EDIT: I have reconsidered my position and this post remains only as a historical record of what originally started this thread
Let me start with a few words. I was a huge fan of original. I played and completed X-Com 1, 2, 3, 4 countless number of times. I finished X-Com 1 ironman on superhuman at least thrice. I loved every single game of the series (up to 4). I was so happy about this remake, true to original, made by guys who loved the original etc etc. I watched every video, read every article. I heard they're going to go with 1 base, with absence of time units, but i hoped it will be for greater good. I heard they're going to make it for consoles too, but they promised separate interface for PC's so i hoped it wont affect PC interface. I was going to buy this game, even though i rarely do buy games, especially without trying them first.
But then i installed Steam just to play one game - FTL - and saw a demo available for free.
I played it.
Unfortunately, every single hope was in vain...
I will now makea detailed comparison of original to the remake, in order to give solid proof to my position.
1. It begins at the start of the game. In the original, I could skip the intro. In the remake, I cannot. ☺☺☺? Too much ego, guys? "How can the player not watch our company logo every time, its so beatiful!"
Well, here you go, original gets a head start in list of features!
2. You wanted to remake an original, stay true to it.... Tell me... Where did tha awesome x-com logo went, and why do we have this ugly insignia?... Okay, even if that's subjective, you're making an x-com game, true to the original.... Why not give it five difficulty levels and call them appropriately (novice...superhuman)?
Way to kick every fan of the series in the nuts before he even started playin...
3. Okay, what's this game called again? Is it "enemy unknown"? Then why the hell do we see our damn enemy right at the title screen, in the main menu? Yes, you could argue, that original had mutons in the intro, but i'm talking ingame models.
In the original, you downed your first ufo and went in and had first contact and went like... What is that thing? And no way to zoom in, no way to see what is it holding... You cant even see its face if it's looking away from camera. And then it shoots you and kills your dude.... And another dude.... And after you finally kill it, you are curious and look at its corpse and go like "Eek!"... Or you may have learned that he's alive! "Oh my god we have a live one here, what do we do?"
But in this "remake" you are familiarised with the enemy from the go. There it runs around the streets in circles, look at it. There you see it in your tutorial, you see what it can do and how deadly it is (while losing nothing, because this is supposed to happen, you know those 3 casualties are scripted and they do not really feel like losses)
So by the time you're sent on your real mission, not really "unknown" anymore, is it?
4. But even before we begin with the actual game.... What is this mouse? Whats with the delay? ☺☺☺? I guess the game was made for consoles, and no matter what they said about separate interfaces, it shows that game was made for consoles, but man, such a delayed mouse pointer? ☺☺☺? You cannot even change it anywhere! You're stuck with this slowpoke pointer for the whole game! What can i say?
Original game increases its lead.
5. Tutorial... Why this even starts in battlescape? Why are you forced to make stupid tactical desicions? (which x-com vet would send one guy rushing inside a building while other guys are more than a turn away and cannot shoot if an alien is inside?) Why dont you see whole interface at once and are locked in features (like, cannot zoom out)?
Having a tutorial which you have to play through is so wrong for many reasons! Want to teach players who do not read manuals? Simple - make a well designed interface, good tooltips and a help button that shows an overlay like Diablo 2. Thats it! But let's break this down to exact points.
6. Interface... Its horrible! Who designed this? You said you all played original game to the end... Well, in original game, i could understand every possible action i had without a tutorial, and i could control everything with my mouse! In this game, i cannot rotate camera without a keyboard! I try to zoom out and instead, i get a change of levels! I dont even know if i can zoom out because there is no "controls" in options, and no buttons on screen to do it. This is ridiculous.
Oh and that camera movement - its so sluggish, so slow even on highest speed, so unnatural and just pain in the ass to use.
Learn from a dude who made UfoExtender in his free time - he added customizeable hotkeys to original and even new interface elements to battlescape inventory. Without having access to the source code. Your "new remake" doesnt even have cusomizeable controls... in damn 2012 i will still have to hack your game to have customizeable controls?
You hard coded controls using QWEASD.... You guys ever heard that a big portion of people does not use WASD but ESDF? No? Never crossed your mind that customiseable controls for a game that uses a lot of hotkeys is a good idea? Ehh... Nevermind.
Original wins once again. Remake has worser interface, sluggish mouse and camera movement, no way to play using only mouse, stupid default controls without a way to reassign.
