New X-COM Incoming, Old X-COM Cheapens!

By Adam Smith on January 5th, 2012 at 6:58 pm.

ANGRY ALIEN SAYS DIE ALTERNATIVE EARTH DEFENSE FORCE

EDIT: added Gamersgate deal.

Steam’s daily deal sees the complete X-COM bundle reduced to £3.05, while the complete pack is £2.49 at Gamersgate. It’s as if they think the whole internet is talking about the series. You probably don’t want Enforcer and Interceptor but if you don’t have them, you almost definitely want the other three. They are £1.01 each on Steam. I still play the original on a regular basis and find it laughable that it’s available for a pound and a penny. HA!

There is no better way to spend a pound than on the first X-COM, that’s cold, hard science. The great dilemma is not whether to buy, it is what to call the damn things. The original has always been UFO: Enemy Unknown to me, but Steam has it as X-COM: UFO Defense. But then is the hyphen necessary and is everything capitalised like that? Yes? Maybe. It’s still Enemy Unknown to me.

Perhaps defense could become defence? And is ‘USO: Fears Unspecified’ a possible alternate title for the second game? No matter. Let’s all play them forever and never win. While we’re here, you could do worse than read Alec’s impassioned love letter to the original game.

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69 Comments »

  1. Khemm says:

    Totally uninterested. GOG version or no sale.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Got to admit this is entirely in GOG’s field, although I’m assuming they’ve not Steamworks-ized a version of DOSBox, so you could probably dig it out of steamapps and never touch said Valvian platform again. :B

      (If nothing else, it’s GPL, and I kind of doubt they want to have to release the source for their DRM solution…)

    • sinister agent says:

      I bought a similar bundle from Direct(“to”)Drive a couple of years ago. Download and install, no faffing about. They’re probably still mega-cheap there, though I haven’t looked. I’m lazy. Also I haven’t put dinner on yet. Same reason.

    • Unaco says:

      Not TOTALLY uninterested, are you Khemm? I mean, you took some time out of your day to write that comment (within 2 minutes of the article going up). You’re interested, I can tell.

    • Eclipse says:

      it’s DRM free of course. And you can just grab the game files and put them on the latest version of DosBox if you already have it installed. There’s no difference at all between this and the GOG version if not for the nice things GOG adds as extra (manuals and such), but you can even find those easily by yourself

    • Kaira- says:

      Except GOG gives you the DRM-free installer, which is far more convenient than using Steam, IMHO.

    • Khemm says:

      @Unaco
      I already own the game (boxed). I’m obviously interested in buying it again, as you’ve so cleverly noticed… but on GOG, if only for the awesome DRM-free version, convenient installer and free goodies. What Steam offers is an inferior version of what I currently have, GOG offers something more/different/something that is a great addition to the boxed copy.

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      A better deal (and DRM free) on Gamersgate here:

      http://www.gamersgate.co.uk/DDB-XCOM/x-com-complete-pack-bundle

      A mere £2.49!

    • bfandreas says:

      There was only one X-Com.
      Terror from the Deep was if at all a weak sequel and all they did was ramp up the difficulty to such ludicrous levels that even I couldn’t beat it.

      Gosh but the visuals and sound on both were amazing. If some evil fool used the Chrysalid sound effect on his mobile I would just snap his neck in reflex. He might look human, but he’s long gone.

      What jury would convict me?

      X-COM, UFO, Enemy Unkown. Microprose. Those are names that reverbrate through the ages. Too bad there never was a sequel to it.

    • Teddy Leach says:

      Funny, I find Steam even more convenient than GOG.

    • Nick says:

      Terror From the Deep is good, its (slightly) more than just a reskin and I find it ultimately more satisfying to play, even if the two stage terror ships are a bastard sometimes.

    • Arona Daal says:

      Gamersgate version is Drm-free,cheaper,with preconfigured Dosbox,i got mine for 1,24 Euro ,and Xcom Apocalypse is the best of all Xcoms ever.

      HAH!

    • liagsgydf says:

      Y’all know there is a fan patch out that works nicely without Dropbox? And it adds the function of remembering your soldiers inventory between missions, which was the missing piece holding this game back from perfection. http://vo.to/btd

    • sephiroth says:

      Awesome shame I allready own this version to go with my backed up floppy disk images and a CD image of the collector pack from late 90′s at some point otherwise I would probably buy it again again.

      IMHO this pack is worth 10x the asking price infact just the original is worth more than the price of a new game so ALL the x-com games for the 10th the price of a new game MADDNESS I TELL YOU UTTER MADDNESS.

      hmm anyway i’ve calmed down a little if you want the GOG version then just buy it its regardless of sales or whatnot its not like you wont get your moneys worth. seriosly I have been playing enemy unknown every year since its release EVERY year!

