Ooooh: X-COM Creator Julian Gollop Announces New ‘Turn-Based Tactical Combat Game’

Yer actual breaking news (by which I mean I currently have few details but wanted to inform you as soon as possible because I am very excited). Julian Gollop, legendary co-creator of the X-COM series, plus Laser Squad, Chaos and most recently Chaos Reborn, just revealed the next game from his Snapshot Studios. We only have a name, Phoenix Point, and the following description:

“Turn based tactical combat – world based strategy.”

Please tell me that means what I think it means. Is Mister X-COM doing a new, if unofficial, X-COM? Have approximately 37 Christmases all come at once?

There’s a website, a logo, a so-far empty Twitter account and the option to sign up to a mailing list, but not a lot else as yet. Expect more very soon, and I’ll do some digging too.

You know I love XCOM to bits, but I pretty much worship X-COM. The idea of its creator taking another swing at those concepts, that delectable and impressively freefrom blend of turn-based strategy, base management and roleplaying, is wonderful.

If that is indeed what he’s making. I’m guessing. I shouldn’t presume that he even wants to revisit that particular old stomping ground. But we know that he’s got incomparable turn-based strategy form, so whatever this is, I’m into it.

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  1. FreeTom says:

    Already I know I’ll enjoy it. I just have a weak spot for turn-based tactics games if they’re even vaguely competent.

    Same thing with music in 6/8…

  2. cakeisalie says:

    I’m not a massive fan of the new XCOM games, they look pretty and have a few nice touches, but they totally lack depth, especially at the strategy level. I still think the originals are better games so I’d love to see Gollop do something new.

  3. megazver says:

    I’d like an urban fantasy XCOM.


    “After the first X-COM I was so worn out by the development that I wanted to do something in a new direction. I proposed an X-COM style game based on a kind of Lovecraftian Chthulu mythos set in the 1930s with cults, portals into a parallel world and Nazis. “

    • aircool says:

      Count me in…

    • slerbal says:

      Holy shit that sounds great. But whatever he makes I’m interested so I’ve signed up for the mailing list.

    • LexW1 says:

      I would buy urban fantasy or lovecraftian X-COM from Gollop so fast…

    • Synesthesia says:

      XCOM: The Laundry is everything i ever wanted.

      • Premium User Badge

        SpiceTheCat says:

        So, I move my combat philosopher there, she can take out the Feeder, we’ll keep the PHANG in the shadow there to keep back the Residual Human Resources and my specialist with the OFFCUT package on his iPhone can shut down the summing grid…oh shit, unicorns! Need the Plumbers for this one…

    • Scruffylooking21 says:

      Would that be X-COM:Führer From The Deep?

    • mattevansc3 says:

      I’ve played this on iOS and it’s campaign scenario based as opposed to an over world but I really enjoyed it.

      link to

      • mattevansc3 says:

        Game is called Call of Cthullu The Wasted Land. It’s based during World War one and has armoured zombie nazis and some of your favourite Lovecraftian horrors. It pretty much nails the atmosphere too.

    • TheTingler says:

      Yes yes YES. Kickstarter so bad.

  4. TΛPETRVE says:

    Personally, I’m hoping for something more in the vein of Laser Squad Nemesis, with the global strategy elements of X-COM.

  5. Alien says:

    We only have a name, Phoenix Point, and the following description:

    “Turn based tactical combat – world based strategy.”

    AND we have a picture of a large insect/human hybrid… hmmm…

  6. Replikant says:

    Turn-based tactical combat – world based strategy. This. Sounds. Great.

    And I wouldn’t mind if some of the better ideas of XCOM make it into Phoenix Point. First and foremost: Sensible use of cover, i.e. “leaning out of” or “peeking over” . Old-time TBS games are really annoying in this respect. In order to shoot around an obstacle immediately in front of him, a soldier has to take a sidestep, most likely triggering overwatch fire and dying. Even more, stepping out of cover often involves the squence:
    1) Stand-up
    2) Turn around
    3) Step forward
    4) Turn toward enemy
    5) GetHit
    6) Loose too many ActionPoints, preventing the intended shot
    7) Ragequit

    • megazver says:

      Remember when nerds were raging that XCOM has cover, because “they’re dumbing it down for the Gears of War fans”?

