Did anyone actually play test this game on insane?

What is this nonsense? After spending time building a macro just to bypass the UI and make the game playable (having to confirm you want to throw a grenade just to position the grenade before you then confirm it again is ludicrous.

Now, lets take a look at the actual mechanics of insane. Guns do pitiful damage to the point that they’re not even viable. Having to use 3ap to HOPEFULLY get a kill is simply not viable when there are 6-8 enemies on the field of play at a time. Enemies who SPAWN INTO THE MAP WITH 3 ACTION POINTS. No real warning, hey, enemies approaching. Nope, they spawn into the game with 3 action points. E-hole drones actually spawn with 4 action points, because if you overwatch the hole and hit them, it doesn’t count towards their upcoming turn, which will have 3. You need to position the overwatch just away from the e-hole or it won’t stagger them and you’ll instantly die, because insane.

So, lets take a look at this clip right here. In this clip I’ve cleared the first portion of the map. As soon as I touch that white circle, the game will progress to more enemies. Twitch

The problem in the game design? Your grenades don’t replenish when you step into that white circle, the only viable move in the game, BUT you hit a checkpoint. So the first time I did this, I went into the white circle with a 3 turn respawn on all of my grenades, and it checkpointed like that, which meant I actually had no win condition and had to restart the act. So what I do now is constantly hit end turn to replenish my cooldowns, which is ludicrous.

Next, we look at the gunplay on insane. Take a look at this example.

In this example, I have a 58% hit chance on an enemy not even in cover, only 6 or so tiles away. No obstructions whatsoever. That hit will only do 380/760 health, which means I need two perfect shots to kill it, and will have to allocate the entire character’s turn, under perfect conditions, to kill it (no reload, no partial hit, etc).

If I don’t allocate this character’s entire turn, I will lose. That grub has a one shot kill mechanic on me, I can’t melee it, shooting is just too penalized on the difficulty, my only option is to throw grenades.

I do not believe anyone on the staff actually went through and beat this on insane without exploiting some mechanic that is unbeknownst to me at this time. It isn’t that the mode is challenging, it should be challenging, it’s just unfair.


Lol, keep it up mate, playtesting these days is done by… you guessed it


Your feedback for tuning purposes is VERY much appreciated and considered rather valuable as they saved countless amounts by not hiring any play testers

The math scaled, surely that’s enough right? :rofl::rofl:


I also posted this to reddit and @TC_Octus responded with his achievement for having beaten the game on insane, saying he did it without aids, without a single character dying.

What I’d love to know is how many times he save scummed to achieve that result because he got bad rolls or unfair spawns. Save scumming is an aid and unless he did it without reset on bad rolls, that is still using an aid to complete the game. I can’t play a game of chance and just keep resetting until I get a favorable roll.

If you’re serious about this genre, and you save scum, you’ve invalidated your playthrough.


Lol, not played yet as I’m still waiting on parts to build my new rig but it’s free with the chip so will do, so not up to par with games mechanics, however if rolls are rng then he must have just been SUPER lucky :roll_eyes:

An yea, constant saves an loads suck

Hey octus I beat Skyrim without loosing any hp :rofl::rofl:

I’m so skilled :sweat_smile:

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On act 1 chapter 4 and so far it doesnt seem balanced very well.

The game wants you to be aggressive and push, chainsawing enemies or what not yet on insance most enemies just hit you the moment you get in range, so you either sit and spend forvever plinking away their health or over watching and waiting.

Grenades / mines being the only way to close an E hole that spawns enemies every turn initially have a 6 (SIX) turn cool down, thats pretty awful.

I dont understand why supports exist, aweful damage, awful heals. OH, BUT THE CHAINSAW, to bad youll never be able to get close to an enemy without being smacked.

Waisting an AP to pick up loot crate? What was wrong with tech tree in XCOM? Why do loot boxes need to exist in a single player game?

Im generally enjoying the game but everytime the game justs decide to drop in 10 wretches, 4 grenadiers (that can one shot you) and have them all be on top of me on the same turn is pretty stupid.

Also OP, be careful with wasting turns doing nothing, the game WILL spawn enemies in to stop you from doing that.


I do not know if you use to this genre, I was pretty comfortable with UI/UX. I wonder if the UX is bad for new player or if it is more related to personal habits.

