Friday, 4 January 2013

X-COM: The Alien Menace

Finally saved up enough money to build another base (called Shapeir of course!) and put it in North America. This should mean I get good coverage of all the highest funding countries. I've also managed to research the stun launcher, so I should be able to research all of the aliens I come across. In my workshops, I'm beginning construction of a Firestorm, which should hopefully boost my ability to shoot down larger and faster UFOs (or at least it will once I get Plasma Cannons researched too).

It's apparent I'm in the third phase of the alien invasion now, it began with grey Sectoids, moved to purple Floaters, and now the Snakemen have arrived. There's nothing particularly remarkable about the snakemen themselves, they are just generally better armed and armoured than most of the other races.

What I am not looking forward to is any terror missions. The Sectoids have the Cyberdisk which is pretty terrible. The Floaters have the Reaper, which is useless. But the Snakemen have the fearsome Chryssalid. A being designed for horror, the chrysallid will quickly move through the shadows to attack. It is capable of causing massive melee damage, but that is not the worst of it. For everything that is killed by one of these monsters becomes a disgusting zombie. Inside these poor wretched zombies is an alien growth, and upon death a new Chryssalid will burst forth. It is easy to become overpowered if you are not careful.

Two Chryssalids (upper left) and a zombie (right)
Of course, as I was in the middle of writing this, I decided to play an hour or so and get some screenshots. What do I get within a few minutes? A night-time Snakeman terror mission! Turns out I had more problems with aliens throwing grenades than I did from the Chryssalids. They do have a nasty way of sneaking up on you though, and on one occasion I must have knocked one unconscious, because it got back up and managed to get right behind two of my soldiers.

The small launcher in action
I finished the mission with a few casualties, but I considered it worthwhile considering I'd saved most of the civilians and captured a Chryssalid alive (I'm hoping to research everything in this playthrough). It was relatively quiet after the mission, only a few small UFOs to occupy me. I took this time to research Plasma pistols, Laser defence, Alien grenades and more. Once my second base had built it's hangar, I moved Interceptor-2 there and built a Firestorm.

The Firestorm is a massive improvement over the Interceptors, at the cost of using Elerium as fuel. It's twice as fast, and can resist five times the damage. I'll now be able to tackle those larger UFOs, and maybe start making some serious progress. At the moment it still feels like I'm fighting a losing battle, but soon the tide will turn!

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