X-com like games that are not stupid hard

SallyNasty wrote:

So on the recommendation of this thread I have been playing Mutant: Year Zero and I am really enjoying it!

One of us! One of us!

Excellent. May pick up based on these last couple of posts. Do folks think the text and other UI elements are acceptable on a Steam deck?

chooka1 wrote:

Excellent. May pick up based on these last couple of posts. Do folks think the text and other UI elements are acceptable on a Steam deck?

Possibly. There is a fair amount of text, but most of it is filler or subtitles . It's not what i would call essential

Thank you.

bbk1980 wrote:

I really enjoyed Wintermoor Tactics Club which may well suit your needs.

Edit to ask is it the tactical battles or base building that floats your boat or you find difficult? Wintermoor is more down the tactical battles but with a visual novel in between it lacks the base building elements of x-com.

I came from the podcast thread to recommend this game. It's short and sweet and very friendly. And it's only $6 on the Steam sale.

Tried out Wildermyth this weekend.

Very fun. But! I'd say on anything above Normal difficulty it's pretty damn hard. And even on normal there's a lot to get a handle on in terms of stats/abilities/the overworld map.

One nice thing I'm not sure I've seen in other games, at various points in the game (like when you're faced with a story decision) there's a Wiki link in the top-right so you can go directly to a page that describes the various consequences. If you prefer to make a choice sight unseen you can, but if you don't mind spoilers it's nice to have the option to look things up so you don't accidentally make a permanent change to a character you really like.

The overworld map isn't as hard to manage as XCOM/XCOM 2, and there's not as many devil's bargain situations where you have to sacrifice one zone in exchange for another (although it seems like on the harder difficulties that might change), but on my first few games I definitely did not manage it very well.

The randomly generated story bits are fun, and you can use points you earn in the game to promote characters so that you can use them in future campaigns.

Unless you enable the ironman mode, saving is pretty generous. And even if you don't save a lot, when a character is mortally wounded you have an opportunity to either save them and take a hit to their stats (or lose a limb), or sacrifice them for a bonus in the battle. So you can salvage a lot of bad situations.

I do find myself sometimes getting frustrated when four 80-88% change shots miss in a row, but I guess that's just par for the course in this kind of game.

It's too bad it's not on Switch, it'd be perfect for that (apparently they're hoping Christmas of 2022-ish).

Check out Warhammer 40k Mechanicus. Granted, it helps to like Warhammer going in but it’s got the classic XCom play style without the wonky misses and better cover rules. The first few missions are a little rough but by early-mid game I found it a lot easier.

Midnight Suns coming in Oct. And you can't miss!

I'm not sure how I'll feel about Midnight Suns having so few characters deploy per mission. It will probably be fine given for example Daemonhunters one may only deploy 4 squaddies.

The interview with Jake resonated with a recent interview with the Daemonhunters dev; both games have no chance to miss and at their core you want players to feel powerful thus the enemy mechanics have to be different in how you make encounters a bit of a puzzle to pull off winning tactics that reward with sufficient payoffs.

That's not to say we should throw away RNG completely; sometimes it's the whiffs and crits that give spice to encounters too.

Midnight Suns apparently has Persona or Fire Emblem style relationship building and hangouts between missions. Other heroes you're friends with will get stronger. It keeps sounding better to me every preview I read.

Also for those that missed it, The Iron Oath just entered early access on Steam.

Looks like a high(er) fantasy style of Battle Brothers / WarTales mixed with some environmental tactical elements a la Divinity. Pixel art looks beautiful too! I'm definitely cheering on any developer working the mercenary turn-based subgenre.

This thread has just made me trot through Mutant Year Zero: The Road to Eden again. I was right when i made it my game of the year a few years back. It remains a wonderful game.

Moving on to the expansion now, Seeds of Evil that I forgot I had and haven't played.

jdzappa wrote:

Check out Warhammer 40k Mechanicus. Granted, it helps to like Warhammer going in but it’s got the classic XCom play style without the wonky misses and better cover rules. The first few missions are a little rough but by early-mid game I found it a lot easier.

By better cover rules, don't you mean that it just doesn't have any cover rules? I tried it and had trouble adjusting to how the play style is pure aggro, no cover, charge in headfirst, use disposable meatsacks as fodder.

For anyone interested that has Switch Online, Mario & Rabbids Kingdom Battle is free to play until July 12th.

I wouls also add that the Shadowrun trilogy is now on consoles. A little buggy but enjoying it overall.

Warhammer 40k: Space Wolf came up in my recommendations in the Android play store when I searched for X-Com. Giving it a try now. It's very pretty, and the space jargon is silly.

ccoates wrote:
jdzappa wrote:

Check out Warhammer 40k Mechanicus. Granted, it helps to like Warhammer going in but it’s got the classic XCom play style without the wonky misses and better cover rules. The first few missions are a little rough but by early-mid game I found it a lot easier.

By better cover rules, don't you mean that it just doesn't have any cover rules? I tried it and had trouble adjusting to how the play style is pure aggro, no cover, charge in headfirst, use disposable meatsacks as fodder.

