Firaxis’ XCOM’s Apocalypse

Which reminds me, I really need to find a way to attend one of the RPS socials

I’m only just curling myself out of the tiny ball of rage I’d become due to missing out on getting to play Firaxis’ X-COM reboot the other week. Instead, we sent Adam. Adam! He’s famous for saying stuff like “aliens are for losers” and “turn-based combat is a dusty relic of a bygone age” and “I wouldn’t be caught dead in a Skyranger”, then he starts body-popping and singing Flo Rida songs.

I take some small measure of comfort from the following end of the world-themed and rather splendid E3 trailer for XCOM: Enemy Unknown, which you may yourself watch below. It’s impressively dramatic and explosive, in a way that I can only presume will be somewhat at odds with the slower-paced, turn-based combat of the real thing, but more excitingly it shows a Cyberdisc transforming, some sort of new alien that might be made of crystallised light, a Chrysalid in action, hints at some sort of psychic powers for soldiers and a glimpse of a very pissed-off Muton trapped in an alien containment tank. I likey.

I also like that the Council of Nations spokesman sounds a bit like Optimus Prime. Man, an X-COM game starring human resistance vs Decepticon invaders, eventually bringing in the Autobots to help, would be the end of me. Because I would explode in pure joy.


  1. Tom De Roeck says:

    +1 for that deceptikon invasion game

    will watch the trailer as soon as Ive turned Perpetuums sounds off.

  2. Vexing Vision says:

    Yes yes yes yes.

    Doubts vanished around a month ago.

    • ShootyFace says:

      I have to agree, my most anticipated title at the moment.

  3. Drayk says:

    It’s been a while since i saw the RPS crew so excited about a game. I am a huge fan of the UFO games, even if I don’t think i ever beat one.

    Now is the time to set things right. To save the Earth !

  4. kikito says:

    But will it be turn based or not? The video looks all realtimey.

    • Tom De Roeck says:

      You havent been reading the features, right?

      Turnbased, made to look like realtime with covering fire and etc. You can shut off most of the unnecessary graphic trimmings.

    • Thirdstar says:

      RPS’s previous X-Com coverage is worth reading in that regard.

    • zaphod42 says:

      Didn’t you hear? Its an RTS now. Its all about resource management.

      Comeon dude, go read one of the 10 articles or interviews about this game that have been posted on RPS recently. They go in detail about how it is turn based and almost exactly like the old xcom game, except with killcams and fewer soldiers, no time units, etc.

    • kikito says:

      Relax guys. I try to keep up, but I can’t always read everything. Saying “yes, it will be turn-based but with some real time look” would have sufficed.

      • PopeJamal says:

        Stop being difficult and expecting a gaming information website to give you information about games!!

      • Greggh says:

        He didn’t read one of thousands of RPS’ interviews about XCOM???


    • Danny252 says:

      Surely it’s a case of “The video looks all CGI-ey and contains precisely zero in-game footage”? I would’ve thought that was quite clear!

  5. MOKKA says:

    Having spend quite some time with Xenonauts and actually spending quite some time with thinking about the game during the past weeks, I have to say I don’t like the kind of atmosphere this trailer creates. Xenonauts just seems so serious about this stuff that I really feel appalled by all this ‘epic invasion’ mumbo-jumbo.

    • Thirdstar says:

      That’s actually why I’m looking forward to this one instead of Xenonauts. Xenonauts feels too stoic and grey for me, very unlike the original with it’s blonde spiky hair and colorful palette. I don’t like using the word dull, since that’s not reflected in Xenonauts gameplay but that’s the impression I get from the general tone and aesthetics.

      • MOKKA says:

        I’ve never played the original XCOM so my only experience so far with this kind of gametype is Xenoauts. For me it’s just that I think this is how an actual Alien Invasion should feel. This isn’t some kind of standard war, humanity is facing exctinction and it’s your job to prevent that, even though the odds are highly against you.

