America Is Not The World: XCOM Preview

By Dan Grill on July 1st, 2011 at 1:58 pm.


We’ve seen XCOM. Want to know what it’s truly all about? Read on below for the best XCOM preview on this or any other internet. Really, it’s got Giant Doom Lasers Of Doom, a bit about that squad-management stuff, reports on alien super-powers, themes of 1960s political incorrectness, correct art-history references, and everything else it could possibly need.

Go have a read.

2K Marin’s Jordan Thomas, he of the Cradle (Thief 3) and Fort Frolic (Bioshock) fame, is explaining why his team have changed XCOM so much since last year’s reveal. “Our first crack at XCOM was a little too much in our comfort zone, to be honest. We’ve made several key changes to the design in pursuit of the feeling we had when we played the original games…In XCOM, we are a new origin story, a reimagining along the lines of Battlestar Galactica or Batman Begins, in its own timeline.”

What this means, functionally, is that the game won’t link in to the original games. Heart-breaking for us True Fans, yes, but I think we have to accept that the game we loved is now the preserve of (the surprisingly good) UFO Afterlight, Frozen Synapse, and the upcoming Xenonauts.

Anyway, this “XCOM” starts, not in the 1980s but in 1962, the era of Kennedy and Krushchev. You play special agent William Carter, the head of XCOM’s Field Team. “We wanted that feeling of being that first man on the ground” says Thomas, “what it would be like to be this one person who finds his home under siege and must repel the alien invasion knowing so little about it.”


Our demo starts with a case-file that Carter is reviewing from the suburban United States; it features a classic hometown scene, captured by an amateur cameraman on grainy film, silent but for the loud clacking of the projector in the background; birds flying, people cycling, cars going by. The cameraman, maybe a kid, goes into a house, still recording; but the person he greets, looks strange, then her face starts to break up, folding apart into a structure (which the comments on the last XCOM article tell me is not merely cubist, but specifically El Lissitzky). He runs and the camera falls.

Outside, as Carter leaves the briefing room of XCOM’s top secret underground base, it’s Mad Men time. The era when lots of white men with short back n sides and white shirts with rolled up sleeves thought being serious consisted of frowning and leaning on a boardroom table. These are the analysts, who provide you with the mission files, and the glass-windowed boardrooms are full of them, answering emergency calls from all over the country as the alien invasion takes hold.

The base is your social hub – the equivalent of the subway in The Darkness or your campsite in Dragon Age. Here you get to chatter with your fellow intelligence operatives, get their side of the story, and doubtless have to play Hunt The T1000. (If this really is an XCOM game, then it won’t be complete without a bloody base invasion, like Crusader: No Remorse.) In the next room, researchers are playing with captured alien tech, seemingly using just white lab coats as protection.

Then it’s round the corner to meet the rest of the field team; even they’re wandering around in short sleeved shirts, horn-rimmed glasses and the latest in alien technology. Their task is to go into the field, capture The Outsiders’ machinery of war and turn it against them.


It’s an RPG-like squad, introduced by the rumble-throated Agent Leon Barnes. We meet two character classes; the Master-At-Arms, “an ammo dump on legs; makes his own rounds” and the Commando “If you’re looking for a bruiser, you’ve found the guy. Don’t let the suit fool you; his other suit’s made of dead Russkies.” One of our commandos is already a veteran, so we get to see them unlock his experience tree – very familiar to Mass Effect. He has a Disrupt power, to weaken enemies, and a Defensive Shield power, that can be placed anywhere in line of sight, and which can also be used to trap enemies.

Angela, the ex-CIA XCOM division chief, assigns Carter his first mission; it pops up on a giant projected map behind her, with a variety of missions available on it; as an example, there’s an Elerium capture mission, to acquire the heavy element that powers the alien tech and which can be spent on upgrades, powers, and agent tech. Notably, Carter can dispatch agents on missions without him, to gain experience; however, you have to be careful with them as agents who take too many injuries on a mission, might get benched and have to miss missions. “We’re also looking at ways to incentivize you to keep the agents alive”, says Jordan “additional experience or long-term growth, maybe .”

One of the missions is the key story mission Angela wants you to handle. “Dr Alan Weir was working with DoD, analysing the alien tech and subverting it to help humanity fight back. Short time ago we lost contact with him; head to his last known location, find him and bring him home…. And remember, there’s no-one like Weir; try not to break him.” Thomas explains that bringing Dr Weir back means that he’ll join the core cast in the base and comment on your missions, as well as a quantum leap forward in research.

To get an inkling of the mission, parts of it are shown, in hyperbollocks vision, in this trailer:

The classic Skyranger has been converted into a twin-prop helicopter, and it drops off the squad at the deserted National Guard quarantine posts around the town of Rosemont, Georgia. An agent coughs “this isn’t right, I can feel it” as Carter searches for the Guard captain you’re supposed to be meeting. The checkpoints sealed, so you have to cut through a painstakingly recreated diner, complete with jukebox wailing. Leaving that, we cross the street and find the command post, complete with neatly-killed piles of soldiers… A single soldier is alive, as in the video; Carter says “Federal agents; let’s see some ID pal” and he attacks, the Outsider Infiltrator’s skin splintering into fragments showing something black beneath, his eyes glowing, his voice separating into several dissonant frequencies. The agents shoot him, lots, until he collapses screaming, and check what he was looking at; worryingly, a dossier on Dr Weir.

The infiltrator’s death has set off an alarm and, as they head up-street towards the main University buildings, the squad runs straight into combat. The huge success of Mass Effect 2 has heavily influenced this. At the time of writing, it’s not quite as polished as the iterated design of the Mass Effect games, but all those familiar elements are in there; your squad has been cut back from eight to three, each of whom has special abilities, controllable through a slowed-time menu. Let’s be generous and call it a tribute.

The squad encounters a couple of national guardsmen as they run up the street; their role is very much red-shirt, to die for spectacle. A thrown bus crushes one, as we encounter our first aliens; disappointingly humanoid, they do come from the Star Trek alien design school of “we can make an alien by sticking some mirrors on a mime”. Despite this, they prove tricky to kill as they throw up a big directional force field. Meanwhile, nearby vehicles are getting grown over by the living tech as it xenoforms the world to their specifications.


What’s nearer to Space Hulk than Mass Effect is the use of time units to determine what actions you can take; for example, the relatively cheap Disrupt causes feedback in an outsider’s body causing him to drop his guard, allowing Carter to take him down and flank them. However, the Outsider’s tech identifies him as an officer and hence the main threat, so shield shifts to defend against his position. The Master-At-Arms uses his “Diversion” power to identify himself as the officer, and the shield shifts back, allowing Carter to take its revealed generator down.

Getting near to the main university building, the squad runs into another threat; an alien turret and some more death-mimes. There are two options here; spam it with grenades or try to capture it; obviously the challenges and rewards are greater with the latter. This time to draw its attention, Carter gets the Master-At-Arms to use both Defensive Shield and Diversion, to draw all the fire while Carter flanks the defenders. (The combat isn’t particularly original, but it’s functional.)

The turret folds up into a tiny ball, for Carter to either redeploy or take back to base for research bonuses. Similarly, in the next area, Carter comes across an alien laser rifle – it’s not yet adapted for human use, but if he takes it back to the base, they may be able to reverse-engineer it. Then Carter pulls out one of the end-game guns, the D-Ray, basically a giant laser of doom.

He does this because he’s encountered a Titan; a floating monolith that rains cosmic energy on its surroundings before shifting into a death ray. As it costs 20 time units to capture, Carter is forced to disrupt it and D-Ray it several times before it can be captured; all these enemy AIs are potential tools. Then he redeploys it, just to show how much damage it does to the enemy; a lot.


Finally entering the university proper, we see a weird lamprey-like alien grabbing a researcher and dragging him partially through a wall, leaving him embedded and twitching, like some Havok physics glitch. Carter chases it down, only to see it grabbing Dr Weir and dragging him through a swirling portal. Carter follows him, foolishly, into a void full of floating chunks of buildings and ships and a totally strange universe that the Outsiders must come from…

Thomas concludes the demo; “For me, falling in love with XCOM came with the shift to the 60s. This country had an inner discord, the rise of the new America grappling with the old. It’s a wonderful way to talk about xenophobia.” He does, to be fair, also talk about the “intrinsic hunger to understand the enemy inside out is core to what it means to be an Xcom gamer” but I can’t be a bit worried by the focus on American suburbia again. Even the most retrograde Republican out there must be bored by this locale by now.

My response to all this? Well, this isn’t XCOM as XCOM fans understand it; it’s a Guns ‘n’ Conversationgame, and the XCOM joy of base-building, squad management (and the threat of permadeath), and the slow, difficult grind to superior firepower is absent. Mass Effect isn’t a bad model for a game, of course – especially a multiformat game – but the story in this one is going to have to be really, truly special to make it work. Here’s hoping.

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217 Comments »

  1. JuJuCam says:

    Brace yourself for the entirely predictable “This is not my XCOM” comments…

    • Coflash says:

      Brace yourself for the entirely predictable “This games “mindless/brainless/XXXXless” fun, I didn’t play the original XCOM games, therefore because I am a money waving casual gamer and the likes of COD and Halo have set the standards for what a video game should be, you too should be fine with this atrocity” themed comments…

    • Nicholas Totton says:

      Brace yourself for the entirely predictable “How dare you not blindly follow what the Devs are doing and be disappointed that they are changing the entire genre of a franchise you love to appeal to the console kids” comments…

    • Fwiffo says:

      Sometimes this place feels like the Daily Mail of the games world.

      This is a game. I will judge it on its own merits. I don’t give a shit if it shares a name with a game from my youth, it gets judged on its own merits.

    • Zarx says:

      no one is claiming it’s not XCOM the fact that it’s not X-COM is the problem

    • westyfield says:

      Brace yourself for comments.

    • JuJuCam says:

      Thanks, fwiffo, for neatly summing up how I feel about this. It is and will forever be impossible to have a rational discussion about this game because people are so attached to their concept of that game and can’t get over this seemingly cynical plumbing of a title they held dear. Well funnily enough, 2K Marin haven’t actually deprived you of your UFO: Enemy Unknown. You can still play it and it holds up remarkably well, and you can even still pay for it if you wish. Julian Gollop is still making games within the same genre (although you’ll need to fork out for a 3DS for the latest, and it’s certainly no XCOM), and the flame is being held by Frozen Synapse amongst others as Dan mentions.

