Posts Tagged ‘X-COM’

You Wouldn’t Steal A Skyranger: X-Piratez Is An Outstanding Total Conversion Of UFO/X-COM

In my intro to Silent Storm, I mentioned both modding scenes and UFO (used to distinguish the 1994 original X-COM from the 2012 Firaxis one, and not only out of increasingly sad Eurocentric obstinance) without tying the two together. That, it turns out, was stupid, because X-Piratez, a UFO mod in active development by Dioxine, is the best total conversion for any game I’ve ever played.

Based on OpenXcom Extended, a long-running open source clone of UFO, it takes the story and gameplay structure of the original, and a huge stock of resourcefulness, and turns them into something that’s simultaneously very similar and completely new. The result is a dangerously addictive compound of comfortable old UFO with constant surprise, discovery, and content.

Read the rest of this entry »

2K Finally Shows Up On GOG, X-COM Included

Very late to the party, yesterday 2K finally showed up on GOG.com with a selection of classic games. And what a selection. What on Earth were they waiting for? Anyway, at last you can now get DRM-free working-on-your-PC versions of Freedom Force and its sequel, all the classic X-COMs bundled together, three Railroad Tycoon games, and the awful Sid Meier’s Pirates remake. It also suggests the possibility that the GTA games could finally make their way to the store, although not yet.

Read the rest of this entry »

Someone Has Recreated A Playable XCOM In Excel

An XCOM fan on Reddit has created a rather robust version of XCOM that is played using the spreadsheet software Microsoft Excel. Dubbed EXLCOM, this reimagining of the science fiction turn-based strategy game is far from complete, but that doesn’t mean you can’t sink a few hours enjoying the fact that the program you use to budget your weekly spending allowance can be used to build a fully functional video game. I spoke to its creator about the hows and whys.

Read the rest of this entry »

Hooray-os: Chaos Reborn Kickstarter Succeeds

I wonder how Bob Ross would feel about those trees

We live in a world where X-Com creator Julian Gollop can put a project onto Kickstarter and have its confetti parade success or outright failure come right down to the wire. I’m not sure how to feel about that. In the end, though, Chaos Reborn’s crowdfunding drive succeeded and then some, which I suppose means the world and I are cool. For now.

Read the rest of this entry »

A Game And A Chat: X-Com Creator Julian Gollop

Once upon a time Julian Gollop was one of the principle minds behind the original X-Com. Yes, with a dash. A dollop of Gollop’s design wizardry spawned a legendary strategy series, and now – somewhat fittingly, I suppose – he’s making a game about actual wizards. Chaos Reborn is mere days away from casting off its mortal Kickstarter, so Gollop and I are going to play a few rounds of a recent prototype while discussing the ups and downs of running a Kickstarter, the power (and lack thereof) of legacy, what made people fall so madly in love with X-Com, and which of said secret ingredients Chaos Reborn does and doesn’t apply. Expect a heady brew of history and reflection with a powerful note of fuuuuuuture. We’re kicking off at 10 AM PT/6 PM BST.

Update: We’re done! And we ended up roping in a special guest: XCOM: Enemy Unknown lead designer Jake Solomon. What followed were some great Chaos Reborn matches followed by an excellent discussion between two of the brightest minds in the turn-based strategy business. Catch it all below.

Read the rest of this entry »

Intergalactic, Planetary: Xenonauts Now On Steam

Well, Steam Early Access, anyway. Seeing as X-Com has been abducted and replaced by the magnificent (but still quite different) XCOM: Enemy Unknown and snazzy 1960s hat dress-up simulator The Bureau: XCOM, Xenonauts is sort of the original’s closest living relative. So now’s your chance to return to the present’s past while clad in the graphics and interface from a past-inspired portion of the future. In other words, Xenonauts has potential to be one of the very best things. But you – and perhaps only you, but probably not – can push it past alpha and into top humanity exterminating form. Details after the break.

Read the rest of this entry »

UFOgle: An XCOM Enemy Unknown Gallery

You’ve read an awful lot about XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Firaxis’ remake of the original, the legendary X-COM, in our fact’n’theory-fat 13,000 word interview with project lead Jake Solomon here, but the only images we’ve been able to show you thus far are tiny 600 pixel jobbies you need to squint at to make much out. How cruel we were. But how lovely we now are: here are 16 high-res shots to scrutinise for signs of extra information, tribute and/or betrayal. Click on each – including the one above – for an embiggened version.
Read the rest of this entry »

Time For A Change: Firaxis On XCOM, Part 3

In the third and final (for now) part of my enormo-chat with Firaxis’ Jake Solomon, head brain on XCOM: Enemy Unknown, the official remake of the legendary X-COM, we get into the nitty-gritty. To whit: why throw out time units, how the replacement system works, modding support, difficulty, soldier classes, country funding, Julian Gollop, ‘ZCOM’ and why he feels this new game has to bear the X-COM name.

Read the rest of this entry »

Death & Chrysalids: Firaxis On XCOM, Part 2

I used to build my first base in Antarctica. That wasn't very clever of me.

In this next chunk of a mammoth chat with XCOM: Enemy Unknown‘s lead designer at Firaxis Jake Solomon, we talk Chrysalids, the death and critical wounding of your soldiers, the fanbase, why min-maxing X-COM’s not all it’s cracked up to be, the base, the geoscape and which of the original game’s aliens didn’t make the cut…
Read the rest of this entry »

XCOM Remake: Screens, Details, Worries

Maybe I should close the comments thread?

OK, here we go. Brace for impact. Barricade yourself in your home. An American magazine has just put the first screenshots of the XCOM remake ‘reimaginging’, some teasy details, plus the vital answers to to whether it’s linked to the XCOM shooter and if it’s been… altered for consoles.

Good news! Well, ish.
Read the rest of this entry »

The New XCOM: 24 Things We Want

Sectoid!

Firaxis making a new, true X-COM remake is the best gaming news of the year, and I fairly much expect to still be saying that on December 31 2012. Of course, it isn’t that simple. There are things this game needs to do, to get right, if it is to be both a successful homage and a successful modern strategy game in its own right. Here’s what I want from it.
Read the rest of this entry »

New X-COM Incoming, Old X-COM Cheapens!

ANGRY ALIEN SAYS DIE ALTERNATIVE EARTH DEFENSE FORCE

EDIT: added Gamersgate deal.

Steam’s daily deal sees the complete X-COM bundle reduced to £3.05, while the complete pack is £2.49 at Gamersgate. It’s as if they think the whole internet is talking about the series. You probably don’t want Enforcer and Interceptor but if you don’t have them, you almost definitely want the other three. They are £1.01 each on Steam. I still play the original on a regular basis and find it laughable that it’s available for a pound and a penny. HA!

Read the rest of this entry »

X-Communique: Julian Gollop Speaks

RPS chum Al Bickham managed to get revered X-COM co-creator Julian Gollop on the blower recently, and got the fine fellow to chat about the making of the best game in the world evereverever. While it doesn’t go into Gollop’s feelings about the upcoming FPS from 2K (previously expressed here), he does say of the long-canned X-COM Alliance that “I was shocked. It was an FPS. It didn’t bode well basically. ” But let’s not dwell on the negative; the fun stuff is his talk about the random chance and strange arrangements which led to the original three X-COMs and their precusor, Laser Squad. Read, read.

X-Communicated: The Xenonauts Interview

Amidst the web-wide frenzy resulting from the announcement of 2K Marin’s shooter-sequel to X-COM, those who were unwaveringly disappointed/infuriated that the series’ strategy roots had been abandoned had at least one source of turn-based solace. That was Goldhawk Interactive’s Xenonauts, one of more X-COM remake projects than any sane man could count – but this time determined to retain the original game’s key systems and concepts rather than slavishly recreate every feature, aesthetic and plot-point. Cold War-set and going for military grit rather than early 90s comicbook scifi, it promises to be familiar yet different.

However, a great many X-COM tributes have been, gone or simply stalled midway through development – indeed RPS gets advised of a new one at least every couple of months. So how/will this one be different? Best leave that one to the developer, really – read on for project lead Chris England’s thoughts on why do this, 2K’s FPS, bastard Chrysalids, and what’s going to be better than the original.
Read the rest of this entry »

X-COM Creator On XCOM

The Gollops, Yesterday.