    • Xerian says:

      You guys should take notice that Khemm has whined about steam alot over the past few days, on a decent amount of articles, and generally just… Whined about stuff.

      But nevertheless, awesome offers. Though… If you’re that “immensely” uninterested, why are you wasting your time writing? ò.ó
      (However you do make some nice points, but often seem to have the “My opinion is the right opinion” attitude ;p)

      Anyways… This is a lovely deal for me, as I’ve heard good things about X-Com from my big brothers, but never got to try it out. Hope Firaxis does a good job on the not so (man) alien-shooter.
      … And seriously, what the hell is up with all the FPS-Remakes nowadays? Theres a ton of them… I mean, they could atleast have the courtesy of calling them spin-offs. With big men shooting with big guns.

  2. Faldrath says:

    Funny thing is that Steam sells it as X-COM, but the game itself is UFO: Enemy Unknown.

    • Eclipse says:

      the original title is UFO: Enemy Unknown, but it was released as X-COM: UFO Defense in USA

    • Sic says:

      Damn, I didn’t even notice that. Does it say that in-game as well?

  3. Torgen says:

    I’ve had to stop playing X-com on my Windows 7 machine, because I can’t get it to slow down enough to navigate around on the battlescape. :(

    Advice is welcomed.

    • sinister agent says:

      Hari kari + raze the whole building.

    • Jesse L says:

      Yes, help needed. I’d be playing it now if I could navigate all this throttling/frameskipping I-don’t-even-know-what…

    • Moraven says:

      Pretty sure there is some dosbox settings you can if the game is accelerating at light speed. Not sure off the top, can check after work.

      Works fine for me last I checked on Win7 dosbox.

      Now with this announcement, I may have to finally complete an entire game. Furthest I got was in Apocalypse and the alien homeworld. I loved my hover cars and the ability to invade corporation buildings when they made you mad. Load up on incendiary and show them.

    • Johnny Law says:

      I generally recommend playing with this setup: http://www.ufopaedia.org/index.php?title=Enemy_Unknown_Extended

      And I think that it is free of the battlescape speed bug, although I don’t remember exactly what the story was with that. At least I didn’t encounter it.

    • Dana says:

      Steam version comes with preconfigured dos-box, works flawlessly on my machine.

    • SiHy_ says:

      I found this helpful for the Steam version:
      http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1146530

    • Johnny Law says:

      FWIW, that stuff in the Steam thread is just taking the same patches/content from Ufopaedia.

    • Skabooga says:

      If you are using DOSBox, I’m pretty sure one of the ctrl or alt + function key combinations slows down the processor speed/framerate. BUT BE WARNED! Another combination will speed it up.

    • Sic says:

      Yeah, just use CTRL + F11/F12 to reduce/increase the amount of cycles you want to burn on the application. Auto is a bit wonky at times.

  4. Walter Heisenberg says:

    There is just something about the low-res pixelart look of the first game that I find absolutely gorgeous.

    • Khemm says:

      It has a very comic-like style. Something that the upcoming remake completely does not capture if the Game Informer cover is a representation of the art style Firaxis chose. Sad.

  5. Heliocentric says:

    I bounce off this game so hard that if I was ever trapped between 2 copies of it I would cause a game bafflement singularity and would engulf the entire world, and everyone would be overwhelmed by the desire to visit gamefaqs.com

  6. Richie Shoemaker says:

    I don’t know about all this Enemy Unknown business as me and the wife call it Laser Squad 2.

    Also, just looking at the cover art… they don’t paint ‘em like that any more do they. /sigh

  7. wcanyon says:

    Or you could invest those ducats into Xenonauts. It’s a lot more, but you get a better UI etc. I think Xeno is going to turn out to be a really solid version of Xcom.

    • Strange_guy says:

      I’m not 100% sure, they appear to be going for a different feel for the ground combat (everything taking longer to die essentially) and air combat seems like more of an annoyance than anything after trying it out. I’m sure it will be a good game to the point of pre-ordering it, but I no longer think it’s likely to render the original XCOMs obsolete, which your comment seems to imply it will manage.

  8. ananachaphobiac says:

    UFO was the first game that I ever owned for my brand new shiny P100 PC in the mid 90s. I played it so religiously during that period that I clearly remember explaining to my mum that the reason I had failed to tidy my room, was because I didn’t have enough Time Units.

    The odd thing is that I thought it was an entirely reasonable argument at the time.

