Zero Punctuation: XCOM 2

bificommander

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Apr 19, 2010
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I very much enjoyed XCOM 2. I'm on my third playthrough now. I do think they freshed things up from the first game quite a bit, with a pretty good balance (Up to the endgame, I'm always short on time and supplies to get everything I need, as I should be) . I also like the timed missions, because they do introduce a fun element of pressure. And as for it not matching the guerilla feel, most guerilla attacks rely on speed as well as stealth. There's something to be said for a shorter timer that only starts when you're spotted (although that introduces a painful element of luck, since the distance you have to travel in that time now depends on when you happen to meet your first patrol), but I'm fine with it like this.

On the bad side, the game is technically poorly pollished with bugs, glitches and long load times. And there are some problems with the balance of actions with penalties for failure, like melee (leaves your guy exposed) and hacking (buffs enemies or spawns more if you fail). Someone forgot the high-reward part of this high-risk stake: Melee attacks deal less damage and have higher miss chances than a shotgun blast, and even my super-buffed hacker (Colonel, Gremlin Mk III, upgraded skulljack for +25 to hack and a permanent +20 to hack as reward from an earlier hack attempt) had less chance of temporarily taking over a mid-tier enemy like a Heavy MEC than my Magus (with only the Alien Psi amp, no other specials) had of mind controling the strongest psionic enemy in the game permanently. And the psion doesn't buff the enemy when you fail.

Oh, and the story relies on some pretty bizare technobabble about DNA that I'm pretty sure makes no sense whatsoever.
 

Qizx

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Feb 21, 2011
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FirstNameLastName said:
Okay, I've never played XCOM, so I had no idea what people where talking about with the Vipers, but upon checking ...

http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/xcom/images/8/8a/XCOM2_ConceptArt_Viper.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/1280?cb=20150619184546

Why do the snakes have tits? Not just tits, but that drawing on the right looks like they've simply traced over the image of a naked women. I guess they want to bring across that they've female for whatever reason, but it still seems strange for a reptilian alien to have a perfectly human rack.
Hey, whatever the scalies are into I guess, but something about the design makes me feel it's somehow both too anthropomorphized, and not enough.
Because they have human DNA in them was my understanding. Still a little odd but these are the same creatures that were the thin men so...
 

FirstNameLastName

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Nov 6, 2014
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Qizx said:
FirstNameLastName said:
Okay, I've never played XCOM, so I had no idea what people where talking about with the Vipers, but upon checking ...

http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/xcom/images/8/8a/XCOM2_ConceptArt_Viper.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/1280?cb=20150619184546

Why do the snakes have tits? Not just tits, but that drawing on the right looks like they've simply traced over the image of a naked women. I guess they want to bring across that they've female for whatever reason, but it still seems strange for a reptilian alien to have a perfectly human rack.
Hey, whatever the scalies are into I guess, but something about the design makes me feel it's somehow both too anthropomorphized, and not enough.
Because they have human DNA in them was my understanding. Still a little odd but these are the same creatures that were the thin men so...
That would make sense, but upon reading the wiki I found this not to be the case.
http://xcom.wikia.com/wiki/Viper_%28XCOM_2%29 said:
Despite their resemblance to terrestrial snakes, the Viper is actually a wholly extraterrestrial species unmodified by human DNA. However, it retains the modified Thin Man's poison and high accuracy, combat abilities and intelligence.
So I have no idea what they were going for. From a realism perspective it doesn't really make sense for anything but a mammal to have, well, mammaries. I guess since they're an alien species all manner of things can be handwaved, but it still makes me wonder what they were going for with that design. Were they intentionally trying to make them attractive to a rather niche crowd? A quick look at the shit to suggest people want to bang them, but I guess that's par for the course of any franchise.
 

Mangod

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Feb 20, 2011
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FirstNameLastName said:
Okay, I've never played XCOM, so I had no idea what people where talking about with the Vipers, but upon checking ...

http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/xcom/images/8/8a/XCOM2_ConceptArt_Viper.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/1280?cb=20150619184546

Why do the snakes have tits? Not just tits, but that drawing on the right looks like they've simply traced over the image of a naked women. I guess they want to bring across that they've female for whatever reason, but it still seems strange for a reptilian alien to have a perfectly human rack.
Hey, whatever the scalies are into I guess, but something about the design makes me feel it's somehow both too anthropomorphized, and not enough.
Well, 1) they're actually poison glands (yes, really), and 2) I'm assuming they've been anthropomorphised somewhat to make people feel less worried by the giant snake lady with a plasma rifle.