      As for this, I’ll hold judgement till it’s released.

    • Alexandros says:

      “Brace yourself for the entirely predictable “This is not my XCOM” comments…”

      Brace yourself for the publisher apologists who will gladly gobble up everything the publishers serve them.

    • BooleanBob says:

      Brass yourself for cornets.

    • Coflash says:

      Developers may as well give their marketing departments the boot with such naive fan boys conjuring up all this bullshit for them.

      Generally, as in with any form of entertainment / medium / whatever, if you use a name that is part of a series, you continue in the tradition it had been intended. That’s the problem, not the game, the game might be great, but it’s a desperate bid to draw in *just those few more* sales.

      If a game should be judged on its own merits, like that’s the right thing to do, then it shouldn’t need to borrow the name from a series that had a completely different style of play.

      Imagine if tomorrow Activision announced Modern Warfare 4 and it were a Tetris clone. Yeah, like it’s only old PC gamers who get offended over this garbage.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      Aaaarrrggghhhh!

      Why can’t we all just be friends? :’(

    • RenegadeRed says:

      I can’t believe no one has taken this one:

      Brace yourself for more ‘brace yourself’ comments!

    • clive dunn says:

      I think the really important question is how this is going to affect house prices.

    • Sassenach says:

      Comment on my braces.

    • rollermint says:

      Brace yourself from people who brace themselves.

    • Soon says:

      This is what happens when aliens are allowed in games! They’re even taking the uni places now. Etc.

    • Danorz says:

      oi fwiffo it is entirely disingenuous to expect people to judge a game on its own merits when it is intentionally dipping back to an older game by design.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Brace yourself for silly hyperbole, condescension and melodrama from a bunch of people who took your comment way too seriously.

    • MCM says:

      Alright, I’m sufficiently braced!

      But now I need to poop. Should I un-brace?

    • westyfield says:

      Brace yourself for comets.

    • ChiefOfBeef says:

      Race yourself against a comet.

    • Dozer says:

      Mace yourself and vomet.

    • Premium User Badge

      dhex says:

      brace yourself, jason?

    • JuJuCam says:

      Did I start a meme? When can I start selling slogan shirts and mugs?

    • Wozzle says:

      Case yourself in vomit.

    • jalf says:

      Sometimes this place feels like the Daily Mail of the games world.

      Oooh, a brief burst of sanity among all the whining that “this sucks because it’s an X-COM game” and “this sucks because it’s not an X-COM game” and “this sucks because it’s related to X-COM”, and “this sucks because it’s not related to X-COM” and “this sucks because I played X-COM”, and “this sucks because I never played X-COM”.

      Sometimes, it’s nice to know you’re not the only person in the world who is more interested in what the game is like, than its relation to a game you enjoyed 15 years ago.

    • Kadayi says:

      “Sometimes this place feels like the Daily Mail of the games world.”
      Indeed. This ‘you’re pissing on my childhood’ sacredness gets a tad wearing every time it comes up ( You’d think that a bunch of 25 year old + men would have more important things to get uptight about, but apparently not) Even more annoying is where by saying things like ‘let’s judge the game on it’s own merits’ you end up getting accused of somehow either being a corporate shill, or being a gullible consumer. The original games are still there, so are the UFO games and Xenonauts is on its way.

      Personally I like the Norman Rockwell style aesthetic and period setting as well as the truly alien aliens (no little green men thank god) and I’m intrigued to see how they put it all together. Might be a damp squid at the end of the day, but as others have said let’s judge it on its own merits.

    • jalf says:

      oi fwiffo it is entirely disingenuous to expect people to judge a game on its own merits when it is intentionally dipping back to an older game by design.

      No. It really isn’t.

      It is entirely ridiculous to get so worked up over a name.
      Especially when anyone who *cares* is, almost by definition, nearing 30 (or they wouldn’t have played the orginal games). Grown men, for heaven’s sake.

      You know how sad it looks when people whine that George Lucas has ruined Star Wars? Everyone knows it’s true, but being so pathetically upset about it is just stupid. The old movies are still there. The old X-COM games are still there. It doesn’t really matter how much garbage is cranked out under the brand name. It’s just a name!

      Developers may as well give their marketing departments the boot with such naive fan boys conjuring up all this bullshit for them.

      Oh? where, exactly, do you see any of those?

      Because I see two types of comments:

      The FFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!! kind, written by people I can only imagine throw their keyboard out the window in hysterical rage as soon as their comment has been posted, and then a couple by people who say “who cares about the name? Let’s see what the game is like”. Neither really strikes me as “naive fan boys”.

      Well… Come to think of it. Being so upset that someone is using the name you care about for something different, isn’t that a pretty good definition of a fan boy? And isn’t it rather naive to be so surprised that it should happen?

      Maybe there *are* a few naive fan boys then, and sure, they do conjure up quite a bit of bullshit. But I’m not sure I see why it’d lead the developers to firing their marketing department,

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      Did you guys know that they’re making a movie adaptation of Space Invaders? And Asteroids as well?

      Can I be cynical on that front at least?

    • SaVi says:

      Brace yourself for “Brace yourself for “Brace yourself for “Brace yourself for “Brace yourself for “Brace yourse-
      Brace yourself for Stack Overflow Exceptions.

    • Text_Fish says:

      Boring argument. The same thing happened when ID started showing off Quake 2′s shiny new sci-fi space marines theme and then everyone played the game and forgot to be whingey pricks because it was fun, like a game should be.

    • Alexandros says:

      Oh I’m sorry, I forgot that Quake 1 was a turn-based strategy game. In the case of “xcom” it’s obviously the setting that people are upset about.

    • Kadayi says:

      @Alexandros

      In case you’re not aware: -

      http://store.steampowered.com/sub/964/

      All your retro needs covered.

    • BooleanBob says:

      I’ve only ever played Apocalypse and I couldn’t get on with it, but what I will say about the name furore is that it’s easy to hold yourself at a distance, treat the issue dispassionately and start throwing around words like ‘pathetic’, ‘ridiculous’ and (approaching Godwin’s-law levels of bad faith) ‘Daily Mail’ – until the series or franchise in question is the one that most matters to you.

      Fan passion is what sustains creative enterprise. Fans become invested in the fiction emotionally, and that’s the only reason there’s any monetary source of investment to sustain creators in creative work. But enterprise means business, and business has a tendency to scale upwards and pick up shareholders, with all the muddying of priorities that that entails.

      The fans find themselves to be powerless to change the fact that – to the businesses that have the ultimate power of custody – the exploitation of their favourite fiction is a higher priority than the preservation of its integrity. Exploitation is a rather charged word, but not an unreasonable one, I think, to apply to the practise of most (especially large) businesses in the creative industries.

      Ultimately it’s little wonder that the fans, ever sensitive to the vulgar realities of business, will come to vent their frustrations. It’s certainly not attractive, but it is at least understandable, and I think the moral grandstanding that comprises the backlash against this venting can be equally unattractive. As I said before, it’s easy to consider oneself above it until a publisher takes an axe to the one thing that you most care about. No one is immune.

    • steviesteveo says:

      Brace yourself for comments about “entitlement” that people can disagree with what a developer is doing.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      Stop bracing yourselves like a bunch of pussies and take it like a man!

    • JakobBloch says:

      I am going to be one of these entitled, 30+, butthurt, whiners now.

      To me this is akin to someone making a movie called Citizen Kane. But here is the thing. It is not a remake. Instead it is a heroic tale set in wartime in ancient Rome. We follow Kane the cobbler as he becomes a soldier, rises through the ranks and finally, as a reward, he gains citizenship as a Roman. As movie pitches go I don’t think this is half bad. The movie might even be good. But it is NOT Citizen Kane and that is going to piss off a lot of people.

      The new X-Com might be good. As I read it, it has interesting tactical options and posibilities. The class system so far sounds a bit arbitrary but on the whole serviceable. The problem comes when I want to talk about X-Com to others. When I start to talk about base architecture and how it is kinda silly you can just dismantle all other radars when you get Hyper-Wave Decoder, I don’t want a blank stare from someone who clearly was expecting a conversation about something else. I want people to remember the really UFO: Enemy Unknown or at the very least have an understading about what the game was about. I don’t want people thinking about another game. I want the mythos of X-Com to have Greys, Floaters, Chryssalid (I hate those things), Mutons and Snakemen. I want a two-part experience with deep tactical game on the one side and engaging strategic gameplay on the other. If you cannot manage this then you are not making an X-Com game and you should name it something else. I am fine with the organization being called X-Com. I am also fine with it being an alternate story of the same organization. I am also fone with it actually being the first iteration of the organization that will later defeat the Ethereals (explaining where all the tech went might be hard). All this is fine. Just don’e name it Citizen Kane..

    • jalf says:

      To me this is akin to someone making a movie called Citizen Kane.

      Well? That sort of thing has been done before in movies and theatre. I mean, how many “re-imaginings” of Romeo and Juliet have you seen/heard of? How many movies have reimagined Jesus?

      The movie might even be good. But it is NOT Citizen Kane and that is going to piss off a lot of people.

      We know it’s going to piss off a lot of people. Does it piss you off?
      Does the specific name and the specific continuity matter to you?

      I want the mythos of X-Com to have Greys, Floaters, Chryssalid (I hate those things), Mutons and Snakemen.

      But then only one out of the 5 *actual* X-COM gamers is an X-COM game. Or, more accurately, the only true X-COM game is the one that wasn’t actually named X-COM (at least not in all regions, or on all platforms)

      TFTD or Apocalypse aren’t X-COM games. They didn’t have Chryssalids or Mutons or any of the other monsters.

      The mythos got downright ridiculous after the second game.
      You’re fighting a war that was lost 12+ years ago. You’re criticizing this game for not living up to the ideals that the 4 *existing* sequels also failed to live up to.

      I am fine with the organization being called X-Com. I am also fine with it being an alternate story of the same organization. I am also fone with it actually being the first iteration of the organization that will later defeat the Ethereals (explaining where all the tech went might be hard). All this is fine. Just don’e name it Citizen Kane..

