The Lamplighters League: Xcom + Indiana Jones by Battletech devs

This is the same demo they had before? The first 2 missions basically?

How dare you, sir

Eh, complaining about performance feels a bit performative, like what you do as an influencer type. It looks really good to me. Battletech (the previous game) was like running on Excel Macros or something, the ‘performance’ was kind of terrible, but who cares (as long as its not crashing) for the kind of game it is. If you approach Harebrained games like they are triple AAA, 400mm dollar games, you’re not really looking at them for what they are. And that’s totally fair! A eurodollar is a eurodollar is a eurodollar! But if maximizing the value is the only consideration, there are many Activition and Ubisoft games out there waiting for you. But if you’re tired of Ubi-vision style games as being too soulless, you’re going to have to pay a bit of a premium and accept a bit of jank.

PC Gamer wasn’t as charitable.

Sounds like it needs more time in the oven. I hate to say it, but maybe EA is the way to go here. In the mean time I’ll keep it on my wish list and keep an eye on it.

It is available on gamepass next week IIRC.

Christopher Odd has started a playthrough. Being quite well known for Xcom, and also having played the hybrid real-time stealth/turn-based games from the Bearded Ladies (I watched a large chunk of his Miasma Chronicles playlist), his opinion should be interesting (he also made some tutorials that are going to be uploaded by the publisher, apparently).

One interesting tidbit from this video is that the clocks referenced in the review above work like the ones in the war of the chosen. When they fill up, the corresponding scion gets stronger in some way, but it’s not game over or anything. I think the reviewer might have put too much emphasis in these, contributing to the feeling that the missions were repetitive.

I tried out the Xbox demo over the weekend and really had some fun with it.

Looking forward to playing the full game on gamepass.

I tried the demo, and while I love the visual style and vibe of the game, I’m pretty turned off by the stealth stuff. It kinda felt like the boring parts of an Xcom level, before you know where the enemies are, blown up into a central pillar of the gameplay. Only now it’s more fiddly because it’s realtime and there are vision cones and noise meters and for some reason my guy won’t stay in the tall grass when I try to switch to another character.

Battletech is one of my most played games ever, so I still wish Harebrained were iterating on that game instead.

Tried the demo, uninstalled. I loved the other stuff Harebrained has done, but other than the style this felt rather flat. I did not like the WASD keys moving the character instead of scrolling the screen in movement mode (I mean, it’s a click to move system), and the entire UI was sort of clunky. The demo levels seemed a bit sparse as well, and there just wasn’t much of a hook for me. Didn’t spend that much time with it though so one day on a sale maybe.

This is out today, and available on Game Pass. Played the first three missions on XBox and am having a grand old time with it.

Mind you, I haven’t seen anything mindblowingly novel in terms of mechanics yet. It’s pretty much what you’d expect of a game that mixes XCom-ish turn based combat, Desperados/Commandos style “use different team members to achieve mission objectives” gameplay, and a 1930 pulp setting and aesthetic. But I’ve been waiting for a game that mixes those three things since, well, forever, so this makes very pleased. (And the next mission promises an agent with mystic powers, so we’ll see what that’s like …)

There is stealth to it, just as with Desperados/Commandos, but it’s far less “do these levels in this specific way” than those games and more “avoid alerting enemies while you get your agents into good positions, then blow them away.”

No technical issues to report so far, other than the cutaway camera sometimes shows you a closeup of the grass or a crate rather than the exciting action going on behind it. (Think the first XCom.)

My first battle, I had the decoy setup. The next several shots from the enemy were from the POV of the decoy and a random wall. I could not figure out what they were even shooting at from that angle.

What didn’t you like about it? I’ve only played the tutorial mission and then the one that’s immediately after it. It seemed, decent? It seemed a little basic, but I didn’t know if that was because I was so early into the game. The setting seemed kinda fun.

I have no opinion on the game itself yet, but I kind of hate this argument every time it pops up, and I’m surprised to see you making it. As you say, waiting a few weeks is an obvious charade that fools nobody, so why encourage that expectation?

The developers have put together a package that they say is worth $50. I might or might not agree – the game that they’re selling might or might not be good, and the number of characters included might feel generous or stingy for the price, when compared to other games. But all of that is true whether the DLC character is released now or later.

They’ve budgeted X amount of developer time to make the main game, and Y amount of developer time to make a separate character. Why should it matter to me whether Y happened before or after the release date? I don’t want to second-guess their development resource allocation any more than I want to adjust a million sliders to balance the game for them. I’m just concerned with the end result and whether it’s worth my time and money.

Now that’s a cheap shot! ;)

I think the timing matters though. The question isn’t whether the DLC in question is legit or not, however you define that, it’s that by dumping it on the market simultaneously more or less with the game’s release, it gives people the appearance of something that should have been included in the main game. Now, one can argue that this should not be the case, that as “downloadable content” such things are inherently supplemental to the core game, and that offering such simply gives gamers the option to buy it or not, etc.

But the truth is, I think, many potential customers are going to think exactly what Tom thought. It may well be that all games these days are built with an eye towards parsing out the total package over as many SKUs as possible, but advertising that baldly does not appear to be a sound marketing strategy.

I agree with @Thraeg. It’s just not a persuasive complaint at this point. They’re just selling something with optional premium upgrades. No one thinks car manufacturers need to wait 6 months before offering the deluxe sound system in their new models.

Me too. The game as released is either worth the asking price or not and it doesn’t matter if there is supplemental content. I get why people don’t like feeling like they’re missing out, but to me that is a separate thing. I may not like not having all the possible characters, but that doesn’t mean the game as released was a bad game or bad value.

That was not my intent. I could elaborate on why it bothered me, but I wasn’t trying to establish any sort of argument about how games are developed. I just saw something I thought was kind of dumb and felt like saying so.

I get Thraeg’s objection, even if it doesn’t apply to Tom. There are very vocal gamers out there who see releasing day-one DLC (or any DLC that could conceivably have been included at launch) as a kind of malfeasance: The developers built a game, chopped it up into pieces, left players with an “incomplete” core product, and are selling the extras separately for more revenue. There’s a slippery, unspoken entitlement that underlies that take. For one thing, I think it relies on a certain flavor of completionism that is ingrained in many players–that the “real” experience of a game only comes from owning and playing everything on offer. Of course, games have always been by their nature more modular than that, but the impulse of fandom runs the other direction.