Why does the Council reduce your monthly rank every time you fail to shoot down the Overseer UFO? The damn thing has always been there, it's just your radars couldn't pick it up until the plot upgrade; so essentially they're saying "you can now detect this new UFO. We're VERY DISAPPOINTED IN YOU."
There is a known UFO. Just because you didn't know about it before is no excuse. Essentially, each month you are letting that UFO go, you are giving that UFO free reign over humanity. You could make same claim that "UFO were zipping over country X until you got a satellite over it, guess we can forgive you not intercepting them now".
Is it a good idea for XCOM to welcome a Triad member into their ranks? Buddha only knows what Zhang has done in his criminal career before he found this alien artifact that XCOM was desperate to get their hands on.
A skilled and effective soldier willing to work with them is nothing to sneeze at, especially when you're facing the end of the world due to an alien invasion.
Why is Zhang a heavy? I wouldn't think the Triad has a lot of use for rocket launchers and M60s. It'd make more sense for him to be assault or sniper class.
Especially since he one-shots a Sectoid with a pistol in his introduction, something only a Gunslinger-specced Sniper should be capable of.
What did the Uber Ethereal want to happen in the final mission? It seems dismayed when you kill it, but it also sounds like it expects you to win and says it's doubting if you're worthy when it kills someone. What part of the final mission didn't the uber ethereal expect to happen?
Presumably, the part where XCOM keeps trying to kill them even after the true purpose of the invasion is revealed and they're offered top lackey status. I'm guessing they simply expected humanity to submit to their rule after our importance to their plans is revealed.
Well there's apparently a Bigger Bad coming, and the Uber Ethereal was counting on humanity's assistance against it. Killing it and destroying the Temple Ship may have been our Nice Job Breaking It, Hero moment.
It is clear that all of the rooms leading up to the final chamber are part of some sort of "murder your worthless predecessors" test; perhaps the Uber Ethereal expected XCOM to cease firing once they finally met face-to-face. Alternatively, being a hive-mind, the Ethereals see humans as interchangeable, and are only interested in XCOM proving humanity's worth, rather than specifically setting out to abduct whatever team you send against them. Once you kill all their underlings, the Ethereals intend to wipe XCOM out in the final confrontation, and are obviously dismayed to have underestimated their enemy's strength.
Operation: Devil's Moon (Tutorial Mission)
In the tutorial mission, at one point you encounter a brainwashed German soldier. The curious thing is, it seems to be a normal Sectoid doing the brainwashing, and not a Commander. Aren't the Commanders the only Sectoids capable of brainwashing?
All Sectoids are psychic in the remake.
That is a commander, the good doctor infers the second time that you meet a commander and get to kill it at the alien base that they may be one and the same. Only commanders have mind control (the rest can just link minds with another sectoid to beef them up.)
It's very clearly a commander. They have a more veiny apparent, their cranium being all red streaked and having a blood colored glow, while the conventional ones are pure smooth gray with a more yellow inner glow.
The Sectoids are probably the least problematic part of the first tutorial. What are Bradford and the men thinking? Rushing into fog of war, not using flank protection, approaching an armed and unresponsive man? The calamity that was the first mission could've been wholly avoided.
They were using flank protection; the first soldier to get killed is the one covering the left flank. They approached the "armed and unresponsive" man because he was both calling for help and they didn't know about Sectoid mind control at the time. They also wisely kept the rest of the team back to cover the soldier moving to assist the German soldier, but the Sectoids attacked at the same time as the mind-controlled soldier opened fire.
No they quite blatantly were not using flank protection. They might have killed the man *on* the left flank, but said man was never *covering* it with the intention of shooting any flankers (which is basically what Overwatch *is*). Secondly, not knowing about Sectoid mind control is one thing. Approaching an armed, unresponsive man from the front while throwing out all doctrine and training is another. For all they knew, he could've been suicidal or in shock and liable to snap and kill anyone approaching (which was more or less what happened, if not by his choice). Also, while I can give them props for holding the rest back, they were in no way covering him because-again- of the lack of Overwatch.
