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Default Xenonauts - Officially Released

June 17th, 2014, 09:57
Goldhawk Interactive has officially released Xenonauts on Steam for non-backers. Here are the details from a post on the Steam forums.

Xenonauts Leaves Early Access & Officially Released!

This is it, folks: Xenonauts has now officially left Early Access and become a complete game after five years of development! I hope you have as much fun playing the game as we have had making it!

We will of course continue to fix any crashes or game-breaking bugs that rear their ugly heads - though we've fixed all the common ones already. Let us know if you do find crashes.

We're not planning any more gameplay updates to the game at this point (although we may consider a V1.1 patch in a few months), so our current focus has moved to adding Steam Workshop support so the busy modding / mapping community on our forums can reach a wider audience.

There's a lot of good mods over there, but I'll quickly mention that there is a popular map pack which you can download if you're finding the maps in the game a bit repetitive after a few playthroughs (I've seen a few complaints about that): Map Pack Link

We're also trying our best to get the Mac / Linux ports out on Steam. We were hoping it would be ready for today, but unfortunately not. If you have bought the game on Steam for Mac / Linux, please check this thread where we explain what you should do: Mac / Linux Porting

If you've purchased this game at any point prior to our Steam launch and you've lost your key or don't know what to do, we should be able to sort you out. Please follow the instructions in this thread: Instructions Here

I think that's everything. We've had a lot of support over the years and I'm glad we've finally been able to release a finished product like we've always promised we would. It's taken a lot longer than we (or anyone else) expected, so we appreciate the community sticking with us for so long!
More information.
Last edited by Couchpotato; June 17th, 2014 at 10:24.
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June 17th, 2014, 09:57
Around December I estimate a good, playable, bugfixed, MOD-enhanced version.
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June 17th, 2014, 10:10
I actually played a good, playable, mostly bugfree, MOD-enhanced version last week. I've finished it and considered going Ironman, but I' not that much of a maschocist. Good game though.
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June 17th, 2014, 12:58
You can buy in on GOG as well. I'm so happy that this game is finally released and for me it's better than the flashy XCOM without action points….
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June 17th, 2014, 14:55
Originally Posted by mercy View Post
Around December I estimate a good, playable, bugfixed, MOD-enhanced version.
I was playing one of those eight months ago. The game is done, but take your time! I'm signing up to stop the invasion.

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June 17th, 2014, 16:34
How long does a typical campaign take? Similar to Xcom?
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June 17th, 2014, 18:18
I've been playing with it. It has some good elements. The game looks and feels as old as XCOM itself and the tactical maps are very repetitive with a wonky cover system. You shouldn't need mods for a game that's been in development for an eternity to be playable and/or enjoyable.

It's worth checking out but sadly (somewhat, since I always liked TUs and having an inventory) it just made me want to reinstall XCOM:EW. Vanilla EU/EW were both excellent even if not exactly what I completely wanted out of XCOM. Playing EW with the Long War mod (700+ changes, additions, tweaks and much longer game) is a relatively fresh experience since it's like a different (and harder) game.

As much as I like TUs there ultimately really isn't that much difference between them and how XCOM:EU/EW does things - you either do partial moves and fire or not, you either use all movement or not. It doesn't help you in a TU system to have leftover TUs that don't allow for action and there's really nothing you'd do in a TU system that you can't do in the two-phase system in EU/EW. Movement and clarity of where and how you can move is vastly superior in EU/EW.

IMO you actually get way more tactical variety and options in EU/EW via perks that bend rules (fire first, move second, for ex), especially in a Long War where there are more classes, more perks, and where aliens use the same perks. Aliens in LW also use psionics immediately and you see more diverse groupings with better AI. Perks, ranks, cybernetics, (and officer promotions are very different with long war), make things more interesting and I wouldn't say the "2 step" system is easier to manage than TUs but it's cleaner. Units still have variety in how much they can move so on top of having similar or better tactical options you also have similar limitations - some soldiers just can't cover as much ground and limit your flexibility.