      I really hope you’re mixing metaphors here. I’m pretty sure Citizen Kane didn’t have Ethereals. ;)
      (By the way, where did all the tech go between each of the first 3 X-COM games? Yeah yeah, I know all the Alien stuff was elerium-powered, yadda-yadda, but how come we no longer have laser weapons or medkits? You start TFTD with fucking harpoons! ) ;)

    • Acorino says:

      Personally, I’m simply not interested in a Mass Effect play-alike, but I would be in an X-Com one.
      The original probably didn’t age well in all regards, like the interface and the graphics, so I guess fans imagine a perfect game as one that keeps the strengths of the original while fixing the more or less relevant flaws.
      Anyway, I’m disappoint.
      How couldn’t I be? The name XCOM wasn’t chosen by accident, was it? It will probably be a good game anyway, but there are just some kinds I have little interest in. I mean, what we have with the original is turn-based strategy and now it morphed into a shooter…how wouldn’t that be problematic?
      Thanks, but no thanks.

    • UK_John says:

      Dead right description of the multiformat Bioware games – “Guns ‘n’ Conversation”, just like this non-RPG, non X-Com game. But watch how just like with Mass Effect, will be called an RPG.

      Ask 6 gamers what the cRPG genre is and 3 people wont know what the “c” in “cRPG” means and the other three will say Mass Effect and/or Bioshock! They won’t say Oblivion or The Witcher 2.

      So in effect you’re right, and game with a retro title will not be the same as that title and any AAA games from a AAA publisher like 2K that are called RPG’s will not be RPG’s!

      Great games market we have nowadays, eh?!

    • Premium User Badge

      jaheira says:

      @ UK John

      To the first 105 words of your post: So what?

      To the last sentence: Yes, I agree. The PC games scene is the best it’s ever been.

    • Nick says:

      Yeah, overflooded with 3rd/first person cover shooters, what a fucking golden era!

  2. CMaster says:

    So they started off making Bioshock with Aliens and wound up making Mass Effect in the 1960s.

    Neither of those sound like bad things, but neither sound that amazing either, and the cynicism of just sticking the XCOM name on it seemingly randomly really grates, especially when Irrational’s “Swat 4 Dead” prototype would have been a great platform to build a new XCOM off.

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      Wisq says:

      Especially when they didn’t even know what they were making, or whether it would have anything to do with the X-COM world, but still slapped the XCOM label on it from the very beginning.

      “Look guys, we’ve acquired the rights to an old gaming franchise! We’re going to make a sequel! Now, what sort of game should it be? First person shooter? 2D platforming sidescroller? Do we want aliens, or dinosaurs, or maybe cavemen? Can we just take one of our previous games and reskin it?”

      I’m looking forward to the next Terminator movie. I hear it’s going to be a documentary about World War 2. I don’t get all those people who think it should be about killer robots and stuff.

    • Wulf says:

      Were they really so cynical as to think that gamers would fall for a completely different game with XCOM slapped on the cover, is their estimation of our intelligence really so low? According to their own PR, it is. That’s the part that bothers me because of how true it is. If it wasn’t then why bother to use the XCOM name at all?

      If they’d come up with their own name for this then I could get behind it. But X-COM was an International thing, and calling this the ‘origin story’ is a bit of an insult. I just can’t understand why, unless they have a low opinion of consumer intelligence, they wouldn’t name this something else. They could slap any old tacky name on it and it would immediately become more interesting. Call it Precedent: First Contact or something, and don’t make out that it has anything to do with X-COM.

      Making it out to be the origin story of X-COM will only engender negative emotions in old fans.

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      oceanclub says:

      I must admit my enthusiasm has plummeted somewhat. I just found the combat in Mass Effect 1 really really dull, so if X-COM follows that style, it’s not for me. I mean, ME1 wasn’t bad and I finished it, but I’ve never had any real temptation to buy no. 2 (even on sale for a fiver the other day didn’t tempt me.)

      P.

    • subedii says:

      The combat in ME2 was definitely improved, but all in all, about as in-depth and tactical as choosing what to have for breakfast.

      It was an OK manshoot that I played for the story. But much like with ME1, I played it through once and then shelved it with pretty much zero interest in a re-play. The gameplay was decent, but nothing that would ever really draw me back, and as far as cover based shooters go, I found games like Gears of War a lot more entertaining.

      It was still one of my favourite games of the year, but that was largely owing to the story / characters, and the fact that the combat didn’t feel like it was getting in the way anymore and was actually fun enough to work. The entire ending sequence I felt was exceptionally well done.

    • Urthman says:

      [moved reply to proper thread]

    • gwathdring says:

      Really, the *enitre* ending sequence? That surprises me. The boss fight, too?

    • subedii says:

      As with most videogame Boss fights, it was attacking something big with a big health bar. Nothing stellar, but I can live with it (I feel that Capcom generally do the best Boss fights).

      I was referring more to the way that your Seven Samurai style dealings and preparations all lead up to that point, and even through the ending sequence you were still called on to make judgement calls that you weren’t certain if they would get someone killed or not. It was a good way of keeping the player involved right until the end, because it left the outcome unpredictable. Assuming you hadn’t read a game guide or similar of course.

    • LionsPhil says:

      So they started off making Bioshock with Aliens and wound up making Mass Effect in the 1960s.

      Neither of those sound like bad things

      I have to disagree there. One Bioshock was enough any any Mass Effects are too many. :V

    • gwathdring says:

      @Subedii

      Ah. Good point. I felt similarly, actually. Unfortunately the plot elements in the big reveal and boss fight part really irked me and took a lot out of what was a fantastic theory for an end game. I can certainly see how, if that didn’t bother you, the experience would have been quite exceptional. I had a similar but smaller problem with the Mass Effect 1 ending–they took so much away from Saren’s act in the council chamber with what happened immediately afterwards to facilitate the boss fight. It could have been much more meaningful without the attack robot thing.

    • jalf says:

      I feel that Capcom generally do the best Boss fights).

      LOST PLANET 2! Woooo!

    • subedii says:

      Yeah the whole HR thing (I presume that acronym’s suitably vague to avoid spoiling anything) was freaking weird and didn’t make a whole load of sense, but I was able to ignore it enough that it didn’t really hurt my enjoyment of the end-game.

      @ jalf:

      Actually I haven’t played Lost Planet 2 (should probably give it a try sometime). I was thinking of the Resident Evil games, and the DMC games. I almost always have fun with the Boss fights in those.

      Also, I forgot the Street Fighter series, which I will not include because all fighting game bosses are SUPER CHEESY and I hate them with a passion.

    • jalf says:

      Actually I haven’t played Lost Planet 2 (should probably give it a try sometime).

      You should, if you’ve got 2 or 3 friends to play with. It’s probably not much fun alone, but a fantastic coop game. I played it with two friends, and it was a hoot. Brilliant, huge, crazy, epic over-the-top bosses, fun gameplay, a super cheesy and nonsensical storyline which none of us could keep track of (but it had jungle pirates AND snow pirates! Just needed some desert ninjas, and it would have been perfect.)
      Also lots of ridiculous set pieces. With a really really big gun. Mounted on two trains.

  3. Gothnak says:

    What gets me is ‘why’ though. It sounds like an interesting game concept, but why give it the xcom name? Why have the xcom license, loved by so many, and make a game unlike the classic games, as the first paragraph says, not even setting the time frame the same anymore. All you are going to do is annoy people who associate XCOM with TBS.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Because names are hard to come up with, and even harder to have decades of history behind. If a publisher owns a name, they will use it. It’s as simply as money.

    • Unaco says:

      Marketing fuck up. They should have just announced a new IP.

    • Xercies says:

      IPs with no history or background or are “New” get less money then IPs that have all these things like old games or sequels. Its better to make an original game with interesting ideas and call it something from a well known IP then it is to give it its own IP.

    • Bhazor says:

      Yes but the take away from the vast majority of press so far has been “This has nothing to do with Xcom”. The fact they have changed the game so dramatically since the last showing tells me they had no idea there would be any kind of fan reaction to it.

      Really the people who remember the original games are the ones most annoyed about this. That isn’t smart use of a license.

      Still not as bad as Furious Four mind you.

    • Alexandros says:

      “If a publisher owns a name, they will use it. It’s as simply as money.”

      It’s also as simple for me as a customer to declare in every tone that I want a real X-Com and not htis consolized piece of crap (compared to the original game, spare me the “but you haven’t played it yet!” comments). I don’t like what they’re offering and I am going to be quite vocal about it. This must not stand.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      But the problem with that logic is that the largest portion of the market this game is aimed at – the console gamers and newer generation of PC gamers – will not be familiar with an old TBS franchise that hasn’t seen a new game in ages. And the older fans who will be familiar with the IP aren’t exactly going to be excited about their favorite TBS game being turned into yet another TPS. And pissing off older fans isn’t something I would recommend doing. Just see how the reaction to DA2 affected its sales.

      It’s childish to bitch about a game you didn’t even play yet just because it doesn’t look nearly enough like the original title – but the IP-milking that the devs are doing makes me equally cynical, considering how this game has virtually zero similarity with the original franchise. There’s a reason why Valve didn’t go with a totally different mechanic for Portal 2 as they once planned.

      And do the devs honestly believe that a AAA turn-based title won’t sell nowadays? Instead of looking at Mass Effect, try looking at Civ V’s sales.

    • Reapy says:

      I think I would have an easier time appreciating this game if they didn’t use the XCOM name. The article really summed up exactly what I was going to say… we got excited to see xcom because we though there would be this whole crazy idea of a tactical overhead shooter with base building, except with AAA production values and cool features that could be added to make an interesting game. Instead we get mass effect- raven shield: with aliens.

      A new IP that said, hey we are doing this cool 60′s alien game would have hit just as well as using XCOM in the name. I guess they say though that all press is good press, but I don’t know that is necessarily true in this case.

    • DrGonzo says:

      So just call it Mad Men with Aliens and Stuff. Would be more apt in my opinion.

    • Soon says:

      Or call it Dark Skies.

    • Rii says:

      Come now, if this game didn’t have the XCOM label on it, every second comment would be ‘OMG they’re ripping off XCOM’ and you know it.

    • JFS says:

      I don’t think so. I’d expect “OMG they ripped of Mass Effect”, though, because that’s much closer to what they do. Any way, X-Com or not, it’s just lazy game design.

    • Wulf says:

      I’m 100% with Unaco for the reasons I stated above. This is just a bit of a clusterfuck, and either really cynical or really stupid. They could do so much better with a new IP.

