XComforting: Happy Enemy Unknown Details

I can't make out what it says on the bottom right

New screens and resultant info-nuggets have arrived for Firaxis’ X-COM reimaginging, and they’ve assuaged some of my concerns. By which I mean “wahoooooooooooooooooooo! (cautiously)”

In addition to that, I’m hearing that XCOM – the shooter – has been delayed again, to 2013. Whether that means it’s gone back to the drawing board yet again, is waiting to see how the Firaxis game does or has its head on the executioners’ block I just don’t know. It does mean that Enemy Unknown is now definitely the first game in the XCOM relaunch, which pleases me greatly.

An American magazine is hosting a few new shots of the game, plus an oddly shrugging attempt to make fans of assorted console franchises believe that XCOM is for them.

First up there’s this, which demonstrates multi-tier levels and what I think are destructible environments, together with what just might be the new-look Mutons.

Also some pigeons, which might be another type of alien but honestly, I’m pretty sure they’re just pigeons.

This one has the game looking particularly spangly, and shows it off from a close-up camera.

Sectoids! To-hit stats! Dead civilians! Hard-to-pronounce Russian names! All of these things are good, X-COMy things. Obviously there’s a tell-tale console ‘RB’ icon in there, but that doesn’t worry me too much at this point. The magazine posting these shots is primarily aimed at console gamers, after all.

Then there’s the new-look geoscape, which is quite striking:

‘Hold Y to scan for UFOs’ is an odd one though – does this suggest you have to manually find them rather than are alerted by radar when one’s appeared? Good to see funding and research all present and correct though.

The shot at the top of this post, meanwhile, shows a more recognisably X-COMmy perspective than we’ve seen thus far. I.e. the one I’ll probably play from even if I have the option not to. I do generally like to be as zoomed-out as possible.

High-res versions of those shots are here. The magazine is also offering a video discussing the art of XCOM. Off you go.

I should be interviewing the devs later this week with a bit of luck, so we’ll know more very soon.


  1. CMaster says:

    61% to hit.
    He’s 2 metres away from you.
    Apparently XCOM are sticking to their tradition of “only hire the most incompetent” from the classic games too.

    • Ringwraith says:

      Well, to be fair, he is wielding a light machine gun.

    • coldvvvave says:

      Incompetent soldier is good, the problem is always a rookie who panics and drops a grenade inside full Skyranger.

    • Sergey Galyonkin says:

      That’s quite high chance to hit from that distance as anyone who handled a gun in a real life would tell you :)

    • HexagonalBolts says:

      I find it hilarious that you are so pedantic about the realism of the accuracy when there are two big bug-eyed blue aliens galloping down the corridor. Clearly this is not a game which concerns itself with realism.

    • Elmar Bijlsma says:

      People arguing a 61% chance to hit is like watching a certain scene from Pulp Fiction.

      I don’t even have an opinion *ducks*

    • mouton says:

      Realism is not a binary thing. The concept of a realistic setting with an introduced unrealistic element is not that hard to grasp. I mean, only a huge part of culture touches that.

    • bglamb says:

      Well don’t forget that the 61% is also supposed to represent the fact that the Alien is running around wildly.

    • Chris D says:

      One of the difficulties turn based systems face is that you have to base everything off a snapshot of the action. 61% does seem low if you’ve been aiming down the corridor waiting for something to move. On the other hand if you’ve been distracted by something else and you now have to turn and raise the gun in the moments before the alien bears down on you like a bear then it might even be a little high. If the alien is coming straight towards you then you’ll probably hit, if it’s darting across the corridor into cover then maybe not.

      There’s no easy way to tell which situation you’re in so basically you have to throw all the numbers into a blender and hope it all evens out in the wash. There are complicated ways of handling it of course but they all carry an overhead in terms of time and complexity and you have to decide whether it’s worth it to you to model a situation which might occur one time in twenty at the expense of adding step to every other action in the game. Hardcore wargamers thrive on as much complexity as possible but that’s why they’re the hard-core. Others prioritise speed, transparency and playability, it all depends on what you’re aiming for.

      I have now apparently gotten carried away and written a bunch of stuff more relevant to the action points vs move-and-shoot debate but never mind.

      Overall I’d say it’s not really possible to judge a system based on isolated mechanics and more than you can judge a cake based on a single ingredient, you really need to wait and see how everything works together. Unless that ingredient is arsenic, of course.

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      “Realism is not a binary thing. The concept of a realistic setting with an introduced unrealistic element is not that hard to grasp. I mean, only a huge part of culture touches that.”