7. Deprivation of game experience.
In a game about unknown enemy, first contact is one of the epic moments to be remembered. You fear him. You are curious. You want to punch his face. Anything. But there is this first contact. And you deprieved player of experiencing first contact be making it happen TWICE in the tutorial under tutorial's command! What have you done? In the original, it could be landed ufo, it could be crashlanded ufo, it could be terror or even base assault! Every time it was different and first time you played it was true first contact! You went there without any understanding what you will face! How many, what are they capable of...
In the remake, they do it for you. They kill you guys in stupidest ways possible for you to show you that "enemy is dangerous" and do it again to show you "enemy knows how to shoot up roofs" maybe? Anyways, twice your experience of first contact is ruined and deprieved.
Way to ruin the huge, epic moment, take away major part of the fun.
If you needed to make player learn to play via tutorial, at least you could do it like Amnesia did it. Do not show the enemy in the tutorial, just spook the player. First let him learn to move and act, and then let him have his first contact... alone, the way he wants it...
Let him play and enjoy the game, do not deny him this!
Another win for original, another fail for remake.
8. Okay we started actual fight... This is soooooo screwed! This i sooo many steps back from the original its ridiculous! Tactical combat in this game just... SUCKS! Lets compare it to the original and see...
9. Size of the map... Where did my map go? Where are those big landscapes? What is this tiny corridor shooter ☺☺☺☺? I thought i was playing a strategy, tactics game, no?
Ever heard of Jagged Alliance 2 1.13 Big map project? Even if you didnt, read the name again. Its called big map project, not small map project for a reason! Shrinking the map in a tactical game dumbs the game down and takes away a lot of what original game was about! If anything, expanding the map may add new tactics and broaden your array of choices, making the game more interesting.
So why is X-Com different? The original had huge maps, where you could flank or be flanked, could have alien hiding in some general building to the side of the map, you had a huge battle for a huge city in terror... Here we get a corridor shooter. Linear map with several hand-placed obstacles.
Yeah, original is better once again, but we are already accustomed to it, arent we?
10. But lets get back to deprivation of game experience.
Any, ANY veteran of the original game knows how important first several turns are. You can land far away from the enemy, or you can land right on top of several aliens. Turn one was player turn, and aliens had huge advantage because they had full time units and their reaction, already higher than yours, was through the roof. Basically peeking outside at turn one was a death wish, and if you landed with aliens right outside the skyrider, looking at you, you'd really consider extracting right away. You could wipe your entire squad if the alient would reaction fire at you with a small bomb launcher. Boom. All unconsious. Mission failed, skyrider lost, with all soldiers and equipment.
And it was GREAT.
There were tactics. You could throw smoke grenade inside and wait, then start going out slowly. You could have your tank peek and if anything happens, it's more likely to survive due to higher armor. You really considered risk vs reward when you saw aliens are all around skyrider exit. It was huge.
Now we are deprieved of this. Exiting skyrider is done for us. Aliens will never be right outside the skyrider, yeah, of course they wouldnt, its no fair, players would whine and dislike the game for being too cruel!
Original wins once again. Huge part of tactics of battlescape are ripped out of the game, for sake of adding a nice cinematic... yay! What's not to love?
10. Size of the squad... We're talking unknown threat here. It might be a legion! It might be something that can take control of us and use our men against ourselves. So thats why we're only taking FOUR dudes on a mission? WHO THOUGHT THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA? Even in the year 1999 we already had aircraft capable of carrying more than ten people. Original game had skyrider fit 14 troops, or 10 and 1 tank, or 6 and 2 tanks. And what do we get in original? Four measy units, with a chance of later upgrade. Yeah... What about Avenger? Twenty Six operatives? And you needed those in base siege missions, even having twenty six guys you could still lose because it was ruthless, it was unfair and it was frightening. People with blaster bomb launchers all around, aliens coming from everywhere... thank god they didnt knew how to use elevators, or you'd have a nightmare. And if you were assaulting an ethereal base - good luck trying, no matter how many people you'd bring, you could lose.
Here we get.. four. Yeah. Huge hit.... "Right in the jewels", as Duke Nukem'd say.
It is just a crime against the original. I can see how dumbing game down to several units and smaller map makes it easier to actually make and balance the game, but at this point, please tell me, why on earth should i like to play your game instead of the original? Its worser in every single way! But lets keep on topic.
