Xenonauts is a strategy game in which you control a multi-national military organisation defending a Cold War-era Earth from alien invasion, using small squads of persistent soldiers to eliminate the extraterrestrials and recover their technology in turn-based ground combat.
User reviews: Very Positive (1,044 reviews)
Release Date: Jun 16, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"With deep strategic systems, omnipresent dread, and clean turn-based combat, Xenonauts is a triumph of rebooted game design."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (23)

December 11

Xenonauts V1.5 Available for Testing!

Xenonauts V1.5, our final major update to the game, is available for testing on our Experimental Steam branch

V1.5 is a significant upgrade on V1.09 and from the testing that has been done so far we also believe it to be more stable. The only reason that we have not pushed the update out to all of our Steam customers is that several key members of the team have left for their winter holidays. If there is an unexpected issue in V1.5 we might not have the personnel to fix it, and we don't want to risk leaving the game unplayable for any length of time!

Therefore V1.5 will be arriving for everybody in January. Until then, it can be accessed by doing the following:
- Go to your Steam Library
- Right click on Xenonauts >> Properties >> "Betas" tab
- Type the password XenoExperiment into the "Enter Beta access code" box and press Check Code
- Select "Experimental - latest changes, unstable" from the drop-down box above

Please let us know if you experience any major bugs with it; the more testing it gets now the smoother the January launch will be.

V1.5 BRIEF CHANGELOG:

  • You can load saves from V1.09 in V1.5 (but once saved in V1.5 they will no longer load in V1.09)
  • Fixes a lot of crashes and loading issues with V1.09
  • An epilogue from the Chief Scientist has been added to the victory screen
  • 70 community maps bundled with the game as an optional mod
  • Air combat now has time acceleration buttons
  • Line-of-sight system for soldiers significantly improved
  • Cover indicators added to the ground combat
  • Late-game alien psionics now less unfair
  • Units behind walls / props are easier to see
  • Soldiers now get a nationality flag
  • Money made less tight on easier difficulty settings
  • LOTS of small usability and stability fixes
The full changelog is significantly longer and will be posted with the final V1.5 release.

14 comments Read more

October 23

Xenonauts V1.09 Fix & V1.5 / Steam Workshop Testing

Xenonauts V1.09 was meant to be the final version of Xenonauts, however we have decided to add Steam Workshop support and do one last update to the game to celebrate our successful launch!

The first thing to mention is there's been a very small patch to the current version of the game to fix a bug in the final mission where it was possible to damage the final door so badly it could not open. It is now entirely invulnerable and this can no longer happen.

Onto Xenonauts V1.5 and Steam Workshop support. Both of these are in testing mode at the moment and will hopefully arrive on the main branch in the next month or so - although anyone that wants to test them immediately can also do so!

V1.5 will not include additional content like new levels or new units, but it fixes a number of interface issues and minor issues in the game - basically it just cleans up the gameplay experience and also adds better mod support (the biggest change is an improved line-of-sight system that fixes some of the sight issues in V1.09, but there are plenty of others).

If you want to take part in testing V1.5 or Steam Workshop, please follow the links here:

Xenonauts V1.5: http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/showthread.php/12291-Xenonauts-V1-5-Experimental-Released%21

Steam Workshop: http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/showthread.php/12312-Steam-Workshop-Testers-Needed%21

We'll keep everyone updated as both of these things close in on being released on the official Xenonauts default branch!

10 comments Read more

Reviews

“The result is a deeply engaging, indie version of an alien invasion that stands toe-to-toe with X-COM—the classic and the reboots.”
85 – PC Gamer

“Xenonauts is a faithful modernization of a classic. It retains the features that made X-COM such a tense and memorable game, with base invasions and a gigantic open-ended campaign of depth and freedom. If Firaxis' revamped take on the series felt a little too directed and linear for you, then Xenonauts is likely to delight.”
80 – Strategy Informer

About This Game

Xenonauts is a strategy game in which you control a multi-national military organisation defending a Cold War-era Earth from alien invasion, using small squads of persistent soldiers to eliminate the extraterrestrials and recover their technology in turn-based ground combat. A detailed strategic layer allows you to co-ordinate the defence of the planet, using your interceptors to shoot down UFOs and researching captured artefacts to learn about your foes and unlock new combat equipment to use on your missions.

Xenonauts is a spiritual successor to the classic X-Com strategy games from the 1990s. We aim to improve the graphics, add new content and streamline the interface whilst still retaining all of the key mechanics of the original games. Devoted fans should love this game, but we're also keen to introduce the joys of old-school grand strategy to a whole new generation of players who might not otherwise experience it!

