Customer Review

2 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just about completely broken, January 12, 2014
This review is from: XCOM: Enemy Within [Online Game Code] (Software Download)
I purchased this game thinking it would be amazing. All my friends vouched for it and told me I wouldn't be disappointed. I got it on sale, with a few of the dlc packs. My opinion is going to be very unpopular, but I feel it needs to be said. If you don't think this game is riddled with bugs take a look at the Steam forums.

I have never played such a buggy and terrible game in my entire life. The game has so many bugs that it is completely broken. On my first mission (the tutorial), I spawned and each of my soldiers was instantly shot and killed. I didn't have time to move, but somehow, through walls and cars, a few invisible (fog of war) aliens managed to kill my soldiers. This happened over and over and over throughout the game. Enemies would shoot my characters through multiple solid walls.

That's just the beginning of the game killing bugs. At one point the game decided all of my chars should always face the opposite way while shooting. At one point a certain combination of weapons and armor nullified outgoing damage. I could go on all day about the bugs. On top of that there is the unbalanced gameplay. Some weapons are just infinitely better than the others, and there is no point in even using anything but a sniper and a heavy machine gun.

The game sells itself saying you can build your own base and you can fight air battles. Yet, there is no "real" customization in either of those. When you purchase a jet the game fights the battle for you. All you do is click two large square buttons telling your ship to use certain tactics. That's it. You watch a wire frame plane on a 1970's style computer screen slowly move up and down and shoot wire frame missiles at an enemy vessel that stays still.

The base is another gimmick. You simply purchase new sections and place them. That's it. Beside research and item purchases there is not much else your base is good for. Yeah, you can customize the looks of each soldier (pointless), which leads me to believe they spent more time on the model customizing than the entire base concept.

The DLC is also a joke. One gives you an extra character, right at the beginning of the game, that is only two (or so) ranks above your privates. That's it. You go on a silly little four minute mission in the exact same level as a previous mission.

Another beef of mine is the limited level design. As you complete the game you will find that there were only four or five different tile-sets that you play in. There are one or two levels that are storyline with "special" sets. Unfortunately, these sets are really just normal sets with small unique features (one has a train, woo). By the time you play through a few dozen matches, you will be bored with the entire game. The enemies seldom change, and usually if they do, it's a reskin or a weapon upgrade.

There are some cool things to the game, but they are all superficial. The setting is cool, but the storyline and gameplay are terrible. Gameplay is hampered by bugs and a terrible camera system. The tactical basis for the game is great, but limited by some pretty horrendous design choices. Customizations could have been great, but again was limited by design choices. The interaction with scientists and shops in the base is okay. The way it's set up makes you think the designers didn't want to follow through with the system. It's more of a "collect items during combat (usually aliens)" and we'll give you some cool shiny new tech that doesn't really do much.

Squad level ups are cool, but again, pointless. If you didn't have level ups for your squad the game would eventually be too difficult to play (on higher difficulties). It feels like the system was put in place to manipulate the game and give players an advantage, or the designers had to come up with something to make the gameplay feel fair.

Gameplay- 3/10
Barely passing. There are numerous games that provide better experiences for less.

Audio- 2/10
Repetitive and annoying. Sounds frequently go missing, and frequently get locked in a loop. Turn off the sound.

Graphics- 5/10
The graphics are amazing, however they are ruined by bugs. Colors go missing, textures invert, and guns go invisible. That's just the beginning.

Overall- 3.5/10
I feel like I'm being generous with this score. Avoid this game. Find another game with similar ideas and play that.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 1, 2014 7:30:59 PM PST
None of this surprises me nor does your abysmal review score. Seems almost like these game companies could dump their trash on all our lawns, tell us it's a game and enjoy the support of an overwhelming percentage of their customers who are all too eager to down vote any honest review they see on Amazon because it confirms what they themselves already know to be true. Either that or they're actually paid shills. Notice how the vast majority of these 1 or 2 star reviews that present valid and factual issues (as opposed to the ones that just say "it's a Steam game" or "The game didn't work.") are routinely spammed with negative votes but nowhere in the comments sections do you ever find anyone actually stating that the reviewer is wrong.

