Posts Tagged ‘XCOM: Enemy Unknown’

Comfort Games

By Alec Meer on December 19th, 2014.

how I feel RN

Hello there, best keep your distance, for I am ill. Not just ‘bit of a sniffle/put a bigger pullover on, you great ninny’ ill, but ‘noxious substances violently erupting from everywhere’ ill. My daughter started going to nursery about three months ago, and has been bringing back a delightful cocktail of viruses and bacteria ever since – it’s been a relentless assault on my immune system, and while I’m oddly proud of how long it stood against this microbial siege, it has now collapsed in gruesome style.

It’s OK, I don’t want your pity. Unless it’s a special magical form of pity that renders me instantly able to eat again. I want to talk about games.

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Whatever Happened To X-COM’s Julian Gollop?

By Alec Meer on December 10th, 2014.

Well, he eventually rebooted and remade war of wizards Spectrum classic Chaos Reborn, which I’ve had a lot of fun with over the last few days, and which took to Steam Early Access yesterday. You can read more about that here. But what happened to the co-creator of X-COM, Laser Squad, Magic and Mayhem, Rebelstar and more over the last ten years or so? While so many long-standing developers have seen their stars rise and rise, Julian Gollop seemed to fall out of sight. In this concluding part of my big interview with him, we talk about where he’s been, why he turned to Kickstarter for his comeback, how he was doing Early Access long before it ever existed, his thoughts on latter-day X-COMlikes such as Xenonauts, Invisible Inc and Mordheim, and the pressing question of whether we’ll ever see a new X-COM or Laser Squad=style game with him at the helm.
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Gollop: Own X-COM “Hopeless Cause” After Firaxis Game

By Alec Meer on December 10th, 2014.

X-COM creator Julian Gollop did have plans for his own new version of the legendary strategy game, but abandoned them in the wake of 2K’s well-received XCOM. “I seriously considered that before Firaxis announced their XCOM,” he told RPS in an interview published today, “but of course once they announced it I thought, well it’d be a hopeless cause because it’s just not going to get the same traction.”

“I may have been completely wrong in thinking this by the way,” he added. When I suggested that he’d probably have succeeded nonetheless, he added that “I probably could have. I don’t know.” The Laser Squad and Chaos developer, who yesterday released wizard-battling strategy remake/sequel Chaos Reborn on Steam Early Access, hasn’t entirely ruled out an X-comeback of his own, however. “Well, we’ll see. Got to finish Chaos first.”

I think it’s on all of us reading this to let him know below that that a new Gollop-made XCOMlike is far, far from a hopeless cause, eh? Also below: the game Julian Gollop almost made instead of Chaos Reborn.

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Interview: X-COM’s Julian Gollop On Remaking Chaos

By Alec Meer on December 9th, 2014.

After some time out of sight, X-COM creator Julian Gollop returned earlier this year, with a successful Kickstarter for a remake of/spiritual sequel to his beloved Spectrum strategy game, Chaos. (That being the one where wizards battle each other to death, with the help of various summoned beasties). An early, multiplayer-only version of Chaos Reborn takes to Steam Early Access today, so ahead of that I had a chat with the Laser Squad dev about how it all happened, what’s changed, how much of a purist he is about his old work, his thoughts on Kickstarter and what’s planned for the forthcoming singleplayer mode.
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XCOSMOS: Mecha-Scientists At War in Super Sagan RPG

By Alec Meer on November 4th, 2014.

Marie Curie deals massive area of effect radiation damage on death. Isaac Newton emanates a magnetic field which inexorably drags other units towards him. Darwin just ripped up the terrain, which I realise isn’t an evolution thing, but I’m totally onboard with Darwin As Militant Terraformer. This is Super Sagan RPG, a free tactical, turn-based squad battler which stuffs history’s greatest minds into mech suits and has them battle to death.
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XCOM: The Board Game Is The Board Game Of XCOM

By Graham Smith on August 6th, 2014.

So many little pieces!

It’s been almost two years since XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and even with the Enemy Within expansion in between that’s too long a time to live without a new XCOM game to play. We can therefore justifiably lust over the just-announced XCOM board game coming from Fantasy Flight. It’s called XCOM: The Board Game, it requires a digital companion app to play, and it’s due out before the end of the year.

Cor, look at all the little cardboard pieces in the image above. I could roll around in those all day.

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Impressions: The Triumphs And Struggles Of Xenonauts

By Adam Smith on July 10th, 2014.