    • subedii says:

      Come now, if this game didn’t have the XCOM label on it, every second comment would be ‘OMG they’re ripping off XCOM’ and you know it.

      Well, no. No actually it wouldn’t. As in, not at all. Because it doesn’t look or play or have, well, anything associated with the original games.

      Seriously. The first time I saw the XCOM trailer, the only thing I could think was “If I didn’t know this was actually called XCOM, there would be nothing in here to draw any kind of association with the original titles.” There was literally nothing that I could grasp that, if I hadn’t known the title, would have actually made me think “Hey, that’s an aspect of the XCOM games”, beyond the most basic premise of “Humans Vs Aliens”.

      And that impression just stayed all the same with the latest trailer at this E3, even with all the comments and mea culpas about how “we weren’t making it an XCOM game before but this time…”

      This isn’t a case of darned if you do, darned if you don’t. It’s Battleship: The movie. A totally bizarre and misguided attempt to stick a name onto a title in the hopes that the merest smidgeon of name recognition will somehow drive more sales.

      And it’s not going to work. Because XCOM is a very old franchise known only to PC Gamers. The chief market for this title haven’t even HEARD of XCOM before so the name’s meaningless to them, and all previews that it’s getting from the press familiar with the older franchise keeps coming up with the same theme: “It may or may not be a good third person shooter, we’ll judge that on release, but whatever it is it’s not actually XCOM.”

    • Urthman says:

      There’s no question they’ve gotten more coverage in the gaming media than if they hadn’t used the X-COM/XCOM name. All that coverage probably more than balances the tiny handful of old PC gamers who’ve played the original and are upset.

    • Alexandros says:

      “All that coverage probably more than balances the tiny handful of old PC gamers who’ve played the original and are upset.”

      Uh-huh. We’ll see about that.

    • subedii says:

      Oh I don’t doubt that the game has a good chance of selling well. I just don’t believe it will be because of the name, and certainly not because of the current press it’s getting, which mainly seems to be centred around “why did you use this name?”.

      If it sells well, it’s going to sell well on the strength of its own gameplay and the marketing budget behind it. But contrary to popular belief, there is such a thing as bad press, and whilst I wouldn’t say necessarily that XCOM’s been getting bad press, the reception’s been pretty muddled because of this whole thing.

      Or to put it another way: Duke Nukem 4 Ever got tonnes of press. Because of its franchise name, because of its legendary status in development limbo for 15 years, because it was an old game that new gamers knew nothing of other than the reputation, because of all the wild and wacky statements coming out surrounding it, .

      But in the end, for being such a famous game, that didn’t necessarily translate into sales.

    • DiamondDog says:

      It’s hard to tell how any of this will actually effect sales, though. This is still a small corner of the internet. I think sometimes people get carried away when more then 20 people agree something is bad and assume that translates into the rest of the public.

      I realise this isn’t the best comparison but look at how much the Transformers movies make when pretty much every critic and blogger thinks they are awful. It’s obviously a bit different for games, but who knows, they might market this to the general public really well. You might shout the loudest but there are still thousands of people out there who couldn’t give a fuck about your gaming heritage.

    • Bhazor says:

      The comments on how much they’ve changed really do drive home that this had nothing to do with X-Com originally.

      @ DiamondDog
      Well angry internet posting has just had squad mechanics added into the game and removed the Bioshock photography research. So I’m going to just keep on saying that this project had nothing to with X-Com and now they’re trying to tie it to an established name.

      Might be good. Isn’t X-Com.

  4. CaspianRoach says:

    If they achieve Bioware level of awesome dialogues and story, this game will be pretty awesome.

    • MasterBoo says:

      You mean Bioware until 2003?

    • pissants says:

      I too would like a mediocre shooter, and happily substitute games and gameplay for ‘dialogues’ and ‘story’

    • Alexandros says:

      Indeed, let’s throw out strategy and tactics while we’re at it in favour of more console manshoots! Yay, can’t have enough of those!

    • Tengil says:

      Here’s a secret for you MasterBoo: the writing in BioWare games was never very good

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      “Here’s a secret for you MasterBoo: the writing in BioWare games was never very good”

      Hear hear. I recently replayed Baldur’s Gate 2 and very quickly realized that the game was not nearly as well written as I remembered. In fact, the BG games are probably the poorest written of all of Bioware’s games — though they’re also my favorites.

  5. Raiyan 1.0 says:

    Griliopoulos? Quinns never runs out of amazing pseudonyms, does he?.

  6. Bhazor says:

    What comes to mind whenever I see that cubist head burst effect.
    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xvcbq_bjork-hunter_music

  7. Xercies says:

    This isn’t sounding as fantastic as the game they were making last year to be honest…Now I’m not saying I blame the fan outcry for this but it looks like they maybe making a less interesting game because of the fan outcry or something like that…

    • Bhazor says:

      By adding extra content they are making the game less interesting? Huh, they haven’t removed anything they’re just adding things.

    • Cinnamon says:

      So they ruined a perfect game that was near completion just to spite people who didn’t want it and still do not want it?

    • Xercies says:

      It looks like they are putting less in actually, they said there used to be 12 people in your team now there is only 3(thats what I saw in the interview anyway) Also last year there wasn’t really any focus on “storyline” missions, it looks like now you have separate storyline and side quest missions where last year every mission was kind of random and you slowly got more and more info and more and more weapons and then you got more into the storline. This seems very linear to me and what seems like every other shooter is doing set pieces and cutscenes.

      I am of course just going by the info that was around last year and this year. In fact if you heard the info last year it definitly sounded more X-comy then this one did. But of course people just looked at the small amount of trailers and thought that was the whole game and so had a right paddy. So they completely ruined it.

    • subedii says:

      Also last year there wasn’t really any focus on “storyline” missions, it looks like now you have separate storyline and side quest missions where last year every mission was kind of random and you slowly got more and more info and more and more weapons and then you got more into the storline. This seems very linear to me and what seems like every other shooter is doing set pieces and cutscenes.

      My impression was pretty much the complete opposite. They refused to even talk about things like randomly generated or non-story missions, largely because they didn’t even exist. And the squad was always going to be a two-man team, it’s just that you select from a pool of recruits back at the base (IIRC that’s a change from earlier as well).

      Basically what they were talking about was a much more linear game.And even now, well, it still sounds fairly linear to me to be honest. Before everything they said gave me the impression of “Bioshock but above ground”. Heck, they even had the freaking research camera in there for crying out loud. And that’s been removed as well now, in favour of base scientists that apparently you dictate their lines of research to.

      They’ve definitely made changes to the game after the backlash last year. But at this stage the changes don’t really look more than cosmetic. And whatever was left of their original game design, well, I guess THAT’S been compromised as well. Because I don’t think the devs originally wanted to call this XCOM either, they were developing another game when the title got stuck on to it.

    • sub-program 32 says:

      I have to say, I find it hard to believe that changing the aliens to humanoid form as opposed to the much more alien “Blobs” is moving the game out of the supposed comfort zone the developers wanted to avoid being in…

  8. Premium User Badge

    Stellar Duck says:

    It sounds like it might be a good game. I wont be buying it though.

    If the game throws me the same levels on each play through it’s not really what I want out of an X-Com game.

    Also, I didn’t like the idea that the base is a social hub. I’m not interested in their premade characters or their side of things. I’ll write my own X-Com story, thank you very much. I’m somewhat sure it will better in any case.

    • Alexandros says:

      I know it’s not really my place to judge, but I applaud your decision. This is the only way to let publishers know that they can’t have their way with everything.

    • Premium User Badge

      Stellar Duck says:

      Well, they can make this game and call it XCOM. I won’t dispute that. But I can also make a choice not to buy it. Which I won’t.

      That’s not gonna stop me from moaning about it though. :D

      The tragedy here, from my chair, is that this does sound like it will shape up to be a pretty fun game. If only they had called it something else, I’d be all over it.

    • JFS says:

      sorry, reply fail.

  9. Giaddon says:

    Uh, did 1960s US have female CIA officials?

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      No, but America was too busy being invaded by space aliens to worry about civil rights.

    • Premium User Badge

      Stellar Duck says:

      “Thomas concludes the demo; “For me, falling in love with XCOM came with the shift to the 60s. This country had an inner discord, the rise of the new America grappling with the old. It’s a wonderful way to talk about xenophobia.”

      But not too busy for the game to tackle xenophobia? It seems that they ignore the inner discord when it comes to womens rights and privileges.

      It might be silly, but it seems to me that if you’re gonna set you game in the 60s, you’d better make it true to life. Especially if you’re gonna trot out phrases like inner discord and new America grappling with the old. Show us that grappling! Show us the inner discord!

      Don’t just shove a female CIA chief in our faces.

      Apologies for the slight rant. But it seems incongruous to me.

    • Vinraith says:

      So basically they’re whitewashing historical gender struggles in this country and simultaneously undermining the (otherwise interesting) historical setting they’ve chosen to adopt. Brilliant.

    • cjlr says:

      It is indeed perplexing. I somehow also suspect that at least one teammate will be black, for all the sense that makes.

    • DrGonzo says:

      That should be the quote on the box Vin.

    • MCM says:

      Of course it did. Don’t be ridiculous, Jim. Even the CIA’s predecessor, the OSS, employed many women. You want “white men only” club, you’re talking about Hoover and the FBI. The OSS/CIA was famously more diverse and inclusive. “Wild Bill” Donovan, the founder of the OSS/CIA, even bragged that they had every single ethnicity represented on their payrolls.
      The explanation comes from their differing origins: the FBI came out of Prohibition agents and other moralizers. The CIA was an “whatever works” war-time intelligence bureau. The former started out as the morality police, the latter as an actual intelligence service.

      If anyone would like to read about the history and actual difficulties women had in the CIA, there’s a good speech here by a CIA woman:

      https://www.cia.gov/news-information/speeches-testimony/1996/exdir_speech_051596.html

      Women in the CIA certainly faced all the same problems that women faced throughout mid-century America. But to say there were no women at the CIA is just ignorant.

    • JFS says:

      I think he meant that there weren’t any women in *leading* positions, in the CIA or elsewhere. It’s still pretty much like that, the odd German chancellor aside, and I suspect he wanted to point out it was even worse back then.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      MCM: How can you not see that I was making a joke there?