      One way to head of pedantry about this stuff is to call it naturalism. Now excepting the delightful people who will complain this has nothing to do with plants I think the phrase works fairly well. Sure it isn’t “real” because aliens and laserguns and so on aren’t real but how those not real things are dealt with still feels natural.

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      @ChrisD +1

    • Hindenburg says:

      @ Chris D: maaan, i glanced at your post, read “alien bears”, and thought “WHY HASNT ANYONE DONE THIS BEFORE?”.

      Then i realized i’d misread.

      What a shame

    • BarneyL says:

      One way to head of pedantry about this stuff is to call it naturalism

      I don’t think having all the soldiers going in to the battle naked would reduce the criticism.

    • aircool says:

      I’ve worked in Area 13 (it’s like Area 51, but in Britain), and I can tell you now, hitting a scuttling sectiod (stop laughing at the back) at about 10 metres with a LMG is about 61%.

      Unless you’re British of course, in which case it’s more like 91% ‘cos we’re the best ¬_¬

    • Mo says:

      I present to you Double Fine, where all dreams/bat shit ideas come true:
      link to joystiq.com

    • Martha Stuart says:

      I would just like to say that, the last time i checked, the current ratio of bullets to kills in the Afghanistan war is 250000 / 1 (including rounds used for training). for every insurgent killed in Afghanistan 250,000 bullets were fired. so if we are going for realism i would say that 61% is a little high. in reality shooting at a target with fire arms is incredibly inefficient.

      Since the 1970’s 90% of police shootouts(in the U.S.) occurred at less then 15 feet.
      In that same study, it was found that at that range officers shoot with about 25% accuracy.

      I say screw realism

      As an xcom fan, i can’t wait. im already having fits of joy and the game is almost a year away!!!!!!

  2. bateleur says:

    Ooh, this actually looks like XCom.

    @CMaster – If you look closely, something’s giving him a 20% hit penalty.

    • Velvetmeds says:

      The penalty is the Light machine gun itself

    • Cooper says:

      Yeah, wrong choice of strategy for the LMG it seems. Rather than peeking around corners and finding aliens right up close, he should be back behind the rest of the team in a position with good visibilityproviding ranged (given the LMG range bonus) cover.

      That I have just managed to cobble that sentence together on the basis of a single screenshot has made me wee a little in excitement.

    • Flakfizer says:

      I agree, it looks like X-Com but i’m also picking up a Valkyria Chronicles vibe. Call me cautiously optimistic.

    • Tuco says:

      – No more Time Units, replaced by “move+attack”. By far my main concern. I would almost say it’s a deal-breaker.
      – no inventory management
      – you start with just four soldiers and you need new tech to transport more of them.
      – no ammo/unlimited ammo gimmick.
      – one single base
      – [not confirmed] given the base sideview and the lack of top down layout, most likely not chance to have your base invaded by aliens.
      – [rumor] no manual kneeling

      I’m sorry, I’m sure this is going to be a decent (probably even nice) X-com inspired game.
      But it doesn’t sound nowhere near to be the XCOM I loved.

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      @Tuco damn, if there are no TUs that means no reaction fire which is bad news. How did you come to the conclusion there weren’t time units, just by the screenshots? If so they may not show the remaining amount of TUs at all time since the UI is pretty minimalistic.

    • Tuco says:

      @MellowKrogoth: Actually I didn’t come to any conclusion: they clearly proudly and boldly announced it.

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      There is reaction fire, done by setting your units into overwatch mode at end of turn. Not sure how this works, may have to give up attack that turn to prep for overwatch.

    • dartt says:

      @Tuco Personally, I’m not too worried about a lack of inventory management. If I can still give a soldier a custom load-out and tell him to throw a grenade, I don’t mind that I don’t have to manually un-equip his rifle before going in to his backpack to move the grenade in to his right hand slot before I can throw it.

    • Commisar says:

      this game just got ALOT better

    • pipman3000 says:

      NO they must replicate everything about x-com even the stupid and tedious parts

    • CobraFive says:

      Reading the whole article made me very optimistic. I don’t mind the two-action system (Move and attack, or two moves). Its a system that’s been used in a lot of great game, and sure its different from TUs but it doesn’t seem worse. The four soldier thing sucks, a sucks bad, but other then that there wasn’t much for me to criticize.

      So sure when you make a bullet-pointed list of all the things that sound like they might be bad at this point, it sounds like its gonna suck. But that’s of course, ignoring all the things that have been expanded, like the funding council, soldier progression, and the special abilities soldiers can use now like cover, leadership bonuses, suppressing fire, scaling walls, etc… and sure you can only have one “base”, but you also build radar stations and airbase stations so… its not really any different from the original.