Yep me too. That's why I think the Chaos Gate Daemonhunters game is far superior mechanically to Mechanicus. There's still chance to hit and cover, but generally speaking, few chances of pure whiffs and range/cover is more of a reduction in damage taken.

Well, thanks to this thread I'm playing Xcom 2012 Enemy Within on my phone. Again. Again. Almost certainly will bail out during one of the stupid long giant alien ship missions. But the beginning is really fun.

Mixolyde wrote:

Well, thanks to this thread I'm playing Xcom 2012 Enemy Within on my phone. Again. Again. Almost certainly will bail out during one of the stupid long giant alien ship missions. But the beginning is really fun.

Is Xcom 2 more forgiving in the middle/end stage?

I finished Xcom, but Enemy Within just felt brutal by comparison.

firesloth wrote:
Mixolyde wrote:

Well, thanks to this thread I'm playing Xcom 2012 Enemy Within on my phone. Again. Again. Almost certainly will bail out during one of the stupid long giant alien ship missions. But the beginning is really fun.

Is Xcom 2 more forgiving in the middle/end stage?

I finished Xcom, but Enemy Within just felt brutal by comparison.

There's just so much new stuff and I have no idea what is worth buying. MECs? Mutations? Poison grenades? Hot ammo? Flash bangs? And that's just the first month. Jeez. I wish I could turn EW off in this install, but it's bundled.

firesloth wrote:
Mixolyde wrote:

Well, thanks to this thread I'm playing Xcom 2012 Enemy Within on my phone. Again. Again. Almost certainly will bail out during one of the stupid long giant alien ship missions. But the beginning is really fun.

Is Xcom 2 more forgiving in the middle/end stage?

I finished Xcom, but Enemy Within just felt brutal by comparison.

I haven't played in a minute, but I remember XCOM 2, with the expansion, being a better experience in terms of managing the overworld map and pacing.

Not that it's more forgiving, necessarily, it's still XCOM and your entire team is going to die because three soldiers miss 94% shotgun blasts at point blank range. But since you're like a rebel force, it feels less like you're always losing ground and being punished and more making choices on where to expend your efforts.

IUMogg wrote:

Anyone play Phantom Doctrine?

I am at around hour 287 replaying this game after this thread convinced me to do another playthrough yet again. What's really amazing to me is that after I got tired of listening to the soundtrack over and over again, I tried to find alternative streaming music to listen to as I played. After burning through the OST for Rescue: The Embassy Mission and the first two Rainbow Sixes, I honed in the most popular songs on the Billboard charts when the game is set: 1983.

Folks, 1983 may have been one of the best years for music in these almost four decades. Almost every one of these is an immortal classic.

Wildermyth is the best.

Rat Boy wrote:

...I honed in the most popular songs on the Billboard charts when the game is set: 1983.

Folks, 1983 may have been one of the best years for music in these almost four decades. Almost every one of these is an immortal classic.

That is a seriously solid "playlist".

-BEP

Has anyone played Phantom Brigade? It looks cool.

What about Phoenix Point?

NathanialG wrote:

Has anyone played Phantom Brigade? It looks cool.

I played it on switch, which wasn't the best venue for it. The UI is a nightmare undocked, text is teeny, and the game stutters.

But that said, it's a solid, if a bit fiddly, tactics games. Slightly suffers from a kitchen sink approach to game design, but it's a solid B-tier game in the genre.

SallyNasty wrote:

What about Phoenix Point?

Phoenix Point, on the other hand, gets an unequivocal recommend - unless you're the kind of person who found XCOM too complicated. Phoenix is a moderately crunchier take on modern XCOM, and very very competent at what it does.

bepnewt wrote:
Rat Boy wrote:

...I honed in the most popular songs on the Billboard charts when the game is set: 1983.

Folks, 1983 may have been one of the best years for music in these almost four decades. Almost every one of these is an immortal classic.

That is a seriously solid "playlist".

-BEP

I love listening to 80s/90s rewind countdowns on SiriusXM every weekend.

The fact that Frank Stallone is on this list gave me pause.

Jonman wrote:
SallyNasty wrote:

What about Phoenix Point?

Phoenix Point, on the other hand, gets an unequivocal recommend - unless you're the kind of person who found XCOM too complicated. Phoenix is a moderately crunchier take on modern XCOM, and very very competent at what it does.

I'm giving Phoenix Point a second chance right now and ... I dunno. It's a mixed bag for me. I really like the geoscape. It feels like a much bigger focus of this game than anything in the XCOM franchise. I also like the combat when I'm shooting things, but movement around the tactical maps feels really sluggish (I think this is a responsiveness thing -- in XCOM, once you move a soldier you can immediately tab and issue commands to the next soldier. Not so in PP. You have to watch the entire animation). So far (~7 hours in), I'm also finding the maps to be surprisingly small and not remotely interesting. There's nothing as cool as any number of the maps (Newfoundland, gas station, freeway overpass, etc) that appeared in the latest XCOM games -- just a bunch of repeating structures on an obvious grid.