  10. Wilson says:

    Hmm. Sounds less interesting than in some of the earlier features about it. I’ll be interested to see what people think of the final product.

  11. pissants says:

    no, but the writer (or possibly the intern who comes in on a tuesday and does the script) saw Mad Men once and really liked it

  12. Zyrxil says:

    The huge success of Mass Effect 2 has heavily influenced this. At the time of writing, it’s not quite as polished as the iterated design of the Mass Effect games, but all those familiar elements are in there; your squad has been cut back from eight to three, each of whom has special abilities, controllable through a slowed-time menu. Let’s be generous and call it a tribute.

    Oh fuck that.

    • Premium User Badge

      Hanban says:

      I have a difficult time seeing it work in first person and having eight squad members. At least if you are going to have some semblance of control of each of them.

    • Player_0 says:

      So much fail in every article and bit of info I read about this game. This is sounding more and more like Mass Effect. I feel like the games industry is starving from a lack of imagination and creativity. As a gamer I am starving from a lack of good games. I don’t want another throw away fps!

  13. Vexing Vision says:

    Can you go into details about these time units? At the end of the mission, do you get things like “you have used 500000 time units during this mission, everyone you knew is now dead” or how do they work?

    • Joe Duck says:

      This.
      I also did not get that part, and it is the most interesting piece of info in the article. What is this and how does it work, exactly?

    • pissants says:

      tu = mana/sci-fi mana totally x hypen com guys

    • Vexing Vision says:

      Okay, if it’s a mana-bar, I’m done with my casual morbid interest in the game.

    • Eightball says:

      It just sounds like the Mass Effect cooldowns (probably from ME2)

  14. Chirez says:

    What this new X-Com causes me to wonder is, what would the original X-Com have looked like given the current technology to play with.
    I do believe that the top down format was and still is used because a full eye level 3d was or is not possible within the given constraints of a game. Had they had an engine capable of doing what this one can, do you really think they would have made the game isometric and turn based? I sincerely doubt it, but perhaps you could ask one of the original developers.

    For me what makes X-Com is progression from being outgunned and severely confused to knowing the enemy and coopting their tech to fight them. It’s tactical, it’s oppressive. If this new game can come close to that, I’d say it’s done a pretty good job. I do worry though that it will turn into Mass Effect, a game which for all its good points, was not remotely ‘tactical’.

    • Abundant_Suede says:

      Had they had an engine capable of doing what this one can, do you really think they would have made the game isometric and turn based? I sincerely doubt it

      It’s disheartening to see this argument keep popping up, especially after it’s been discussed to death of late.

      A fixed view 2D isometric perspective is very much a byproduct of technology ( a more current update of the same basic game might see a fully rotatable 3d world, with 3d models, and not 2d sprites, though likely still with a “top down” POV available because such a viewpoint offers a strategic benefit). But that has nothing to do with it being turn based.

      “Turn based” is not a technical limitation in strategy games. It is a deliberate design decision, and a distinct gameplay experience. It’s not like real time action games hadn’t been around forever, and even real time strategy games existed years prior to UFO:EU as well.

      Just like some people in real life would rather play boardgames or chess, and others would rather play football. They are different games with specific gameplay that people deliberately seek out.

      You’re suggesting that a game changed genres because of technology, not simply updated its graphical presentation to make use of improved tech. It’s like saying Civ 6 will now be a real time multiplayer shooter (wouldn’t surprise me at this point) to take advantage of improved tech, because that’s what it always really wanted to be.

  15. Premium User Badge

    Lars Westergren says:

    I liked the original games, and this game is looking awesome too, but in a different way.

    • Premium User Badge

      X_kot says:

      Hush, you…we can’t have that kind of detached, non-nostalgia-based thinking around here. ;)

      I mean, seriously, it’s amazing how people lionize the name X-COM when the IP has been handled by so many different teams over the years, all of whom had different interpretations on the basic theme. Granted, it seems people miss the turn-based, isometric view, base & squad management core of the original two games; if that’s what you want to play instead of what the new iteration is offering, definitely don’t buy this. But if you like action shooters with some upgrade elements and a character-driven story, I don’t see why spurning X-COM on principle will make things better. We’re never getting the old UFO back as it was, and sinking this new title (which may or may not be entertaining in its own right) won’t change that.

    • subedii says:

      Oh let me re-assure you: The game will sink or swim on its own merits.

      Which to me just re-affirms the idea that their choice of name was a whole boatload of stupid.

    • Alexandros says:

      “I don’t see why spurning X-COM on principle will make things better. ”

      Yes, it might seem strange to you but some people still uphold their principles. I don’t approve of what the publisher is doing, I won’t buy the game and I will critisize their decision every chance I get. It’s called “standing your ground”.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      I hope you are also actively supporting Xenonauts, Alexandros.

    • Alexandros says:

      I’m a member at the Xenonauts forums, have already preordered and I’ve been advertising the game to everyone I know that fancies strategy games. I’m not just an Angry Internet Man, I also use my powers for good :)

    • Abundant_Suede says:

      I’m not interested in the new XCOM, but I’m grateful for it, because it spawned a discussion thread that has now turned me on to Xenonauts.

    • jalf says:

      Yes, it might seem strange to you but some people still uphold their principles. I don’t approve of what the publisher is doing, I won’t buy the game and I will critisize their decision every chance I get. It’s called “standing your ground”.

      Which particular principle is it that you’re upholding? “Names are sacred”?

      What exactly is it you’re standing your ground on?

      I’m all for upholding your principles, but I really, really, really can’t see many important principles at play here. Nostalgia isn’t a principle, you know.

  16. Tei says:

    No one knows who started the war.

    The cuboids people visited us to share his culture and custom. We killed then.

    • Kaira- says:

      Join the army, see the world, meet interesting cuboids, and kill them.

    • Eightball says:

      “I wanted to be the first kid on my block with a confirmed kill.”

    • Bret says:

      Alright! Hey, wait a minute! This is your home planet? We’re the evil, invading aliens?

  17. Ultra Superior says:

    reminds me of Robotek

  18. Nick says:

    Well, originally I was annoyed that it wasn’t turn based (but unsurprised), however it looked and sounded quite interesting. Now it looks and sounds terrible, handy waist high sandbags/other random crap everywhere, 3 man squad, mass effect skill trees… just no.

  19. Vinraith says:

    At one time this had sounded like a potentially interesting squad-based shooter with a silly name. Now it sounds like a bad Mass Effect clone. I’d complain, but to be honest I’ve got too many games on my plate anyway, and a few big ones headed down the pike this year, so this just becomes an easy write-off.

    • subedii says:

      Ditto. Despite my griping about the name, I would be willing to play an awesome story / shooter set in that time period. I just don’t think this game’s going to be awesome either.

  20. g33kz0rd says:

    Sounds like a game where you send your squad to die while you shoot the aliens from a safe spot.

    BUT IT LOOKS AWESOME.

  21. Torgen says:

    “an ammo dump on legs; makes his own rounds” and the Commando “If you’re looking for a bruiser, you’ve found the guy. Don’t let the suit fool you; his other suit’s made of dead Russkies.” One of our commandos is already a veteran, so we get to see them unlock his experience tree – very familiar to Mass Effect. He has a Disrupt power, to weaken enemies, and a Defensive Shield power, that can be placed anywhere in line of sight, and which can also be used to trap enemies.

    This game is dead to me.

    I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, but after the last two articles on RPS and that video, I wouldn’t play this game if it were given to me.

  22. MrArarat says:

    Damn, I loved X-Com Apocalypse, and to see this now, is a great boner reduction….

  23. Rii says:

    “We see a weird lamprey-like alien grabbing a researcher and dragging him partially through a wall, leaving him embedded and twitching, like some Havok physics glitch.”

    I love it.

    And I for one don’t recall the last game I played set in early 1960s American suburbia.

    I hope 2K Marin is given the time they need on this project. It hasn’t exactly had a smooth development ride to date (of course the same could be said of many of the best games ever made, but I don’t think that’s actually part of the recipe) and it’s clear they’re still fleshing out the design. Bioshock 2 was rushed for release (and yet managed to be my 2010 GOTY regardless) and I’m fearful of the same thing happening here. These guys have talent 2K, don’t waste it!

  24. cjlr says:

    Why would aliens land in Georgia?
    Okay, fine, so it’s the sixties. The USA is obviously the most powerful country around. But there’s also this place called the Soviet Union, I hear they were a big deal back in the day. Britain and France also had nuclear weapons. In fact the biggest concentrations of military power were in Europe at the time – so wouldn’t that be a priority, if you were the evil alien invaders? Leaving yourself open to nuclear counterattack if you ever do capture some ground is rather dumb.
    I approve, in principle, of having a stable of ponies ready to trot out to meet the (supposed) demands of any mission. But for the love of God, why only two mates? All that proves is that the AI is shit. Well, and that gamepads don’t have enough buttons.

    EDIT: re-read the article. At least we can dump some of them off on secondary missions. It will make the tiny world of this tiny game feel a little less tiny.

    Also: I hope you guys like chest-high walls. ‘Cause we are gonna have SO many chest -high walls up in this motherfucker.

    • Rii says:

      The plot-being-confined-to-the-USA thing is obviously a function of their desired aesthetic for the game.

    • Premium User Badge

      Wisq says:

      http://www.cracked.com/article_19025_6-giant-blind-spots-in-every-movie-aliens-invasion-strategy.html

      Specifically, item #4. Aliens always attack America first.

      (Though they usually start with major landmarks, not just landing in Georgia.)

    • BobsLawnService says:

      Perhaps the Soviet Union is also under attack but the Red propoganda machine would never let the world know that they were battling an insidious enemy and weakened.

    • Alexandros says:

      “The plot-being-confined-to-the-USA thing is obviously a function of their desired aesthetic for the game.”

      Maybe, but the global aspect was a pretty big deal in the first game. I could play the game and set up my base in my home country, I was fighting to defend the whole planet – it gave the game a much bigger scope. Anyway, the setting is not the main problem. The gameplay is.

  25. Soon says:

    Is it only the story missions that have maps no wider than the vision of a turret so you can’t avoid it? I was under the impression they were using fancy maps.

  26. Premium User Badge

    Big Murray says:

    What I don’t understand is … why use the XCom name for this project at all? There’s clearly nothing in any way, shape or form which is connected to the franchise. What do they hope to get from it?