Limiting size of the squad more than four times to that of the original is more than four steps back. It adds nothing to the gameplay, but takes away a huge part of tactical approach.
11. New turn system!
Devs said TU based system was not very good because it didnt allow you to think of your squad as a whole, but had you calculate all those little points, where you can go, how many steps you can make so you can still fire and get away... i get it. Maybe there should be a simplier yet better system that will free up the player time for something ese. Maybe you can change TU based system to some other system... But tell me, what is this abomination?
After experiencing my first combat, i have to ask, why do you ever call this XCOM Enemy Unknown anymore? It has nothing true to the original! Nothing. Battlescape tactics are completey changed and screwed, more than that, they are FUBAR.
Lets begin with comparison. What was the original system?
You had a set amount of points, which depended on your soldier stats. Better soldier had more. You could use these points to move around, movement costed the same amount (so better soldier could move further). You could use them to operate your inventory (later on that) and to fire. Firing costed fixed percent, so everybody could fire same amount of shots. When you spotted an enemy, it could react to your actions, if his reaction x his time units remaining were greater than same formula for your soldier. There were also complex mechanics of mutal suprise rule, and reaction to being fired from behind, and some cases when you could react to turning of the enemy, not only movement and action, etc. This all created a real tactical experience, where you had to think about your every step, you had to act together as a team (or you'd have "lemmings syndrome"), you usually chose to fire from beyond enemy sight range because that wouldnt put your units in danger of reaction fire. You would have different tactics on scouting the land, but generally, the game was about spotting the enemy and living to tell the tale. The danger came from the fact that on enemy turn, they could come out of the fog of war, kill your dude and hide, and you had to either suck that up, or advance in hopes of spotting them and then having a shot. But you could get your spotter shot too, without revealing enemy location, then you'd either have to aim at where he fired from, or send in another guy... etc. Well, this was dangerous, fatal battle, where you could both get an upper hand (spotter spots, other soldiers kill, spotter gets back, skip turn, repeat) or get decimated by the enemy. And then there was he act of getting inside the UFO - that was a huge tactical aspect in itself. You often had tactics that involved stunning your operative in order to save his life, or sending in a suicide unit that would die in 99% cases. But it was interesting, tactical and had a huge depth to it. You also had a lot of ways of dealing with the enemy - using a lot of grenades, or even explosives, using explosive ammunition or incendary ammunition, or trying to get in melee and stun in order to get higher score and more test subjects in your alien containtment.
What do we get in the remake?
First of all, you are dumbed down to TWO actions per turn. If that's not enough, your soldier will, like an idiot, continue his action even if he spotted an enemy in process. If that's not enough, you are not allowed to move after shooting, or shooting twice. Now tell me, who thought that was a good idea?
You guys ever heard of Battle for Wesnoth? Jagged Alliance 1 or 2? You said you all played X-Com, omg, how could you make such an awful system!?
I cannot advance step by step until i notice an enemy. WHY!? In every game i listed, your movement is interrupted if you notice an enemy, and you are allowed to reconsider. In X-Com, you can just move step-by-step, to stop when you have visual contatct. Why cannot i do it anymore?
I cannot shoot and then get back with remaining time. WHY? Who thought that was a good idea? I understand in games like Wesnoth and Heroes of Might and Magic it does make sense that your attack ends your turn, because we're talking armies here. But this game is about single soldiers. So what prevents me from rushing back behind cover after i took a shot? Why do i HAVE to stay near that edge of a building so that the enemy can blow it up? Why do i have to stay behind a crate where i'm vulnerable, when i could have rushed inside the building where i'd be 100% safe. Why cant i shoot from the roof and then get to the center of it and duck, so that i dont get hit on their turn unless they climb up the roof? I cannot shoot twice if i dont move. WHY? What makes it so? 1 movement = 1 shooting in terms of time, since i can either move and shoot or move and move, so what the hell, why cannot i shoot twice?
Who thought that preventing fire for those who dont have sight of the enemy is a good idea (yeah, only snipers can do that now). You ever played Airsoft, Paintball, idk, any real firearms conflict simulation? Do you know the difference between spotting the enemy and seeing him? If i advance through a forest, and enemy is laying down behind a tree, i will spot him from much smaller distance than i'd be able to see him from! Because i dont know where to look, i'm looking everywhere for the signs of him, and my vision isnt good enough to instantly notice him right there. But after i did notice him, now my buddy can focus on that tree and also see him there. So whats the problem with firing there?
