A video of three rounds of multiplayer matches has been released by 2K Games.
The indecisiveness of the host, Greg Laabs, is incredibly annoying. I’m aware he’s trying to do multiple, conflicting things (win the match, entertain viewers, and do Q&A with the livestreamers), but that doesn’t stop it from being annoying. It could be argued that my annoyance with his indecisiveness was a result of my interest in the match or backseat commander-ing.
It appears that snipers with squad-sight and some sort of vertical movement ability (flight or grappling) are currently too dominant in the game. Hopefully this will change before release or shortly thereafter.
Players can see the opposing players’ point total before the match starts. This is a pretty interesting design decision. Typically players are allowed no information about the other players’ build until the match is underway. There’s some interesting high level play that could result from this, but for players such as myself the most information we’ll get out of it is who has more points and maybe unit count and rough cost.
Units in the multiplayer appear to be more restricted than in singleplayer. XCOM soldiers have a selection of pre-built talent trees instead of full access to the tree. Somewhat disappointing, but I guess it may be a game balance thing; some builds may simply not be worth it in multiplayer. It could also be intended to speed up game setup time; if only certain builds are worth bothering with, you don’t want players rebuilding them every match for every soldier. Alien troops appear to have no options. Also disappointing, since in the singleplayer videos some of them appear to have different loadouts (Mutons with different weapons), although that may just be me misinterpreting things.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown can be pre-purchased for PC on Green Man Gaming for $34 with the promo code GMG25-EVFWS-4Z4ZN or for $45 with a $10 credit in North America. Apparently 2K or Firaxis won’t allow XCOM to be discounted in North America, so that’s why there’s a price discrepancy. Somehow I don’t think we’ll get much sympathy from our international friends who have to put up with elevated prices as the default.
It will come with the “Elite Soldier Pack”, the pre-purchase dealie that adds some soldier customization stuff, and a free copy of Civilization 5, which can be gifted if you already own it (I suspect you’ll need to own it on GMG, not just have a copy in general). It will not come with any of the TF2 items that you get for pre-purchasing with Steam.