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XCOM: Enemy Unknown patch plays literary hokey cokey, patching references to books in and out of the game


Fans of James Joyce’s Ulysses will be familiar with the trouble of deep pockets, potatoes can go missing and packets of soap, well, they can turn up anywhere. A bug in XCOM that seemed to emulate these Joycean dilemmas has now been patched out of the game.

This and other literary themed patches below.

Here are the Steam notes without their literary references.

  • H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man has been torn from the bookcase with the “Various visibility/hiding optimizations”
  • The overlapping conversations in The Amulet of Samarkand are referenced by the “Multiplayer text chat support (J to activate)”
  • In a nod to Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men’s switching between narrators “Mouse 4/5 will switch soldiers in the Barracks”
  • Proust’s À la Recherche du Temps Perdu makes an appearance as “ESC hides the movement grid if you do not want to commit to a move while it is activated”
  • Sartre’s Nausea, with its anxiety through observation, hasn’t been left out: “Squad Sight ability optimization”
  • The James Joyce effect: “Fixed issue when equipping two grenades with Deep Pockets”
  • François Rabelais’ Gargantua’sgiant with his enourmous appetite is subtly removed: “Fixed Rapid Fire sometimes consuming too much ammo”
  • Another reference to Cormac McCarty, this time the prison knife fight in All the Pretty Horses: “SHIVs that are damaged will no longer become unusable.”
  • J. G. Ballard’s examination of fetish and sexual fascination, Crash,has been deemed too hot for this game: “Fixed some hangs/soft crashes in tactical combat”
  • “Replaced software cursor with the operating system cursor to reduce lag and framerate dependence”, just like in Ira Levin’s The Stepford Wives
  • Short story writerWilliam Fryer Harvey and his famous novella The Beast with Five fingers was odd whilst it lasted, but phantom body features aren’t meant for XCOM:Fixed rendering bug which causes some soldier’s hair to appear as if it is rendering on top of environment fog.
  • 1080p movies are now used at all times on the PC (That one’s too obscure for me. 1984, maybe?)

They called me crazy to scratch below the surface, but if we follow this rabbit hole all the way down what will we find?