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Dehumanization

X-com: Apocalypse 2?

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Since there's be a discussion about X:Apoca on the Xeno:2 forum, wondering what you liked about the game and what you would want if they made a modern game similar/remake with a new engine.  Yes I know someone is making a fan made project already, but this is about a full new game.

Some conversation starters:

What would the aliens be/look like?

What mechanics would you keep/get rid of?

Who would you want working on it?

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Yeah, the main forum thread for the new Xenonauts, a game the Goldhawk team are surely working hard to create, is probably not the place to chat about how great some other game was. Buuut Apoc was pretty damn good.

Aliens: Apoc had variety. From the a huge building-sized godzilla monster down to tiny eggs or green puddles of micro-organisms. The aliens made sense too, it was a society, with a caste structure and a life cycle to discover. I believe that came from them designing a sci-fi and mapping it on to a tactical game rather than the other way round. My vote here would be for aliens that fit into a bigger picture. There is scope to have some really wacky designs, like teleporting aliens made of light or fungal creatures that operate via spores - but it is crucial to have at least one species at the centre of it all that has hands and a brain. That is the 'housekeeper' species who builds all the ships and stuff. They can't just be slaves, they've got to feel intelligent, independent and a little bit normal.

Game mechanics: I was definitely a fan of the living city. All the corporations had some interaction with each other and something they added to the city. The Solmine organisation imported Elerium from offworld - if the spaceport was damaged, the market supply of Elerium would dry up until the city sent repair vehicles out to repair the damage. The back story to these factions really tied everything together, it is an aspect of hard sci-fi where the imagined reality feels factual. Most RPGs are a world waiting for the player to drive things forward, the Apoc cityscape would tick along with or without you. I guess in terms of a perfect remake to the game, I'd be interested in seeing more interaction between the aliens and the human organisations - as it was, they just got infiltrated gradually. It would be cool if the Cult of Sirius was a bigger player economically. A more believable outreach program for alien takeover cooperation.

 

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Posted (edited)

XCOM:Apoc was far more ambitious than what was released. this is the reason i think for the more varied alien structure from previous games. there was going to be a whole espionage and economics side of things that got cut. there was a lot of really cool things in the game, though parts of the game failed in execution as well. a real mixed bag.few games wanted to go the turn based strategy route, so the opportunity to try and do what they did properly was never really on the table. would have been nice to play a polished version of it. there are plenty of other games that really hit it out of the park and simply need a revamp on their engine/graphics that would be lower hanging fruit to get some interest in those old classics, but if there ever was a rush for remaking the old games i would really hope that apoc gets it day.

 

edit:

to answer the OP questions - the aliens they had were pretty good, though the dichotomy of UFO:afterlight was nice as well creating different enemies that were very different from each other requiring rather different weapons and tactics.

the vehicles being very modular is a keeper, as it really is perhaps the most unique thing about the gameplay. the more complex economy and diplomacy that cut cut would be another thing to get in there. as for the real time part of it, i'd either make the combat similar to the UFO games as it lends itself to pausable realtime very nicely, or ax it completely.

who works on it isn't very important, as long as it is done well.

Edited by jamoecw

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I haven't played this game in ten years or so, but from what I remember, the cult of Sirius was little more than a minor annoyance and the rest of the other "factions" didn't really matter.  I agree with jamoecw that it had a lot of neat ideas that weren't really that well polished.  And like the other DOS XCOM games, as soon as you could produce the wonder weapon (the toxin gun in this case), then the game just became a cake walk.

Anyway, if I made apoc2, I would remove the capability for XCOM to research or produce its own equipment so that the espionage and economic aspects of the game would be more important.  Instead of building the facilities in your own base, you would outsource that work to existing laboratories and factories owned by other factions.  Also I'd get rid of the real time combat.

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In some ways Apocalypse was actually my favourite out of the first three games - the backstory & detailed worldbuilding sucked me in, and I really like the mix of creatures. Touches like the aliens adopoting human smoke grenades and using them to put out fires, and the fact that you could often kill all the hyperworms in a multiworm if you hit it with incendiary ammo, helped build the world.

Returning some of the cut features would be on my wishlist as well - if you dig into the files you find items like a jail to put brainwashed leaders of agencies that have been taken over into, in the hopes of breaking the aliens hold, and things like the aliens actually trying to reach your containment facilities in a base raid to free their captured brethern.

I'd like to saee the politics side expanded. The other factions could actually have a big impact at higher difficulties in the base game, from the police dropping a building on your base if corrupted, to raiding the gangs and Cult of Sirius early game for extra cash and equipment, but a lot of intended items were cut, such as kidnapping specific targets, negotiations, and loss of critical resources such as fuel for your ships if you lost key allies.

Kepp the real time, since the game offered you a choice between real time or TBS anyway - RT let's you greatly speed up hunting for that last hidden nest of xeno scum.

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