      Good times.

      • HopeHubris says:

        Which is weird, because the original XCOM had cover as well

    • Slazer says:

      JA2 had an interesting mechanic as you could shoot around corners for the next 2-3 meters, but the view angle would move away from the wall beyond that.

      Also, cover felt amazingly real as you could see where every single bullet goes

      • Replikant says:

        Sort of. In the outdoor maps taking cover behind trees sometimes meant not being able to see around the tree. At least in the vanilla version cover was really difficult to estimate.

  7. RedViv says:

    That concept art over zerg looks really tyrabbly neat.

  8. GWOP says:

    I never got a chance to try out Chaos Reborn, but I was watching Matt Lees playing and I gotta say – loved the artstyle. Especially the unicorn with a Buster Sword for a head and a Manticore that wouldn’t be out of place in Dragon’s Dogma.

    Game looked good too.

    • GWOP says:

      *Gameplay looked good too.

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      cpt_freakout says:

      The game is fantastic. I’m just some rando on the internet recommending it to you, but if you like the risks and bluffing possibilities of an RNG-based system, it’s the game for you. When I first played through the tutorial I was not impressed, but when all the parts clicked (my first ‘real’ game), it blew me away. It’s one of my favorite TBS games now, up there with X-COM, XCOM, JA2, etc.

      • Premium User Badge

        cpt_freakout says:

        Edit: it’s best played with other people, though, which might be a con for some. It truly shines when there’s someone behind a risky move, or a bluff you never thought he/she would pull off.

        • GWOP says:

          Thanks for the recommendation.

          • klops says:

            You can play Chaos Reborn for free. The online mode (most likely excluding leagues) costs nothing.

          • klops says:

            And like cpt_freakout said, playing it multiplayer is the way to go. I actually think that the whole single player direction harmed the game since people are wasting their time playing cheapo player made campaigns and bluffing AI. Despite that, single player mode is well done and can have Dark Souls like player visits, so sometimes your enemies (and allies) may be human players.

  9. Babymech says:

    I would be much more interested in hearing a similar announcement from Mr Jagged Alliance. Is there a Mr Jagged Alliance? A Ms Jagged Alliance? Jr Jagged Alliance Chomp Mania?

    • RedViv says:

      The former two, when it comes down to it. Both Ian and Linda Currie who if I recall correctly were at Turbine in creative and design director roles, respectively. Probably still there.

    • Spacewalk says:

      Mick Jagged (Alliance).

  10. wraithgr says:

    Doesn’t have to do much to get my gamebucks: make enemies exist in the stage all the time instead of as blips, track misses so they land *somewhere* instead of vanishing and allow multiple squads to operate at the same time.

  11. Artist says:

    I think Gollop is rather a historical developer than an actual one. He seems to desperatly trying to keep his head above the water by recycling himself without any significant innovation in his later projects. More like a dinosaur whos still alive. Rather sad to watch.

    • Premium User Badge

      zapatapon says:

      In a certain sense, Gollop has only been recycling himself since 30 years. For instance Laser Squad Nemesis, the Gollopian X-COMs, Laser Squad, and Rebelstar Raiders (1984) all share the same fundamental DNA. There is a similar thread of “Chaos” games. Some geniuses progress by iterating and refining the same idea, and personally I think every new iteration has brought something interesting.

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      caff says:

      Chaos was brilliant. And so was Chaos Reborn.

      I have big hopes for this.

      I just want an XCOM-like but with proper action points.

    • DrZhark says:

      I worship X-com. XCOM on the other hand… meh
      I spent so many hours playing all of the X-Com games, there was something hypnotic about the music. I would play ‘just one more turn’ and realize it was already morning and I had to go to class without a minute of sleep. I played so much, at some point I even started wondering if I had enough time units to perform actions in the real world, which really was freaky. (I have never disclosed this until now).
      Mr. Gollop wants to revisit turn based tactical combat with world based strategy? shut up and take my money!

    • ABen says:

      Yeah, this is kind of how I feel. I have the utmost respect for Mr. Gollop, but I hope he takes in some lessons on modern game design concepts and UI improvements.

