UFO: Aftermath First Impressions

I’m guessing you’re talking about how the game progresses during/after a certain Russian mission. I liked the shift in tactics it required as at that point I had worked out a sure-fire method for plowing through any opposition. True, you can get your entire squad smoked initially (I lost two guys in my first attempt) but once you’ve seen their tactics, it was easier to deal with. I’m not sure that encountering a new type of alien with a different weapon loadout can exactly be called ‘cheesy’ though. I will say that a later story Recovery mission kicked my behind several times before I figured out a viable strategy.

I enjoyed the degree of difficulty. Between figuring out schemes for differing mission successes and the stress induced (intentional or not) by waiting for a way to combat the SPOILER as it creeped across the globe and devoured my bases just hit my sweet spot. Then again, I like the spell/counterspell of a high lvl mage duel in BG2. shrug

A good change because as it is, you can get experience simply by firing weapons and/or getting hit by them. Errrr… hopefully they’re addressing this.

And AI handling of mindcontrollers will also improve(however, the game will be tougher because of it).

Presumably they’ll now stop using them on unconscious humans. Another good change.

Valid points about AI.
With patch 1.2 being a closed issue (at least for me) I can finally get to work on enhancing AI - to improve AI of alien rocketeers, to allow aliens to scavenge the dead bodies and maybe to improve defense capabilities of aliens in face of incomming missiles. Some minor issues are already being addressed in 1.2.

However, it all couldn’t be done in 1.2 because these changes require more testing and coding - the game could suddenly become too hard or the aliens could behave strangely.

It appears they’re taking into account your fears of just making the game harder. At least one dev is.

Found one bug - if you go to develop an enhanced plasma rifle, you actually get an enhanced plasma shotgun. vice versa, if you go to make an enhanced plasma shotgun, you get an enhanced plasma rifle. This was most annoying because the suckers were taking 5.5 days to build. the first time I figured that I just clicked on the wrong one, but after i didn’t get what I ordered the second time, I looked at it, and the descriptions for each weapon are correct, but the actual R&D header is not.

enhanced plasma rifles kick some serious ass - annoyed about the shotguns though, because they are about useless.

There’s a demo now. Tutorial and four fixed missions.

I tried the tutorial. Seemed ok, though the interface isn’t exactly state of the art. For instance, unless I’m missing something (entirely possible), to move something from your backpack to your hands, you have to move one item to the other location, then move the other; you can’t just move an item onto the other item and have them swap places. Because of the sizes of the items and the size of the pack (and the way things are organized or dis-organized in the pack) to move a shotgun from the pack to the hands, and the medkit from the hands to the pack, I had to move the medkit to the ground, then the shotgun to the hands, then the medkit to the pack. I’m hoping I was just doing something wrong, because that’s a pretty weird system.

Anyhow, the graphics are fairly nice, I guess, and the camera controls are ok. The squad interface has oodles of “things” on it, stats and abilities and the like. Fairly overwhelming at first. I’ll have to fiddle with it when I’m not so tired and there’s not a baseball game on :) before I make up my mind…

No game here yet, but the UK/US patch is out. I was wondering if any of you have installed it. Any better?

EDIT: I am downloading the just released demo right now though.

I’m having a great time with the demo. Hope it gets here soon.

Reposted from the GoneGold forums, this is my 2 cents on UFO:A after many hours of play on the UK version.

I would strongly recommend waiting for the 1.2 patch before picking up UFO:Aftermath.

I like the game, don’t get me wrong, but there seems to be some people who are defending this game no matter what and the truth is, the game is flawed in more ways then one.

Here is a short list of annoyances:

  1. Invetory interface. It is cumbersome. Period. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a masochist. You want to move a weapon from inventory to your hand you cannot just click it over the existing weapon you must take a weapon out of hand and carefully place it in your backpack then move the new weapon into the empty slot. How hard would it have been to have them autoswitch when you clicked one over the other? There are many small irritations like this in the interface.

  2. Deployable guns don’t. Deploy that is… they do but you have to queue up all your targets at once. You’d think the purpose of a deployable gun would be to setup some nice fields of fire or a perimeter for ambush right? Not in this game. You can deploy a heavy machinegun and it will fire on all targets you select which are within sight at that moment the minute the targets are down the gun will automatically be taken down and redeployed before you can fire on the next target. This makes a deployable weapon somewhat useless, and if you defend this you are living in a different reality. This should have been glaring during QA.