Key Features


  • Ground Combat: Xenonauts delivers tense turn-based combat across realistic, varied and fully-destructible battlefields, against almost fifty different variants of enemy. Missions range from capturing crashed UFOs or alien bases to defending cities (or even Xenonaut facilities) against alien attack. You'll experience the chill of encountering a new alien for the first time and the joys of test-firing a new weapon for the first time. Deeply asymmetric combat keeps the battles interesting - after all, you're fighting intergalactic invaders with 1970's ballistic technology!
  • Strategic Management: You will also be managing the defence of the planet, dealing with the invading alien UFOs with your customisable interceptors. You need to balance the needs of your funding nations with your own. Your funds are limited - are you going to spend them on battlefield equipment, more scientists, or expanding your coverage of the planet? Your priorities must be balanced carefully if you are to win the war.
  • Research Tree: Xenonauts has an extensive research tree with almost a hundred projects to unlock, each with its own unique description and painted artwork. It slowly reveals the intentions and origins of the invaders, while also unlocking new battlefield equipment, aircraft and vehicles for you to use as you harness alien technology and turn it against them.
  • Persistent Soldiers: Soldiers in Xenonauts are persistent from mission to mission, improving their stats and gaining ranks with combat experience - but their deaths are always only a single bad move away. You will grow to care about the brave men and women under your command as they slowly grow from green rookies into hardened veterans, but that only makes it more painful when their heroic tale is cruelly cut short by a burst of plasma fire...
  • Detailed, Emergent Simulation: Xenonauts contains no scripted missions, just broad rules setting the pace of the invasion. As such, no game plays out the same twice. If you shoot a Scout UFO down over a polar area, you get a Crash Site mission where you can capture a crashed Scout UFO in an Arctic tileset. Commence a battle at night and you'll be fighting the mission in the darkness with reduced sight range. If your base is attacked, you fight the defence in a perfect replica of your base. A lot of time has gone into weaving the two very different halves of the game together into something that feels both natural and enjoyable.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS:Windows 8 / 7 SP1 / Vista SP2
    • Processor:Intel 2 GHz
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Integrated Graphics
    • Hard Drive:3 GB HD space
    • Sound:Integrated
    • Monitor:1280x720 pixels minimum
    Recommended:
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:512 MB DirectX 9.0c Compliant Video Card
    • Hard Drive:Solid State Hard Drive
Helpful customer reviews
159 of 165 people (96%) found this review helpful
101.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 22
I finally completed my first Normal Ironman run in Xenonauts after many rage quits, forced restarts... and forgetting to deactive my C4 explosives only to pink mistify half my squad (way... waayyyy too many times). There were many moments that had me mumbling at my screen in frustration or outright had me getting up from the computer, going to the gym, and lifting things up then putting them down over and over again to get the angst out.

It was incredibly frustrating to have some of my wet-behind-the-ears soldiers survive a few missions and pulverize some Xeno scum, only to watch them get one shot by a well placed shot or devoured by a Reaper I didn't plan for. Cover isn't intuitive (or at least for me it wasn't) and there were multiple times I took position only to watch the alien turn, smirk at me, then plant a plasma bolt square between the eyes of one of my soldiers. Refer back to the rage and lifting portion.

Eventually, after epic (and possibly unhealthy) amounts of nerd rage and QQ'ing over cheating alien scum, how insanely difficult breaching UFOs is (Corvettes! I'm specifically hating on you!), and having to make aggrevating economic decisions... I learned from my mistakes (gasp!), had to learn to accept losses, and got better.

I actually started using squad level tactics like hugging walls, throwing down smoke grenades if I absolutely had to turn a blind corner with no indication of what could be waiting on the other side, NOT sprinting down the middle of the street with my entire squad, then getting upset that I got sniped from a random window, making liberal use of explosives even if it meant I lost some money breaching UFOs, and generally just accepting I'm supposed to be out gunned.

The game is remarkably well paced, freakishly so. Due to the ticker implementation RIGHT when you finally have outfitted your fighter jets or soldiers with the appropriate gear new bigger, badder aliens show up that almost make your hard fought gains obsolete. One step forward, two steps back is a common theme throughout the game that makes you BETTER because you have to actually think about WTF you're doing and why.

I'm a father of three, married, and I have a job that has me at work anywhere from a standard 40 hours a week to almost 60, so it took me a month to get through the game. I guess I could've used the common complaint/logic "I don't have that kind of time" or "I want something I can sit down and beat in a few days" but this was far more rewarding. Yes, there were days where after a 12 hour shift I certainly didn't come home and boot up any games, but the time invested was worth it.