  9. Metonymy says:

    Perhaps this is blasphemous, but a very slow RTS could work for this series, perhaps with “pausing” for wimps. (Yes I realize it is already sort of like that)

    The slow pace of underwater combat seems like it would fit, and could be scary, especially knowing that some of the aliens are much faster than you. (and kill in one hit) Quickly getting everyone facing in the right direction would be important, as would getting flares up all around you. Counter-visibility measures, in light and other spectrums would be used to set up flanks and safe transitions. Units could be assigned pre-organized scripts, so that you could control complex behavior without having to input every detail. This could also allow some larger battles, and use of slightly more expendable soldiers.

  10. imperialus says:

    Aaaand Firaxis just announced a proper remake! None of that FPS garbage

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/115063-Firaxis-Reveals-a-Real-X-Com-Remake

    • Abundant_Suede says:

      Might want to check two posts down on the main RPS page.

    • koo slayer says:

      no need to scroll down, ill bite my own face if we dont get 3 xcom stories today

  11. simonh says:

    Funny story: I remember hearing about X-COM and how great it was when I was little. I found a demo for X-COM: Interceptor, played it and didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. Interceptor must have caused many lost sales for the good games by being confused with them.

    • koo slayer says:

      this i exactly how i feel everytime a rag says how awseome a game is. Then some game gets slammed in the d level press and im like hey that games is fun as shit!

  12. Craig Stern says:

    GamersGate has a complete X-Com pack on sale even cheaper than this. Just sayin’.

    • Adam Smith says:

      Added. Thanks to everyone who tipped me off (millions of you!) – had somehow missed that one!

    • Abundant_Suede says:

      The only problem with the Gamers Gate sale, at least in the U.S., is that the discount doesn’t seem to extend to the individual games like the Steam one does, if all you wanted was to, say, pick up the original. Probably a minor distinction at these prices.

  13. Hendar23 says:

    Y’all know there is a fan patch out that works nicely without Dropbox? And it adds the function of remembering your soldiers inventory between missions, which was the missing piece holding this game back from perfection.

    • squareking says:

      I need this. Is it Steam-friendly, by chance?

      I did the most insensible thing ever and just bought the whole pack. :/

    • SiHy_ says:

      As far as people above have been saying the Steam version is just the regular game files with Dosbox so the patch should be compatible. Check out ufopedia.org for details about the patches/mods etc.

  14. Ultra-Humanite says:

    Forgetting to log into this website makes my eyes bleed when I’m assaulted with the inane comments of people I’ve long ago blocked.

  15. Moni says:

    I’m quite tempted to get Apocalypse on Steam, just because I’ve never been able to get it to run in DosBOX from the original disc myself.

    • Arona Daal says:

      Save often,its sometimes bugs out during the intermission loading screens and asks for a CD in the nonexistent drive,forcing you to restart from your last Save.

  16. Quasar says:

    Is there any point to buying the whole pack? I’ve heard that Interceptor and Enforcer are basically worthless, so would it be smarter to just get UFO Defense? Are the others any good?

    Help me.

    • Veracity says:

      Only Enemy Unknown is really “important”. It’s the one you’re most likely to bother actually playing.

      Terror From the Deep is a reskin. Lovecraft cheese instead of X-Files cheese, and even buggier. Alright, but not essential.

      Apocalypse probably qualifies as the other interesting one – it’s fairly well regarded by at least some people. It has some faction stuff that sounds a bit half-hearted, from what I’ve gathered, but I wouldn’t know, not having played it.

      Enforcer’s a bad TPS and Interceptor’s a not completely useless Wing Commander knock-off.

      Get one of the fan patches. UFOPaedia has details. I like xcomutil for bugfixes and suffixes, but don’t get too excited about the feature list: its inventory memory doesn’t work very well if you rotate your mooks much.

    • SiHy_ says:

      I bought the whole pack for curiosity sake mainly. I absolutely love the first one, found TotD infuriating and tedious but never got to try the rest. Heard nothing but bad things about the last two but they’re worth a pop.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      TFTD is great, but bastarding hard. Apocalypse is pretty good too, if not quite as epic.

    • Matt says:

      Enforcer’s good for a laugh for about 5 minutes. I couldn’t believe how bad it was.

    • Gasmask Hero says:

      Interceptor and Enforcer aren’t awful…they’re just distinctly average which apparently, here in 2012, marks them out as being the WORST THING EVA 4 laffs lol 11one1111.

      I had some fun with Interceptor when it was released, that’s all I can say.. There are inferior games than these in their respective genres.

  17. aircool says:

    UFO: Enemy Unknown. As for the reason the aliens invaded, it’s because they’re don’t like the word ‘defence’ spelled with an ‘s’.

  18. Srethron says:

    I want to believe.

  19. DogKiller says:

    Is it wrong that I really, really liked X-Com Interceptor and ejoyed it when I was a kid?