    • timmyvos says:

      I wouldn’t be so pessimistic if I were you. The move/action thingy might work even better than TU. Look at Valkyria Chronicles!

  3. Benn says:

    I am sooo looking forward to this, console-ification is a small price to pay

    • Snargelfargen says:

      I like how gameinformer were forced to compare the game to console titles to describe it. It’s almost as if console games have to be squeezed into one of several tired genres to be succesful!

      It also doesn’t bode well for the reviews, when people who have never played X-Com try to play as if it’s Mass Effect or a tactical JRPG.

    • Machinations says:

      Errr.. I wish I could look forward to it.

      XCOM is something any of us greybeards should remember.

      However, it is being made by FIRAXIS.

      I used to love Firaxis, being that they made SMAC, possibly the best 4x game ever made (subjective)

      However, CIV5 was a massive cash grab and ‘casualization’ of what is, at it’s core, a fairly deep strategy game. They removed enough mechanics and broke enough things that should simply work – like I don’t know, MULTIPLAYER – that the game has been played for less than 20 hours, according to my Steam.

      That’s sad when I am pretty sure I put 300+ into CIV4 + Fall from Heaven 2..

      Let’s just say Firaxis is no longer a developer I respect. I expect them to make the simplest possible XCOM remake and for it to be absolutely filled with bugs. Perhaps we will even be so lucky as to have no animations in multiplayer, since, you know, those things cause lag, clearly.

  4. coldvvvave says:

    Yegor Solovyov – HWG

    Lvl 2, perk – combat beard, adds +15% psionic resistance.

  5. pistolhamster says:

    Amazing! After a 15 year dry spell of no proper x-com games, we get a new proper official remake on top of a unofficial Xenonauts reboot. Can one really haz too much x-com?

    I like the idea about having more to do on the geoscape. Putting it on FFWD and waiting for “something” got old. I hope Firaxis can make some sensible interaction here.

  6. Khemm says:

    No Action Points/Time Units = the single WORST decision they could have made.
    Only one base = lame.
    Art direction = generic & ugly.

    Apart from that, the game could be OK, I guess.

    • Svant says:

      Art Direction looks good, UFO IS generic, it has pretty generic aliens, generic wepons, generic soldiers. But what it does well is that everything is easily recogniseable without having to look too closely. Aliens are very distinct from each other and hopefully (and it seems that is is so) wepons are fairly big so you can easily see wether someone has a plasma pistol, plasma rifle or heavy plasma gun etc.

      The one base will have to be supported by multiple radars (satelites afaik) and interceptor hangars so the differance isn’t that big really.

      The timeunit thing i sort of agree with however, it just added alot of flavour to the soldiers to have some guys who were really fast but not as accurate, i.e. good assault soldiers or a strong but slow guy with a heavy wepon etc. Hopefully they will still have different move speeds that isnt just locked to their class but rather their stats and gear.

    • NathanH says:

      You can’t accuse the original of having generic hair styles.

    • ulix says:

      How in hell is the art direction generic?

      People just love to hate…

      Looks like a mix of realistic & comicy graphics, with a slight inclination towards the realistic.
      Not that many other games have comicy art styles with simple textures.

    • Craig Stern says:

      I’m mixed on the decision to drop time units. On one hand, it was a flexible system that forced you to weigh competing priorities. On the other hand, it was way way way too easy to miscalculate the time units required to move and end up a couple of TUs shy of the number needed to fire off a shot. (I know that the original game had a button to reserve time units, but it was clunky, and it still didn’t give you a good idea of how far you could move.)

      If they had just simplified the TU system a bit so it functioned more like the AP system from Fallout 1-2, I think that would have been a good compromise.

    • Buemba says:

      I always felt the art direction in the original X-COM was generic and ugly too, but who cares? The graphics were the least important aspect of it anyway.

      Losing TU, though… I did not know that, and I wish I remained ignorant for a little while longer because it just deflated most of the excitement I had for this game.

    • Commisar says:

      so, uhh how so you know all of this is set in stone. The game isn’t coming out for a WHILE.

    • Alec Meer says:

      I’m pretty troubled by the ditching of time units, fearful it’s going to make each soldier seem the same (or be heavily class based) but I’ll wait and see how it actually works. There’s simply no way of knowing how it feels without trying it.

    • WotevahMang says:

      The art direction is generic. Look at the new Muton.

