Posts Tagged ‘X-COM’

RPS Exclusive: XCOM – The First Interview

By Alec Meer on June 15th, 2010.

Around four months ago, I flew to San Francisco to see XCOM, 2K Marin/Australia’s remake of my favourite-ever videogame. Where once it was a turn-based strategy game, now it’s a first-person shooter. This upset one or two people. All that time, I’ve had to be quiet, despite my previews appearing in PC Gamer and Official Xbox Magazine UK – games publishers, I love you, but your print/online emargo split is just dark-ages idiocy.

Now, at frigging last, I can talk about it. There’s a preview over on Eurogamer as of right now, though I do advise picking up the PCG issue for more details still. Read at least one of previews first, then come back here, because I’m afraid I don’t have time today to re-describe the game in this post (but will definitely unfurl my thoughts about what I saw tomorrow). Back? Well, okay then. Below is a long interview from that showing in March, never before published, with three members of 2K Australia – Creative Director Jonathan Pelling, Art Director Andrew James, and Studio General Manager Anthony Lawrence. We talk about why it’s a shooter, why set it in the 50s, how it references the original, how it’s going to escalate and, yes, the possible fan reaction.
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Hidden Movement: XCOM Uncovered In PCG

By Alec Meer on May 6th, 2010.

Me! I saw XCOM! Me! And I still can’t bloody talk about it. But I can direct you to buy, beg, borrow, steal or consume the latest issue of PC Gamer UK, which contains a big-ass feature wot I wrote about 2K Australia/Marin’s controversial do-over of The World’s Greatest Videogame™. What I can say – I hope – is that the feature goes into why the game is a lot more interesting than the infuriatingly brief press release suggested. The issue’s lurking on the shelves of UK agents o’news now, or you can buy a copy direct from here. Free delivery, I’m told. Oh, and the feature also includes the largest picture you’ve ever seen of a Sectoid from the original X-COM. We’ll be spilling XCOM details on this very website in a few weeks: print/online embargo splits are absolutely ludicrous in this day and age, but there you go.

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Xenonauts: The X-COM Anti-Apocalypse?

By Alec Meer on April 16th, 2010.

The enduring question around 2K Australia’s upcoming XCOM FPS has been “why not just come up with a new IP?” Well, that three posts about X-COM each clocked up triple-figures of comments on Wednesday is the answer to that. A secondary question is “why is everyone so upset that it’s using the X-COM IP?” The IP is not what’s important about X-COM. In terms of fiction, X-COM has only ever been about killing aliens. The important thing is having a game that plays as X-COM did, with its sublime multi-genre cleverness. While it’s unlikely a major publisher would tackle it, the door is not closed to someone else doing that. As has been mentioned by various people, someone like Stardock would be insane to not pick up this baton – there’s a vast and willing audience out there.

First out the gate, though, is indie title Xenonauts, which is militant in its desire to do X-COM properly. It also has a cute genesis – its lead designer Chris England (who is indeed from England) says he was inspired to create an X-COM remake after we wished for one on our podcast. Aw!
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Why X-COM Matters (To You)

By Alec Meer on April 14th, 2010.

Funny thing. Whenever I try to write about X-COM, as in X-COM the game, not X-COM the place in my heart, I stall. It’s too big. I need to do it at the right time (or perhaps for the right paycheque, I suspect). Where to start? Where to end? There have been superb summaries, makings-of and play diaries. It’s a well-documented game, for sure. Yet I’m not sure there’s been that simple one-two punch of why our collective knickers remain so thoroughly entwisted by it. Perhaps the words of one are not enough. Let’s try the words of many.
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Why X-COM Matters (To Me)

By Alec Meer on April 14th, 2010.

Oof, tough day. I totally get why people are upset, but once again it’s worth waiting for a few more details before you decide the new XCOM is the end of all that is sacred. Maybe it will be, maybe it won’t, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a little honest hope. Today does, however, spell the end of a decade-long dream that someone would throw really serious money at resurrecting the fantastic hybrid genre 1994′s X-COM created. There is a great sadness there – so many ideas left to die, never bettered in the long gap between then and now. So let’s be hopeful, cautiously or otherwise, about XCOM, but let’s also raise a glass to X-COM. We owe it so much, and we may never see its like again. Sniff.

This is the first of two posts exploring why I (and many others) unwaveringly believe X-COM is one of the most important and greatest games ever made. We’ll talk about the game itself in the second one, but first please allow me to indulge myself with this autobiographical prelude. This is why X-COM matters to me.
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Enemy Known: XCOM’s Baaaaaaaaaack

By Alec Meer on April 14th, 2010.