    • Alexandros says:

      Publicity, obviously. They are hoping that the hallowed X-Com name would help the game stand out in a sea of cover-based shooters. It remains to be seen if they are right or if it will backfire on their faces.

  27. pissants says:

    also let’s not be generous about a ‘tribute’ to a two year old game in another game which is based off a third game which came out fifteen years before a third game which bears literally no resemblance to the game being paid tribute to

    and who is ‘we’

  28. Inigo says:

    (If this really is an XCOM game, then it won’t be complete without a bloody base invasion, like Crusader: No Remorse.)

    Said Dan, so hopelessly lost in his personal trauma-fuelled delusion that he was unaware of his own uncontrollable sobbing, flailing blindly at his shattered keyboard (long broken beyond repair) while writhing about in his own foetid excretions.

  29. BobsLawnService says:

    Excuse me for what I am about to do but …

    I’d just like to use this thread to try recruit for the community playalong/AAR I’m trying to organise :

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/showthread.php?574-An-RPS-X-Com-savegame-passy-aroundy-AAR-type-thing

    And back on topic : I’ve decided that this game just isn’t X-Com but it might still be a great game. Then I remember that Fallout3 turned out to be pretty damn good and faithful to the originals in a lot of ways that counted. If nothing else the setting looks unique anyway, and we should learn to appreciate games that at least try to do bring something new to the table.

    • Inigo says:

      Then I remember that Fallout3 turned out to be pretty damn good and faithful to the originals in a lot of ways that counted.

      Fallout 1 & 2 were RPGs. Fallout 3 was made by developers who had previously made several RPGs.
      The XCOM series are largely strategy games. This “reboot” is made by developers who make story-driven FPSs.
      See the difference?

    • pissants says:

      actually I remember fallout 3 to be pretty damn Oblivion With Guns (that is to say, mediocre) until New Vegas and also, ‘the ways that counted’ not apparently including an entire genre and perspective swap (because setting and dialogue are everything in ~*games*~) is baffling

    • Alexandros says:

      “I’ve decided that this game just isn’t X-Com but it might still be a great game. ”

      It doesn’t matter if it’s a good game or not. If you love X-Com games, you shouldn’t buy it. If people buy the game, they’re sending the message that they’re ok with that sort of thing and the publisher doesn’t give a damn about people saying “I’m upset that this isn’t a strategy game” if they end up buying it anyway.

  30. karry says:

    “America Is Not The World”

    There are typos in the title. The proper title is “Americas are not the world”. Only uneducated USians (which is likely 99% of them, in fact) call their country America. We, smart people (oh yeah, baby *wink*) know that USA is just a relatively small strip of land in Northern America.

    • Nick says:

      Its widely and commonly refered to as America, deal with it.

    • Om says:

      Complain to Morrissey. He probably won’t care though

    • Rii says:

      @Nick

      No, it’s a good point. If you’re going to complain about the game being set exclusively in the United States, how about not implicitly ignoring all the other nations constituting (the majority of) the Americas at the same time.

      It’s like complaining about gender discrimination in language whilst calling those who disagree with you ‘gay’.

    • Nick says:

      Don’t say no when what i said is true Rii. And his “point” was some deeply patronising (not to metion ignorant and xenophibic) correct usage post, which is not good in any way.

      and your analogy is.. just.. wow. Typical internet analogy really.

    • Rii says:

      @Nick

      It was an ugly post but the point stands. The (British, incidentally) author is guilty of the same sin – of Americentrism justified implicitly by pragmatism – as that which he condemns.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      The day RPS pun-headlines are tweaked for truth will be a day of infamy indeed.

      KG

  31. Om says:

    So the aliens are actually subversive playwrights acting on Moscow’s orders, right?

  32. Premium User Badge

    Diziet Sma says:

    I’ve somehow gone from interested, to curious, to couldn’t give a rats arse about. I will however check out the game nearer to completion and as Fwiffo quite rightly said at the start “judge it on it’s own merits”. I do feel they would have been better off creating a new IP for this game though. Anybody who doesn’t know the original wouldn’t care and anybody who does know the original is just going to be annoyed with this.

  33. Flakfizer says:

    Every article i read on this makes it obvious that 2K realise they’ve fucked up but instead of killing it or removing the XCOM name they’re panicking and changing bits and pieces, copying what works in other games that have nothing to do with their world.

    When everyone (including 2H) knows this is going to get a million zero scores anywhere that allows customer reviews why continue to throw money at it?

    • Premium User Badge

      jezcentral says:

      This game is doomed DOOMED, I TELL YOU! Why can’t everyone be as smart as you, and able to judge things years in advance? Those fools, they are wasting their money!

      Or, maybe, you’re just full of it?

    • Alexandros says:

      Do I really need to play it in order to realise that it’s not a global strategy and tactics games like it should be?

  34. Premium User Badge

    jezcentral says:

    I’m certainly more interested now that we are not just spending all our time shotgunning block balls of goo, which is what an earlier trailer made it look like.
    So……any chance of romancing someone in your team? Hmmm? And can Carter be a woman? (Just asking…)

  35. Premium User Badge

    yhancik says:

    (yay for the correct art-history references ;p)

  36. Rii says:

    Imagine if someone announced a third-person shooter using one of the most respected RTS IPs in the business.

    Imagine if someone announced an MMORPG using one of the most respected RTS IPs in the business.

    Imagine if someone announced an adventure game based on one of the most respected RTS IPs in the business.

    Imagine if someone announced an FPS using one of the most famous RTS IPs in the business.

    Imagine if someone announced an RTS based on one of the most successful FPS IPs in history.

    Imagine if someone announced a pinball game based on one of the most respected action-adventure IPs in history.

    Imagine…

    • subedii says:

      Instead of waiting for an interpretation of snide remarks, I’m just going to go ahead assume that you’re trying to portray everyone with a dissenting viewpoint as being hypocritical. If that’s not the case, then feel free to jump in, but it’s not like you bothered to do any elucidation.

      So let’s say that instead of being a spin off, Blizzard announced that Ghost was actually the core franchise from now on. No more strategy, that’s old hat, nobody plays those anymore, we need something updated for the new generation.

      Do the same with Westood / EA and C&C: Renegade.

      Now tell me about the reaction you would expect to see. Because that’s the core difference. Starcraft and C&C both continued to be supported as strategy games. Grief dude, take Halo as another example. Fans love Halo. So when you say that it’s getting a strategy game spin-off in Halo Wars (ironic since it started off as an RTS, but let’s not go there for the time being), that’s awesome news. But can you seriously tell me, that if Bungie had announced that Halo Wars was in fact going to be the core franchise from now on (“What we originally envisioned for the Halo universe” they could say) with the previous gameplay consigned to the dustbin as old hat, and fans of the series wouldn’t be seeing anymore the original style of game that they wanted from Halo, that they’d still be whooping with joy at the AWESOME news?

      I mean speaking personally, Relic are right now in the process of making a 3rd person action game set in the 40K universe. And I think that’s great, I want to play it. But if they said that this was the future of the Dawn of War series, and they weren’t going to be making them strategy games anymore, yeah you’d better believe I’d be upset about it, because I’m a huge fan of the DoW games.

      This isn’t to say anything about XCOM one way or the other before you start. But seriously, the reaction that would arise is pretty obvious, and uniform across any other title. This isn’t specific to X-Com. Or PC Gamers. Or Elitists, or any of that junk.

      Ultimately, it was just a dumb marketing move. And it’s one that’s left 2K in a bind because of trying to fit a vision for a game around a name that I’m guessing was probably forced onto the project. The game design’s clearly changed a lot since its first showing (and 2K have been very direct in saying as much and the reasons why), and that in itself leaves the way they originally envisioned project stuck in Limbo. A half-way house stuck between what they originally wanted to achieve and what they’re having to try to do now.

    • Rii says:

      Except for the minor detail that nobody has said anything about there never being another ‘real’ X-Com game. Of course it’s unlikely to happen in the near future for the same reason it hasn’t happened for the last decade: mainstream publishers have given up on the genre. It’s dead already, the only thing XCOM runs the risk of doing is breathing new life into the IP, increasing the likelihood that Take Two will take a punt on an isometric turn-based tactics game now that they have a demonstrably viable and suitable IP to back it with.

    • subedii says:

      A new XCOM game in this form isn’t going to bring back the old style of game. I’m going to be blunt and say that right now. Assuming any kind of sequel or continuation comes to pass, it’ll be more in the same vein.

      Let me put it this way. I remember hearing the exact same comments about the Batman movie franchise before Christopher Nolan took over stewardship of it. “If only you SUPPORTED the franchise!”, “Then we’d have more Batman movies now.”

      And it’s true, there wouldn’t have been that gap. The only problem is, supporting that envisioning of the franchise wouldn’t have led to Batman Begins and TDK, it would have just led to more Joel Shumacher junk and more ridiculous Batsuits with nipples on them.

      Getting back to the idea of X-Com as a franchise, yeah it’s non-existent today. Which is why there’s no point is throwing the title onto a project that it was pretty clearly was never going to be at first. So may as well not bother.

      Today I was reading that Gearbox actually had access to the Blade Runner licence, but specifically chose NOT to make a new Blade Runner game. And reading Randy Pitchford’s reasoning behind that (and believe me, I disagree with a LOT of what he says), I can’t help but find his argument completely on the ball.

      http://www.computerandvideogames.com/309798/news/pitchford-blade-runner-game-wouldve-been-the-end-of-gearbox/

      “There’s no rational business model that would have allowed that to make sense,” he added. “If we’d made it with a business model that did work, it would not have been the Blade Runner game we all would have wanted.”

      There’s a lot of complications surrounding the Blade Runner IP that make it an extremely thorny and costly issue for any game project, but let’s leave that aside for the moment.

      Now: They could have easily, easily turned Blade Runner into a COD style shooter, or ME or Gears style action game. Something to bring in that mass appeal. They deliberately chose not to because it wouldn’t suit the IP and what the fans of it wanted. The IP is old and won’t appeal to a new generation, and anyone old enough to remember it (and the devs themselves), would’ve just been irritated with a re-envisioning of the Blade Runner universe as some kind of blastathon action game with story bits about Replicants.