        But different tastes for different people (or however you say that) and I’m certainly not condemning anyone for liking this game more.

        • Thirdstar says:

          Two people with differing viewpoints who find merit in each others tastes? Surely this isn’t possible on the internet. Alert the authorities! We’re bound to be in violation of some internet law.

          • Koozer says:

            *reads comments below* it seems cosmic order has been restored.

        • subedii says:

          This isn’t some kind of standard war, humanity is facing exctinction and it’s your job to prevent that, even though the odds are highly against you.

          That’s pretty much always been the focus of the new XCom, like the first one. They’ve talked about this a lot in all the interviews on RPS.

          You’re taking an action packed trailer designed to showcase the battlecam, but not the rest of the information we have. And you’re comparing it with a game beta that you’ve actually played and thought about for weeks. And then saying how “appalled” you are.


          • Thirdstar says:

            It’s also an E3 trailer. I hear the PR people have conniptions if those don’t have at least one explosion every 20 seconds.

          • MOKKA says:

            And if you would’ve read my comment, you would’ve noticed that I said: “I don’t like the atmosphere of the trailer.” I haven’t said anything about the game. I also said that I have no Idea of how the XCOM Games are dealing with this scenario and didn’t made any judgements about that, I just tried to express my feelings towards this trailer and this trailer is dooing a rather poor job, as it was also mentioned by Mr. Meer.

            So I don’t see any kind of problem with either my statement or anything else. If someone disagrees with me here, please by all means tell me.

          • subedii says:

            Hey, you’re free to hold whatever opinion you want. But then comparing with your whole experience of Xenonauts with an action trailer is pretty scant reason to get upset.

          • mckertis says:

            “That’s pretty much always been the focus of the new XCom, like the first one.”

            Bollocks. There was no “epic invasion” in the first one. There wasnt even an open war. If anything – it was a secret war, covert operations, kidnapping, and terrorism.

          • subedii says:

            It’d be kind of hard to miss ‘terror’ missions that wipe out whole towns and cities, with entire countries sometimes getting left to fend for themselves and then cutting off funding.

            I suspect the “secret war” aspect of the mission is pretty much out the window at that point. Especially when you start mass-manufacturing laser weapons and selling them to 3rd world despots.

          • Thirdstar says:

            I have to agree with mckertis on that. The ‘war’ in the first game didn’t start until well into the late game where the abductions started dropping off and more terror attacks start springing up everywhere.

            Edit: I think another issue might be the depiction of scale. I was never entirely clear if the terror missions were meant to be on maps that size or if it was an abstract representation of a much larger battle.

          • subedii says:

            I don’t believe anyone’s saying that the game starts off as a full-scale interplanetary war. But yes, the emphasis in both is that humanity is at the risk of extinction, it’s XCOM’s job to prevent that, and that the odds are very much against you. That’s something I actually do agree with MOKKA on.

            I don’t see why that’s contentious.

          • MOKKA says:

            I was never aware that you’re able to detect other people’s emotion by simply looking at the crap they write on the internet. Maybe ‘appaling’ was too strong of the word here (this happens when you’re no native speaker, you start to use wrong words), but I can assure you that I wasn’t ‘upset’ about this trailer. I’m too much of a cynic to get upset about anything, especially Video Games. Let us just conlcude that this trailer probably somehow misses the point and this is quite sad.

          • coldvvvave says:

            Guys, in our age of Internet, imageboards and cellphone cameras massively invading more civilised parts of Earth stealthily is pretty much impossible. So it makes more sense to orchestrate an “epic” invasion than to fail a covert one.

          • hallucination says:

            Did they say if when you sell weapons can you sell to a specific country? And if that country can use those weapons to defend itself or help you defend it? I didn’t really like the feeling that anything I sold was just sucked into the void

      • Balm says:

        Is it known if Guile’s haircut is avaliable in this new x-com game (from start, or as pre-order bonus)?

