Gears Tactics - XCOM Gears of War

Overplayed this game, but still going with an Insane difficulty campaign and some veteran missions on my completed campaign to max out loot. It’s a completely different game on Insane (no revives, healing is useless), so I’m really having to dig into the skill trees to come up with novel strategies – very easy to get overrun, and letting guys get near you is death in Insane.

Destroyed the game in my original campaign and really didn’t even need to discover a lot of the strategies/skills, such as using “plant grenade” for purposes other than closing emergence holes (and failed to recognize that it’s on a different timer than throw grenade), using proximity mines, etc. I’ve only played Jacked mode, and using Jack is a core part of my typical strategy (closing gaps with shock/poison fields, etc.) Only on Insane am I realizing the importance of Overwatch and disrupting enemy overwatch. Grenadiers are terrifying on that difficulty. Doubt I’ll stick it through as it usually takes a bunch of tries to finish each mission which makes it feel puzzle like, but might be just because I’m having to relearn the game.

In any event, I like it a hell of a lot more than I ever liked XCOM.

Also, for Achievement chasers, one thing that’s annoying about this game is that you can’t get some of the achievements in a Jacked Mode campaign, as Jack himself counts as a unit, so you can’t get the “solo unit” achievements as he can’t be removed.

That said, it would take some serious dedication to max out these achievements. Aside from having to complete an Insane campaign, and an Ironman campaign, you have to kill 10,000 guys. After completing the campaign and an additional Act, and playing about 50 veteran missions on top of that, I have only about 2500 kills, lol. There are no quick farming methods either, so you’re restricted to about 5-6 at a time for quick kills/reloads.

Yeah, I played through 3 times. 1 insane, 1 ironman, and 1 jacked. I think I only have ~4500 kills. I’m missing 3 achievements, 10k kills, 20 veteran missions, and “Seriously Tactical”. The 20 veteran mission one is also a bit misleading, since it is really something like 60-80 missions to finish. Too many for me to do…

Well done! That’s pretty challenging. Yeah, for the veteran missions you have to do the intervening side missions, so it’s a long haul. I think I’ve done about 9 of them now, and that’s probably taken as long as the campaign did, if not more.

Did you do the Insane run on Jacked or Classic? I just got by the Brumak so I’ve continued my Jacked-Insane run and wrapped up the last of the Jacked Achievements, although I’m really not looking forward to the Theron Guards. I feel like I’ve devoted too much time to this game given my backlog, but it’s also just kind of relaxing, so I might chip away at it.

My hat’s off to those of you beating the game on Insane, I ended up bumping down to easy by the final boss. I feel like I could handle the regular missions on higher difficulties no problem but the bosses are just so bullet spongey they wear me down.

The last boss was painful for me on insane. Not difficult, just utterly tedious. I’d geared in the complete wrong direction for the fight. My sniper was next to useless since I’d leaned heavily into doing damage from a raised position (worked great on the 2nd boss etc.) and the chainsaw dude I’d gone for mobility (for chainsaw procs). I didn’t have a massive amount of trouble with the adds but actually doing damage to the boss just wasn’t happening often.

I should have just restarted and respecced once I knew what the deal was, but you only get to see the boss after investing time in the level and sunk cost won out and I slowly grinded my way to a pyrrhic victory.

Bad design really, totally killed my interest in the game, which was a shame. It was pretty good up until that point.

I did it on classic. I’d think Jack would make it a bit (maybe quite a bit) easier.

Yeah, I rely heavily on Jack’s abilities – shock field blocks off an approach for several turns; poison can significantly weaken wretches to make them easier prey for overwatches and gets guys to move from cover; obviously Hijack is extremely powerful (both on offence or just to move guys into areas where they can’t harm you or can be picked off); Sonic field allows you to chainsaw/bayonet to instantly kill deadly Grenadiers (or Wretches), which is huge; smoke field allows you protect guys from one shot kills - I’m sure I’ll respec to use some of the buff auras to use against bosses too.

I’m about half way through my insane run now (although not really, as there are more sidemissions in Act 3) and approaching the Act 2 boss - early Act 2 was probably the easiest part of the run, as I’ve gotten better at defence (planting grenades to cover retreats, using heavies more effectively in overwatches to disrupt/suppress instead of going for kills, made a big difference), as it’s also before Therons and Kantus’s get too annoying. Not really sure how I’ll handle the 70% defence buffs that Kantuses give.

You can kill the Act 1 boss really quickly just by ping ponging him between a sniper and a heavy, and using the other 2 members and jack to manage e-holes and take potshots. I completely ignore the guns and just focus on the tanks.

I’ve never liked the boss fights in this series. Much as it was somewhat cool to see the large creatures from the 3rd person shooter series make an appearance in Tactics; I find the boss fights just stressful and annoying (largely because of the additional enemies, not the bosses themselves).