  3. Mindcontrol is broken. There is a skill which supposedly protects your men from alien mind control, it is not working at all. It does work in allowing you to use mindcontrol against the enemy but it also says in its description it protects from mindcontrol, currently its totally broken. Aliens have 100% effectiveness at controlling your men and they can do it without line of sight so even if another alien sees you an offscreen alien will mind control you. Fun! Of course, you can employ the same tactic in return but then the game sort of degenerates into a cheap session of who can control the other team first and faster.

  4. Extreme difficulty ramp. No matter what setting you select there are certain missions that are unavoidable and just place you into terrible situations. It is not uncommon to spawn in on a map with several powerful aliens using rocket launchers in your proximity. They are quite fast so they attack first and from great distance nuking your squad down pretty badly right at the start of the map. Likewise, you will often transports into alien vessels and get hit with a similar situation. Many aliens all around you who get the jump on you with weapons that just shred your team. The game balance is WAY off on some missions. Some are pathetically easy and others are hernia inducing and make you want to break your CD in half.

That is the short list, there are other problems but even with those glaring issues, the game is like a sparkling gem with poop all over it. It needs to be cleaned and polished in the way of a large patch, after that, it would just be a clean gem.

Too lazy to sift through the long posts, just wanted to know if any of the original X-Com team worked on this?

No Gollops.

Although you wouldn’t know it reading the ActionTrip review, which apparently labors under the belief that this is actually the newest game in the official series.

Is this game turn-based or pauseable real-time?

Pauseable real-time.

I’d like to add that Alien Bases and crashed/landed UFOs annoy the hell out of me. The corridors are extremely cramped and there are lots of invisible (to me) obstructions. Trying to dodge a rocket inside them results in a choir of “I can’t get there”.

Fortunately, Alien Bases seem to get conquered if I leave them alone (on the easy difficulty setting, which is anything but), and doing the missions where I just have to eliminate a certain number of transgenants results in good territory grabs for me.

Still, for all its flaws I find the game pretty addictive. It has that “one more battle before I go to bed” thing going on that made me stay up till 8 am twice this last week. I’m looking forward to the next patch(es).

Ok, thanks for the input. It’s “wait for a patch,” or actually, wait for two patches, 1.2 and the one after it where they start fixing stuff.

Still with the demo:

-Damn it seems hard
-how the hell do you trade between your soldiers
-when you drop something on the ground, are you supposed to be able to actually see it? I cannot.
-Why would there be 6 different types of aliens all hanging out at the same place? I liked the discovering of different races as the difficulty ramped up in X-com. The further you were along, the more dangerous the aliens became that you encountered.

Oh there’s more and I will go back and attempt to get used to all the little quirks and irritants before making a final decision on UFO: Aftermath. Needless to say, the appearance of my gleeful early adopter glow that had been ebbing for a while must have been completely shat down the toilet after Empire of Magic.

I wish one company out there could make an enjoyable game and leave out so many annoyances that most players can pick out at first blush? Not to mention many are things that have been easily eliminated out of similair titles many years ago. A list of nitpicks after 10 or 15 hours of play is one thing, but these are the few that slapped me in the face after the first 15 mins.

My money is begging to be spent, but either I am now too critical to buy anything or game makers are so interested in making title’s that are fresh or original or innovative or whatever that they ignore standards that work perfectly well and do not need to be improved upon. It seems that mechanics are being altered to make gameplay different rather than improving on it. Note to developers: If it ain’t broke in a similair game, don’t fix it!

Yes, they should appear on the side bar thingy on the squaddie’s equipment screen, but you have to be standing in exactly the right spot, which can be a bit fiddly to find at times. It took me about three attempts to be able to pick up a stunned alien in one of the ‘capture a live alien’ missions.

Yes, they should appear on the side bar thingy on the squaddie’s equipment screen, but you have to be standing in exactly the right spot, which can be a bit fiddly to find at times. It took me about three attempts to be able to pick up a stunned alien in one of the ‘capture a live alien’ missions.[/quote]

Sorry, what I meant was can you see it from overhead. I dropped a grenade and walked off hoping to have someone else snag it. I could not see it anywhere and gave up after moving one spot, opening inventory, not on the ground, move another step, open inventory, not there again…etc.

Ah, OK, not sure about that, I have picked stuff up from a dead/incapicitated soldier, but not something I dropped deliberately. I’ve stopped playing, waiting for the 1.2 patch in case it involves restarting the campaign.

I’ve stopped playing, waiting for the 1.2 patch in case it involves restarting the campaign.

The 1.2 patch has been out for a good few days now…

Thanks, my excuse is that I had a birthday last week and was sort of… distracted :) .

I have a birthday this week (today!) so I’ll forgive you if you send me a copy. ;)