      It’s like something from Quake 4/ Gears of War. Hell, the soldiers look like they’re from Quake 4.

    • Craig Stern says:

      You have to admit, though: the geoscape looks pretty sweet.

    • timmyvos says:

      That’s way more like something out of Ratchet & Clank and, in my book, that’s a good thing.

    • ffordesoon says:

      Well, I mean, if you use “generic” in the classical sense (“typical for the genre”), then yes, the original’s art is quite generic. If you take “generic” to mean “bland”, the original X-Com fits the bill as well, as do most PC games in the Nineties, like Fallout and Baldur’s Gate (oh, shut up, you know it’s true; people didn’t go crazy for console JRPGs back then because of the gameplay – the games were eye-catching). That doesn’t prevent any of those games from being great games, however, because they’re all functional. If the graphics in this one are functional, then who cares if they’re generic?

      *waits for everyone to start screaming at him for daring to point out that beloved PC games’ graphics aren’t perfect, even though that wasn’t his point*

    • ulix says:


      “It’s like something from Quake 4/ Gears of War. Hell, the soldiers look like they’re from Quake 4.”

      You mean apart from Quake 4/Gears of War stiving for hyper-realism, and that being rather comicy, so not the same at all, but completely different?

      “That’s way more like something out of Ratchet & Clank and, in my book, that’s a good thing.”


    • ffordesoon says:

      Also, this may just be because the Steam version of the original doesn’t come with a manual, but I do not understand the outcry over the removal of Time Units. Probably because I don’t understand what the hell a Time Unit actually is. Is it the same as an Action Point? I always figured it was the same as an Action Point.

      If it means I can’t make the little men move with the same granularity as I could before, then no, I don’t like that. I am, however, for anything that removes bullshit and/or tedium. As such, I won’t miss the ammo management.

      So we’ll see.

      I must say, though, I am mildly amused that, now that we’ve all more or less gotten our wish, we’re all immediately unsatisfied.

  7. JackDandy says:

    I’m very glad for fans of the original game.
    Even to a relative stranger to the series such as myself, that shooter spinoff looked terrible and disrespectful to fans of the original.

    I’m looking forward to more details about this. Might just play the original myself, too…

  8. Dominic White says:

    Honestly, even if there were console command prompts on the PC version screenshots, it wouldn’t be worrying. It’s a turn-based strategy game. There’s no disadvantage whatsoever in using a gamepad. Let’s not get ridiculous and paranoid over things that really don’t matter.

    • Zeewolf says:

      Agreed, for the most part. It does depend on the game, but in general gamepads should handle TBS-games just fine, and there’s plenty of good TBS-games for consoles and even handhelds. I’m more worried about them trying to cater for the stereotypical console gamer, like I kinda feel they did with Civilization Revolution (a game I enjoyed, but I did feel the lack of depth held it back somewhat).

    • Dominic White says:

      Don’t forget that consoles have pretty much had a monopoly on isometric, turn-based strategy games for the past decade or so. Anyone who says console games are dumb needs to play Final Fantasy Tactics.

    • Synesthesia says:

      My, what a great game, until Orlandu McInstakill came to the party. Way to unbalance everything!

  9. The Sombrero Kid says:

    lmg range bonus +16% being shit with lmg -20% sounds like he’s just gonna spray & pray which makes it more understandable that he might not hit the bastard.

  10. Robin says:

    Some things really make me worried.

    For example the fact that, at the beginning, you can bring only 4 units in mission (then you can “research” how to bring more).

    That is, to me, another reflection of the rigidity intrinsic to the move+action system they chose (replacing the TUs-based system of the original).

    I’m not saying: “the game is bad”, but I really don’t want to see another case of ” weakened” game design, for this so game. I mean: you have the green light for a true turn based X-Com, after all these years, just aim as high as possible!

    • King Toko says:

      You have to remember its for consoles too so they have to take that market and control style into consideration.

    • Robin says:

      The original UFO came out on PlayStation 1. And watch a Valkyria Chronicles gameplay video: more than 4 units and Action points.

      So I think it’s more a design decision than a “multiplat design limitation”.

      (But of course the multiplatform nature of this new game scares me too).

    • King Toko says:

      Yeah I know it did but what I meant was that was back then when design was different. Now a days design comes first on console then PC. Thats why all screenshots are console ones so far.

  11. qptain Nemo says:

    I’m really disturbed by this “4 days” next to a science-looking symbol on the last screenshot. What does it mean? Knowing how much the research will take exactly in advance? Surely that’d be a massive immersion killer?

