28 August 2011

More XCOM silliness

So the 2K Games have churned out some more apologetic nonsense for their little abomination. What an odd video.

First the backdrop. What's up with all the red scare talk, and the business about minorities and women and what not gaining acceptance? What the hell does communism phobia and the Cuban missile crisis have to do with bloody aliens? Are they planning to have a ridiculous plotline where the Soviet Union decides to help the aliens or the player or something? This is just rich. It's not like they consider for even a second that the aliens might be the Soviet's doing. They want to set this in a cold war atmosphere, and all the characters think like they're from the 2010s!

Then, what's with the silly reference to Turing and that blabbing about discriminated groups? Why are so many of these "underpriviledged" groups in leadership anyway? Not to be racist or misogynist or what have you but of the two XCOM leaders we see one is a woman and one is black. I have nothing against it, but it seems kind of... You know, not realistic for the setting. It's great they want to have diversity and all, but why not just set in a later time period?

Also, homosexuals didn't become accepted anywhere near the time period portrayed. Nice try.

Then the gameplay itself. The "stable" of agents is just 4 people. Probably all pre-set. The "overwhelming" number of choices is picking from 4 missions, again probably pre-determined, and you can probably do them all eventually and it doesn't matter much in what order. Why are these guys even bothering? It's not a bad game, but it's about as far from X-Com as you can get. Why name it that? Why, god why? I just don't get it!

The level shown is kind of ridiculous, too. Checkpoints are, as you can guess from the name, points set up to check people crossing a boundary. How the fuck are you going to be sure everyone has been checked when you can avoid the damn checkpoint by going through a coffee shop RIGHT NEXT TO IT? How can they be so DENSE? Besides that, there's the usual errors of linear, uninteresting design that everyone is too familiar with.

And why are the aliens just like ordinary soldiers with guns, except they have a funky shield thing? I mean, can't they have some unique attack types? Why must it be the exact kind of firefight you could easily have in a game just about humans fighting humans? Because the aliens in X-Com had unique attacks that weren't just shooting at you with guns. Just saying.

And why is the AI so stupid, anyhow? That flank in the video was laughable.

There's plenty of scripted cutscenes, which I think are nice. But it feels like the whole game is just an excuse to show their "so awesome" cutscenes. It reminds me of the DnD DM who will railroad his players, give them no opportunity to affect the plot, and filibuster the game by talking at length about how his awesome DMPCs, like, totally fuck shit up, man. And then there's the unbeatable ghost aliens murdering NPCs in unreachable rooms, but thoughtfully not bothering the player... Why didn't they just make a movie or TV series? It's clearly what they want, the way they shove their imagery in your face. I'd watch the hell out of it, even if it was animated with the game engine. I mean, the game IS pretty.

I guess that's a good plus to hang on to; "At least it looks pretty".

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