This creates a stupid "glued-down" system where you are glued in place and made vulnerable not by the nature of the conflict (you are against an alien threat, and they already had time to spread out so you're surrounded when you land), not by the nature of the firearms (you have crappy anti-bullet armor and they have plasma weapons) but by the system that forking glues my dudes in place after they fired, so that enemy can fire back on them on their turn!
This... Is... NONSENSE!!!!!!
You screw the tactical part of the original beyond all recognition! If we'd have no skins, meaning, we'd have gray dolls fighting gray dolls with standart "guns", and we'd ask people what game is this a remake of, judging by the tactical system, noone would recognise this as an X-Com game, i'd bet on that!
I accept the fact that maybe, maybe there is tactics to this system as well. Maybe it also has its quirks, you can learn and progress, become better. But this system is so limited compared to the original, its just an offense to call this a remake. This is a destruction of all what original standed for, not a remake.
And if it would only end up here... But no! We go on to...
12. Lack of inventory!
WHAT THE !? Who thought that was a good idea? Dressing your characters like dolls is a huge part of any tactica game. Thats where you get familliar with your guys, where you get to know him, and then they die horribly, and you feel it because you geared that guy by hand... Not only that, but the original had a very complex and well though system (putting something into shoulder slot costed many TU, but taking it from there costed very little TU, putting something into right hand from the other side slot, like, left leg, costed more than from corresponding right lef, etc). System was perfect, all that was missing is saving presets, so you dont have to equip them manually every time.
But no. No no no. This is a console game, and so equipment screen is a no-no. We will tell them that PC gets its own interface, but truth it, its just the same console interface buth with sluggish mouse on top of it.
We lost inventory - a huge part of the original - and what do we get instead? Nonsense! Only speficic "class" can equip specific weapon. But it gets worse... I CAN ONLY CARRY ONE ROCKET!?!?!?!?!?! What the hell? In original, even a ☺☺☺☺☺ could carry more than that. Dump that heavy gun and stock more rockets, your heavy gun wont help you when you need to take out that cyberdisk bunch from the distance! Where's my incendary ammo? High explosive ammo?
Where is my ammo at all? GONE? Who thought this was a good idea? A huge part of the original was ammunition. You could easilly go out of ammo if some dude does too many autofires. You would scavenge and use enemy guns, or have to toss ammo around. It was part of the game, and important one.
Instead, we get "reload" button that magically materialises ammunition for us?
But... a big part of the original was having to chose. Plasma weapons - accurate, fast, and powerful, but cost ammo. Ammo costs elerium, and elerium is priceless. Laser weapons - less accurate, less powerful, but unlimited ammo. Chose - have an advantage but pay for it, or have unlimited ammo but less firepower.
And what about guys carrying spare clips, or ammo for small launchers, blaster bombs, rocket launchers? All gone. One rocket, period.
This is beyond ridiculous. I was deprieved of any freedom to control my dudes by the changes to the TU system, and now i'm deprieved of simply replacing that pistol with an extra grenade! What kind of "True to original" game is this?
Several steps back for the remake once again.
13. Enemy guns disintegrate...
Yeah... this is so true to the original, right? No, it isnt! Who though this was a good idea i dont even... What's best than taking heavy plasma off an alien corpse, and blasting the ufo wall with it to make a second door. What's best than scavenging ammunition off alien corpses? No, we dont need that, say the developers of the remake, lets dumb that down even more. No picking up items. You get scrap and be happy with it.
Another step back, thank you. Next!
14. Only one base.
Now, i agree, that most of the time, you'd use one base to launch ground missions because it was easier that way. But you could also have research bases, production bases, you could have secondary bases just in case your main base goes down in an unlucky base assault.
Forcing us to one base is stupid, limiting and just makes zero sense. X-Com 1 was about multiple bases. X-Com 2 was about multiple bases. X-Com 3 was about multiple bases. X-Com 4 was about multiple bases. But no, in a true-to-original remake, we will not allow you to have multiple bases.
What about placing my base exactly where i want it? You ever heard of "single base in arctic on superhuman" walkthough of the original? No, you never did, and you never will in your dumbed down "chose one of five pre-set country points and thats all you got".
Original wins once again, and by huge margin (more than one base vs one base, better base layout interface because top down view IS better than side view, and ability to place bases wherever you want instead of being locked to five preset points).
15. UFO Interception...
I cannot intercept by multiple aircraft...