I'm glad I stuck with Xenonauts despite my initial frustrations and will be putting many more hours into it either by tweaking the config file or by downloading mods. I actually tried playing XCOM: EU again and couldn't bring myself to do it.

If you've made it through the wall of text (hurray!) I guess I'd split it into three categories:

The Good:

-Excellently designed game that gives you total freedom, no ♥♥♥♥ty tutorials shall be thrust on you here.

-The pacing is genius! I don't know how long it took them, but the game ups the difficulty at the right moment. (unless you're playing bad, then you'll never catch up)

-Soldiers have no role, you determine what they do based on what equipment you give them. Have a guy with high TU (action points)? Make him your scout! Have a guy with amazing accuracy but maybe his HP is kind of low? Sniper! Found a meat shield with high HP and incredible strength, but he couldn't hit the broad side of a barn at point blank range with a fully automatic weapon? Give him a metal shield and let him be a bullet sponge! Or don't do any of those things, it's up to you.

-Aliens appropriately out tech you through out pretty much the entire game. You genuinely feel an overwhelming sense of dread as you play the game.

-You will take losses, but that doesn't mean you'll lose the game. You can have pretty substantial set backs and still come out on top. (kind of like how life is!)

-Using squad level infantry tactics ACTUALLY works and is necessary.

-Well thought out tech tree and research progression.

-You can mod and edit the crap out of the game to your liking.

-Music is well done and adds to the setting.

The Bad:

-Even on Easy this game will be too much for a lot of people. This will be viewed as an "elitist" comment, but I think that's more indicative of the gaming industry as a whole and not to Xenonaut's detriment. Nintendo games were soul crushingly difficult and only had one mode, now many games I can hand my six year old that he can beat without having to read any of the text.

-Still some glitches/bugs, namely shooting through walls. It doesn't happen too often, but it can make a huge difference to how that one map will play out.

-The game doesn't explain a lot of the mechanics adequately. This can amplify frustration or make it more rewarding as you progress, depends on your perspective.

-Mind control late game is a bit out of whack. I thought it added a great deal of intensity and dread, but it was depressing to watch two of my colonels that had managed to survive +30 missions get possessed and murder each other. I think it's a great (and necessary) part of the game, but still needs tweaking in either lower % success rate (which you can do yourself) or a turn delay the same way Wraiths can't teleport and shoot in the same turn.

The Ugly:

-Graphics. Eventually they grew on me, but it was admittedly jarring at first.
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74 of 76 people (97%) found this review helpful
70.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
Xenonauts. It's greatest strength is that it's X-com. It's greatest weakness is that it's X-com.

If you're an older gamer, played the original X-coms, and just wanted them to get a graphics update and maybe some mods on being able to better organise your units and maybe a few updates, look no further. You've found it.

If you don't know what this "X-com" business is about, both X-com and Xenonauts are tactical and strategic games where you defend earth from an alien invasion through a specialised organisation and squad who deals with the aliens.
You'll respond to the aliens by shooting down the UFOs using regular human fighter aircraft, and then landing a squad of soldiers with just plain old human guns near them to clear out the survivors. After that, you'll begin to research better technology. Laser rifles, faster aircraft to take down the UFOs, armour that protects from the alien weaponry, and so on.

You will meet several different kinds of aliens, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, and figure out why they're invading. But most importantly, you're going to stop them. You're going to take all their technology and make it your own, and you will end up with several bases across the world to find, and destroy any intruders who push into your atmosphere.

As for the changes between this and X-com, they are mostly good. You have an airstrike option on alien crash sites so that you don't need to do everything or have them expire when you've been too busy dealing with other sites, though it will provide you with far less rewards than if you send in a squad of soldiers. There are new pieces of equipment, such as the shield. You'll no longer need to micromanage every last clip or laser battery in your arsenal and order the construction of small things like two laser batteries - Just keep track of the ones you bring into combat so you don't run out. There are now more involved air battles, along with air terror sites. And cover, along with range, now actually provides a bonus or penalty to your shots. You don't have to worry about this turning into a chest high wall simulator though, it works out well and you don't have to stay in cover. It's just a suggestion that increases your soldiers' lifespan. There are some others but they are mostly positive. One I'd say is slightly negative is that you can not land on a UFO and blast a hole in the ceiling to enter it as you could in the original X-com, though if you never played that game(And even if you did), you might not even notice that option isn't there.