Out of the so far thirteen negative votes for this review not a single one of those thirteen people attempted to counter one single point made in it? One has to wonder why that is.

Well, it isn't just this one. XCom: EU was no better. It's the same bug-laden nightmare with the same repetitive map designs slyly augmented to appear "different", the same stupid "air battles", stupid inventory, stupid base-building gimmicks and ultimately useless leveling perks.

Posted on Feb 5, 2014 9:14:47 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 5, 2014 9:15:51 AM PST
F63 says:
Ultimately the "complaints" of this game comes from the OP essentially not liking, or perhaps lacking an understanding of what a TURN based strategy game is about. However a kudo's is given to the OP for providing specific reasons beyond "the game sucks". But as another poster (Dagger) voices his frustrations about any negative votes for the OP, I'll give the dog a bone and respond to some specifics.

As far as the "glitched tutorial" I cannot understand the OPs frustrations with the scenario, because that mission is essentially a scripted sequence where there are NO ALTERNATIVE options beyond the intended ending. The tutorial forces the player to make exact actions with his/her soldiers; plain and simple. It's just there to show the player the extreme importance of cover, flanking enemies, weapon types, demolitions, etc. Albeit the way of showing you the game mechanics is a bit dramatic and upsetting because you essentially lose all squad members except the 1. Plain in simple, it's a TUTORIAL.

The complaints about "Not being able to customize your Base" holds little merit. It's not about constructing every building and being done, and it's much more than the implied "click here to put part Z where only part Z belongs". Base building in XCom requires strategy & planning that is entirely contingent upon your gaming style preferences as well as your chosen starting location. If your base of operations is based in Europe, you probably won't be devoting time to laying out laboratories and will perhaps skip the genetics lab altogether. If you're a "Big Guns" kind of player, you'll focus on workshops and the foundry, perhaps skipping the expensive Officer School. Regardless of your strategy, the game requires management of limited space, accessing that space (expanding your freight elevators and excavating caverns) and of course power and satellite management are huge concerns. All of this is balanced with a very tight amount of funding and resources that will change with every new game.

The DLC content he blasted is another gross simplification. For starters, I will assume he's referring to Operation Slingshot only, based on the date of his review. That specific DLC is several missions, not "just one". But most importantly (and without any spoilers) those missions add intensity to the early/mid game. They are very difficult early missions that have a high payoff if successfully conducted. Also, lets not forget that the DLC only cost $7 dollar and that's ONLY IF you bought it separately; most people probably paid less. What do you expect for that amount of money? For $7 I was happy to get another 5 hours of gameplay AND (more importantly) add a strategy changing element to the original game.

The implied "repetition of level design and mission types" are a bit missing the point. Sure, you probably will play on some of the same levels a couple times during each game, but the enemies and strategic element will be unique each time. Does the OP really pretend that a level in Nigeria in the early game with a bunch of Rookies squaring up against Sectiods, is the same as when you're fielding a unit with a close combat MEC and a couple snipers versus a horde of Mutons, Chrysallids and an Ethereal? Again this is a TURN based strategy game. Also there are no fixed spawn points on the maps.

The most inaccurate comment that I found is the "unbalanced gameplay". The OP really wants you to believe that a soldier with a basic rifle should be able to easily punch through the chitin plating of a Chyrsallid? Or that a soldier with "slightly reinforced" (lvl 2) body armor should be able to stand the blast of a Plasma Machine Gun? Should a standard terrestrial aircraft armed with conventional rockets be able to shoot down a UFO Fortress class? Is it unfair that the standard issue sniper rifle cannot compete with a heavily researched and modified variant? The priority of any successful strategy game should be to UPGRADE your forces skills, their training, its armaments/munitions and personal equipment. To say that "The sniper rifle and heavy machine gun are the only guns worth using" just further illustrates he doesn't understand the game mechanics. There are plenty of players who prefer the "In your face / Run and Gun" tactics of the shotguns, SMGs, grenades, etc.