WHAT!? You say you played the original. Well maybe you played on novice? And they gave you an avenger right at the start too? Have you ever heard about downing a Very Large with interceptors? Or firstorms? Yeah go do it with 1 aircraft at a time! This just doesnt need any more words...
What about dumbed down interception window? Where did all those options go!?!?!??! What is this? Who designed it? Its nonsence!
WHERE IS THE EPIC INTECEPTION MUSIC!?!?!?! Omg. What have you done? If you remake X-Com, either keep the epic interception music, or do it like this guy did it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3y1r5F9UeU not like you did it, with boring music... Hell even visuals in the original were better for the interception screen.
Sorry, but this is another huge step back from the original.
16. You cannot respond to both missions at once!?
Who thought that was a good idea? "We can only respond to one"? NO YOU ☺☺☺☺☺☺☺ WE CAN RESPOND TO BOTH! Buy a second skyranger and do it! This is stupid. This is so artificial limitation that it just sticks out. Really sticks. In X-Com 1, you could react to everything you managed to. In X-Com 2, same. In X-Com 3, same. In X-Com 4, same. But in remake, yeah, you cant do that. Way to remake!
Step back once again!
17. Generally, dumb down and artificial limits all around.
Original game had you decide your class. Want a heavy weapons guy - train him in certain stats. Want a marksman - train him by having him make more shots per mission. Want a guy with good reaction - geat him up with best armor, and let him take reaction shots... he will be pro in no time, or die trying. You wanted to specialise on research? Build new labs. On production? New workshops.
Everything was freeform - you could spend your money on one of the items in a huge list that you could buy (scientists, soldiers, engineers, new craft, craft armament, crew armament...), rebuild your base from scratch to fit your needs (like, to make it more defendable), etc...
However, here we have those classes everywhere. You chose a class of your base when you start, you choose what to gain when you chose what country to help, you chose the class when you level up your soldier... Everything is limited by creating artificial walls and barriers (cannot do both missions at once, cannot carry rocket launcher if you aint this class, etc).
Hell, i cannot even hire scientists anymore! I have to get them through missions! What is that?
Once again, this is like taking The Elder Scrolls series game (Morowind or Oblivion, for example), and making it into a game with a character development system of Diablo 3, and calling that "remake". Nonsense!
You took away all the freedom we had.
* We cannot buy or sell stuff like we could before (we would get huge amount of different artifacts from each mission, now we get 2 corpses and 5 item debris and thats it)
* We cannot build our base where we want to
* We cannot have multiple bases
* We cannot freely plan our base
* We cannot buy personell
* We cannot complete all missions that show up
* We cannot equip our soldiers like we want to
How can you ever call this a step forward?
18. And just now, I found out this video:
Yes, you played Battle for Wesnoth, you played X-Com 1. You had a fenomenal exprerience. Just lets follow this video
* You died right after you come out of skyranger, you understood "That is X-Com for you", so that's why you removed this from your remake?
* The original game is unforgiving, that's why you automatically exit my guys out of Skyranger for me so that they dont die?
* It freaks you out when you see a sectoid in the dark, thats why your game completely deprieves you of this, by allowing you to see the enemy right from the main menu, and then you can see him with your camera easilly, see him fumble in cover, moving his limbs, so becaue you liked it, you removed it from your remake.
* The original game had soul, thats why you tried so hard to rip it off and remove it?
* They're not gonna hold your hand, that's why you hold the hand in the remake? I dont get it!
* They say, they LIE that "they're going to keep that stuff" but in truth, they remove everything, everything that was great about the original...
* Original source material still resonates.... Yeah, it does, because you see how bad the remake it is, how far the remake is from the original, how many original features were removed, crippled! Lots of features from the original are stripped and that indeed resonates when you play the remake.
After watching this video, I cant take it anymore. It hurts. I'm almost crying here at my desk. They just lie for the whole video. A true PR move, in order to sell their game. It hurts. It really hurts. Why are they doing this? They say original is sacred, holy to them, yet they mutilated, decimated it and made a horrible mess that they call a "remake true to original".
I had high hopes for this game... Oh well, I had to know better.
I'd like to thank anybody who read this far. If you have something to object, I'm all ears. I'm not a hater, I actually wanted to love this game, I hoped to play it and enjoy it as much as i did the original. But after trying the demo yesterday, it just seems impossible. Maybe I am wrong?