Posts Tagged ‘XCOM: Enemy Unknown’

Firaxis’ Jake Solomon Post-Mortems XCOM: Part One

By Alec Meer on January 14th, 2013.

'Tell us everything, mutie!'

With Firaxis’ de-hyphenated, largely very well-received remake of the legendary, incomparable, enormous-haircutted X-COM now out there saving the Earth from the worst scum of the universe for several months, now seems the time to sit down with its enthusiastic main man Jake Solomon. What went right, what went wrong and what comes next? As per recent tradition, we had a very long chat.

Covered in this first part – the base, the skills, the missing element of surprise and what they’ve learned if they ever do this again. Edited out to spare you the horror: his Punch & Judy-style impersonation of an Englishman.
Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , .

134 Comments »

Solomon Vows: Firaxis on XCOM’s Second Wave Add-On

By Alec Meer on January 8th, 2013.

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in. By which I mean, just when you thought I couldn’t possibly muster another marathon interview with XCOM: Enemy Unknown lead Jake Solomon, I did. Later this week he post-mortems the largely brillo remake of the 90s ultra-classic, but firstly we chat about the impending free Second Wave add-on. Skeletal remnants of this set of balance-tweaking toggles were found by modders at launch, but now the full-fat version is ready to go. Here, Solomon talks about why Second Wave was made, how it in some ways makes XCOM more like X-COM and why the add-on’s very existence might just be down to you lot.
Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .

106 Comments »

They Shall Not Grow Old: The XCOM Memorial

By Alec Meer on December 11th, 2012.

So many friends, loved ones, dead pets, Auotobots and French philosophers have fallen. We’ve each of us made decisions that led to loss of noble life in our attempts to save the Earth from the malevolent alien hordes of XCOM. Briefly, we mourn their loss. Then, all too soon, we move on and forget them forever.

It is time to more meaningfully honour the fallen. Uh, via Facebook.
Read the rest of this entry »

, .

47 Comments »

Chinese Takeaway: XCOM DLC Out Now

By Alec Meer on December 4th, 2012.

I should be over the moon about new content for one of my favourite games of 2012, but a) I wear specially-made grumpy pants at all times and b) the Slingshot add-on for XCOM really does sound underwhelming. It’s out later today, and currently I’m not particularly likely to play it. The biggest problem with it for me is less its nature – a few bonus missions, a pre-generated hard-ass squadmate and some new outfit options – and more that, reportedly, most of it can’t be accessed without starting a new campaign. I’ve played the game through two and half times now and what I want are new levels of challenge and new types of menace, not to repeat all those early stages once again to play three new maps, even if they are set in China.

See? Like I said, these pants are stitched from the finest grump hide.
Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

102 Comments »

Wot I Read – X-COM UFO Defense, A Novel

By Alec Meer on November 9th, 2012.

The Stunday Papers

Somehow, I wasn’t aware that there was an official novelisation of 1993 strategy/everything game X-COM until just last month. Given my decades-long fixation with X-COM, this was rather like discovering that there was a book about my mum that had passed me by completely.

Diane Duane’s slim text X-COM: UFO Defense – A Novel, published in 1996 by game guide firm Prima, has long been out of print (and never made it to e-print), so despite long scouring of fansites my only option was to explore the secondhand market, which in general wanted over £20 for this 250-page paperback. One joker’s even asking £500 for it. Fortunately, a lucky eBay bid got it to me for a mere £11, and so it is that I now own this fascinating oddity: a novelisation of a strategy game, written by an author with a long history of penning books based on existent sci-fi franchises. Could it truly recreate the tension and horror of X-COM? The thoughtful trauma of the minute-to-minute decisions and the long game of base-building and troop-nurturing?
Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , .

131 Comments »

A Wizard Idea: Why Gollop’s Remaking Chaos

By Alec Meer on November 5th, 2012.

What a wizard wheeze

Friday’s shock announcement that X-COM co-creator Julian Gollop is creating a version of Chaos, his nigh-on legendary, wizard-based strategy game for the Spectrum, is the best gaming news in forever. But with zero known about it and even some concerns that his little-used, little-followed (at the time) Twitter account was the real deal, a whole slew of concerns can be assuaged by the development blog he’s set up to cover the making of the new game.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

57 Comments »

Solid Copy: XCOM Patched To Fix SHIVs

By Adam Smith on November 5th, 2012.