I started this game on Insane/Ironman, and drop the Ironman mode after loosing on Act 1, Chapter 4. I feel the game spike really hard, and succeed in insane need you to know and use many trick of the game. It is what I except from this kind of difficulty. You have to decide the best move and it is impossible on your first run.

  • Gun allows many of your character to do some damage when they stay far and finish some unit low heals without using a main weapon amo. In your screenshot, you should probably switch to your pistol, I guess your hit chance would increase in this case. Since the game throw a lot to you, save 1 reload is really valuable. The ability to stop locust Overwatch is a must use of the pistol.
  • About the locust action, unless you have bad positioning, they often move and go Overwatch. It is important to learn to spread enough you team to do not give good overwatch to locus but not too much to avoid isolated gears.
  • For the hole, it is not an obligation to close them immediately, you can win without. For this map, the second wave is only 2 of this small guys, so keep little distance is enough. When you keep playing the game you finally learn that grenade are a resource you should use carefully.

For your example, as I wrote before, I think pistol is more efficient at this range and would give you better chance to hit. Also in this case They seems both too far to hit you. And if the closer one can, the grub do not have the damage to one shoot Sid. Also, you could just overwatch close to you, the grub will rush you character and be interrupted by your overwatch.

In your case I would consider first my option to clean the drone, and just keep distance with wretch. If it is not possible, I would retreat in the place of the locust hole, use the heavy to overwatch the wretch side and Sid to overwatch the drone side. Do not know where Diaz is.

The wretch have 330HP, so you one shoot them with 1 full hit for the heavy. One drone need 3 actions to be down, but if you manage an execution after (+1 action) you get back 3 actions (when full team). So with a nice planned turn you can kill 5 of them in one turn.

PS: You can shoot wretch with you weapon on mêlée range without problem, they only interrupt mêlée.


I agree that there are some QoL needs for the interface but as far as difficulty goes, I do not believe it is unfair.

I initially played through to CH3 on Experienced. Seemed fairly easy enough so I decided to move up to insane. One thing I quickly learned was that, just like IRL tactical insertions, you don’t have all the intel and need to adapt as hazards are encountered. (Combat Vet/Former Marine 2nd Infantry here…OORAH)

My recommendations for those finding insane frustrating or unfair are as follows

  1. Always bring a stealth scout and support (if possible). Always scout ahead of your squad, that’s what they are there for. Also having a support that can provide an extra move for your scout can save their life.
  2. Don’t be afraid to tactically retreat to better position your units.
  3. Never crowd your units together, the damage the Locusts do is “insane”, and being stuck under an enemy overwatch could mean an unnecessary loss of life or game over.
  4. Always cover your squadmates. Overwatch is great tactical tool but also leaves that unit vulnerable to a direct attack because they are exposed and not crouched or butted against cover. (i.e a unit is in overwatch but an enemy unit maneuvers to a position outside of any overwatch LOS. That enemy unit now has an increased hit chance your overwatch unit.
  5. Don’t forget you can end your turn and not have to use all available ap after positioning your units.

There has been two circumstances where I had to sacrifice a GEAR for the mission but being able to make those hard decisions is what I love about the game. IRONMAN mode is going to be rough.

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I would like to see a single person complete the campaign without save scumming.

Lets be honest about how this is beaten. You save scum until you get good rolls. I haven’t seen a single person beat it without.

That’s not skillful. Being a grand master in Overwatch is skillful. Being a champion in siege is skillful. Resetting until you get favorable rolls is just tedium.

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It’s probably down to the same as the door thing Mario Maker. Create a ■■■■■■■■ level that can’t be beaten and a hidden door that drops you over the end flag.

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@Tommy2238 you can’t save scum in this game like xcom. You have to start the entire level again, or go back to the last checkpoint which are very spread out.

I am an xcom player so my experience their helped me know what to do quickly but I also find the difficulty frustrating and at times often unfair, especially friendly fire from missed shots! I’m on actc1 chapter 6 at the moment. Insane is supposed to feel like this to an extent though so I’m frustrated but ack knowledge I chose the difficulty voluntarily. I didn’t bother with iron man because I think this genre, including xcom, is just too unfair for it.

