't encountered that many duplicate scenarios.

The environments are really gorgeous. All game environments should look this good. I could see me trying to use some of the ideas in my tabletop games. Pity there is no really good zoom function but you can see the terrain disintegrate around you when you and the enemy miss. Having vehicles explode around you is a nice touch which can cause you to move when you really want to stay in cover.

The bad guys are interesting. I was kind of hoping for the old bad guys jazzed up a lot. They have been significantly re-imagined. This is not a bad thing but not always a good thing. Mostly I liked the aliens but the floaters are not what they once were and all have lost their cartoon/anime touches.  They variety of types has also dropped. So there are floaters and hevay floaters but not pilots, navigators, medics, soldiers, commanders etc.I like what was there and wanted the bad guys to but updated and enhanced versions of what they were. They look much more hi tech and the greys do look really evil. There are a few new aliens. They have plenty of twists to catch the unwary off guard.

On balance, better in some respects, not as good in others. I enjoyed playing it. I'll play it again on a harder level which I am sure will give it a much different vibe. I am glad I didn't pay full price for it though. I'd give it an 8 out of 10 which is a shame as I would have loved to have given this a ten. It's worth buying but I doubt that I will be raving about it in a year let alone twenty years.

On the table top front, I can see that there are some good ideas. I look at the environments and think I could use what I have seen here to make a better game. There is a really nice idea for a train/tube station. The aliens have a few nice ideas which might turn into something on the tabletop. If there was anyone interested in making some figures for the old game or the new game, they would have a nice big order.

I am sorry that I haven't been able to do much table top stuff. I have done some but I am currently suffering from a chest infection which is crippling me. Sitting up is proving to be a problem. As soon as I do I start coughing. I was joking about having 72 hour TB that was going around. That was a week ago so not as funny anymore. My next dose of antibiotics are due soon. Still the blog looks like it is doing okay without me. I even had my first visitor from Bolivia today.

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