XCOM Diary: Character and Loadout Limitations

The developer might add more gameplay options as part of an expansion

By Andrei Dumitrescu on November 5th, 2012 14:15 GMT

Those who have played the original X-COM will be disappointed when first dealing with two aspects of the Firaxis-made XCOM: Enemy Unknown: the limited character customization and the fact that each soldier (with one exception) only gets one equipment slot.

I admit that I was also annoyed to see that there were only two options for each new rank that a soldier could get and that I felt that the amount of skills I was able to try out was limited.

But there are, towards the end of the game, six operatives in one team and there are four core types of soldiers, which means that the number of possible combinations increases quickly and creates a lot of interesting choices when it comes to team composition and to how the various abilities are used together.

Even with the apparently limited number of choices I can make it took me three campaigns that reached the final missions before I understood why both second tier options for Snipers, for example, were important for a team and how I could deploy them both to maximize their power.

I can excuse the limits that Firaxis has placed on the soldier development and equipment use in XCOM: Enemy Unknown, but I cannot explain why they chose to make some soldier characteristics impossible to change.

I might have wanted to have an all-female strike team or an all-Romanian one, but the game makes that impossible because I only get males in the assaults class and it seems that the United Nations model is very much in effect in the XCOM initiative.

I’m pretty sure that modders will soon find a way of unlocking more options and that it will be easy to fulfill all my requests via content created by the community, but it would have been nice for Firaxis to implement them in the base game.
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