      Meanwhile, making a new adventure game like the old Westwood game would be economically unfeasible because it would sell too few copies for what would have to be a high budget title. And in this instance they couldn’t make it a low or medium budget title (they couldn’t say, follow the TellTale route as has been done with Back to the Future, Monkey Island and the upcoming Jurassic Park), because the nature of the IP issues makes it a costly project by default before you’ve even started.

      The only thing I can say about that decision is: I believe it was completely the right one.

      The decision to tack on the X-Com name to whatever game this originally was? Yeah that was still a stupid idea.

    • Rii says:

      @subedii

      “A new XCOM game in this form isn’t going to bring back the old style of game.”

      I don’t think it’s likely to either. But I also don’t think it harms the franchise’s near non-existent prospects.

      “Let me put it this way. I remember hearing the exact same comments about the Batman movie franchise before Christopher Nolan took over stewardship of it. “If only you SUPPORTED the franchise!”, “Then we’d have more Batman movies now.”

      And it’s true, there wouldn’t have been that gap. The only problem is, supporting that envisioning of the franchise wouldn’t have led to Batman Begins and TDK, it would have just led to more Joel Shumacher junk and more ridiculous Batsuits with nipples on them.”

      I’m not asking folks to buy or otherwise support a game they’re not interested in, all I’m saying is that it isn’t killing your Grandma. She’s been rotting out back for a while now.

      “Getting back to the idea of X-Com as a franchise, yeah it’s non-existent today. Which is why there’s no point is throwing the title onto a project that it was pretty clearly was never going to be at first.”

      Do you have evidence to back this assertion?

    • subedii says:

      Aside from the fact that they’ve radically changed the direction the title was originally heading in you mean? Like I said, they’ve been pretty up front about how this project was originally going to be very different compared to what they’re trying to do now. And the reason for that is simple: Backlash over the name. The name has in fact been detrimental the entire project already, or at the very least their original plans for it.

      And to your other question regarding a more tactical style of gameplay for the series coming out of this, you were the one saying that this would be increasing its chances. And my response is basically: When are we going to see the next Schumacher directed Batman movie?

      The complete recreation of the franchise isn’t going to make the original style of play more feasible. If it’s successful, then you already know what direction the franchise is going to continue in. If it’s not, then that’s not going to result in a re-think to suddenly appeal to a more niche market with a smaller budget title, it’ll be shelved altogether. Either way, tacking on the name was still stupid.

      As an aside: the same couldn’t be said of the X-Com license as with the Blade Runner IP. It doesn’t have that kind of costly licensing baggage attached to it. LucasArts was in a similar situation with the Monkey Island IP, they knew that a new Monkey Island was never going to be a huge seller and would never warrant a high budget title. But that didn’t result in them then tacking the name onto a DMC clone with pirates in the hopes that it would sell more. It might have even been an exceptionally good DMC clone that they could have made (and I’m a big fan of that series’ gameplay). But they decided not to go in that direction.

    • Rii says:

      “Aside from the fact that they’ve radically changed the direction the title was originally heading in you mean? Like I said, they’ve been pretty up front about how this project was originally going to be very different compared to what they’re trying to do now.”

      What the hell are you talking about? Yes the design document has evidently evolved over time, but it’s always been about adapting XCOM rather than simply borrowing the name for something entirely unrelated. From RPS’ own interview with Pelling months before the first trailer debuted to the public:

      “I think it’s going to create a new experience around the X-COM ethos …. what we’re retaining is the core elements that made X-COM X-COM; the strategy, the base, the research, agents, all of those things being in charge, and dealing with this problem as you see fit.”

      “And to your other question regarding a more tactical style of gameplay for the series coming out of this, you were the one saying that this would be increasing its chances. ”

      And it will. From 0.01 to 0.05. But even if it weren’t going to, to justify the kind of vitriol being levelled at the game you would have to establish (1) that it is somehow going to travel back in time and erase the original game from existence or (2) that it HARMS the potential for another ‘real’ X-COM game. Arguing that it won’t help produce that game much or at all doesn’t cut it anymore than you can sue someone for not helping you across the road.

    • gwathdring says:

      @OP

      Things like that happen all the time. Themed pinball is the oldest gaming marketing gimmick, since before video games existed.

      Sometimes it doesn’t work out badly either. Heck, Lord of the Rings Risk: Trilogy Edition is fantastic. I think the map is more well balanced than vanilla risk. The leader units and strongholds create strategic chokepoints in places where the map wouldn’t have otherwise created them creating this weird balance between what is geographically advantageous and what is mechanicaally easier to defend–the map and leaders alone make it a batter playing game in my mind and there’s a built in time limit that’s also rather thematic. Great things can come from cross-overs.

      If I fall in love with a game world, as opposed to just a game, I want a chance to go back and explore it from a fresh perspective perhaps with different gameplay. I don’t see anything wrong with this in theory. I respect that it usually doesn’t work out and comes off as crass marketing. And I make no judgments on this game, leaving that to XCOM fans and eventually reviewers. But I think you should berate the specific implementation, not the idea.

      Should we never reuse good IPs in new and inventive ways? Because that’s what your post implies. Your post made no statement with respect to the quality of the cross-over which is what REALLY makes or breaks the game.

    • Rii says:

      @gwathdring: “Should we never reuse good IPs in new and inventive ways? Because that’s what your post implies.”

      Actually that’s the sentiment I’m arguing against.

      “Your post made no statement with respect to the quality of the cross-over which is what REALLY makes or breaks the game.”

      Agreed!

      “Things like that happen all the time.”

      All of them happened! The games I was thinking of were, respectively:

      Starcraft: Ghost
      World of Warcraft
      Warcraft Adventures
      Command & Conquer: Renegade
      Halo Wars
      Metroid Pinball

    • subedii says:

      I like how you quote that entire first paragraph except the final explanation part, and then start shouting “What the hell” at me. Real polite.

      Without the backlash over the name, this game was going in a very different direction. That’s what I said, and you know that’s what I said. The usage of the franchise has already been detrimental to what they originally envisioned for the title. Pelling talked about keeping the “core of the XCOM ethos”, but what they showcased and talked about at the first E3 reveal had nothing to do with that franchise at all.

      And yeah, this isn’t going to increase the chances of any future iteration of the game coming out with tactical gameplay. The inverse will happen, and I’ve said why: If it sells well, then that’s the direction the franchise will continue in. But as I’ve been saying all along: Either way it’s still a stupid decision to have made.

      Another franchise you could look at for an example of this would be Rainbow 6. Originally a fairly hardcore tactical shooter right down to mission map planning and the ability to script the entire operation plan from scratch with zero player intervention. The series eventually became jazzed up and hollywoodised for the new shooter generation, becoming more of a Bruckheimer production of pyrotechnics and attempted drama. And that naturally netted them a greater profit in that situation. But the franchise is never going to return to being a more tactical game anymore, and to expect such would be silly. The Hollywood version is what sells.

      The same again with the Ghost Recon franchise. What was originally a more open ranging tactical game has gone straight up sci-fi action game. In all this time, neither of those franchises have headed back towards a more niche / tactical route, and they’re pretty unlikely to now that they’ve gone down this path.

    • Rii says:

      “Pelling talked about keeping the “core of the XCOM ethos”, but what they showcased and talked about at the first E3 reveal had nothing to do with that franchise at all.”

      If I’m becoming rude it’s because you’re talking shit. If another publisher had come out with the game 2K Marin have been talking about from the beginning but without the XCOM name, 2K’s lawyers would’ve been scrutinising it with a magnifying glass from 9:00am Monday morning. Making a statement of passion that ‘this isn’t X-COM’ is one thing, trying to defend that as a rational assessment is fucking laughable.

      And you know what the difference between X-COM and Rainbow 6 is? Rainbow 6 wasn’t deader than a door nail.

      But whatever, I’m done with this conversation.

    • gwathdring says:

      @Rii

      Ah. I’m sorry. My text-based Sarcasm detector isn’t the best. Oops. :P

      Should have read the whole thread first. :

    • subedii says:

      If I’m becoming rude it’s because you’re talking shit.

      Glad to see that you’re trying hard to maintain a pleasant tone to the conversation then. Look, I haven’t sworn at you once. If you want to say that you getting your rage on is my fault here, then feel free.

      If another publisher had come out with the game 2K Marin have been talking about from the beginning but without the XCOM name, 2K’s lawyers would’ve been scrutinising it with a magnifying glass from 9:00am Monday morning. Making a statement of passion that ‘this isn’t X-COM’ is one thing, trying to defend that as a rational assessment is fucking laughable.

      I’m not entirely sure what you’re saying here. If another company made a game that looked exactly like the one 2K showed at E3 but with a different name, yes, their lawyers would DEFINITELY have been scrutinising it. I’m not sure I see what the issue is there.

      As for the assessment that it’s not like the old style of X-Com games, well, that’s what everything they’ve shown and everything they’ve said has led me to believe. And it’s what every preview I’ve read has said. Crikey, the first line of the final paragraph of this preview says it.

      And you know what the difference between X-COM and Rainbow 6 is? Rainbow 6 wasn’t deader than a door nail.

      Even on the provision that this was true (and the reality’s certainly more complex), I don’t see what that has to do with anything either. R6 went to Hollywood and basically became a more nuanced take on Bruckheimer flicks. And since then, it hasn’t returned to the more tactical style of gameplay that originated with the series, and it’s pretty unlikely to when it’s the new Hollywood version that’s selling.

      But whatever, I’m done with this conversation.

      Well whenever you want to say I’m talking “shit” some more, you know where to find me.

    • Rii says:

      @subedii

      So I’m back now. Obviously. And equally obviously we’re not going to see eye to eye on this. As a casual fan of the first game, I look at this and see ‘X-COM’. I’m not attached to the IP so I don’t particularly care how much they mangle it fitting it into this new mould, but I see the resemblance. And I have additional interest in THIS game based on the aesthetic, setting, etc. that’s been described and a degree of faith in developers being able to pull it off on account of my being a huge fan of the underrated Bioshock 2. I’d welcome another X-COM game in the old mould, and I’m welcoming this as well. And obviously you differ on nearly all of those points and I really don’t think we’re going to get anywhere by discussing it further. But you’re right that I shouldn’t have sworn at you, and for that I apologise.

    • subedii says:

      Actually I was a fan of Bioshock 2. In some ways even preferred it to the first game.