    • Flint says:

      I really can’t see why that’d be an immersion killer in the slightest but that’s just me…

    • Robin says:

      I don’t like that too.

      It should show a comment about progress, like the original, not a countdown. Maybe a little bit helpful about what you have to research first, if it is not obvious.

    • NathanH says:

      I bet if the original had given you a precise date and the remake only gave you a vague idea it would be criticised for being less strategic or some such. You just can’t win with remakes.

      It’s true that scientists don’t normally know exactly how many days they will need to work something out, but similarly most soldiers tend not to know they have a 61% chance to shoot the alien for up to 5 damage, either.

    • ulix says:

      Yeah, because like every game (almost ever) that has research tells you exactly how long it will take.

    • vecordae says:

      It’s possible that the “4 days” is a projected finish date rather than an actual finish date. In Sword of the Stars a research project was given an ETA (let’s say 7 turns), but, in practice, the project could go longer, in which case you’d get apology messages from your scientists. Or it could fire off a bit early.

    • Skabooga says:

      No, in 6 months.

    • coldvvvave says:

      Within a week.

  12. MrMud says:

    Im suprised no one has mentioned the 4 people in a squad thing. That really sounds like an issue to me.

    • Svant says:

      Its 4 people to start with, you research more spaces. I guess this is basically getting a better landing craft with more space for troopers.

    • Robin says:

      Yeah but it was *up to* 12 “to start with” in the original; and you could bring a half of that and still be ok, which means the system used is solid and flexible, and so overall a suitable system for a squad-based tactical game .

      Maybe in the new one the 4 units cap is limited to a brief tutorial-like introduction; but “4” is nonetheless a very strict limit, which seems more suitable to an RPG like Final Fantasy Tactics (which compensates the low amount of units with a selection of spells and powers).

    • NathanH says:

      Four is quite low. You can’t cover too many directions with four people. I wonder how that will work out.

    • Bugamn says:

      Cover directions? And what about the losses?

      Some of my missions would start like Saving Private Ryan.

  13. Cryptoshrimp says:

    Oh, this looks great. I’m hopeful that it’ll be good, and the three screens you posted are all the evidence I need! I also don’t agree that the art looks ugly. It’s not AAA+ sure, but it has charm. The only thing I’m worried about is the 4-people limit thing, if true.

    Also, Solovyav isn’t -that- unpronounceable, is it?

    • pilouuuu says:

      Well, I think it looks as good, or even better than Civilization V.

  14. Prime says:

    The linked article attempting to cajole console gamers into having a look at X-Com is sooo adorable.

  15. simoroth says:

    Bits of the environment have baked ambient occlusion on them. Even bits of rubble. Looks to me like its not destructible, or at least is only destructible where the artist has pre-shattered assets.

    • Jorum says:

      Yeah the rubble in that screenshot seems like a fixed map asset to me.
      Seems clear that alien pod thing the mutons(?) are guarding has supposed to have crashed through the roof hence the big hole and rubble.

  16. mondomau says:

    I am doing an excited dance of joy. Or trying to, as I am sitting down.

  17. AbyssUK says:

    Has anybody played Ghost Recon on the 3DS, the art style etc of this is reminding me of it and that is a good thing as it was a pretty awsome (yet a little basic) game.. it was made by Jallop too.

    • Seboss says:

      It’s Gollop actually. Yeah, pedantic I know.

    • Milky1985 says:

      Yep i have Ghost recon 3ds, by far the best launch game and a great game in its own right.

      Near the end now i think but this is after about 40 hours of play, even played some of the extra zombie missions! (yes it has zombie missions)

  18. Prime says:

    Also: does this mean if we moan loudly enough we’ll get a proper Syndicate remake too?

    • cog says:

      Paradox’s upcoming “Cartel” looks promising in that direction. RPS did an interview on it not too terribly long ago.

  19. talon03 says:

    “61% to hit”

    Also how close I think this game is to getting it just right

  20. sneetch says:

    I am quite excited about this but there are already a number of concerns, no Time Units for example, until we know more about what’s replacing that system it seems a bit iffy. It might be great, but I love the flexibility and freedom of Time Units.

    Only one base also seems limiting I tended to have my main base somewhere near southern Germany and a number of satelite bases in North and South America, Australia, central Africa and China to handle alien incursions there, this meant that I had a number of strike teams worldwide, who would eventually all have decent equipment and skills, can I still do that?

    Also having unlimited ammo seems strange, playing the original it was very rare that ammo would be a problem because I was always careful to bring plenty but I can remember some tense missions were after some tough fights the last guys up had to raid corpses to get ammo and that was a bit tense; you knew there were aliens near there and you were fumbling in a corpses pockets for a couple of rifle clips. In the end I used to leave 2 people at the lander to act as medics and ammo carriers.