I've seen some say that XCOM;EU lacks the tension and suspense of the original and that Xenonauts has that but I would disagree. Maybe it comes later. I always found plenty of tension in EU with the bigger ship breaches or the terror missions, for ex - and Long War makes it "worse" because aliens behave differently (like they don't always just wait for you to "activate" them, runners seem to go for help and/or patrols join in the fray turning controlled situations into chaos. Long War aims to eliminate hand holding and easy and makes the game more vicious and unforgiving - the way XCOM should be.

The biggest tension I get out of xenonauts is not being able to move where I think I should be able to move on the map and/or wondering whether my unit is actually in cover.

I was so very against much of the XCOM:EU ideas when it came out and really wanted something more like Xenonauts but I find Xenonauts to be pretty bland. I appreciate the effort and all of that. Xenonauts has some nice features and a slightly more modern UI but the gameplay itself and overall game feels a bit meh.

Maybe the new JA thing will do a better job of representing the whole old school TU style. Games that came after XCOM certainly have done a good job with it, like Silent Storm (which I still replay occasionally). Xenonaut's tactical is just bland to me.

If you like XCOM:EW but would like it a bit more spicy I'd highly recommend the Long War overhaul/mod - some gaming site said it's like a free xpac and I'd agree except it's a little less merciful than any official xpac would ever be since there's zero hand holding or coddling.
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June 17th, 2014, 19:19
I absolutely second the recommendation for the Long War mod. It makes the game much more interesting with new classes/items/perks as well as a more difficult and tactically challenging game.

Still looking forward to playing Xenonauts though. The modding section of that forum looks like it will have promising community support.
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June 17th, 2014, 19:50
I am on the completely other end: I'd prever Xenonauts to XCom EU every time.
Why? Because XCom EU always felt to me like a board game with extremely gamey mechanics. It's also very streamlined and cut a lot of options you had in the original game. Instead it added a big layer of "roleplaying", enhancing your troops with skills and equipment, which is nice on the one hand, but also increases the risk of downward spiraling a lot (if you don't load /Ironman) and upward spiraling if you load.

Xenonauts instead takes the basic XCom mechanics and enhanced them a bit. I like that you can increase your aim by right clicking like in Jagged Alliance. I also like that they still have the TUs (action points). It's not that I disliked the two step movement system in XCom: EU, I hated the abstraction which came with it. Meaning that in XCom: EU when you were standing behind a wall, you actually occupied also the tiles left and right from you just with the modificator "covered by high wall" and other mechanics, live alien movement within your turn, which was a "woraround" which could completely screw you but was probably necessary to avoid makeing it even more broken. Also the way XCom handled distances, angles and obstacles was completely abstracted and simplified into a board game (only the obstacle next to you counts, wehter there are 5 cars in between or not is not relevant). In Xenonauts everything feels much more realistic. It makes sense to get closer to the enemy, to bring less obstacles between you or the enemy, to move the unit a bit to flank it without having to reach the (from a realism standpoint) arbitrary position where it counts as flanking because it's more than 90 degrees from the side. Xenonauts even shows you the path the bullet travels and the chance it will hit obstacles.

So what I like about Xenonauts compared to XCom: EU:
-Clearer display of your surrounding, you can actually see possible lines of fire/angles and so on. Only heights are not well done, but don't play a big role
-Point based movement system instead of abstraction, coming with better aiming and so on as described
-Completely free game instead of very linear campaign
-no highly scripted events which will completely screw you when you don't know them
-no downward spiral. If you lose a soldier in a mission it's fine. In XCom EU this might lead to: A dies. B then berserks and shoots C. D is fine. B has no points left and will get shot next turn. D has no chance to survive. Mission lost, will make you weaker next mission, probably campaign lost.
In Xenonauts it will be a loss, but you will get over it. Especially important for Ironman mode.
-Xenonauts system with TUs and more soldiers also leads to much less luck in missions. It's less frustrating. (again, ironman)
-A vision system, again a mechanic which had to be cripped in XCom EU due to the movement system.