Mechanics wise, it works out very similar to X-com, with an isometric view and tile based map. I've found some maps had too little vertical space sometimes but often this wasn't a big problem, the controls are pretty good, mainly just using your mouse to command your units. It's turn based, with a world map to place your bases on and do your air battles, and a base overview where you can build out your base by modular rooms.
Interestingly, I've found that the difficulty settings actually changes AI behavior, rather than the lazy way of just giving the AI more armour or damage. I'm not sure if it also gives the aliens more stats or makes it more difficult to get money for the player, but the fact difficulty settings actually improve the AI is something that many AAA games completely fail at.

In the end, it's X-com. It has most of the strengths of X-com, but it also has the flaws of X-com. You may need to restart several times if you're new and you might get discouraged. A random lucky shot could kill off your best soldier and send the nearby rocket launcher guy into a berserk panic state right into your own squad. If you're not used to it, you'll wonder just how long the campaign keeps going and it may turn into a game of 'whack-a-UFO' for you with slow or barely noticable progress. Or you may simply not have a clue what's going on until the aliens are already in a better position than you.

Even then, it's a very good game. I would say it's worth grabbing it at some point if you want to see what the fuss is about, or because you want some more of the X-com from long ago (Without looking at Interceptor or Enforcer for now)
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70 of 74 people (95%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 17
X-Com not X-Commy enough for you?

We're going back to our roots here. No fancy 3d graphics hogging your resources. Ain't no voice actors here, just 100% pure, uncut, grade A tactile turn based combat.

Hire people based off stats, Assign them based off stats. Equip them with stolen alien tech to improve their stats. Build up your base to increase stats. Stats everywhere.

There isn't really a whole lot to say here, you know the formula and these guys executed it well. Great combat, music and graphics... just an all around stellar title. Be sure to pick this one up.
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49 of 63 people (78%) found this review helpful
34.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 4
Everytime I get attached to one of my randomly generated Ground-Assault team members, they're killed off through a terrible stroke of luck.

Worse than Game of Thrones.

10/10
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32 of 36 people (89%) found this review helpful
8.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 23
things that have happened in this game:
-lost the highest ranked xenonaut on the assault team because I forgot to assign doormen to the sides of the CH-48
-entire assault team annihilated because I tried to rush a UFO (RIP IN PEACE ALPHA TEAM) that had 2 aliens left
-lost 3 xenonauts to the same alien camping inside a factory
-guy with 70 accuracy and a PSG-1 shooting alien at midrange hits my scout instead (RIP IN PEACE CPL LAUREN "NOOB" MERCIER)
-glorious, cathartic DAKKADAKKADAKKA of a UFO interior once I finally corner the sebilian ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥s
-chased UFOs in blinged out MiG-31s

good game. I might stream it once I figure out how not to die horribly
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36 of 46 people (78%) found this review helpful
25.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 5
i realy love this game,
the strategic elements and the gameplay.
but its very difficult at the end, theres no time to rest. you need to use your time to do reseaches and build better equipment, or the Aliens will kick your ♥♥♥ out of the planet.

9/10
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20 of 20 people (100%) found this review helpful
34.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 5
Xenonauts is amazing! If u're a fan of the original XCOM or even the XCOM Enemy Unknown/Within, then u'll love this one. Especially if u're looking for more of a challenge compared to XEU. Xenonauts definitely offers the player more control over what/how u can spend and allocate your funds, as well as more randomness in terms of ground combat and enemy placement.

If I had to pick a negative, I would say that the game doesn't necessarily have a random map generator like the original XCOM did/does. Xenonauts has more of a semi random map generator, in which u may come across a similar map, but the layout in terms of what's on the map may be different. For example; instead of a crate being placed in a particular part of the map, there may be a set of parked cars or debris of some kind etc. Of course in the forums, u can always download custom maps ppl design, and add em to ur game to spice it up, and keep the game fresh as well. I would imagine (if they hadn't already or are already in talks) they would possibly put up a patch as far as implementing a random map generator.

Other than that, the game is absolutely Amazing!!! I still haven't even seen all the maps nor all the enemies as well. If I were to pick a number, I would definitely give this game a 9/10, 4/5, B+/A u name it..
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26 of 31 people (84%) found this review helpful
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
Xenonauts is a great game.

Once I shot down a main craft over at snowy I suppose planes of Greenland. Just a routine intercept, kill those alien sum♥♥♥♥♥es, get that much needed dosh so I could build another base and name it something from Secret Warriors. Or so I thought.
My brave men and women including Iosif Nichayko, Ellen Ripley, Rick Deckard and my main killing mean machine lieutenant John Cross who rocked cool moustache, Wolf armor, a riot shield and a plasma pistol were all there.