    • Premium User Badge

      FhnuZoag says:

      Time Units have always been a bit of a kludge (remember how the originals compromised the whole system by having you reserve TUs for shooting, making it almost exactly the same as a move and shoot system really?) so to be honest I’m not phased by seeing them go. It’s a deviation, sure, but granularisation is a good thing – getting a soldier with an extra shoot phase, say, would be huge and exciting, whereas the original’s slow gain of a couple of TUs here are there are pretty obtuse and uninteresting. And who really enjoys the mental arithmetic busywork of ‘hmm, let’s calculate whether I can shoot *and* move to cover, oh oops I can’t’?

      If they remove overwatch I’ll cry though.

    • Jorum says:

      Time units did have the additional subtlety of affecting reactions in overwatch though.
      So a solider who doesn’t move, and just focuses on covering an area, can react at full capacity on overwatch. One who is moving a little to get position can still react but not as quickly. One who is sprinting from cover to cover will find it difficult to react at all.

      It was a very clever way of simulating dynamic movement in a static turn-based mode.

    • NathanH says:

      I rarely enjoy ammo management, so quite pleased about that. Not sure about the other changes, can see advantages and disadvantages with them.

    • Tuco says:

      @FhnuZoag: Well, you are *completely* wrong about time units.
      They were a very core mechanic in the original game and part of what bade it an unmatched masterpiece of the genre, as few other games using the same mechanic (Jagged Alliance 2, Silent Storm, etc).

      Just cause you didn’t make use of their flexibility that doesn’t mean they won’t be missed.

      in fact i think this is by far the biggest mistake in this remake.

  21. frosty216 says:

    The worst part is that EVEN WITH all these factors that have been watered down for ADD-ridden console kiddies, this is probably the closest thing to the days of good gaming we’ll ever see.
    Single indian tear.

  22. InternetBatman says:

    I never played the original, but this looks pretty interesting.

    Also, the article linked to in the piece is just odd. The premise seems to be “Do you like games? Then you’ll like X-com.”

    • bonjovi says:

      You don’t exist!

    • sneetch says:

      Yeah, if you turn your head a little and squint you can see right through him!

      Nice try, Mr so-called-InternetBatman, tell your alien overlords they’ll get nothing from us! Nothing!

  23. nemui says:

    what’s so hard-to-pronounce about Yegor Solovyov?
    it’s just reasonably bad transcription for “Егор Соловьёв”.

    also, your registration captcha is rather difficult for people being rather drunk.

    • Chris D says:

      Is it Solov-yov or Solo-vy-ov?

    • Klaus says:

      Well, I’m not Russian, but I’d say it’s the former. I’ve never heard of a Russian name pronounced like the latter.

  24. Unrein says:

    The “move + shoot” turn system sounds fine to me. A similar system is in many pen and paper RPGs.

    • Tuco says:

      Yeah, in too many of them, actually.
      And Time Units were exactly part of what made X-COM so special, so superior to those.
      Actually, they made special Jagged Alliance 2, too.

      So, in the end, this new system sucks.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      As long as you can also Shoot then Move, or maybe Move then Shoot then Move.

      If we learned anything from the original X-Com it’s that you don’t want to be standing out on the open if your target survives your attack.

      I also hope you can simply sprint, and not shoot at all. Or Shoot twice, and not move at all. Or kneel then shoot, or kneel then move…

  25. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    Wait, you have to research how to take more people into combat? Yeah, I can totally see dozens of scientists locked in a room for weeks trying to figure out how to put more people into submarines. “A warp drive!”. “Tachyon accelerators!” “Quantum space pockets!”.

    Then at the last day, the janitor goes in and says “How about more chairs?”


    • c-Row says:

      You owe me a cup of tea.

    • vecordae says:

      It makes quite a bit of sense, really. Those troopers are launched into battle via a giant slingshot. You need to research stronger materials, like hyper-rubber to get it to launch more guys. Or you need to research a weight loss program so your troops are a bit lighter. I’m pretty sure that’s how X-Com works.

  26. King Toko says:

    I saw these pictures the other day. The games looking more faithful to the original than expected but it still might end up rubbish.

    You can see artwork of XCOM: Enemy Unknown here: link to wp.me and people should try out the the Pocket UFO version of UFO: Enemy Unknown here: link to xcomufo.com its at the top.

    Its pretty good for free.