But not everything in Xenonauts is amazing as well:
-While it's great to not have as much linearity as in XCom EU, the sheer number of missions you need to do does not concur with the diversity of maps/Ufotypes/enemies and therefore feels repetitive. However a campaign of Xenonauts probably takes you double the amount of time than a XCom EU takes.
-While the shooting mechanic works wonderfully, the throwing mechanic feels broken. You do not get the route the grenade travels, and after you killed yourself a couple of times you will realize that your guys don't throw a grenade but fling it.
So if you throw a grenade 10 Meters and there is a knee-high wall in 3 Meters distance, there is a chance that it will get stuck there and explode - and in the case of a gase grenade that's also the end for your soldier in that mission.
-Jagged Alliance had a opponents which were very mobile and could be baited by noise. You could kill 80% of all enemies by exploiting the interruption mechanic to your advantage. In Xenonauts, the mechanic works completely different, intransparent and not intuitive. It is calculated by comparing a product of % of remaining action points / reflex value of your soldier / carried weapon.
So let's say that you and your opponent have the same reflex value and the same weapon he would interrupt you if you are within his Line of sight and move (it checked when doing something in the LOS, not when entering it).
This means that you send one unit to scout but don't bring him to a low % of action points. Then you move the rest of your troops behind him (in a distance). If you find an opponent with your scout, you keep him there. Then you take your shooters and kill him - you will not be interrupted as you are out of range of your opponent (which is also different in JA2).

To me Jagged Alliance 2 is still the best turn based tactics game available as it's mechanics are better (more realistic, more intuitive) than Xenonauts (the noise mechanic, including sneaking, sidestepping and interruptions) but Xenonauts is the next based thing, at least for pure tactics games with ranged units.
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June 18th, 2014, 01:49
How does this compare to Open XCom?
http://www.pcgamer.com/2014/06/16/op…alien-attacks/
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June 18th, 2014, 01:54
Afaik and according to the article Open XCom is basically the old game with fixes and running on the new machines.

Compared to that, Xenonauts is just feels more modern overall with little additions here and there.
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June 18th, 2014, 09:35
I agree with much of what Kordanor writes, although the game length for me was about the same with Xenonauts as with XCOM. But that was with liberal use of the airstrike ability for down UFO's toward the end.

My biggest problem with XCOM is the streamlining of the Strategic part and the fixed positions of the enemies in the tactical. And the two actions thing. In Xenonauts, it's entirely possible to go around a corner to scout or shoot and then duck behind cover again, which feels right although one can discuss if it's actually realistic. Probably not.

Give me XCOM's Ground combat but a bit smarter (no fixed spawn points!) and a strategic layer closer to Xenonauts and I'll be happy.
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June 18th, 2014, 10:21
I agree that the new version of X-Com is too streamlined and gamey.

I hate the way enemies seem to "spawn" and get a free turn as soon as you notice them. They don't seem to roam the map in a realistic fashion, and the entire game seems to revolve around moving from cover to cover, and nothing more. That takes away from the tactical satisfaction and you're essentially locked into a small subset of approaches to most situations.

I've tried the "Long War" mod and it's a typical user "hard mode" mod, meaning it's a ton of grinding and feels more like punishment than meaningful challenge. The very first mission has a zillion enemies and you have more men to move around.

This is so often the case with these user modifications made by people obsessed with making games challenging, only they seem to feel that challenge is about how long things should take. I don't like that approach at all, but to each his own.

I wanted a longer campaign with more research and stuff in general, I don't want endless long filler battles. Do people really want that?

I've always enjoyed X-Com with a small amount of soldiers (4-6) and I don't particularly enjoy mowing down countless enemies. So, I actually prefer the unmodded new X-Com.

If you're going to have a zillion enemies, you better make sure the game flows well and is designed for that amount of little "cutscenes" which it's not.