And 3) because someone at Firaxis has a snake fetish, presumably.
 

Qizx

Executor
Feb 21, 2011
458
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FirstNameLastName said:
Qizx said:
FirstNameLastName said:
Okay, I've never played XCOM, so I had no idea what people where talking about with the Vipers, but upon checking ...

http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/xcom/images/8/8a/XCOM2_ConceptArt_Viper.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/1280?cb=20150619184546

Why do the snakes have tits? Not just tits, but that drawing on the right looks like they've simply traced over the image of a naked women. I guess they want to bring across that they've female for whatever reason, but it still seems strange for a reptilian alien to have a perfectly human rack.
Hey, whatever the scalies are into I guess, but something about the design makes me feel it's somehow both too anthropomorphized, and not enough.
Because they have human DNA in them was my understanding. Still a little odd but these are the same creatures that were the thin men so...
That would make sense, but upon reading the wiki I found this not to be the case.
http://xcom.wikia.com/wiki/Viper_%28XCOM_2%29 said:
Despite their resemblance to terrestrial snakes, the Viper is actually a wholly extraterrestrial species unmodified by human DNA. However, it retains the modified Thin Man's poison and high accuracy, combat abilities and intelligence.
So I have no idea what they were going for. From a realism perspective it doesn't really make sense for anything but a mammal to have, well, mammaries. I guess since they're an alien species all manner of things can be handwaved, but it still makes me wonder what they were going for with that design. Were they intentionally trying to make them attractive to a rather niche crowd? A quick look at the shit to suggest people want to bang them, but I guess that's par for the course of any franchise.

Well shit now I'm finding out Thin Men had no Human DNA at all either. I thought they did.

Also you totally should have known better than to google anything that could remotely be attractive... Or googling anything.

Nothing is safe, everything is perverse on there.
 

Zontar

Mad Max 2019
Feb 18, 2013
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I think the Vipers can best be explained by the following two comics.





Snake girl fetish is a thing now, we all have to accept that it's up there with elves and vampires.
 

iller3

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Nov 5, 2014
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Worgen said:
I dont know, I have a feeling people might be more accepting of constable hissy than you think.
Yes I personally welcome our slithering overlords and their Ample baps. But I'll laugh if Thanatos recuses himself from commenting

I'd also buy this game if I had the money even though it would probably be far cheaper for me to just buy the First reboot of it that Yahtzee was going on and on about
 

Onliuge

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Aug 9, 2012
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I love it when Ben ends the video with something ridiculous, especially the GTA 5 review.
 

XDSkyFreak

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Mar 2, 2013
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Oh yahtzee, but it makes perfect sense humanity accepted the alien rule. Just do a quick unprotected google search for the Vipers, and you will understand that the true power to conquer humanity comes not from superior firepower or psionics or technology, but from an ample supply of fetish waifus made readily available to the mases.
 

3asytarg3t

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Jun 8, 2010
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Rawbeard said:
I can't get past the premise and the more I hear about it the more absurd it becomes. The gameplay might be solid, but I need the story to make sense or not be there at all.
Then you would do well in not making the mistake of viewing Yhatzee's review as anything actually resembling a real review nor an actual explanation as to the plot of the game.

If this is where you're looking for information on a game you're hopelessly lost.

This is just a bit of meaningless fun each week and anyone watching Yhatzee for facts or reviews has completely missed the point.

It would be the most precious thing in the world if Yhatzee himself actually meant these things to be taken seriously. Now that would really be funny indeed.
 

008Zulu_v1legacy

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Sep 6, 2009
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Now I'm really glad I didn't buy this game. Not as good as the first one is all the convincing I needed. Well, that and 'winning the first game' going to 'no, you lost' was a bit of an unnecessary kick to the teeth.
 