  6. Ross Mills says:

    At what point in the video is the Chrysalid? Shit I HATE those guys (in a good way).

    This video makes me moist.

    • max_1111 says:

      It was that four-legged thing at about 0:22 in the video.

    • Kresh says:

      Those guys made mind control seem ok. I think everybody who played XCOM had a squad or two get wiped out by a lone chrysalid and it’s spawn.

      *sniff* That was my first ragequit.

  7. Dlarit says:

    A trailer with no Dubstep?

  8. TechnicalBen says:

    The gameplay looks good. The trailer does not give much info on it. It’s fine for setting the scene, but I wonder what viewers will think as it does not tell them what kind of game it is.

  9. Jimbo says:

    Aliens are such jerks.

  10. max_1111 says:

    As interested as i am about this game i kinda wish the graphics were tuned up a bit…
    Not that they’re particularly bad, but they definitely have that bland console-y look to them….

    • Fuzzball says:

      I sort of agree, but aside from the actual number of raw graphics, the art-style is very smexy. I love the ant-farm style HQ.

  11. Thirdstar says:

    Yes Mr. Prime Sir! Hooahh! Pretty sure that’s not Peter Cullen but it’s close enough to be recognizable as such.

    It looked like the trailer for a Hollywood blockbuster but they managed to insert enough gameplay and other bits in there to make me really excited. The side base view looks real spiff. Hopefully the Cyberdiscs are a bit more of the threat this time around.

  12. Aedrill says:

    Am I the only one on RPS who doesn’t like the look of this game? I feel alienated.

    • Unaco says:

      Sacrilege! You should be XCOM-unicated for that.

    • Aedrill says:

      And the sound is so crap I’ll have to play with Muton.

    • Hendar23 says:

      Me too! I’m glad it’s not turning into a disgraceful train wreck like most remakes, but I’m still going with Xenonauts. I can’t speak for gameplay as I’ve only been able to try a demo of one of the games, but I really love the tone and atmosphere of Xenonauts. XCOM looks to shiney and consoley to me….and I could go on but whats the point?

      • Aedrill says:

        I’m sorry for misleading you but I’m actually excited for this game. It was all just for the sake of pun. Sorry, I feel like a bad person now. I just felt like it was my turn to start this thread.

        • RadioactiveMan says:

          Maybe that will teach you, Aedrill: You reaper what you sow.

    • lunarplasma says:

      That’s too bad. Here, have a drink. How about a snake, man?

  13. Tiguh says:

    Are the graphics (textures specifically) all shonky because of the resolution of the vid or is it just a bit console-y? Not a massive problem really, and the design’s very nice, but very noticable (to me at least).

  14. pkt-zer0 says:

    Will the original X-COM intro music make a return? I really loved that.

  15. Drake Sigar says:

    “I also like that the Council of Nations spokesman sounds a bit like Optimus Prime.”

    Ditto. Agent 47 with Optimus Prime’s voice? What’s not to love! As for the trailer – SPOOGE!

  16. Lemming says:

    Great trailer, loved the tense music.

    I really, really want an XCOM-a-like game with the Stargate SG-1 Universe. Is that wrong?

  17. Post-Internet Syndrome says:

    They totally ripped off the inception music there.

  18. mckertis says:

    “From the makers of Civilization”….yeah, right..

    Also, is anyone bothered a bit, that the release is just a few months away, and there is not a single shred of evidence that it will have any kind of PC-compatible interface ?

    • iucounu says:

      People need to stop worrying about the interface, because UFO’s interface is not so complex and fine-grained that it *required* mouse+kb. There have been good console TBSs (Valkyria Chronicles springs to mind) that do everything that UFO did but with a gamepad. Think about it – you need to be able to move the map, select units, change stances, and select a place to walk and a Grey to shoot. It’s not rocket science, and neither are the actual rocket science interfaces.