  27. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    I need more information before I get excited about this…

  28. King Toko says:

    If the game fails we can still play the original or Xenonauts which is looking quite good.

  29. Deadly Habit says:

    For those who haven’t played the originals, the X-Com complete pack has been on sale at gamersgate for like 3.75 for awhile now

  30. Dariune says:

    I am fearful that the more i hear, the less i will like this.

    I want to like it, i really do. X-Com was one of my fave games and UFO Afterlight was the closest to a decent sequel.

    However, with no ammo, potentially dumbed down research (Too little info to tell at the moment, Removal of action points and fewer squad members im afraid that this game will be turned into “X-Com for the mind bogglingly stupid”.

    However, there really isnt enough info to justify that fear yet. Its just a hunch i get gained from experience with AAA devs deciding to remake games.

    Eve if this is too dumbed down for my testes (Note: i was aware of this spelling mistake but found it too funny to remove it) though, I will still have the original games and i will still have Xenonauts :)

    • Robin says:

      Yeah… They came out strong with the “it’s a full on strategy game!” declaration and the video in which the lead designer stated UFO:EU was the best game ever, and then we got this not negligible list of removed things, reduced things, and dubious things.

      I’m indeed still interested because I can’t say I know enough say otherwise, but the shape it is taking isn’t -on paper- exactly as exciting as I would have desired.

  31. Sirnizz says:

    I was wondering, if I start playing one of the old X-com game, by wich one should I start ?

    I am really into that kind of game so it sadden me me that I haven’t played a single one :(

    I didn’t know the serie very well until, I start to read about it recently, so if you could give me some advice on wich to pick up first.

    Thanks a lot.

    • olemars says:

      Start with the first one. You can also stop with the first one, the others are completely optional. Skip Terror From the Deep in any case. Apocalypse is quite fun. Fixes many of the shortcomings of the first game, adds a few of its own.

    • Highstorm says:

      Yes, the first is definitely the best in my opinion. As well I would suggest using the Enemy Unknown Extended community mod. It’s a compilation of performance and UI tweaks as well as some general (and all tweak-able) balance changes.

      You can find it here: link to ufopaedia.org

    • Prime says:

      Okay then. Because you all are so excited about this, and because I’ve never played any of them, I’m going to have a go too. Got them on Steam a while back.

      I’ll try that Mod thing, too. I like a bit of modern updatery, me. Thanks, chaps.

  32. olemars says:

    Will we still be able to stuff incapacitated squadmates or aliens down our backpack? This was a core mechanic.

    Actually it was kind of useful at times, if you needed to cut losses and haul ass back to the dropship and there just happened to be a stunned sectoid leader on the ground.

  33. Milky1985 says:

    Why do they have to show the pad commands all the time, the first thing the PC crowd are going to say is “console port” when they see that , “Y to scan”, RB above the second alien i guess meaning change target.

    Seriously a hint to all marketing departments, hide those sodding buttons for now.

    (Not ot say that i think it will be a console port as such, but they can help themselves marketing ise by just hiding the button prompts!)

    • InternetBatman says:

      To be fair, those images were released on a magazine for console gamers.

    • NathanH says:

      It does make a certain amount of sense to release most of your screenshots on the platform where you know everyone has the same hardware, I guess.

  34. Triangulon says:

    I would say that this adds a cautious +30% to my level of yay.

  35. Wooly Wugga Wugga says:

    I’m starting to look forward to this now. It looks relatively faithful to the original. I’m also happy with the idea of starting off with four agents to ease you into more complex squad management.

    Two thumbs up.

  36. Beelzebud says:

    OMG that looks like an X-Com game!!!! Screw that shooter, give me this!

    • Khemm says:

      Every bit of info they release make it look less and less like X-Com and more like “X-Com for dummies”.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      If that were the case I’d expect more support for it in the comments threads.

  37. Ultra-Humanite says:

    If I ever try to glean gameplay information from a handful of screenshots, I hope someone has the good sense to murder me.

  38. FuzzieBoy says:

    I so hope they keep in soldiers panicking and going berserk, without that, I probably wont play it that much :/

  39. Tuco says:

    @Hoaxfish: Well, that’s the thing. You can’t.
    Unless you unlock specific perks enabling “advanced abilities” that used to be just part of the oridinari TUs management in the old game.

    I’m finding this change extremely annoying, I won’t deny it.
    Sure, they are most likely going to create a very nice game anyway, but they are ditching what was a very defining trait of the original and turning this game in a generic turn based tactical, using a watered down system too many titles already share.