Breywood

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Jun 22, 2011
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iller3 said:
Worgen said:
I dont know, I have a feeling people might be more accepting of constable hissy than you think.
Yes I personally welcome our slithering overlords and their Ample baps. But I'll laugh if Thanatos recuses himself from commenting

I'd also buy this game if I had the money even though it would probably be far cheaper for me to just buy the First reboot of it that Yahtzee was going on and on about
I'd say that Enemy Unknown is worth it's present price on Steam, although I'd still earmark it for a sale, especially since X-COM 2 is suffering from MOTS syndrome. As for X-COM 2, I'll wait for a price cut and some patching before I add it to my library.
 

PunkRex

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Feb 19, 2010
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Angry mob: WE NEED TO OVERTHROW OUR TYRANNICAL XENO OVERLORDS!

~Arrival of sexy snake ladies~

Horny mob: Just saying, maaaaaaybe give peace a chance.
 

Canadamus Prime

Robot in Disguise
Jun 17, 2009
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FirstNameLastName said:
Okay, I've never played XCOM, so I had no idea what people where talking about with the Vipers, but upon checking ...

http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/xcom/images/8/8a/XCOM2_ConceptArt_Viper.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/1280?cb=20150619184546

Why do the snakes have tits? Not just tits, but that drawing on the right looks like they've simply traced over the image of a naked women. I guess they want to bring across that they've female for whatever reason, but it still seems strange for a reptilian alien to have a perfectly human rack.
Hey, whatever the scalies are into I guess, but something about the design makes me feel it's somehow both too anthropomorphized, and not enough.
There is a whole TVtropes page devoted to that. I'll spare you by not linking to it.
 

Saika Renegade

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Nov 18, 2009
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Having played a few goes through, I'm inclined to agree. The constant ticking clock element is a bit fussy and annoying, and there's an enormous lost opportunity to seed a level with oodles of civilians and aliens, strategically working our way to a target by evasion or removal of inconvenient patrols while avoiding ruining our name as the good guys who avoid civilian casualties.

Granted, the firmly established psychic presence in this game does explain how everyone and their scowly terror beast knows where you are the moment anyone gets spotted, but it'd be nice if it only applied to individual soldiers who get spotted.

I kinda hope that their next project is a fully revamped, heavily updated and modified Terror From The Deep. Lovecraftian horror and alien monster battles? I'm on board.
 

Silverbeard

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Jul 9, 2013
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I honestly think Firaxis should have tossed the whole concealment mechanic and been done with it. It adds very little to the game beyond letting the players maul the first pod they come across and... that's it. Increase the timer length, say that the E.Ts spotted Firebrand coming in and activated their self-detonating charges or whatever shit and let's just play the game the way it was meant to be played.
It's like someone came up with the idea of concealment early in development and then the team realized that they were turning XCOM into a stealth game (against their wishes) and then tried to come with all sorts of tricks to discourage a stealthy play style. Why not just toss the damn stealth and be done with it?

I do still enjoy the game though. The new abilities and classes are great fun to fiddle with and it is nice to go through the first few turns with a bit of wild sprinting without having to worry about thin men jumping up at the sight of you.
 

GARforGunman

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Dec 12, 2010
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aegix drakan said:
Rawbeard said:
I can't get past the premise and the more I hear about it the more absurd it becomes. The gameplay might be solid, but I need the story to make sense or not be there at all.
When XCOM busts the commander out of suspended animation in the tutorial, and after you do a few of the early research projects you find out that XCOM lost the first war early mostly due to the XCOM HQ getting attacked and the commander being captured after a Muton punch to the face, and that they've been using the Commander to run tactical simulations for 20 years (As the screen behind your scientist shows footage of the first game, meaning all your memories of the first game and expansion were essentially the aliens running simulations in your brain), as well as providing tactical information to their army. Hence why XCOM hasn't been able to effectively do jack or shit for 20 years. It's Bradford-Imma-get-everyone-killed-in-Game-1's-tutorial VS The much more competent player. XD

'Course the story isn't quite "great" and there are a few headscratchers here and there, but it generally works.
See, this was one of my biggest gripes with the game at first. Not the pseudo-stealth mechanics that hampered some of the strategy planning or diminished fear and tension in the atmosphere of this alien-controlled version of Earth. It was the initial plot points that seemed to be taking too many pages from modern-Bioware's guide to narrative. Games are, by their nature, interactive and players' investment in the narrative can be effected greatly by how much they feel their actions are influencing / progressing the story. XCOM : EU / EW, despite having a bare-bones story and fairly standard cast in Bradford, Shen and Vahlen, gave me an immense sense of investment: how my soldiers grew or perished, what research and structures I directed my time towards, which nations I saved and which I lost. All these factors gave my victory (as well as many other players') that immense satisfaction you usually only get from a story when you're fully invested.

