Research Completed: OpenXcom Hits V1.0

By Alice O'Connor on June 16th, 2014 at 3:00 pm.

Lousy spawn-camping Snakemen.

What happy times we live in for fans of old-style X-COM, the way your Gollopmother used to make. The awfully X-COM-y Xenonauts left early access and launched properly only a fortnight ago, and now “open-source clone” OpenXcom has hit version 1.0 after five years of development (“This is your father’s X-COM” goes the tagline in an alternate universe with softer copyright laws).

It’s actually more of a replacement engine for X-COM: UFO Defense, mind, requiring the original game to drop in its data files. As well as improving the interface and fixing old bugs and whatnot, it adds mod support. And with that, you can keep playing new old X-COM for ever and ever and ever.

OpenXcom brings the sorts of things you’d expect from a newer engine: support for modern resolutions; tooltips; autosaves; quicksaves; mousewheel support; bug fixes; and no need to faff about with DOSBox settings. It also adds a skirmish mode to simply fight some aliens and version 1.0 brings an Ironman mode too. Look, I could reel off differences all day, or you could simply go read this list.

If you don’t have UFO Defense, it’s £3 on Steam or GamersGate nowadays.

Here’s a video showing off v1.0, and you may want to check the changelog if you’ve played OpenXcom before. What’s next? The gang are already working on loading stuff from UFO Defense’s subaquatic sequel, X-COM: Terror from the Deep.

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44 Comments »

  1. Vegard Pompey says:

    As a huge nu-XCOM fan, my repeated attempts at getting into the classic original have all failed. Maybe it’s time for another try.

  2. LuckyLuigi says:

    This sure brightened up my day.

  3. Chris England says:

    It’s impressive that someone finally managed to finish an open-source version of X-Com. A lot of people have tried and failed to do so in the past, so this is quite an achievement. Well done to the team!

  4. Keyrock says:

    Outstanding.

  5. Themadcow says:

    I still haven’t gotten around to playing the full release of Xenonauts yet but for original XCom thrills then I’d definitely recommend OpenXCom. I’ve clocked up more hours on OpenXcom than the Firaxis reimagining for sure – the mission loadout and supply / restock improvements are superb.

    *edit* forgot that you could also change the order in which your cannon fodder/redshirts exit the drop-ship. It makes a LOT of difference in the early game.

  6. vecordae says:

    I’m pretty sure that somewhere, somehow, some grognardy old fuss is complaining about how much they dumbed this down for console noobz.

    • lordfrikk says:

      Is there even something to complain about?

      • vecordae says:

        I usually can’t think of anything in particular with complaining about, to be honest. But so often I am proven wrong. I’m genuinely surprised these days whenever any kind of news about a video games posted on the internet and the comments section doesn’t contain at least five very definitive, mutually exclusive complaints about how stupid and horrible said news is.

    • Press X to Gary Busey says:

      I’ve seen a couple (like two or three) posting about some *completely optional* feature the devs had the nerves to add, absolutely ruining the game.
      For example the random seed not recalculating on load, preventing save scumming for debug purposes during beta. It could be changed in the options.

      Luckily those posts were just caused by oxygen deprivation due to constricting neckbeards.

  7. Alien says:

    I BEG YOU: Please also make an Open TFTD! TFTDs atmosphere (graphics, music, underwater setting etc.) was so much better…

    TFTD Battlescape Music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiVUXCp8_jo
    TFTD Geoscape Music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Im6a7v7QgSs

    • Ganimoth says:

      Dont worry, they are already working on that. It will take some time though, even that its using same engine it will take some time to tweak all the rulesets and stuff.

      • Alien says:

        “The gang are already working on loading stuff from UFO Defense’s subaquatic sequel, X-COM: Terror from the Deep.”

        To me this means that they are working on integrating stuff from TFTD into Open X-Com (underwater levels etc.).

        What I would like to see is a genuine “Open TFTD”.

        • Tarvis says:

          What’s the difference? You realize that’s literally what TFTD is, right?

          It’s not gonna be some hybrid game type deal, if that’s what you’re thinking. For now it’ll basically be akin to picking whether you want to play UFO or TFTD when you start it up, or just have them in separate directories.

    • udat says:

      I loved the TFTD music and atmosphere, but the game wasn’t as good. The terror missions in particular were far too long. They could take hours. Also, it’s basically a shameless re-skin of UFO, and it didn’t advance the state of the art any. I still bought it and loved it, but it’s the lesser work.

      • Alien says:

        Yes, TFTD was a re-skin, but the art direction was great and TFTD has imho more artistic value than the very bland art style of UFO Defense. And the underwater setting is (even for today) very inventive and brought the whole game on a new level of intensity: A hostile unknown enemy in an even more hostile and unknown environment…

        BTW: Some of the bugs and bad gameplay decisions (long ship missions etc.) have been patched/corrected…

      • Press X to Gary Busey says:

        I did a replay of both some time ago and TFTD is the better of the two IMO but it’s close (Apocalypse is still #1 for me, the most ambitious but sadly also the one with most flaws).