    EDIT: and I missed the reply button somehow. D:

  40. aircool says:

    Yup – I’ve already got half an e-teacake just thinking about this game :))

  41. Alexandros says:

    Well it looks good so far, but I’d like to see some PC screenshots with the adapted interface.

  42. Jim9137 says:

    Too dark.

  43. argonaut says:

    Looking forward to seeing the final product.

    I was always left disappointed by attempts at reproducing the original. Things like UFO:Alien Invasion and UFO: Extraterrestrials always just left me wanting to play Enemy Unknown. I’m glad they’re going to try to take this in a different direction rather than just reproducing what we’ve already played a hundred times with a new coat of paint. There’s a lot of potential with the concept. Enemy Unknown doesn’t need to be improved, but it does warrant exploring the concept further and that’s what they’re doing.

    We’ve got to understand that this is going to be a radically different game than the one we’ve already played.

    • Prime says:

      There’s still room to hope for a remake in the fashion of Pioneer’s re-imagining of Elite 2: Frontier; enough of the spirit and bones left in to make it truly feel like home to older players while adapting and changing what didn’t work to make way for what does. This will be an interesting one to watch.

  44. Dys Does Dakka says:

    I remain skeptical.

  45. wererogue says:

    I’m thinking that restricting your numbers at the start of the game is probably a narrative/flavour choice, probably aimed at (a) increasing tension by preventing you from covering every direction and (b) speeding up the early gameplay by reducing the number of orders you have to give per turn. I think there are arguments for and against those lines of thinking, but I can’t see that the game will be significantly worse for having less soldiers at the start.

    On “move and act” – I’m actually pretty happy about that. Don’t get me wrong, I loved time units, but they *really* slowed the game down as you planned how to spend every TU for every soldier – and if you miscalculated, you were sunk, since there were no tools to test whether you had enough for what you wanted to do (reserving TUs just meant that you might not be able to get to cover, instead of being in cover but unable to shoot). Something had to give there – either let you test out what will happen, Frozen Synapse-style, or make it more obvious what can/can’t be done with a unit. Of those, the decision they made feels more UFO-y to me. Of course, you can still have different abilities for the units – i.e. some can move further with the same amount of gear.

    On reflection, it’s a bit D&D, isn’t it? Just without having to check what’s a free action, or a move-equivalent action.

    It would be quite nice if you could get extra actions for standing still, and if you can trade your action for moving more – it’d end up a bit like TUs but way more intuitive. Anyway, all told I’m not gonna write this off for either of those reasons just yet.

  46. MythArcana says:

    “The magazine posting these shots is primarily aimed at console gamers, after all.”

    That’s enough to send chills down my spine. The source of these shots would inspire me to think that the corporate hardware world is not far enough away from this project. On the flip side of the coin, it will probably end up in the st3@/\/\ annals of worthless, watered-down strategy games fit for a tard.

    If you haven’t already, pick up Jagged Alliance 2 and install the user-made v1.13 patch. Or go check out the Silent Storm series if you need 3D. I think it will be many more years before anyone gets X-Com on track; even Firaxis.

  47. Tomhai says:

    Ouw, maaan… squad TBS for me IS manageing action points. Take this out and you have… what… D&D the boardgame? Not a bad thing in itself but not the TBS PC game that I have been waiting for since SS. And no ammo? Ouw, you are breaking my balls!
    Call me a hater but it sounds like dumbing down a game.
    >crosses fingers for Xenonauts

  48. Nameless1 says:

    Still consolish 100%, still with really bad graphic especially for the atmosphere, still dumbed down.
    It is going to suck, I don’t know how someone might think otherwise.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Where’s that link to the Dark Souls petition again?

      Second turning on the Irony Highway?


    • Prime says:

      @Funky – Oh, was Dark Souls a fabulous 90’s PC game, too? Point is: we can tell the difference between a game that originated on console that happens to be fun (Dark Souls) and a game that originated on PC that might be getting the fun squished out of it through the console-led design process (X-com).

      There’s no irony highway here.

      @Nameless one. Lighten up! :) Certain people thought Skyrim was going to be Oblivion all over again but were pleasantly surprised to find many lessons had been learned, and that Skyrim was awesome. Have some faith.

  49. Lemming says:

    “‘Hold Y to scan for UFOs’ is an odd one though – does this suggest you have to manually find them rather than are alerted by radar when one’s appeared?”

    Worryingly, it looks like an xbox pad prompt…

  50. mwoody says:

    My heart’s secret desire: that if you buy both XCom spinoffs, in the metagame of the TBS you can get special missions that you can play in the FPS.