The melodrama, combat and man-handling of XCOM has left a mark on many a game, but Shock Tactics [official site] looks to be covered in such marks. You’re managing your troops, building a base and fighting the bad ones (mostly human beings this time) on isometric maps plastered with cover. It was released yesterday, so here’s a video filled with, uh, familiar sights.
I don’t know exactly how to feel about all that. Lifting ideas and mechanics from the greats is a common industry practice. But it’s a brave game that aims to ape XCOM so closely. Stick too close to the formula and you’ve done nothing of note at all, but change even a little thing and you risk losing some of the magic. Ultimately, you’re setting yourself up for comparison with one of the best games of recent memory. From the visuals alone it already looks more clustered and less “clean”.