Xenonauts is a spiritual successor to UFO: Enemy Unknown, which means that it’s also a spiritual successor to many of the most tense and glorious hours of my teenage years. Following a successful Kickstarter and a period in Early Access, the game has been available for almost a month now. With its loyal approach to the original design, Xenonauts doesn’t step on XCOM’s toes, but I wondered if it could succesfully muscle in on the original game’s territory. Several days of playing later, I have the answer. And some anecdotes about intra-squad romance.

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Penny For Your BioShocks: The Humble 2K Bundle Is A Steal

By Nathan Grayson on July 9th, 2014.

Rarely do I effusively recommend a bundle made up entirely of games I already own, but it’s kinda hard to argue with every BioShock, Spec Ops: The Line, Mafia II, The Darkness II, and XCOM: Enemy Unknown, among others. The Humble 2K Bundle does come with a slight catch (a flat rate of $20 if you want a couple of the more recent games), but even then it’s a formidable deal. Unfortunately, this will technically count as purchasing The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, but don’t worry: I won’t tell anyone.

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Research Completed: OpenXcom Hits V1.0

By Alice O'Connor on June 16th, 2014.

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.

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XCOM Who? – Xenonauts Officially Complete

By Nathan Grayson on June 3rd, 2014.

We're not actually feeling skeptical right now. Our faces are just stuck this way from being skeptical so much in the past.

I am glad. Against all odds, Firaxis’ XCOM revival was actually a great turn-based strategy that captured the spirit of the original Gollop games. It wasn’t entirely bereft of blindspots, though. The art style wasn’t super menacing and didn’t allow imagination to fill in the gaps, the game sort of got easier as time went on, tension dissipated over time, etc. Sometimes, you just need a straight-up remake in order to account for everything. In the case of classic X-Com, that game is Xenonauts. Alec has both written and blathered as much before, and really, is there any greater endorsement? Alec hates everything, even rainbows and my youthful naivete. Someday I’ll earn his approval. Maybe if I become turn-based and prominently feature permadeath, he’ll finally love me too.

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Terror From The Details: XCOM’s Amazing Long War Mod

By Alec Meer on May 16th, 2014.

“Why am I playing XCOM through for the sixth time?” is a question I’ve asked myself several times over the last week. There are so many other games I should and would like to play, yet I find myself once again knee-deep in something I by this point know every aspect of. One of the answers to that question is that the game just had a belated Android release, so I found my way to it in waiting rooms and bathroom breaks. Much as it’s a surprisingly natural fit for phone play, the combination of camera control issues, not being able to change the colours of my soldiers’ armour and no Enemy Within expansion drew me to firing up the PC version yet again instead.

Only this time, I switched things up, and have had a completely different experience. A rather more Gollopy experience, one might say.
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A Game And A Chat: X-Com Creator Julian Gollop

By Nathan Grayson on April 14th, 2014.

Once upon a time Julian Gollop was one of the principle minds behind the original X-Com. Yes, with a dash. A dollop of Gollop’s design wizardry spawned a legendary strategy series, and now – somewhat fittingly, I suppose – he’s making a game about actual wizards. Chaos Reborn is mere days away from casting off its mortal Kickstarter, so Gollop and I are going to play a few rounds of a recent prototype while discussing the ups and downs of running a Kickstarter, the power (and lack thereof) of legacy, what made people fall so madly in love with X-Com, and which of said secret ingredients Chaos Reborn does and doesn’t apply. Expect a heady brew of history and reflection with a powerful note of fuuuuuuture. We’re kicking off at 10 AM PT/6 PM BST.

Update: We’re done! And we ended up roping in a special guest: XCOM: Enemy Unknown lead designer Jake Solomon. What followed were some great Chaos Reborn matches followed by an excellent discussion between two of the brightest minds in the turn-based strategy business. Catch it all below.

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Magic Gathers To A Close: Chaos Reborn’s Nearly There

By Alec Meer on April 3rd, 2014.

13 days and $65,000 to go – that’s the scores on the doors for X-COM creator Julian Gollop’s Kickstarted Chaos remake (which I previewed here). Not a bad situation for the turn-based wizard battler to be in, given it’s already $115k to the good, but a photo finish looks likely. The game’s also up on Greenlight now, so you know what to do if you’re excited about it.

There’ve been eight updates since the project went live a few weeks back, and it’s heartening to see that they primarily focus on explaining features and concepts. Also one of them has a unicorn with a sword for a horn, so big bonus points for that.
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