Haven't played a lot of Xenonauts yet, but I already like the core gameplay much better than the Firaxis version. I do miss the RPG abilities and the cool visuals, for sure, but that's about it.
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June 18th, 2014, 12:03
It is cheaper on Gog than Steam. At least in my part of the woods. JFYI

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June 18th, 2014, 14:03
Thanks for the feedback on Xeno vis Xcom guys. Still on the fence about this and might just pick this up on sale. I played the old xcom games but unlike just about everybody else I know of, I prefer apocalypse to the earlier games specially the rtwp combat.

The Long War mod sounded interesting until the part Dartagnan said about it just seeming to mean more grinding. Too many soldiers to move around also sounds tedious and doesn't really mean more tactical. I agree that most modders seem to think more difficult means more/tougher/harder hitting enemies rather than perhaps a change in mechanics. Might still check it out though specially if there's a way to tone down the squad members and enemies number.
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June 18th, 2014, 14:15
As much as I like TUs there ultimately really isn't that much difference between them and how XCOM:EU/EW does things.
I completely disagree with this. Everyone else has done a great job already explaining why.

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June 18th, 2014, 14:39
I agree with absolutely everything Dart said a couple of posts back. That doesn't happen very often so I just had to point it out….
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June 19th, 2014, 18:13
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I agree that the new version of X-Com is too streamlined and gamey.

I hate the way enemies seem to "spawn" and get a free turn as soon as you notice them. They don't seem to roam the map in a realistic fashion, and the entire game seems to revolve around moving from cover to cover, and nothing more. That takes away from the tactical satisfaction and you're essentially locked into a small subset of approaches to most situations.

I've tried the "Long War" mod and it's a typical user "hard mode" mod, meaning it's a ton of grinding and feels more like punishment than meaningful challenge. The very first mission has a zillion enemies and you have more men to move around.

This is so often the case with these user modifications made by people obsessed with making games challenging, only they seem to feel that challenge is about how long things should take. I don't like that approach at all, but to each his own.

I wanted a longer campaign with more research and stuff in general, I don't want endless long filler battles. Do people really want that?

I've always enjoyed X-Com with a small amount of soldiers (4-6) and I don't particularly enjoy mowing down countless enemies. So, I actually prefer the unmodded new X-Com.

If you're going to have a zillion enemies, you better make sure the game flows well and is designed for that amount of little "cutscenes" which it's not.

Haven't played a lot of Xenonauts yet, but I already like the core gameplay much better than the Firaxis version. I do miss the RPG abilities and the cool visuals, for sure, but that's about it.
Xcom EU/EW is a great game until you're about halfway through it— then it gets too easy. There's ways to make it harder by using difficulty settings but you go from easy to really hard, without much middle ground.

Not sure what Firaxis' plans are, if any, regarding future content/expansions, but late-game needs to be fixed to be enjoyable for me. I'm not a fan of mods anymore, either. They tend to break more stuff than they improve.
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June 19th, 2014, 19:55
Originally Posted by ChaosTheory View Post
Xcom EU/EW is a great game until you're about halfway through itó then it gets too easy. There's ways to make it harder by using difficulty settings but you go from easy to really hard, without much middle ground.

Not sure what Firaxis' plans are, if any, regarding future content/expansions, but late-game needs to be fixed to be enjoyable for me. I'm not a fan of mods anymore, either. They tend to break more stuff than they improve.
The problem is always that these games are made for both: to be played with ironman mode and without.

Let's say you play (a random game) on ironman mode, now you lose a unit in battle 5. This would hurt your campaign and decrease your current power.
If you don't play it on ironman you would just load. You would not lose power.
If you design a game where ironman should be a valid option and not only for the hardcore people who never do any bad decision you need to compensate some losses in your difficulty curve. But if you load every time you lose something you would move higher and higher above the difficulty line. In Firaxis XCom the Situation is particularily bad because there is so much connected to a single bad incident, a single lost unit. If there was no compensation at all in the difficulty curve, Ironman would simply not be playable.

Not saying that's good or bad or that there couldn't be another solution. But as far as I see it, this is how it is.
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