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GOL Cast: Hunting ETs in XCOM: Enemy Unknown

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Being in charge of humanity's last line of defense against an extraterrestrial threat is highly unlikely and if I were to do it I'm fairly sure we'd be doomed, but now I can try my hand at it in the safe environment of XCOM.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown by Firaxis Games and ported by Feral Interactive is a tactical turn-based strategy game. You are the commander of XCOM, a paramilitary extraterrestrial combat organization and your job is to counter the alien offensive that threatens the existence of the human race. You must intercept the enemy UFOs in the air and fight a variety of different beasts on the ground with your squad of highly trained and well-equipped soldiers.

In addition to the tactical squad-based combat, you must also manage the XCOM's strategic aspects, such as research, interceptor placements and satellite coverage. Due to your limited amount of troops you also have to make the call where to send your men, you cannot protect everyone.

Notice: a 64-bit operating system is required to play the game.

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I think it was fairly obvious that I was going to praise this port to high heavens. Feral's port is simply awesome. The performance is just amazing and the only place where occasional hiccups can be found are the cutscenes, the gameplay itself works at solid 60 frames per second. I have run into a bug or two, but those things have been just minor things, like my soldiers floating in the air for a moment when they exited the dropship. Overall the port just works.

The game itself is equally amazing. The different aspects of gameplay are well tied together and the randomized nature of the missions makes the game interesting. The XCOM council also throws in different sorts of missions every now and then, so you won't have to do similar missions all the time.

The game is also extremely tactical. Moving your troops from cover to cover is a must, because just a few hits can bring your soldiers down forever. The enemy also knows how to take an advantage of the environment, no dumb run and gun AI here.

Overall it's a tight package full of awesome and you should absolutely get it. I'd go as far as to say that it's Linux port of the year material. But do mind that it's a 64-bit only, so it will not run on a 32-bit operating system.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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I'm a Linux gamer from Finland. I like reading, long walks on the beach, dying repeatedly in roguelikes and ripping and tearing in FPS games. I also sometimes write code and sometimes that includes hobbyist game development.
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Ronsen 1 July 2014 at 6:32 am UTC
I made a list of Feral's games:

Batman: Arkam Asylum = Unreal Engine (576.21)
Batman: Arkam City = Unreal Engine (805.101)
Battlestation: Midway = ???
Battlestation: Pacific = ???
Bioshock = Unreal Engine (141.56)
Bioshock 2 = Unreal Engine (143.59)
Black & White 2 = Lionhead Studios (Inhouse)
Borderlands = Unreal Engine (584.57)
Brothers in Arms: Double Time = Unreal Engine
Chessmaster 9000 = The King
Deus Ex: Human Revolution = Crystal Engine
Empire: Total War = Warscape Engine
F1 2012 = EGO Engine 2.0
F1 2013 = EGO Engine 3.0
Fable: The Lost Chapters = Lionhead Engine (Inhouse)?
GRID = EGO Engine 1.0
Hitman: Absolution = Glacier 2 Engine
Imperial Glory = Warscape Engine?
LEGO Batman = ???
LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes = ???
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 = ???
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 = ???
LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures = ???
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes = ???
LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy = ???
LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars = ???
LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga = ???
LEGO The Lord of the Rings = ???
Mafia 2 = Illusion Engine
Mini Ninjas = Glacier Engine
Napoleon: Total War = Warscape Engine
Puzzler World = ???
Rayman Origins = UbiArt Framework
Rome: Total War = Warscape Engine
SEGA Superstars Tennis = ???
Sid Meier's Pirates! = Gamebryo
Sid Meier's Railroads! = Gamebryo
Sonic & SEGA All-Star Racing = ???
The Lord of the Rings: War in the North = Dark Alliance Engine
The Movies = Lionhead Engine (Inhouse)?
Tomb Raider (2013) = Crystal Engine
Tomb Raider Anniversary = Crystal Engine
Tomb Raider: Underworld = Crystal Engine
Total War: SHOGUN 2 = Warscape Engine
Tropico 3 = Haemimont Engine
Tropico 4 = Haemimont Engine
XCOM: Enemy Unknown = Unreal Engine (845.59)
edddeduck_feral 1 July 2014 at 12:19 pm UTC
Thanks for all the kind words, we're glad you're all enjoying XCOM.
edddeduck_feral 1 July 2014 at 12:33 pm UTC
SabunMy only question is why they only port it up to DirectX9 functionality (Aspyr did the same). Is it currently not possible to fully implement DX11 features in OpenGL smoothly?

XCOM doesn't use DX11 features on Windows, the game uses DX9 on Windows and we match the graphics exactly on our Mac and Linux versions. Mac and Linux don't have hardware support for PhysX (software only) but that does not effect the visuals of the game.

We have shipped a couple of games now with some DX10/11 level effects (but not all) on the Mac but haven't had the opportunity to do so on Linux. In theory all of DX11 can be supported if your graphics cards support the full OpenGL 4.4 specification. This does mean the open source mesa drivers would need to be improved a they are missing OpenGL 4.0+ but the closed source drivers for Linux appear to have all the support needed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesa_(computer_graphics)#Software_architecture

That said there is a big difference between the drivers saying something is supported and it being usable and bug free when used in a game. I guess we will find out when we get to the first DX11 based Linux port
Sabun 2 July 2014 at 11:23 pm UTC
QuoteXCOM doesn't use DX11 features on Windows, the game uses DX9 on Windows and we match the graphics exactly on our Mac and Linux versions. Mac and Linux don't have hardware support for PhysX (software only) but that does not effect the visuals of the game.
Thank you for the response! I was genuinely curious, and now I know

QuoteThat said there is a big difference between the drivers saying something is supported and it being usable and bug free when used in a game. I guess we will find out when we get to the first DX11 based Linux port
I look forward to that! Anything you'll be porting to Linux in the future, I will very likely be buying. No regrets here with XCOM
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