So, to hear Firaxis declare those thousands of hours players dedicate to unraveling and thwarting the Ethereals was null and void seemed like the laziest way to set the stage for their "underground resistance" focused sequel. One of my first thoughts (aside from the initial "this is some ME3 ending tier bullsh--!") included "why should I care about the story now? I know why the Ethereals want Earth, so there's little incentive to unravel their schemes again." Coupled with the early reveal that the Commander was being fed Matrix-esque combat simulations while in stasis and my fears for how this story would unfold grew larger.

But then, I reached the final mission, and things got... interesting.

So, during the final mission with the Commander in control of the Ethereal Avatar, this "Angelis Ethereal," which I assumed was just the Uber-Ethereal leader from the first game, constantly spoke about the Commander being critical to their efforts and how the first invasion was a test, one that humanity passed with flying colors. This seemed to fly in the face of the narrative's own logic when XCOM was beaten within a few weeks and Earth fell soon after.

Then, another Ethereal spoke about the Commander defeating them here as he did once before.

And just like that, some intriguing plot pieces started falling into place. Not only was the human victory scenario of XCOM 1 implied to have happened; it also implied the Ethereals were able to warn themselves about the dangers of letting mankind (and the Commander in particular) have any sort of chance at defeating them during their planet-wide test.

That's why XCOM lost within a matter of weeks during XCOM 2. The Ethereals performed the ultimate save-scum move and scrapped their initial plans for a gradual invasion to test humanity. They already knew mankind had what they were looking for, so they bombarded XCOM with Sectopods and Assualt UFOs before we had time to reach laser weapons.

This could prove to be XCOM 2's greatest narrative strength for its future content and future sequels; the possibility that Earth is becoming part of a multi-dimensional conflict with possible alternate timelines.

And that's the end of my long-winded speculation. Overall, I had a blast with XCOM 2 and appreciate the time Firaxis put into addressing some of the fans' legitimate concerns with its predecessor. It may still be a work in progress, but I feel like we're going to see some interesting new content in the near future, both from the developers and the mod community.
 

Lightspeaker

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Dec 31, 2011
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"I just don't think people would accept a giant snake as the new local constable."

CLEARLY Yahtzee isn't familiar with Monster Musume. Full disclosure: despite some people fetishising the Vipers, I don't. Too inhuman for my tastes. But Miia from Monster Musume...hmm.... >_>


On the subject of XCOM2: I've been enjoying the game but the criticisms related to concealment and the timers I'm fully on board with. Timed missions seem to get a little less frequent the further into the game you go but by the gods does it really seem to ruin the whole aspect of taking the game carefully and force a lot of rush tactics. You can't be clever about it because you just don't have time. So concealment typically just results in you absolutely annihilating the first pod and then fighting your way through the rest of them as per normal.
 

Pikeperch

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May 3, 2010
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Caramel Frappe said:
Because ... .. . reasons :D?

I guess to make them stand out more than merely being Nagas, in which they have human breasts. But my question isn't why they have breasts- but why are there Nagas in a video game revolving around Aliens? Did the Aliens decide to crossbreed with Greek Mythology and produce these alien vipers ... consisting of all female gender? I don't really understand but let's just agree it's a video game in the end because video games can do whatever they please.

OT: I kind of hate the fact humanity easily gave up and aliens overruled us with no problem. In real life, humanity would have the resistance to either win our freedom or die trying. History has proven this despite the circumstances given countries were facing.
I don't know anything about X-com, but I felt a pedantic need to point out that Nagas are from Hindu mythology, not Greek.
That is all, you may continue.