SHIVs, which are like Wall-E’s angrier siblings, have been causing some problems. Sometimes the engineers forget to put a gun on them and, worse still, on occasion the mechanised Muton-mashers stubbornly refuse to leave XCOM HQ. The next patch, which is due soon, should fix all that, as well as issues with the visibility of certain UFO roofs, Interceptor-related hanging and a correction to the use of snapshot during overwatch. Full notes below, including difficulty tweaks. Has anyone found a mod of choice, either for balance or general changes? I installed Warspace (not face) at the weekend but haven’t had much chance to play with it yet.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

147 Comments »

! X-COM Co-Creator Julian Gollop Making Chaos Sequel

By Alec Meer on November 2nd, 2012.

The RPS reactions went as follows:

Alec: Woah
Adam: Holy moly
Jim: Woah

Legendary developer Julian Gollop, best known as one half of the sibling-based team responsible for X-COM and Laser Squad, has just announced he’s making a brand new Chaos game.
Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .

85 Comments »

XCOM: Diary Of A Wimpy Squad, Finale – 28Ish Days Later

By Alec Meer on October 31st, 2012.

Some time later.

Things haven’t gone badly, per se. We lost Keza MacDonald in the alien base, but other than that there have been no fatalities since last we spoke. Indeed, our ranks have been bolstered by sniper Sergeant Craig ‘Alpha’ Pearson, assault Corporal Porp Entine, support Captain Robert ‘Pox’ Yang and sniper Squaddie Jeremy Laird. But there have been wounds. Many, many wounds. As Muton and Floater Elites entered the fray, and the first terrifying encounters with psychic species presented a whole new thread, most of our once-strong team is laid up in hospital. Even our SHIV tank is damaged. Three other soldiers are out of action because they’re being evaluated for psychic aptitude.

And so it is that we meet our darkest hour in what should have been our brightest hour.
Read the rest of this entry »

, .

61 Comments »

XCOM: Diary Of A Wimpy Squad #6 – Deacon Gray

By Cpt Alec 'Zulu' Meer on October 24th, 2012.

Terribly sorry, but this chunk of the diary might be a wee bit boring. Not a lot really happens, you see. That speaks to something that tends to happen in XCOM – the early game (at Classic difficulty and above) is characterised by regular and sudden losses because your squad are weak, scaredy and under-equipped, but if you can keep a core team alive for a little while you get over the hump and able to cope better in the field. (Until the psychic aliens arrive, at least). That’s basically where my RPS-themed squad has gotten to now- we’re on the (vital and satisfying) busywork, as we prepare to take the fight to enemy somewhat.

Think of this as one of those mid-season episodes in a TV drama where they’re just killing time until the big denouements and cliffhangers at the end of the series. Like that rubbish episode of Battlestar Galactica with the black market, or something.
Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

61 Comments »

Not Much To Phone Home About: XCOM’s First DLC

By Nathan Grayson on October 24th, 2012.

Kill the pink tree. It's clearly not of this world.

As is the custom of most games that have been out longer than three seconds, Firaxis’ journo-murdering (and also wonderful) XCOM revival is about to receive its first* helping of DLC. Titled “Slingshot,” it takes the form of a three-mission Council campaign centered around “enigmatic Triad operative” Zhang. As ever, it doesn’t take long for combat to ensue – but this time, it takes place in both China and the sky. So, in short, you get a “special” new playable character, a few new missions, and… well, that’s pretty much it.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .

104 Comments »

Games Are Best When Things Go Wrong

By Jim Rossignol on October 23rd, 2012.


That headline doesn’t refer to the times when games break and throw up oddball bugs for our amusement, but rather when games throw so many problems at the player that they become a sort of jeopardy-based experience in crisis-juggling. Earlier today I was running through my game collection and thinking about what I might like to play. It wasn’t Dishonored. Three things other stood out: Day Z, FTL, and X-Com. I began to think about what those had in common which, and what that said about my enjoyment of this year’s immersive masterpiece.

And I realised it was this: peril.
Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .

192 Comments »

XCOM: Diary Of Wimpy Squad #5 – Bucket List

By Cpt Alec 'Zulu' Meer on October 17th, 2012.

My self-indulgently RPS-themed XCOM Classic/Iron Man campaign diary continues.

Having just lost Tim Stone and Dan Griliopoulos we’re feeling a little shakey, but at the same time we’ve got some veterans on the team now. And laserguns. Can’t argue with laserguns. So, are we ready for our first Terror Mission?

Today, two RPS writers die and four more join.
Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

92 Comments »