Yeah, you heard me. X-COM, the game to end all games, is finally getting its long-rumoured remake/sequel. [Boom. Internet explodes.] Wahoo, basically. Yes, it is indeed a first-person shooter – it is extraordinarily sad to wave away X-COM’s traditional genre, but c’mon, did you really think a AAA title in 2010 (or 11, or whenever it ends up being released) was going to be a turn-based strategy game? Let’s wait and see where they take it, at least.

Contrary to ancient prophecy, this tantalising do-over isn’t being made by Ken Levine, but rather is pitched as a game from 2K Marin, the Bioshock 2 chaps. Though it also seems 2K Australia (née Irrational Australia) are heavily involved. Sparse announcement details and the first in-game screenshot are below…

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Knights Of Cydonia: X-COM Gallery

By Alec Meer on April 1st, 2010.

Not at all inspired by John’s visual homage to Day of the Tentacle, I find myself compelled to present this large roster of attractive images from a game I’m rather taken with. UFO: Enemy Unknown, also known as X-COM: UFO Defense, is an exciting new science-fiction tactical action game from British developers Mythos, due for release in October 1994. You’ll need to make sure your IBM-compatible personal computer has been upgraded to 2Mb of RAM and a VGA monitor for this one!

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All Of X-Com For Cheap

By Jim Rossignol on January 10th, 2009.


Just a quickie to mention this latest offer over on Steam: All of the Steam X-Com catalogue for $4.99 in the US, and £2.99 in the UK. It’s reportedly only on sale for this weekend, although that’s not made clear on the Steam site, and I suspect that’s a pack that we might see cheap again in the future. That’s some classic gaming for very little and hey, at that price you don’t have to feel guilty about not bothering to play Enforcer. Hooray!

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All The X-COMs Are On Steam. Yes, Even Enforcer.

By Alec Meer on September 4th, 2008.

Hooray for olden games! The entire X-COM collection is now on Valve’s digidownloadwebtertainment store. Terror From The Deep’s been there for yonks, but we finally get the first game, Enemy Unknown/UFO Defence. Which is possibly my most beloved game of all time, and I proudly take personal responsibility for getting it into the top 10 of PC Gamer UK’s Top 100 list for the last two years running. If you’re a real retro fetishist, you might also want lesser third game Apocalypse (which I’ve never actually played. Now’s the chance, I guess). If you’re a crazy person, you’ll want rubbish FPS Enforcer and slightly less rubbish action flight sim Interceptor. It’s $5 per game or $15 for the lot.

If you run Vista, you won’t want any of them (I think – am double-checking). No doubt ways and means to get ‘em running do/will exist, but right now it seems there’s no official support. [Sad face].

Update – got word back from Valve – all of ‘em except Interceptor should run fine on Vista, apparently. Woo! I know what I’ll be spending the weekend doing, then.

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X-Comeback

By Alec Meer on May 6th, 2008.

I wish I still had my savegames from 1993.

I had it in my head that this had been properly confirmed ayyyyyyyyyges back, but apparently it’s still stranded in rumourland. Furthermore, it’s a rumour that seemingly had yet to reach everyone’s ears, as evidenced by the internets suddenly talking about Bioshock creators Irrational 2k Boston reportedly working on a new X-COM game as though it’s some sort of ‘news.’ Still, might as well give you fine folks a chance to talk it over here.

2K – the publishery bit – picked up the X-COM rights last year, so it’s pretty much a dead cert to happen at some point, so the mystery remains which dev will make it. That Ken Levine has handed over Bioshock 2 development to a different 2K team further supports educated guesstimation that he’s off working on a super-exciting project like this.
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X-Complimentary

By Alec Meer on January 16th, 2008.

The latest Australian soap opera

Ask me what my favourite game of all time is, and I’ll probably say Planescape if I want to seem arch, TF2 if I want to seem contemporary, Peggle if I want to seem kooky, maybe Dungeon Keeper or AvP if I want to succumb to nostalgia. If I’m feeling balanced and honest though, there’s a very strong chance I’d say UFO: Enemy Unknown, the first X-COM game.

It’s a game that’s been endlessly… let’s be generous and say ‘homaged’, both commercially and by dedicated fans. Nothing quite seems to recapture it, sadly – either it’s too different, or too similar, or, most often, it pulls off the underlying structure but doesn’t bother with the gentle surface charm and humour of the old DOS dear. UFO: Alien Invasion, though, is one of the more impassioned and direct clones – a community effort that’s entirely free, and built upon the Quake II engine. Read the rest of this entry »

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