My prised bull Iosif who was always clearing the UFO itself with a shotgun got shot almost immediately by a crased Icelandic reseacher who mistook our dropship for some sort of huge alien spacecraft. My brave men and women couldn't retaliate and thus commit a horrible war crime of ♥♥♥♥♥♥ a cold dead body of an Icelandic meteorologist because said meteorologist was shot by his pal, another reseacher present on this snowy research station. The man nodded and moved on completely dissappearing from the point of view of my brave men and women.

The research station itself was swarming with reapers, disgusting aliens who turn men into zombies and ♥♥♥♥ corpses. They weren't such a huge problem for mymen since my APC made a quick work of them.

We finally made it to the alien aircraft. It was on fire, dying moans and swearing in some beastly alien language were heard from inside. We sweeped the first hall, nothing but reptiloid bodies and blood. ANd in the second hall we found the same honorable Icelandic scientist executing sebilian officer.

He then slowly walked into the flame and dissappeared again.

The mission was a success.
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23 of 26 people (88%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
This game is a sort of spiritual sequel to the original Xcom games that I think is a bit more faithful to the original then Enemy Unknown and despite the fact that I enjoyed Enemy Unknown I definately recommend this to somebody who is looking for a more traditional Xcom experience.
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17 of 17 people (100%) found this review helpful
35.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 25
This is as close to a completly faithful remake of XCOM that we're ever going to get. And boy, is it faithful. It even adds a few new things, like a dogfighting minigame that's leagues better from we had in either the old XCOM or the remake.

Combat is nice in balanced, and my only real nitpicks are that grenades are overpowered and clearing ships is a meatgrinder, since unless you outright destroy the door, UFO entrances will close every round, forcing you to play whack-a-mole.

If you ever played UFO Defense, or even just Enemy Unknown, you owe it to yourself to buy this and give it a whirl. I give it a hearty recommendation to anyone.
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18 of 19 people (95%) found this review helpful
60.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 14
As a die-hard old strategy XCOM fan, I was impressed with this game. It brought all good memories and got me playing this game until the very end (not a lot of games kept my attention during last few years). In this state, I would give this game 9/10 points, as it "can" get better with bug-fixes and further development.
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18 of 19 people (95%) found this review helpful
66.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 14
Follows the Xcom1 very closely
Yes! at last a game that does it right, a worthy succesor to the origional Xcom.

Its at least as hard as Xcom1, maybe harder
Be warned though, even if your an Xcom pro this game is tough, I'm good at Xcom player but after 4/5 failed attempts at this on "veteran" I had to start playing it on "normal".

It has some differences, but you will be glad.
Despite following the origional game closely, for most of its mechanics, Xenonauts does make some minor changes that improve thinngs, stores are less of a chore (many items like ammo and standard wepaons are free and infinite), intercepts are more important and more fun, funding is more important (the old exploits won't work here).
Also you will generally have to develop new strategies to win.
Obviously the story is different and the techs and the style, but they are all still enthralling and brilliantly done.

Just buy this now.
Honestly, I can't think of a single bad thing to say about this game... although the head scientist is so obnoxious you will want to punch him, but I think that's deliberate.
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13 of 13 people (100%) found this review helpful
69.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 2
I'm going to start out by saying that I fully support this game and reccomend it. Despite any and all flaws it is well worth the money.

It's been years since people have been trying to bring new life into this genre. Many sequels and clones have gone by with mixed success. Games like XCom: Apocalypse changed the formula too much, while a good game in it's own right, it alienated fans. Other games like UFO: Afterlight and the series tried a different approach, but suffered from clunky menus and combat felt artificial. The recent addition of XCom: Enemy Unknown introduced excellent graphics and animations, but this hid the fact that the strategic map was dumbed down to the point that UFOs that you didn't shoot down were not the cause of missions, in fact it was possible to shoot them all down and still have missions so long as you had a country somewhere you didn't have a satalite over. The tactical was also super simplified. I would call that one an XCom-lite if anything.

Xenonauts does not have the flashy graphics of XCom: Enemy Unknown, nor does it vary far from the original. However it is improved from the original in many ways and is what many fans have wanted. It could be used as another start to evolve this hard to capture genre.

Once again, UFOs are the sole source of missions on the strategic map. If a UFO is ignored, it can generate a terror mission during a landing, or build an alien base. No longer is there effects without causes. In fact the atmosphere of the game is even enhanced by reports of UFO activity across the globe, such as new crop circles, missing ships, and cattle mutilations being reported in areas where you cannot track the UFOs. Also every UFO comes with a mission of their own, something you will discover later in the game. These missions affect their behavior, and you will have to adapt if you want to control the invasion before it's too late.