      X-Com was a marvel when it came out, and I played hundreds of hours of it, but there have been huge advances in game design and UI since then, not to mention any of the improvements that could be made in storytelling and characterization.

    • klops says:

      Have you tried Chaos Reborn? Didn’t make me sad, it is a brilliant game.

    • popej says:

      I wouldn’t say I’m too worried about the guys ability to move with the times. However, XCOM has moved on a lot and Long War is a thing now.

      I can’t see that he’s going to release a title with that kind of depth. I think there’s a risk this could be a bit too ‘pick up and play’ for my tastes. There’s obviously a place for this but these days I want something involved now I’ve played Long War to death.

      Having said I’ll be a father in about 10 weeks and Dark Souls 3 is round the corner so maybe a shorter game would be better. :p

    • Caiman says:

      And how is that different from just about any other designer? People tend to specialize in what they’re good at, and Gollop is good at tactical systems. Very, very good at them. Chaos Reborn showed without doubt that he has cutting-edge design chops. In fact I can’t think of a Gollop-designed game that I didn’t like.

  12. Bfox says:

    “Abomination – the Nemesis project 2”

  13. Themadcow says:

    Despite not loving Chaos Reborn as much as original Chaos (simple is sometimes better) I’ll be buying this day 1 as ever. When one guy has given you well over 500 days of gaming enjoyment in your life it’s a no brainer.

  14. Stagolee says:

    I only played the original Chaos years later but “Lords of Chaos” was one of my favourite games back in the day. It was a sequel to Chaos and had singleplayer missions as well as some other improvements.

  15. klops says:


    By the way, where is a WIT about Chaos Reborn? Seems weird RPS has not reviewed the game.

  16. Premium User Badge

    JiminyJickers says:


    Very excited about this news, haha. I would definitely like a different setting from the previous x-com and x-com-likes. But I’ll get it regardless.

  17. Skodric says:

    “Turn based tactical combat – world based strategy.”

    Hmm, that could fit the game that Apocalypse was supposed to be. That would be teh shiznit.

    A guy can dream can’t he?

  18. ansionnach says:

    It’s interesting that the original UFO: Enemy Unknown was going to be a straightforward Laser Squad sequel featuring only tactical combat. At the behest of Microprose, more grand strategy was added so it could sit comfortably beside Civ.

  19. IonTichy says:

    I used to be too one of those people who would get their panties wet whenever a well recognized name would announce a new project. But now I tend to preach the stance of not giving anyone the benefit of no doubt.
    That being said: while I do hold a lot of respect towards Mr Gollop for his exellent games, I will wait for the result of this newly announced project. Until then it will remain just that, an announcement of some project.

  20. Arklay says:

    As a newly registred user here (long time lurker though) I just want to say that Mr Gollop can turn a Ghost Recon 3DS title in one of the best games of that system and I am truly shocked (not really) that hasn’t been mentioned here yet.

    I’m looking forward to hear more about this title. Also, I haven’t played X-Com, ever :( Only XCOM. I’m sorry. Is it still worth playing so many years later or will the UI and gameplay feel dated?

    • Premium User Badge

      Yossi says:

      Yes and yes (the UI will fill dated, but it is definitely worth playing).
      That being said, the best way to play it these days is OpenXcom: link to

      • Arklay says:

        I now have XCOM wishlisted and will check it out as soon as I can.
        Going back to a series roots is hard after playing their newest game (I’m looking at you Elder Scrolls), but I often crave for a TBS game and I did really like the X-Com reboot.

        Ah well, I got Valkyria Chronicles for now at least :)

  21. fdel says:

    I hope this group nows what they do… Because those new Xcom ..1 and 2 are pretty Shitty. I really regret to have bought the Xcom2…waste of time.
    At least Xcom 1 they had the excuse of learning, checking the market…but the 2 ?
    Rushed piece of emo crap, there s miles for them to get with a combat that is acceptable, and a set that is executed in a interesting way.
    In the old times there was tech constraint that have been long removed.
    It should nt be hard to gather 1 or 2 designers and do a good game of such a simple setting, that would be interesting and stand on its feet.
    Xcom from Fireaxis ? Only on bargain bin, AKA sales.
    Now lets see who is shitty, fireaxis or all the envolved.

  22. nanotechnics says: