It's probably horribly sensationalist to suggest there's a cold war on between Firaxis' XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Goldhawk Interactive's more mechanically purist X-COMlike Xenonauts, but then again it is the battle to end all battles, one shall stand and one shall fall and the Earth itself will be left in smoking ruins by the time this apocalyptic conflict is over.
Xenonauts has been smartening itself up since the announcement of Firaxis' official reimaginging, as lead dev Chris England chatted to me about a few weeks ago. More detailed environments, and the 'evil alien sheds' have now been replaced with suitably dramatic crashed UFOs. Images of its newly endetailed look are now available for all to clap eyes upon. Which is only so much preamble, innit? Here you are...
Before and after - click for more visible versions.
And there's much more over on the Xenonauts site, plus devblogs on how things are going. They've just pushed out build 9.1 to pre-orderers, which includes much of the new terrains and graphics, plus the AI's working again after a temporary absence.
Here's a mockup of the Research UI too, featuring another of Xenoanuts' characteristically miserable gentlemen:
Now there's a guy who clearly loves his job.
You can pre-order the game here for access to early builds as they happen, as well as helping to fund development. That's how things worked before Kickstartermania! it seems so long ago.