If you’re inexperienced in this genre i highly reccomend playing on a lower difficulty first. You need to highly understand positioning and ability resource usage. Unlike the rest of the franchise you can’t just point and shoot.


If you’re 3/4s of the way through a mission and one of your strong characters die and you restart the mission, that’s a save scum. Not as efficient as alt f4, but it’s still there.

Also, you can definitely save scum rolls, because I’ve angrily alt f4’d out of the game, launched it back up, and had that turn happen again.

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@Burst_Man I would mostly disagree on the unfair part.

For XCOM 2, I would notice only 2 moment that seems unfair to me: the first fight against the snake Queen (when she come randomly during a mission), or with WotC, if the first chosen is the Sniper.

On Gears Tactics, the only unfair part (until now, Act3) on Ironman, is when a heroes is one shoot by bad RNG (or mission when you can’t loose anyone). Their is even an other topic complaining how dumb are the locust by only overwatch your guy when they have a clear shoot.
I would maybe add the Boomer to the list, Maybe they are unfair or maybe I am just bad against them.

Outside of this case, I can assure you, if you lose, it is because you took a bad decision. It is frustrating, but not unfair. You don’t have to save scum for good roll. If you lose, reassess your decision. Go back to the last check point and play the situation differently, you made a mistake.
If you lose a strong characters but it is not a game over, just keep going, they are easy replacement.

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Proof that save scumming is possible in Gears Tactics.


It seems you just free someone a litte before, so you could just go back to the last checkpoint with the same result.

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So I’m pretty new to this type of game, I never played real turn based games aside from Pokemon but I can assure you it is nearly impossible to get through it without making a fatal error at least 6 times from one checkpoint. Now I don’t know what this save scumming thing is you guys mentioned but I made it to Act 3 chapter 8 on insane and it is impossible to beat, statistically speaking. I have a crit build for Mikayla so she can usually kill most enemies with a oneshot at the expense of using 2 ap and Reyna has all purple UIR gear and a purple frag so she can kill multiple enemies with 1 frag every turn but Gabe and Sid have knock back however they can’t put out enough damage to even kill anything. Ukkon has way too much health for such and impossible mission, if you can’t disable his rockets you shouldn’t spawn so many grenadiers because they’re just sponges and don’t get me started with the fact that you can only target Ukkon on certain turns.
To sum this up I don’t think it’s even possible without some sort of cheating, you can trigger stage 2 of the final fight but other than that you should try finding a new game for the time being.

After a few beers and some really intense trial and error I beat Ukkon, the trick is to have Mikayla and Gabe try to do slow picking but mostly avoid and ignore the enemies and try to deal as much damage while also knowing the distance the enemies travel. As for Sid and Reyna I had them sit close to the middle gap fragging the drones and tickers while always having enough ap to at least deal 700-800 damage. Please note that I didn’t use any exploits or cheated, I merely cracked open a cold one and thought about all you boys so I could prove myself wrong. So here I sit flustered and buzzed because I got a legendary commando vest for all the pain and anger that mission brought. Good luck to everyone attempting such a difficult task and good hunting.

I hear all these horror stories about this game on Insane, and all I can think is “Wow, they did a really good job translating the Gears experience into an XCOM-style game after all.”

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You can push it further by trying to pass an entire Insane playthrough by just not having a single unit die, and apparently DBNO is disabled for them.

But according to Octus they’ve built the game in such a way that you can legit reload a checkpoint if you lost an unit(if it wasn’t one of the main four which likely just reloads the checkpoint anyway) without it being “save scumming” due to the automatic save system for the game. Still seems odd as you can use that to basically restart a checkpoint over and over until RNG gives you faborable enough shots on enemies to pass something without restarting.

What I will mention… I have only done Beginner and Intermediate on Tactics yet. But boy oh boy are Tickers a freaking nuisance. Like, really stupid. To the point where I think they shouldn’t have been put in the way they are, if at all. Having a single Wretch or Grenadier charge down half of or nearly the entire visible portion of the map after one of your units is also slightly annoying.

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Yeah, it’s really annoying how the Tickers will stick behind half cover. They’re wild animals, they shouldn’t be that crafty.

how do I save scum in this game???

Insane is insane mate.