My opinion of the OP is that he doesn't understand the mechanics nor the intentions of a TURN based strategy game. Perhaps that misunderstanding was only exacerbated by being beaten by the "cheating AI" when he was clearly playing at a difficulty setting beyond his abilities. The Classic difficulty setting is punishing enough, without the higher settings. I personally LOVE the fact that I can't win this game on its hardest setting without some serious "Do Overs" (loading) from time to time. IMHO too many games are easily beaten on the initial play through of their "hardest setting".

To be fair to the OPs point about his soldiers "facing the wrong way when shooting", that can and does happen from time to time, however to make claims of "every character" and "all the time" is an exaggeration. Seeing how he goes to elaborate on: constant bugs, soldiers disappearing, invisible aliens, losing audio, etc leads me to assume that his operating system (be it the CPU, RAM, GPU, Sound Card, whatever) just wasn't up to snuff for this game.

In the end, this is a game that sold for LESS than the cost of a standard video game, yet still managed to win "Game of the Year" awards and entertain tons upon tons of consumers with a play style that is largely absent in video games: TURN BASED STRATEGY.

P.S. I'm just an enthusiast for this game, not a "paid shill". And to the poster Dagger, there's quite a bit of irony in your condemnation of "down votes" and your praise of the OPs descriptive complaints only to be followed up with your summation of "stupid, stupid, stupid".

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2014 4:25:16 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 6, 2014 4:30:44 PM PST
Ryan Johnson says:
Sadly, as OP. I disagree with your apparently thorough rebuttals.

You misinterpreted my entire review, and even pointed yourself out as a fanboy/enthusiast. This game is overhyped and overrated. Enjoying a game and being a fanboy does not mean you can dismiss the obvious problems.

In the tutorial, I received the game over screen before I even moved any characters. I had to begin a new game. Also, you can blame it on the difficulty, but that is far from what I stated in my review. Spawning in a map, and having the screen pan to the far corner of the map, where an alien shoots one bullet and kills all of your soldiers IS not setting the difficulty too high. It is a bug. Having no problem overcoming the game on the highest difficulty against EVERY enemy, using only a sniper and a heavy machine gun, also does not mean I have turned up the difficulty too high. What it does mean, is that this game is horribly unbalanced. Aside from the random massacres (before I even got to move), I never had any problem with the AI. There is a difference between being beaten by the ai, or being beaten by a broken and cheating AI. I can take being beaten by a game. I can't stand being beaten by being shot through multiple buildings or walls, or being killed upon map load.

My opinion is that you don't understand the mechanics of how games and programs work. This game was poorly programmed. It is riddled with bugs and unplayable. It is not worth a premium price. You really didn't read my review did you? There are multiple assumptions in your post that clearly suggest the opposite of what I said in my review. This is not a good turn based strategy game.

Again, my review is unpopular. Why? Because people don't want to believe their holy grail is actually a rotten apple. My review is solid.

Also, side note. I got the DLC for a buck on sale. I still feel ripped off. I have no idea how you can spend five hours playing through a single map. It does not add anything onto the game. It does not add extra missions. That is my problem. The DLC states "linked council missions," but there was only a single mission, in a previously (exact) explored map, where I got my one soldier. It added no difficulty (for me, sorry if you felt it was hard).

This game is a farce.

p.s. Ha, every person who can't accept a game is buggy, always pulls the hardware card. Sure, if that makes you feel better about your fandom, you can blame it on my hardware. Hence, why in my original review, I said to check the steam forums. You really, really, didn't read my review did you?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2014 4:32:08 PM PST
Ryan Johnson says:
Honestly, it's fandom. The only reason people thumbed my post down is because they like the game. It's why there are other negative reviews with no information that have more upvotes.

It's actually quite sad.
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