      And I have no doubt that whatever else happens, this still has the potential to become a good game. I just still believe that the choice of name was stupid, and probably detrimental to the whole project.

      Still, like you say, this has become far too much of a war than it should have been. So may as well drop the whole thing and not waste anymore time with argument.

  37. ucfalumknight says:

    When I first read about this X-Com game, I was incensed that it was a FPS. I like many others began flaming about the fact that it was an unrelated FPS ripping off the X-Com name. However, I began to think about what this game truly is. It is a game set in the X-Com universe. Its setting also happens to be in the 60′s in SE America. I am not as mad about this as I was originally. Yes the Original X-Com and X-Com TFTD were both Isometric Tactical Strategy gems, but there are other skeletons lurking in X-Com’s closet. No one seems to remember the atrocious X-Com: Enforcer (FPS) and X-Com: Interceptor (A Flight/Space/FPS Hybrid Thing). Even X-Com: Apocalypse was a failure in the X-Com line. I am more than willing to play a FPS Bioshocky/Mass Effecty game set in the X-Com universe as long as it is well done. Perhaps we should all be flaming on Xenonauts for ripping off the X-Com: Enemy Unknown gameplay without using the X-Com name.

  38. gwathdring says:

    Ok. That’s it. The next person who uses the word “consolized” gets … terrible things … happening .. or something.

    Just stop using that asinine word. There are great games on consoles and bad PC exclusives. I just find it hard to believe anyone would look at the footage that’s come out about this game and think “if only it had been designed as a PC exclusive it would be radically different/better.” For every needlessly simple mechanic in console-based games there’s a needlessly complicated on in pc-based games. Critique the game, critique the design philosophy, I know nothing about XCOM and have nothing to add to that part of the discussion. But I’m really sick of this PC elitism nonsense.

    And that goes for complaining about devs using gamepads in video demos too. Get your god-damn criticisms right.

    • Alexandros says:

      Sorry to upset you but the game is consolized whether you like it or not. It’s gone from deep and tactical game to console shooter. It may upset you as a console gamer to realize that publishers think you only like shallow shooters but you should go and call them out on it, not people who are just stating the fact. Your frustration is misdirected to say the least.

  39. C Ellis says:

    Looks campy and fun.

  40. Tatourmi says:

    YAY, X-com! Love the original games!
    What? It is going to be an F.P.S? Meh, this is by the bioshock dudes, they will make something good.
    What? Mass effect style? But I hate Mass Effect, why did they? Oh fuck, not buying it.

  41. Unholy Mushroom says:

    What made X-Com was the fear, not knowing where the aliens were. Not seeing them when they moved. Being afraid and careful not to step on their toes unless you could shoot them first.

    Base building, research, squad management, they helped to make you feel the big guy in command. But what really made the game was that fear at every turn.

    If it’s not there, this is not an X-Com game.

  42. Servelius says:

    Ah, I was looking forward to the game until this article, and the last one. X-COM was good nerve-racking fun for the whole family. This one -XCOM- no longer tickles my fancy. Smaller squad? I want 14 AI controlled team mates rushing into battle pissing their pants when a giant Monolith comes from no where.
    It’s a shame, too. I was digging the art style of the Aliens, and this they would do pretty well. Lastly, I think that XCOM would do well if it was a turned based isometric battlescape, then you press a button and WOOOOOOOOOOOOO first person real time. There would be lots of problems with balance BUT A MAN CAN DREAM!

  43. PapaVoodoo says:

    As someone who has never played the original X-Com games, only heard and witnessed them through third parties, I can say with unbiased eyes that I am very intrigued by this game.

    Of course, it could turn out to be shit.

  44. Zogtee says:

    “…the game we loved is now the preserve of (the surprisingly good) UFO Afterlight…”

    Wait, what? WHAT?

    Next you’ll be gushing over Interceptor and Enforcer too, wont you?

    • jalf says:

      Oh good grief. Have you played Afterlight? It *is* a surprisingly good game. That’s a very accurate way to describe it. It isn’t perfect, but it is surprisingly good. Much better than its predecessors, and much better than most X-COM clones, and much better than I expected when I played it.

      It’s a good game. It’s not X-COM, and it doesn’t claim to be. But it’s a surprisingly good game nevertheless.

  45. gummybearsliveonthemoon says:

    Coming in 2013 from Toupée Games:
    “Another World”: Brock Stone Chaykin, son of the the lost scientist Lester Knight Chaykin, recreates his father’s dimension portal and goes in guns blazing! Cybernetic implants provide him the reality-warping power of “DarkSpace” — and spiritual upgrades from the alien shamen will give him the edge to avenge his father!

    “Crusader: No Pain No Glory”: Control the lone hero Freedom Rave in a bullets-blazing third-person perspective! Bring down the World Economic Consortium and its clone-tank animal-man Sylennsur Army from inside its megalopolis HQ built on the ruins of Old New York City! Grapple, swing, jump, punch, and climb your way through the cavernous cityscape! Find cover, hide, recharge your shields, and dodge in button-crazy quicktime events, while your eye-in-the-sky cyborg vixen Mar-E-A gives you enemy locations!

    “Syndicate”: In an alternate history America where the vacuum tube was never built, what we know as a modern computer is replaced with steam-run LandTrains and diesel-fueled Robot Walkers. As a corn farmer in the megalopolis of The Plains, put together a posse of steamgangers to save the populace of Iowa City from the ravaging oil-addicted Vampire Clan before Queen Victoria’s visit to sign the Western States into the Great British Empire!

  46. jalf says:

    You know, it just occurs to me that maybe I don’t really care about the X-COM brand as much as I’d thought. Ever since this game was announced, I’ve been kind of interested in it on its own merits, and I haven’t really been too upset about the name, but it just occurred to me why, exactly.
    I loved the games. I still love the games. I’ll probably always love the games. I replay them regularly.
    But what matters about them isn’t the “X-COM” name (apart from anything else, the first one is called UFO: Enemy Unknown as far as I’m concerned, not X-COM), and it’s not the setting or the story.
    Yes, the setting was ok, the plot was interesting enough to keep my attention, but mostly because of how it was told, though research and through your scientists gradually piecing together the puzzle.
    But none of that is really unique. If someone made a hypothetical Y-COM, a similar game, with a similar’ish story, it could be just as good. The first game had a lovely art direction, sure, but there’s very little *unique* about it, very little that could not be recreated by a different game.
    I’d be really upset if someone took Beyond Good & Evil and “reimagined” the story, because that game’s story and setting was so unique. That’s what I treasure about the game, and what I hope sequels will follow up on. And a clone, or a “spiritual successor” could never follow up on that. The continuity is important. It’s a proper successor or nothing.
    But with X-COM? We care about it out of sentimentality, because *at the time*, it did something new, because *at the time* there was nothing like it.
    But there’s very little about it that couldn’t be replicated by a completely different game. I don’t really care about the continuity.
    Besides, the X-COM setting went rapidly downhill. By the point we got to Apocalypse, it was just getting silly, and had very little to do with what drew me in to the first game. And with Enforcer and Interceptor? Sheesh…
    So you know what? Let them reboot the series. And while they’re doing it, let them change the gameplay if that makes them happy. The continuity just… doesn’t… matter.
    But hopefully someone, somewhere, will make another game based on the values and ideas that X-COM pioneered. Nothing is stopping them from doing so. The XCOM game certainly isn’t.
    I’ve realized that X-COM is like Doom. It’s not the name that’s important, it’s the ideas and concepts they pioneered, and which other games adopted, and are still free to adopt.
    It didn’t bother me that Doom 3 differed so much from the original games, or that it just wasn’t all that good. Because eh, the brand name only matters out of sentimentality. There’s nothing unique about a game with the “Doom” name. For all I care, they can make a Doom RPG, or a Doom Tetris clone.
    And likewise with X-COM. It really doesn’t bother me that they take the name in a totally different direction. Make it an FPS. Make it a Portal clone. Make it a crappy half-baked Sims clone which takes place in the year 1400 in the seas of Europa! I… don’t… care…
    Because there’s nothing to stop anyone from following up on the X-COM games in the ways that matter. By building on the gameplay, and the atmosphere, rather than the name and the specific back story.

    And yeah, wall of text. So sue me.

  47. pizzapicante27 says:

    Why, why did they had to call it XCOM?

  48. Ergonomic Cat says:

    Am I the only person in the world that has played both X-Con and Call of Duty this week? There seems to be some sort of “I don’t play shooters, I’m a *Gamer*. I play X-Com.” Some of is do both.

    Also, not X-Com. Also confused by title. Mars Attacks would have been a better tie in.

    • Nick says:

      “There seems to be some sort of “I don’t play shooters, I’m a *Gamer*. I play X-Com.””

      Does there? I haven’t seen anyone say anything remotely like that at all.

  49. poop says:

    HELLO GAME DEVELOPERS 2K MARIN: IF YOU WANT TO STOP PEOPLE GRUMBLING ABOUT HOW YOUR GAME IS NOT A PROPPER X-COM GAME MAYBE YOU SHOULD CONSIDER DOING A GAMEPLAY DEMONSTRATION THAT ISNT A FUCKING EXTENDED SCRIPTED SHOOTER SEQUENCE

    UNLESS THATS ALL THE GAME IS, WHOOPS!!!

  50. eclipse mattaru says:

    “…but I can’t be a bit worried by the focus on American suburbia again. Even the most retrograde Republican out there must be bored by this locale by now.”

    That sentence seems to be missing a word. You would appear to be complaining about the setting being overused, to which I have to ask: How many games have you seen using this setting before? o_O

    • poop says:

      destroy all humans? it isnt actually that overused but i definitely agree that seeing 50′s suburbia get deconstructed for the billionth time isnt that interesting

    • Acorino says:

      Not specifically overused in games, but in all kinds of media.
      Also, Fallout 3 had a touch of the era.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      If it’s based on the 60′s, then it should be a bit different than the 50′s retro games we’ve seen. We’re talking Eisenhour nuclear-family era vs the JFK Patty Duke era.

    • eclipse mattaru says:

      That’s sort of my point. There are only a handful of games using this setting, so the complaint sounds exaggerated. More so when I never see similar complaints about stuff like, say, Skyrim (all the contrary, in fact); and Ðog knows we’ve had our fair share of dragons and elves and dwarves and whatever already.