Edit: Temporary thread title change.
Note: The GWJ Strategy Club will be playing Troubleshooter until December 31, 2022. If you want to play along with us and get credit, post in this thread!
If you're new to the club, please check out the main thread.
Ok this game has been talked about everywhere but I'd like to get it all in one place. Feels like more people are finally trying it and better to consolidate tips and discussion.
Here we go... starting with Aaron's intro in the Games without a thread thread, which sold me on it.
Troubleshooter. It's anime-XCOM w/ FFT character building & VN storytelling.
And it's legit dreamy.
Another indie out of Korea that just went 1.0 a few weeks back, it's the team's first release. It's drawing influence from a number of places and it's pulled off with an infectious upstart, whipsmart confidence.
Mechanically it's lifted straight out of modern XCOM but with enough new spins & layers of depth that it feels familiar yet fresh. On the map there's overlapping layers of synergy, enough to make the mind reel. Buff & debuff possibilities can seem limitless (seriously, there's over 600 Mastery types that you can equip each character with).
Quick example. Fighting indoors and my partner says, "Hey, there's a fuse box over there. You should flip it since we're outnumbered here." So I do it and the room falls into darkness, giving everyone (including my team) a vision, movement & hit-chance debuff. Then he goes, "You got some flashbangs, right?" Well flashbangs daze everyone in the aoe. BUT...if those poor saps also have the darkness debuff, the combo of darkness & daze makes them start panicking and shooting both enemies & allies randomly. Bonus. BUUUT...only 3 of the 4 baddies proc'd panic debuff because when I triggered the flash...the last one had a Sunglasses modifier (Mastery) equipped. You know, just in case that 1 in a million situation arose. Guess it was his lucky day. (ed. It wasn't.) Bonkers.
And that's not even getting into the environmental synergies much like the Divinity: Original Sin mechanics. Yeah so you see someone standing in a pool of oil. Looks like a fireball should warm them up right nice. But here it's like a dozen layers deeper. What time of day is it outside? Is there a breeze in the air? How hot or cold is it? You can capitalize on all these factors and many more.
Combat in Troubleshooter is super melee-focused. There are guns. And there's magic projectiles. But it's equally balanced with crazy-cool h2h fighting disciplines. From the traditional martial arts style to the more wacky break dancing variety. (Hey, it's anime.) The combo of h2h + magic disciplines take the XCOM blueprint and make it feel incredibly invigorated in practice.
Story is really great so far. You play a newly-graduated Troubleshooter in the near future. You part of a civilian paramilitary group that works adjacent with more traditional police forces in the country. Your team have Judge Dread jury/executioner rights and a baller Persona-like fashion style. As someone else put it, "a civilian militia of superhero punk rock kids called Troubleshooters." I can already see the story tension rising as the Troubleshooters start clashing with the FedPD as the latter are sectioning off neighborhoods and whole cities due to escalating crime. Then there's that whole rising cult thing with these weirdos who worship spoons [sic].
Besides the wealth of writing & character development, out of combat you're also building your character's stat loadouts Final Fantasy Tactics style. Seriously, there's more tables, stats and combo possibilities than I've seen in a long time. They just went all in on the fine customization of character job systems. When you start feeding skills into other skills to make even bigger, better & more badass skills, you start to appreciate the madness that went into these systems.
Presentation is great. AA budget that's well realized. Combat maps have tons of environmental detail. Storytelling is a combo of 3D environmental shots (w/ quite creative cinematography, oddly enough) and VN type stills. Both done really well. Music is baller. Nice mix of big, dumb anime hair-metal and smooth jazz, intersperses with more serious notes. And THANKFULLY (seriously, this would have been a deal-breaker), no gross anime tropes. Everyone is tastefully dressed. Males & females are equally strong in character. Fresh.
When I started to recognize how special this production was the big takeaway for me was how fun it was to be experiencing an XCOM-adjacent gameplay loop that wasn't all grim & serious like the source material. The over-the-top flashy anime, both on and off the field. The interesting characters and heavy focus on story in between combat. The whole production just had so much energy & life behind it.
It's so crazy that we're in a season of riches with the recent launches of XCOM: Chimera Squad and Gears Tactics. Yet here comes this little $25 indie out of S. Korea that completely steals the show. Made by a team of 6 people it's gem that just epitomizes heart and verve. There's a bit of a cult following behind it, it'll probably go largely unnoticed all told. But for me I'm just glad I heard about it. It's most fun XCOM has been in years.
99% to hit success!