Many clones/sequels allowed the player to overpower the aliens far too much. This gave the aliens the feeling of being the underdogs despite the fact that they are the ones with the technological advantage. Not so in Xenonauts. While the majority of the alien fleet cannot attack immediately, buying you some time to prepare, their progress is at least in part based on your success. If you are doing well, expect to see harder UFOs and aliens sooner than you otherwise might. This leads you to having to make tough decisions like "Do I let this UFO perform it's missions for a while before shooting it down?" "Do I want to raid every UFO for the bonus cash" etc. because doing so can speed the rate of the invasion if you are successful. In short, go to slowly and risk losing funding and nations. Go too quickly and the Aliens will bring their main fleet before you're ready. Can you walk that line?

Even further you are quickly forced to decide between building better interceptors or getting better equipment for your troops. Bullets will not do for long once aliens with armor start showing up. Some will simply laugh off sustained fire if you aren't ready for them in time. Defense is important too, as even the basic armor could be the difference between a shot instantly killing a soldier or not. Even here, you cannot be reactive, as you stand to lose too much. You have to learn to predict what you will need and when, and if you are wrong, you will pay.

This game is a hard strategy game. Every decision you make will have repercussions you might not have dreamed of down the road. Your soldiers, while they improve, will never be the super soldiers you had in other games. Tactics will always be important, with armor only saving you from a mistake or two if you are lucky. A skilled player might be able to forgo armor completely, though I doubt he would do so flawlessly. I personally am almost a year into my game and I have never used combat shields, something a lot of players say is a staple in their forces. My body count isn't that high either, roughly at about a dozen.

All this praise does come with a cost. This game does have it's flaws. If you need glasses, or have trouble reading small print, the fonts on the strategic map will kill your eyes. I can barely read them as it is on 720p. It may be better on 1080p, but that's not how I stream it. This needs to get fixed.

The graphics look like something out of Fallout 2 days. They are excellent 2d graphics, but do not expect full 3d modelling here. They spent more of their time making sure the gameplay worked well than actually building 3d graphics. Still if you can overlook the graphics, there is a great game underneath.

The interface, while greatly improved, is still very clunky.
1. Double clicking on a soldier in the management panel sometimes takes you to that soldier, sometimes not. It's partly to do with how soldiers are organized on the equipment panel, partly to do with the double click speed required.
2. Planes that need to be refueled/repaired/reloaded cannot have any characteristics changed. Even their name, or loadout. It would be nice to be allowed to change a loadout while loading the plane with ammo. This goes double for positioning soldiers on the dropships.
3. This is also a feature easily missed by most players, as it is hidden almost completely. Placing a button from the loadout screen for the troops in the dropship to link to the positioning would help a lot.
4. The inability to rotate the map or hide walls makes it impossible to throw grenades on tiles behind them.

This game takes place in 1979-early 80's. Some things are anachronistic or inaccurate.
1. The basic starting rifle is the M16A2, which came into use in the 1980's. It had a 3 round burst option and 30 round magazine. The weapon that soldiers should be using is the M16E1 which had fully automatic options and a 20 round magazine.
2. The starting precision rifle pictured is a M16A4 which introduced a modular rail system to a rifle similar to the M16A2 allowing for the addition of scopes, laser targetting and the like. It would have had a 30 round magazine as well, instead of the 6 rounds given. Instead they should have used the M16E1 fitted with a scope off to the side, with a 20 round magazine.
3. The machine gun pictured is the M249 squad automatic weapon. This weapon is designed to fire ammo from a belt in a drum underneath the barrel. It can use M16 magazines, however this is not reccomended due to severe jamming issues. A M249 belt comes in 3 sizes: 100 round for training, 250 round infantry drum, and 500 round vehicle mounted drum.
4. Night vision scopes were around for the Vietnam war, and should be available for snipers in night missions in the game. Full night vision goggle(s) however will not be seen till later in the 80's. A possible tech to research and produce them would have been a nice touch as necessity is the mother of invention they say, and something to counter the alien's advantage at night would have been a welcome choice. Night vision goggle(s) do however restrict vision, and accuracy due to the way they operate.
5. The starting grenade pictured is a fragmentation grenade. It has a kill radius of 10 meters with an effective radius of 5 meters. It does not do it's damage by concussive force, but by shards of metal, like bullets, flying out in all directions. I cannot speak of how alien grenades work, but a rework of basic grenades should be in order to make them effective in this regard.
6. Flares burn can start fires easily but do not do so in game. Smoke grenades produce smoke slowly, and will only burn your hand if you aren't wearing leather gloves. They should not be starting fires in this game.
7. Bazookas are not easily reloadable in field. Carrying one as a side implement should be an option for a soldier, but ammo preloaded. The M25 rocket launcher however could fire multiple rockets, but was a mounted weapon.
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15 of 17 people (88%) found this review helpful
9.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 14
Remember the old XCOM titles of the late 90’s? They were something truly special, masterpieces of the strategy and sci-fi genre’s, and while we had XCOM: Enemy Unknown in 2012, it’s something I felt didn’t quite live up to the originals due to its simplified nature, such as smaller squads and amount of hand-holding it insisted on. However, if I were to tell you there was now in fact a game that captured the perfection of XCOM in its own way and modernised it properly, would that sound too good to be true? Because that’s exactly what Xenonauts is.