I’ve done all the regular Gears games through on Insane solo and the worst were Gears 1 and 3 for the final bosses. I still have nightmares about the final Gears of War 3 fight, in particular. It’s remarkable I put myself through that (and yet get “rewarded” with an Achievement percentage in that game of about 20% since the points are so heavily weighted to multiplayer). Really wish multiplayer and single player achievements were tracked separately - hell, I did Gears 5 on insane solo and 50 levels of Horde and a bunch of other multiplayer and I still only have a rating of 26% complete. Really annoys my OCD, lol. Then again, I thought Gears Tactics would be an easy 100% since it’s a single player game, and the prospect of only being half-way through the 10,000 kill requirement after doing the campaign 3 times is just disheartening.

There are Achievements, and then there are Fuck You’s. And 10,000 kills in a tactics game is definitely a Fuck You.

Yeah, the Gears games get an exception from my gaming achievement OCD because those ‘Seriously’ achievements are just for the birds. I don’t think I like any game enough to put myself through that, certainly not a multiplayer one.

Yeah, which makes me wonder if they initially had (or still have) more story-based DLC planned, which would bridge that gap so that the achievement would more naturally unlock through reasonable dedication (and maybe the 20 veteran missions).

The scout was my MVP. Stealth in, plant a mine, then throw a grenade, then restealth and repeat. Absolute necessity for my playthough. Scouts were so good, actually grenades in general were really a big part of my playthrough. Jack would make it so I probably wouldn’t have had to rely on that so heavily.

That all makes sense. Yeah, the nice thing about Jack is that he can always immediately recloak, which makes the pursuit missions a joke with a scout or two. He doesn’t really have any offensive capabilities though, but shock field is sufficiently disabling. In my first playthough I used the “create boomshot” skill too (maybe even torque bow too), but I think there are likely better specs for him. although those would certainly help for crowd control.

I definitely heavily use grenades. Normal lancers seem underpowered so I have most of my support/vanguard team specced as grenadiers who also chainsaw/bayonet. The Scout’s gnasher can be fun to Rampage out a bunch of guys, but it seems like mines are too valuable to ignore. I didn’t realize they could also kill e-holes before they pop.

Wow, you weren’t kidding on your achievement drive - impressive record. I’ve historically been a PC gamer, but have platinumed most of the playstation games I’ve played, like Dark Souls, the ps3 Demon’s Souls, the Uncharted games, etc. - I haven’t really played many games on the Xbox other than the Mass Effect series and, as an additional playthrough, Oblivion, and the ones I have played tend to be ones with significant multiplayer components so I don’t even really try to max out achievements, like Gears of War 1-5 and Halo 4. I really don’t like multiplayer shooters on consoles, although I have liked Gears multiplayer horde, and the similar Mass Effect 3 multiplayer. I played through Gears 4 multiplayer and a couple of acts in Gears 5 and didn’t even pop a few related achievements, bah.

Anyway, on the Gears Tactics Act 3-Mission 8 missions on my insane-jacked run, and have enjoyed it. The beginning of the Insane campaign actually felt the most difficult, although it’s still easy to have to restart missions since giving anyone a clear shot at your guys is instant death. But I love really digging into a game’s systems and getting to really know them, and considering abilities that might otherwise be ignored, etc.

Jack really helps a lot though, and the more powerful he gets the more he can help - you can just keep him invisible and blocking a control point in the control missions, for instance, and use all your guys to protect the other control point until you’ve drained it. That said, there are some stupid control side-missions on Insane, like the 2 person control mission in the 3-2 side mission. That one and the 3-8 side mission where you only get 2 AP per guy just seemed annoying so I avoided them.

Ha, yes, my gamerscore has reached the point where it’s a little embarrassing. I find it satisfying to complete a game’s list of achievements where possible (or at least not crazy burdensome to do so) but I’m less interested in the actual score, which is starting to creep into ‘I may have a problem’ territory.

I don’t see how people get 100% achievements, there’s always at least one (and usually more) that is too hard for me to get or it would take me so much time I can’t be bothered.

Yeah, I can’t imagine doing it for more than a tiny fraction of games. But for a few all-time favorites that I’m happy to keep playing, I will, and I appreciate having those extra goals to shoot for.

I don’t find that generally to be the case, although it definitely varies by game, and genre, and I’m sure our tolerances/enjoyment also varies. For RPGs, getting platinum or 100% is usually pretty easy, at least with a couple of play throughs (which I may not get around to for a while, and may not be necessary). For loot shooters - the time involved would be interminable to me.

I wouldn’t spend time with a game if it’s no longer fun, but I prefer to play fewer games and invest a lot more time into them than most people do. I would rather not play a console action game at all than just play it on “normal” or easier difficulty, since that seems to be designed to allow children or very casual gamers to get through it (some exceptions by genre, of course), and I’d feel that I’m completely missing the actual “game” and was just superficially skipping through the storyline (which isn’t really meaningful).

It varies though. I hate level-scaling difficulty in RPGs, for instance, and combat isn’t the most important thing for me in many open world games.