The Let's Play Archive


by Jade Star

Part 9: Operation Lost Tower Part 1

Operation Lost Tower Part 1

As I mentioned this mission is going to be a long one, and I'd like to apologize for the delay i getting this posted. I had plans for the video that were sat on for 48 hours before being canceled. My original plan was to post this all at once but that has been scrapped because I feel I've delayed this update for too long already. Sorry about the wait, but I'll get this out piecemeal over the course of today and tomorrow.

That all said, let's talk about some DLC! Shen's Last Gift is the second DLC put out, but we're tackling it first for reasons that will be obvious later, or by the end of the three part video. As one might expect when talking about Raymond Shen, this DLC focuses on his genius as a mechanical engineer. What originally looks like a signal that could only have come from Raymond Shen leads X-Com to an abandoned ADVENT tower. The set pieces, narrative, and especially the guest voice actor are all done very well. I'll not go into lengths about those sorts of things as I think they are best left to be seen for oneself.

Instead lets talk about the mechanics of things. The only foe we face in this first video are a lot of MECs, but they are notably different then the ADVENT MECs we have and will continue to see in the normal game. Despite the initial voice lines about cutting through their armor, and how rusted and shoddy the MECs appear, they are actually more heavily armored than anything we've seen so far in the LP. They also can be more heavily armored than anything a player may have seen up until this point. Their 3 points of armor is a significant obstacle to get around early in the game. Options are limited when your soldiers are not very skilled and the duration of the mission means that using limited resources like grenades to shred armor every time is not a viable solution. One saving grace is that the derelict MECs is that they only have 3 HP, so once you get through the armor there isn't much left before they die. That isn't so hard with magnetic weapons, but it can be a real pain with ballistics as a three point damage mitigation can leave most ballistic weapons doing half or less of their normal damage values and requiring multiple attacks just to deal the three HP of damage needed. Another thing that can make the MECs in the tower less dangerous is their habit to prime a self destruct mechanism. While this sounds like a bad thing it uses up a MEC action that might be otherwise spent shooting a soldier. This delay usually gives a player more than enough time to ensure a kill shot on the MEC that is now a ticking time bomb. Lastly these derelict MECs have poor aim and damage compared to ADVENT MECs. The damage from their guns seems to be 2-4, making them less powerful than even X-Com's ballistic rifles. Of course these MECs need these flaws to make the mission fair as there are a unlimited amount of them and they will keep coming two per turn until they bury you.

Of course we need to talk about Lily Shen too! Lily joins the mission and is a requirement to bring and to survive. She does not come in addition to the squad, but rather as a replacement. Meaning if you only have a five man squad size as I did in the video it's going to be Lily plus 4 soldiers of your choosing. Lily comes naturally as a specialist, her Rov-R gremlin being super upgraded over the normal soldiers gremlins. It's as powerful as a fully upgraded gremlin, and maybe even a little more, I can't quite recall how powerful combat protocol gets on a tier 3 drone. Rov-R is pretty much the power behind bringing Lily, as her own stats are pretty lacking. She has the aim score of a rookie and only a few more HP than a rookie too. However, Lily does have a ton of skills. Not only does she have the Colonel specialist skill Capacitor Discharge, but she also has multiple normally mutually exclusive skills. Lily has both combat protocol and medical protocol, as well as field medic and scanning protocol. Not only that, but most of the gremlin based skills that normally have a limited number of uses per battle are given infinite uses on a cool down time for Lily, making her the most powerful specialist in the game. Oh and as well as a 140 hacking score that lets her hack nearly everything in the mission with out fail. Nearly.

There is still more to come as well, the tower has 3 sections to it broken up neatly by the elevators we have to escape up. I will try to bring you parts two and three either later tonight or tomorrow.