Xenonauts is an absolutely fantastic strategy game heavily influenced by the likes of XCOM and fans of the series will no doubt enjoy it thoroughly as it’s more of an updated throw-back to the older games as opposed to the newer ones. Newcomers to the genre though may be a little lost in its complexity due to the lack of any proper tutorial, however veterans will no doubt feel right at home and find a huge amount of content at their disposal. The amount of in-depth management can make the game feel like it drags on at times, but again, this is partially to do with the audience it is aimed at, so if you are looking for a more fast-paced game you certainly won’t find that, as it’s about being tactical and planning your moves carefully. The graphical style is very pleasant if a little simplistic but the overall cartoon-esque presentation makes it feel dated yet modern at the same time, giving it a very unique vibe. Ground combat was without a doubt one of my favourite parts of the game and is well designed and requires good tactical planning and thinking on the player’s part, even on the lower difficulties.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOMg647Fg9A

Summary:
+ Pleasant and clean graphical style.
+ Ground combat is thought provoking and well designed.
+ Good amount of troop customisation.
+ Management is in-depth and enjoyable.
+ Deep and intricate systems for veterans of the genre.
- Ground battles can cause the game to drag on.
- Lack of any proper tutorial.
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11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
100.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 27
Best tacticts since Jagged Alliance 2
Plus everything we loved about UFO1 and more, way more.

Graphics take time to get used to though.

The setting - lore, xenopedia articles, research reports - create an immersive atmosphere, even more immersive than that of recent X-Com(2012)

Best thing I like is honest Alien AI - they will send interceptor patrols after you shoot down a few ships, they will counter-attack as you surround their ship in tactics mode, they don't hesitate to use grenades.
Shot trajectories are in gun combat - bullets will hit obstacles and units on their way.

All in all - the first game in ~7 years (since GalCiv2) that made me suddenly realize it's dawn already and I haven't slept yet.
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11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
182.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 28
Love this game. It's very much like the old xcom granted minus some of the graphics of today. I enjoy the fights and while you don't have to do all of them, that's where I have my fun time. To me the game seems a little rushed in play as if you are not researching some things in the right order or making the money to build equipment or ships then you'll be a little on the low side to the aliens. I do feel like they could have added a few more battle fields as they do tend to get repetitive at times. I do wish the environments were a little more destructible like the old xcom. I have had aliens on a few battle fields disappear, which is frustrating when trying to track them down (still won the battle, but saw one shoot and then duck behind a corner and then couldn't find him. If he shots at me he needs to be accounted for in the body count. :) ). In game manual/help and xenopedia could be flushed out more such as, I've got the money to build a 3rd new base, but have been unable to do so. I'm sure that I'm missing something, but can't figure out what. So, little frustrated there. Original xcom was simple in what you could do comparatively (it's hard to match the formula when it was perfect to begin with). Haven't had aliens attack one of my bases yet, while it seems that they have hinted at this by way of base defense I've yet to experience it so it makes me wonder if it was an idea that didn't quite make it.
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14 of 17 people (82%) found this review helpful
125.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 18
If you were a fan of the old Xcom series, you will find this a excellent step in the series.
I liked how they chose to steamline the purchasing of some of the smaller stuff. (No more having to buy every clip of ammo and every flare.)
The only downside is that the missions can become a grind. (But they give you a option to skip them and still get some reward)
I personally found the air combat hard to grasp, simply sim'ing it was easy enough though.
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10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
109.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 3
The best bit about xenonauts is that it is an awesome port of a classic game with updated graphics and a few cool new ideas and changes.