        But damn those cruise ship terror missions and the tweaked, sneaky AI. I spent at least 3 hours looking for a single hiding alien on a ship mission once. It was a bio drone hovering and hiding in a 1×1 square in the ceiling above a staircase and I couldn’t spot it until an aquanaut was standing exactly under it. I probably combed every other square of that map twice.

        And similar with alien bases with all the “monster closets” when trying to wipe out all enemies.

  8. Baffle Mint says:

    Yes, yes, yes to all of these changes.

    I may have to dig out my CD with the original X-Com on it.

    This addresses a HUGE chunk of the original game’s issues.

    Pretty much the only problem left is the intro movie; no way in hell you’re beating Mutons with just your starting weapons. That’s bothered me for a long time.

    • brotherthree says:

      Coincidentally my very first mission in OpenXcom was a terror site, on Feb 1st, Versus Floaters and FOUR Cyberdiscs.

      All I had was the stock load out – 6 rifles, one auto cannon, one heavy cannon and one rocket launcher.

      I brought all 12 clips of the starting rifle ammo. I came back with 2 clips.
      Yup, I fired over 200 rifle rounds and in the end, only won due to a solider charging the last Cyberdisc with a combat knife, taking them both out in a blaze of glory.
      All 15 civilians on map died, I lost 1/4 of my troops.

      Glorious.

    • brotherthree says:

      Coincidentally my very first mission in OpenXcom was a terror site, on Feb 1st, Versus Floaters and FOUR Cyberdiscs.

      All I had was the stock load out – 6 rifles, one auto cannon, one heavy cannon and one rocket launcher.

      I brought all 12 clips of the starting rifle ammo. I came back with 2 clips.
      Yup, I fired over 200 rifle rounds and in the end, only won due to a solider charging the last Cyberdisc with a combat knife, taking them both out in a massive explosion.
      All 15 civilians on map died, I lost 1/4 of my troops.

      Glorious.

  9. Bull0 says:

    Open Xcom ships with a load of nice filters to choose from that help to make the old assets a bit easier on the eye at megaBigHuge™ resolutions. It’s definitely the same game under the hood – my graveyard full of victims to my incompetence will silently attest to that. =(

    I gave Xenonauts a go at the weekend too. Having a spot of bother with the air combat, but the ground combat and base management side of things are really very good. =)

    • DrollRemark says:

      The air combat is very different in Xenonauts, but I really like it. I’ve slowly learnt to do more than just fly straight at the UFOs and lose planes. The auto-resolve crash bug has been a pain, but at least its helped me learn that phase.

  10. Kefren says:

    Wow, what a surprise, since I am playing UFO at the moment! Is it possible to load the saves into this, or would I have to start afresh? (With a research base, manufacturing base, storage base, action base, and four listening posts, I don’t want to have to begin all over…)

  11. Lemming says:

    This is cool. I hope someone can mod some much-needed updated pixel art, but that might be beyond the scope of the engine.

  12. Colonel J says:

    Customisable keyboard shortcuts and mousewheel support on their own are enough to make me load this up. After 20-ish years since I last played X-COM, I tried going back to it last year but the incredible clunkiness of the interface was the thing I just couldn’t deal with now. How things have moved on and the stuff we used to put up with, kids today they have no idea I remember this when it all fields etc etc..

  13. Hrofty says:

    Android version also works perfectly, with minor control problems in battle mode. Awesome!

  14. Neurotic says:

    Do you think we’ll ever get Open Laser Squad? :D

  15. LionsPhil says:

    Heh, wonder if that trailer’s intentionally nodding to the good DNF trailer at the start.

    This looks damn impressive.

  16. Shadow says:

    I missed the last stretch to version 1.0, but my mods should still be compatible. Take a look!

    http://ufopaedia.org/index.php?title=User:Shadow86

    Shameless plug, I know. Anyway, I’m glad they’ve managed to round out OpenXcom, and even more glad they’re working on Terror from the Deep now!

  17. mvar says:

    I’ve already donated to the project, the work put on this mod is simply amazing. Can’t wait for TFTD

  18. captain nemo says:

    I’m reticent to use it, but only one word fits : awesome. The dev team should be given medals or something

  19. ansionnach says:

    Always preferred the original (non-US) name:
    UFO: Enemy Unknown

    Maybe they should do one called “UFO: X-Com Defence” next? That’s the one where the aliens have to defend against the X-Com menace!

    • Silent_Thunder says:

      Reminds me of XCOm The Two Sides, which was a mod/remake that was made for a 1v1 campaign with one player as the aliens ramping the invasion up, and the other as Xcom trying to stop them. Think it died awhile back though, shame, because it was quite fun, if unfinished.

      • ansionnach says:

        Too bad. I’d imagine there’s a massive chunk of game that would need to be filled in, like how alien resources are limited (space travel time?) and managed. My basic strategy would be to wipe out X-Com as soon as possible. Begs the question of why they didn’t just attack them in the game?

  20. DrollRemark says:

    I love the fact that this has made it so easily portable. There’s a browser version floating about, and people have even made it work on their phones (which I think I might just try to do too).

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