Let's Play X-COM Enforcer Mission 15


This mission is a bit of a pain, with the running around in dark environments in an engine that opts to largely make 'dark' mean 'more or less invisible'. It does show off a disadvantage of sorts the Blade Launcher -as well as a few other weapons like the Vibroblade XL- have of not generating light with their projectiles and/or firing action, but honestly I'd rather the game had just not had this form of dark environment. It's annoying to navigate but it doesn't really add any challenge to the game.

You also get to see the Lightning Gun in action. It's a bit of a weird weapon that does continuous damage at a fairly decent hitscan distance, with the fire potentially arcing to other targets. The actual physics are a bit un-intuitive, with the Lightning Gun's initial impact setting its entire arc list until either one of the affected enemies dies or you let go of the fire button for a moment. (Or run out of ammo) So for example if you hit an enemy spawner, and then a bunch of enemies spawn in, the Lightning Rifle won't arc to any of them until you interrupt firing or the spawner is destroyed.

Above and beyond ammo/time efficiency, this is important because most non-boss enemies will be paralyzed by the Lightning Rifle doing damage to them. In practical terms they just stop animating entirely; there's no freak-out animation of being in pain or anything, or even a visual effect to obscure the lack of animation. They just stop. It's particularly obvious when one enemy dies in the middle of a group being shocked, as there's a split-second where everything animates and then the Lightning Rifle updates its list of targets and they go back to being completely frozen. The only reason it's not super-ridiculous looking is that the game doesn't include jumping enemies and its flying enemies are all hovering inexplicably anyway. It... still leads to some enemies with more of a galloping animation freezing in obviously impossible poses...

Anyway, it's a really good weapon for handling regular enemies, probably better than the Freeze Gun because it hits instantly and kills fairly quickly and its 'splash' is fully capable of bouncing to enemies behind you, and it's actually kind of respectable against boss enemies that are immune to the paralysis. After all, its damage is okay and it has a respectable range and once it's locked onto a target you don't need to do anything after that except hold the fire button down and stay near-ish to the target. That's actually fairly useful for letting you focus on evasion!

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