I want to quickly post this, which Jim found. Where did he find it? I don’t know. He could have just been reading the XCOM thread at Gamasutra. Google suggests he may have found it at RPGCodex, but that doesn’t sound likely. Anyway, Julian Gollop was the legendary creator of Chaos, Laser Squad and – relevantly – the original X-COM. I’ve been wondering about what he makes of all this ever since it came out. Sadly, he’s not replying to any of our e-mails. However, he did turn up in the comment thread (twice!) to the aforementioned Gamasutra article and said the following…
Read the rest of this entry »

RPS Exclusive: XCOM – The First Interview

Around four months ago, I flew to San Francisco to see XCOM, 2K Marin/Australia’s remake of my favourite-ever videogame. Where once it was a turn-based strategy game, now it’s a first-person shooter. This upset one or two people. All that time, I’ve had to be quiet, despite my previews appearing in PC Gamer and Official Xbox Magazine UK – games publishers, I love you, but your print/online emargo split is just dark-ages idiocy.

Now, at frigging last, I can talk about it. There’s a preview over on Eurogamer as of right now, though I do advise picking up the PCG issue for more details still. Read at least one of previews first, then come back here, because I’m afraid I don’t have time today to re-describe the game in this post (but will definitely unfurl my thoughts about what I saw tomorrow). Back? Well, okay then. Below is a long interview from that showing in March, never before published, with three members of 2K Australia – Creative Director Jonathan Pelling, Art Director Andrew James, and Studio General Manager Anthony Lawrence. We talk about why it’s a shooter, why set it in the 50s, how it references the original, how it’s going to escalate and, yes, the possible fan reaction.
Read the rest of this entry »

Hidden Movement: XCOM Uncovered In PCG

Me! I saw XCOM! Me! And I still can’t bloody talk about it. But I can direct you to buy, beg, borrow, steal or consume the latest issue of PC Gamer UK, which contains a big-ass feature wot I wrote about 2K Australia/Marin’s controversial do-over of The World’s Greatest Videogame™. What I can say – I hope – is that the feature goes into why the game is a lot more interesting than the infuriatingly brief press release suggested. The issue’s lurking on the shelves of UK agents o’news now, or you can buy a copy direct from here. Free delivery, I’m told. Oh, and the feature also includes the largest picture you’ve ever seen of a Sectoid from the original X-COM. We’ll be spilling XCOM details on this very website in a few weeks: print/online embargo splits are absolutely ludicrous in this day and age, but there you go.

Xenonauts: The X-COM Anti-Apocalypse?

The enduring question around 2K Australia’s upcoming XCOM FPS has been “why not just come up with a new IP?” Well, that three posts about X-COM each clocked up triple-figures of comments on Wednesday is the answer to that. A secondary question is “why is everyone so upset that it’s using the X-COM IP?” The IP is not what’s important about X-COM. In terms of fiction, X-COM has only ever been about killing aliens. The important thing is having a game that plays as X-COM did, with its sublime multi-genre cleverness. While it’s unlikely a major publisher would tackle it, the door is not closed to someone else doing that. As has been mentioned by various people, someone like Stardock would be insane to not pick up this baton – there’s a vast and willing audience out there.

First out the gate, though, is indie title Xenonauts, which is militant in its desire to do X-COM properly. It also has a cute genesis – its lead designer Chris England (who is indeed from England) says he was inspired to create an X-COM remake after we wished for one on our podcast. Aw!
Read the rest of this entry »

Why X-COM Matters (To You)

Funny thing. Whenever I try to write about X-COM, as in X-COM the game, not X-COM the place in my heart, I stall. It’s too big. I need to do it at the right time (or perhaps for the right paycheque, I suspect). Where to start? Where to end? There have been superb summaries, makings-of and play diaries. It’s a well-documented game, for sure. Yet I’m not sure there’s been that simple one-two punch of why our collective knickers remain so thoroughly entwisted by it. Perhaps the words of one are not enough. Let’s try the words of many.
Read the rest of this entry »

Why X-COM Matters (To Me)

Oof, tough day. I totally get why people are upset, but once again it’s worth waiting for a few more details before you decide the new XCOM is the end of all that is sacred. Maybe it will be, maybe it won’t, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a little honest hope. Today does, however, spell the end of a decade-long dream that someone would throw really serious money at resurrecting the fantastic hybrid genre 1994’s X-COM created. There is a great sadness there – so many ideas left to die, never bettered in the long gap between then and now. So let’s be hopeful, cautiously or otherwise, about XCOM, but let’s also raise a glass to X-COM. We owe it so much, and we may never see its like again. Sniff.

This is the first of two posts exploring why I (and many others) unwaveringly believe X-COM is one of the most important and greatest games ever made. We’ll talk about the game itself in the second one, but first please allow me to indulge myself with this autobiographical prelude. This is why X-COM matters to me.
Read the rest of this entry »