Bradford is never given command of another mission after Berlin in the tutoral, it's all in the hands of the commander. He is apparently a good administrator and awful at tactics.
Lack of Overwatch is more of a result of moving in too quickly. Not moving into Overwatch is, in the abstraction that is the game mechanics of the game, a result of the soldiers spending too much time moving and not enough time stopping to cover their flanks. If it were all happening in real time, what we would have seen would be the soldiers advancing, and right as they get to cover the soldier would open fire and the sectoids would jump out and start shooting. Note that Bradford never explicitly orders the soldiers to run out like that; the tutorial forces them to move in that manner, while Bradford actually gives the squad explicit orders to be cautious. So the blame for the poor tactics would likely fall on the soldiers in question, not Bradford himself. (so, in traditional X-Com fashion, the rookies got themselves killed.)
Actually no and no; there's a thing called Command Responsibility. Even if we assume that Bradford wasn't transmitting the movement orders to the team (and thus that the game grid is completely on the other side of the fourth wall without any in-universe presence) he certainly had oversight of the mission. As a result, while he does give lip service to having them move cautiously, he notably does *not* intervene to set them straight when they act like they do. That alone would be enough to hang him by the short and curlies in front of an inquest asking why the heck three out of four men sent in died.
Skyranger always arriving on time
I understand that this is for the sake of gameplay, but still: How does my Skyranger, after flying half-way across the world (and perhaps me dallying around a bit in my base), always manage to show up for bomb defusing missions just in the nick of time?
I'd love to know how they built a VTOL craft with the aerodynamics of a good sized barn that can cross the world in about three hours, loiter, and then return, on one tank of gas. Without alien tech, to boot.
Aerial refueling and Lockheed C-130 Hercules. However scrambling the tanker on a moment's notice and VTOL part is indeed stretching it... but once those are solved it can be done.
Perhaps the aliens attempt to activate the bomb early when they see you land?
Considering the whole point of the game is a test for humanity, it's not unthinkable that they intentionally use a system that has exposed, distant, power nodes that they activate soon before you land to give you a chance to stop them.
So, uh, why is it called "Enemy Unknown"? We know who the enemy is pretty much the whole game.
The whole game is about understanding the invaders to defeat them. At the start all you know is that they are hostile and from space. Then you find out it's a group of genetically altered creatures.. The rest is spoilers, but enough said that you constantly learn more about the threat as the game goes on.
In meta terms: the original game was named "UFO: Enemy Unknown" in Europe, and "X-COM: UFO Defense" in the US. The remake combines both titles in a nice Continuity Nod.
How are the Thin Men supposed to be infiltration units? They would stick out like a sore thumb in a crowd with those Men In Black suits and odd proportions.
As the Men In Black movies/shows discuss, basic dress-suits are visually generic and lack unique identifying traits for witnesses.
Confirmed by MythBusters (indirectly): as long as you act appropriately, keep your distance and don't talk, you can pass yourself off as another specific person, not just "one of us".
So how, exactly, does the Council get information on these bombs being placed? I could understand X-COM itself having information on the abductions, landings, and terror attacks - that's what all the bridge bunnies are presumably scanning for - but why on earth would the Council be the first to know about these things?
Because it's their country that's being attacked. They generally know what's going on, even if they can't do anything about it. It's implied that the member nations are the ones who usually alert you to alien activity; Bradford frequently mentions during loading screens that you've received a "request for assistance" from whichever country you're heading in to.
Satellites only scan for UF Os. You can still find abductions and terror missions outside of your satellite range (and, indeed, can't find abductions inside your range) at any point. Assuming that the information on these missions doesn't come from the satellites, it probably comes from on-site contacts - police or civilians reporting abduction attempts, or news reports on terror strikes (as how the first terror mission is discovered).