What are you playing?



  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    Was super into X-Com 2. I found the beginning super satisfying. That wore thin, however. Eventually the aliens just seem to do whatever they damn-well please and it sucked all the fun out of the thing. I know people out there love the game, and I see why they do. But I just don't have it in me. 
  • asmallcat said:
    Been playing Control on game pass. Simple but punchy combat, great and weird visuals, and so far an engaging story. Would recommend. Only complaint so far is that the upgrade components only drop in some zones and enemies seem to appear randomly once you've cleared it so it's a pain trying to get them. 

    The combat and the overall story in that game are good but by far the best part is all of the notes and random things around the environment that flesh out the world and the random incidents. I usually never read that stuff in games but Control is on another level
    Oh yeah I've been reading every little file and watching all the fun videos. 
  • Was super into X-Com 2. I found the beginning super satisfying. That wore thin, however. Eventually the aliens just seem to do whatever they damn-well please and it sucked all the fun out of the thing. I know people out there love the game, and I see why they do. But I just don't have it in me. 

    XCOM 2 is one of my all time favorites but I started out feeling the same way. I only played through one campaign on easy but it was way too hard without save scumming and I figured it would just be one of those games that's too complicated for me or I just would never get. It's silly but the thing that turned me around on it was watching some streamers play and seeing how they handled certain situations because unfortunately there is a "right" way to play it in terms of basic approach. I think it helps to think of it like one of those complicated board games with a bunch of systems, the first time you play it unless you have someone telling you what to do you're going to make a bunch of mistakes that you don't even realize are mistakes. It started getting really fun on my second and third campaigns where I knew more or less what I wanted and what I was doing and I ended up in about a 6 month XCOM hole.

    There are way better guides and I'm not sure how much of this you already know but these are some of the things I didn't realize or think about when I was having trouble:
    • Approach like if an enemy is taking a shot at you, something went wrong. You should strive to take out or immobilize every enemy you expose on a given turn. If you plan on triggering any pods of enemies, make sure your entire team has a combat action available and is in some sort of position. The worst case scenario is you trigger a bunch of aliens with your last move of the turn and they all take free shots at you and you have to deal with them while they're in cover. Ideally you want to scout ahead with some kind of stealth or long range vision and then maneuver your team into a spot to make some kind of opening play like a grenade that hits a bunch of them and ruins their cover or something like that. It all sounds sort of obvious but it's a totally different mindset than my original one which was "move forward, shoot aliens as they appear". The reaper is an absolutely incredible unit for this. Most of the time I don't even end up taking a shot with my reaper until way later in the mission or if I absolutely need to, they're just there to give vision.
    • Full cover > half cover > getting hit by a bus > leaving a unit in the open. Full cover is super important unless you have another advantage like height. They will flank you and it sucks but at least make them work for it.
    • Use grenades. I always figured it would be better to take a shot and get a chance at the damage but you get a huge advantage if you blow their cover/armor. Remember you have a whole team to take shots, taking a 60% shot with an assault rifle and then like a 65% with a sniper further back isn't nearly as good as blowing up the guys cover and hitting for whatever your grenades are worth, then taking an 85% shot with your sniper with less armor blocking it. Freeze grenades are incredible, you can just take enemies off the board for a few turns. Mimic beacons are also really good.
    • You will have more fun if you just let yourself use the handicaps while you're still getting used to the game. Pre game turn on the option for adding extra moves to those timers, they're ridiculous unless you're comfortable with the game already. Save scum like nobody is watching because they aren't. Doesn't mean don't try and just run ahead and reload when you know where the aliens are, but when shit goes real bad it goes real bad and sometimes you just want to hit rewind a little bit.
    • Don't freak out too much about the overworld timer doomsday clock thing. Even if it fills up you will get a window of time to bring it down and usually you'll have some way to do it. The streamer I was watching left that clock in doomsday mode the entire game and never seemed to even notice it and it stressed me the hell out, but it worked out fine for him.
    • Always remember that XCOM is bullshit. Your brain doesn't understand percentages and the game is actually boosting your hit chances under the hood based on difficulty level, but you WILL miss a 95% shot at the worst possible time and someone will die and that's XCOM baby. You will trigger pods of enemies at the worst time even though you were careful, and you will fail missions and people are gonna die and that's ok.
    No idea if you will read this or if it's helpful but I went into a sort of trance and now I'm about to start another campaign. If you're into watching streamers, this dude Christopher Odd is great at it and seems nice and chill, I enjoyed his campaigns a lot

  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    That is really cool. Thank you for the write-up as well as the link. I foresee myself jumping back into it at some point. I grew more accustomed to save scumming. I was playing on easy and shocked at how hard it got even with beefed, leveled up soldiers. You are absolutely right about how that stuff happens at the worst time. I was running out of ammo when I would otherwise have an alien dead-to-rights. Aliens would move to essential positions that I didn't even think they could traverse to. It just felt like every time I tried to out-think them, they would do something even crazier.

    I would love to play this on a PS5, the load-times on a PS4 are a joke. So loading previous saves was a real chore (and maybe it should be). I will definitely watch streamers, it got its hooks in me proper. Which made it even more harrowing when I started having soldiers drop left and right despite all the work. 
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