The worst bit about xenonauts is that it is an awesome port of a classic game that was not implemented fully. So much of this game is half way done and not fleshed out fully.

Let me explain.

It's prettier than original x-com... if by prettier you mean higher resolution. There is no way to rotate the map, no way to zoom the map in or out (well... you can change the resolution i guess), no minimap, fences and doors obscure everything behind them unless there is a npc or player model on that square... the list goes on.

The geoscape is a mess. It's a flat projection of the world that takes as long to travel around the pole as it does at the equator and radar ranges are perfect circles. This would not be a problem except someone decided to be clever and program in a realistic day/night transition that even moves up and down with the seasons. It's not game breaking, gameplay is balanced around the flat map and perfect circles...
Yet I can not get over the realistic day night line. If you're going to do one bit right, you have to do all the bits right, not half of it.

You can set things on fire! But there is no incendiary ammo, and things you would expect to burn (hay bales, wooden buildings) don't. Once again, it's a lovely mechanic ripped form original x-com that is implemented half way.

This basically applies to every single item in the game. Research, manufacturing, base development, combat, tooltips, in game information, etc.

I'm enjoying playing this game... in short stints. If I play too long the flaws grate too much and I get frustrated with the game instead of enjoying it.

If you can overlook/don't notice the flaws xenonauts is a solid x-com remake and is be a lot of fun.
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10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
74.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 20
It's XCOM+
Superior to UFO Extraterrestrials, equal of UFO Alien Invasion, not quite the departure in story and quality that UFO Aftershock was. It does what it promises to do, deliver classic XCOM gameplay without the bugs/DOS limits.

True-to-original gameplay with benefits of tech advances and without limitations of 1994 hardware. Artwork isn't pixellated or low-res, but remains 2D. The maps are 2D as well, with some tile/LOS issues, but that is just the flavor of this game. There is no need to specifically select a grenade, move it into the soldier's hand after removing the rifle, then use the nade in combat. Select it from a quick-menu and throw at the enemy. The proper TU cost will be calculated based on where the grenade was in the inventory so it costs the same, just makes gameplay easier. Inventory/equipment can be arranged and saved for future use making it possible to edit existing classes or create your own. Building Missile defences no longer requires you to dismantle outdated facilities to replace with new tech versions. They upgrade automatically when new tech is researched. Saving time and making sense. Xenonauts has many similar improvements over the original XCOM while keeping the gameplay essentially the same.

EDIT

There are greater departures from the original gameplay. Developers removed the ability for the player to construct manufacturing complexes and use them to create wealth by trading new technology and devices. This was exploited in the original to make funding meaningless. In Xenonauts, your budget is the direct result of your actions in defending funding governments. Let them down enough and your budget will constrict to the point of utter failure. There are no "points" you and the aliens score, only collateral damage caused by them and bonuses paid for UFOs shot down. You will sell small amounts of alien item, but it's a pittance compared to the gravy train you could ride in XCOM: UFO Defense. Budgetary restrictions are so severe at higher difficulty levels, that even most grizzled veterans will find it difficult to manage, and will probably lose more than once. Great news if you found all your squad-level tactical games too easy and forgiving.

Tactical combat is also extremly dangerous at the highest difficulty level, to the point of it seriously not being worth it just for the sake of leveling soldiers. You will have to fight to collect researchable items or to prevent alien terror, but outside this you will not want to engage in too many battles, certainly not without decent equipment.

Air combat is expanded. It takes place in a simplified RTS setting, though it is possible to autoresolve all encounters. You risk taking damage either way. Unlike the classic, aircraft shot down are not lost. In a rare moment of forgiveness, Xenonauts will recover downed aircraft, although it can take 72h to drag the remains back to base.

In addition to bringing back classic XCOM gameplay, Xenonauts manages to recreate the addictivness of the original. Your mileage may vary of course, but i personally managed to clock 23h during the first three play sessions. And i found myself thinking about different tactics or wondering how the hell i'm supposed to beat the game at all.
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
140.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 30
I could write how this game is, in its essence, a faithful yet innovative recreation of Gollop brothers' original X-COM. I could say that it captures the feeling and addictiveness of its precursor, building upon its concepts, expanding or modernizing them, while still staying faithful to the original. I could list the elements present in it, like base administration, research and production, UFO activity management, interceptions and, of course, the meat of the matter – ground missions; and then go on praising how well, for the most part, they were executed.

Rather that all that, I'm just going to say that Xenonauts passed the most important test, by which I judge games based on other titles – that is, while playing it, not for a moment I found myself wanting to go back the old game instead.
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