      Even if they build the game around a gamepad, it’s not going to result in a crap mouse+kb experience. In fact I’ll wager the latter will be a lot better than the former.

      • Thirdstar says:

        Was going to mention Valkyria but glad someone else did. From the interviews featured on RPS I get the feeling that the developers understand their PC audience and that the Mouse+KB is going to be fine.

        • Aedrill says:

          Valkyria is one the very few games that keep me wanting PS3. Is it really good? Is it good enough to justify buying console toy and most probably not using it for anything else? Please RPS, help!

          • Ciecieji says:

            Valkiraya chronicles is a very good game. I’ve never played a game (besides the PSP sequel) that plays quite like it and I very much enjoyed the gameplay. That being said it is not a completely flawless game (although, I think, far and away the best thing I have played on PS3).
            I would have it hard to find it justifiable to purchase an entire console for a single game. However, that can depends on your personal economic situation as much as it does on the game’s objective quality. Unfortunately, I can only think of a couple of other games exclusive to the PS3 that are worth the time to play (latter part of the disgaea series, dark souls, latter part of the shin megami tensei/persona series).
            If those games are appealing to you or you don’t have an Xbox 360, in which case there are a handful of other console exclusive games that are worth playing, it might be a more worthwhile investment. Otherwise, I would say that while Valkirya Chronicles is a great game, you could take that money and buy a lot of other great games for a system you already own.

        • RegisteredUser says:

          I hate that that game wasn’t PS2 so that I can now play it with PCSX :/

          I also hate that it keeps getting mentioned, because I have the deep suspicion that, while it might to everyone who loves it be the be all, end all, I might find it far more of a letdown than what it was made out to be through all the years of commenting I read on it.

    • 0over0 says:

      The game is for the PC (and some of those fun boxes), how could it not have a “PC-compatible” interface?
      You don’t think they designed the game using a controller, do you? That would be funny to see, though.

      • Torgen says:

        Go back through the video interviews and notice that gamepads hooked up to the PCs. Also, Borderlands was not “programmed using a gamepad” but look at that UI.

    • Hug_dealer says:

      how many times do the devs have to tell us they have a PC interface being worked on. They have 0 reason to make 2 different playable builds for previews.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Yeah, remember how Civ V was ruined by requiring a gamepad to be playable, guys?


  19. Andy_Panthro says:

    This is what they really meant to show at E3: link to

    • Bfox says:

      Had to be done;
      link to

      • Andy_Panthro says:

        You know, that kinda works!

      • lunarplasma says:

        That does work shockingly well. O_o

      • Joshua Northey says:

        You sir are a gentleman and a scholar!

        Seriously that is way better than the original, they should hire you to do the marketing to the hardcore gaming sites (sadly I suspect it doesn’t need any).

      • kud13 says:

        It worked incredibly well at the begining, but it kinda loses the trend with the whole base-building bits of the trailer.

        I do wish the music from original will be available in this….

  20. keithburgun says:

    Can hardly wait to see if this is marginally worse, or significantly worse than the original!

    • theleif says:

      Something tells me this game will be different enough as to be judged on it’s own terms.

  21. cronach says:

    The only thing missing in that trailer, was the theme song from the original X-Com intro :(

  22. aircool says:

    Looks fucking awesome… I like the way the soldiers nationalities are displayed on their uniform, nice touch.

  23. Utgaardsloke says:

    Excellent trailer, I have finally come around liking this new take on the classic I think. Rock on, Firaxis!

  24. dmoe says:

    I have a good reason to post this now
    link to

  25. Nallen says:

    TRON music! Orange and Blue!

  26. lunarplasma says:

    I feel slightly sad that commenters are referring to old X-COM as old XCOM (without the dash).

    I miss dashey. :(

    • kud13 says:

      well, since it’s Supposed to be “UFO: Enemy Unknown” anyhow, it’s not that big a deal.

  27. zach538 says:

    cant wait to catch aliens and watch them run around in their little cell things trying to break out.