The lights are on
Come on in to have your questions answered and to get the first public look at what Firaxis' XCOM: Enemy Unknown looks like in action.
Click on any of the three screens on this page to view a high-resolution version.
Find below our answers to some of the most common questions we've seen floating around the Internet since our cover reveal last week.Wasn't there another XCOM game?Yes, 2K Marin is developing a previously announced first-person shooter, simply called XCOM. That game was originally scheduled to come out last year, but has since been delayed out of 2011.How do those games relate to each other?The shooter takes place earlier in the fiction, chronicling the aliens' first attacks in the United States. The strategy game we're talking about here deals with the global response to the later full-blown alien invasion of Earth.So this is some kind of RTS?No, not in the way the term "RTS" typically applies to games like StarCraft. The real-time element of XCOM is confined to the global view, where the player keeps track of known UFOs and abductions going on around the world. Managing research and development at the XCOM organization's secret base can be done at the player's leisure, and all combat is completely turn-based.
You switch between real-time and turn-based?Yes. When your aerial transport lands at an abduction site, the game switches to a tactical view and you command your squad of personalized soldiers in battle against an unknown alien threat.So what do you do in the real-time global view?On the strategic layer, players direct research into alien technology, give their engineers and foundries fabrication requests, interact with the nations of the world (who have to be mollified to secure funding for XCOM), intercept airborne UFOs with jet fighters, level up their soldiers and recruit new ones, and dispatch the Skyranger transport to engage alien incursions on the ground.
Is this a remake of the original?Kind of. Re-imagining is probably a better term. Firaxis' XCOM: Enemy Unknown doesn't directly copy the underlying game systems – for instance, soldiers have different stats than they did in the 1994 original – but the concepts are still here. Players still have to manage multiple resources and threats on a global scale in a seemingly hopeless war against extraterrestrial forces with far better technology and capabilities.
Is this going to be dumbed down for the "wider console audience"?Firaxis is undeniably streamlining aspects of the game and removing no small amount of micromanagement, but from what I've seen I wouldn't call it "dumbing down" the game so much as getting rid of tedium and uninteresting mechanics. Soldiers still die permanently, fog of war and line of sight are hugely important in combat, and you absolutely can lose the game if you screw up too badly.Does it look awesome?I came away from our visit to Firaxis' studio extremely impressed by XCOM: Enemy Unknown. The project is far from done, but I am personally thrilled at the prospect of playing the final game.
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I am all aboard this bad boy. So glad the game is being made like it SHOULD be.
This clears up a lot. After watching that interview with Firaxis a few days ago I was a little confused on the premise; now I know they are two different games. I am very excited for this one, I'll wait and see how the FPS XCOM turns out.
Looking foward to it
This looks very promising. I'm pretty psyched that both games are in development. Personally I am also looking forward to the 2K Marin game because a Brothers in Arms-ish tactical FPS makes sense to me when I think about bringing X-Com to modern consoles and I hope it turns out well.
Having played X-Com: UFC Defense recently I can say that it desperately needs some streamlining, from the interface to amount of effort you waste moving your guys out of the shuttle every time I think there are a lot of ways the experience could be tightened up. Firaxis nailed Civilization: Revolution which took a very complex game and made it very approachable without losing much of the depth. Sid Meier prototyped Civ Rev so I hope he has a hand in this but regardless I trust them to make something cool.
Also, is it just me or does that second screenshot indicate a hex grid? I think that worked well for Civ V's combat so that could be a great change.
this game looks amazing!
I am glad that this will be turn based, keeping the game classic, I like that.
So far this looks not to be my cup of tea. I'll wait to see some live action YouTube videos.
Huh, first real details I've seen on this version. Looks pretty good. I'll probably enjoy this one more than the FPS, but they could both be great.
Based off of the third screenshot, does anyone else think that they might finally have different terrains for different countries? As opposed to everywhere looking like the MidWest, as mentioned in the Replay?
This right here is what I have been looking forward too! Now I don't have to worry as much about the name being tarnished by whatever the heck that FPS game is that is in development.