I've been playing Xenonauts for a while now, but stopped back around November or December to give the developers some time to work out the bugs that kept crashing the game. When I saw it appear on Steam, I figured I'd give it another go. Here are my opinions so far, just shy of one month in on normal. (My memories of the previous build are hazy, feel free to correct me when necessary.)
No Jackal body armor to start with: Can't say I'm thrilled with the decision, but it does bring back memories of throwing legions of disposable rookies at the aliens from the first x-com, so I suppose I can work with it. Except for...
Decreased capacity of the choppers: (I forget the exact capacity from the previous builds (12 soldiers, or-8/1 maybe?), but I'm pretty sure that it was more than 8 troopers or 6 troopers/1 armored car.) Excuse me?! Part of why I preferred Xenonauts over Enemy Unknown was because you could have enough soldiers on a mission to provide decent overlapping fields of fire, and losing one soldier wouldn't cause an entire flank to cave in. I'm ok with making do with lots of fragile troops on missions, I could accept being limited to a smaller number of armored troops, but being stuck with small squads of unarmored soldiers at the beginning is not acceptable.
No starting armored car. I was never a big fan of the early game armored cars, but they did have their uses. (i.e. moblile cover for stun-stick capture teams) I'm not sure that it improves the game to have us spend time and resources to research and manufacture them rather than have them available to purchase. (Now that armored cars drop the already meager squad size down to 6, I don't think I'll use them much at all anymore.)
Can't afford 2nd base right away. My previous games always started with me breaking ground on the second base the first month, usually before the first UFO was spotted. You pretty much had to if you wanted any kind of decent global response capabilities (given the limited range of our choppers) by the time the alien terror raids began. I'm trying to save up enough to get Base 2 funded, but given the rate I'm bleeding money replacing armored cars and soldiers I expect the world to be their playground by that point.
No cover symbols: There used to be symbols that indicated the level of cover you could expect from a piece of terrain when you moved by it. I've been confused at several points now whether a given piece of terrain blocks line of sight, provides cover, or is just decoration.
Better stability: Hasn't crashed once yet. This alone makes it worth coming back to the game, and I want to give my heartfelt gratitude to the developers for fixing the issues that made playing before so aggravating. (If it can make it past month 4 without seizing up I'll be really impressed.)
Path of fire display: This is an excellent feature and I'm glad it's included. In addition to providing indications on how much you can expect cover to affect your aim, it gives you an idea how close you're going to be to shooting your teammates in the back.
Squadsight is still present: I'd heard rumors people wanted to see it gone, I'm glad to see it's still with us. Considering how short soldier's range of view is, I think squadsight is a necessity. (Besides, the only people that have much hope of hitting at extreme ranges are snipers (who have every right to hit at long range) and machine gunners (who spray so much lead they're bound to hit something.
Improved graphics: Maybe it's just me, but the ships look much better than they used to. Also, I have yet to NOT see a civilian due to invisibility, or have an alien corpse remain standing.
Those are all the points so far, I'll update as I get farther in. In summary, I like that the game looks great and is a much more stable play, but several changes to recalibrate the difficulty went too far. I'll admit the last version I played may not have been challenging enough in the early game (Going the first 2 months without a KIA doesn't seem right), but the current arrangement is a huge disappointment and I hope a compromise can be reached. (I may start another game on EASY and see how it goes, but my pride really doesn't want to take that hit.)