My Thoughts on the New XCOM

Posted on September 14, 2011 - 12:30pm by chainsawgrizzly

TLDR;

As soon as the new XCOM game was announced to be an FPS, there was a world-wide scream of rage that emanated from fans. I initially dismissed this simply as some fan-boy rage and began looking at the game with an open mind. To be fair it looks like an ok FPS...but aside from the new aliens and technology it just didn't really look that interesting.

Note: Old stuff I decided to transfer over, may be somewhat dated.

Ok here's the deal: I just finished watching the trailer to the new XCOM as well as both Angry Joe's and Spoony's coverage of it. I saw an interview with a developer and now I have an opinion. I was fortunate enough to play this little gem back in the day and it was a very fun series to play (The original turn based games, not the spin-offs). You were given money to build a base and some troops with the general objective of blowing up any aliens you see. You could build your base as you please, equip your troops as you see fit, research new technologies and snag new ones from battles, intercept random UFO's, build radars and missile platforms around the world to help better canvas the planet. When you got enough money, you could build additional bases to reduce travel time. You also were forced to deal with attacks lest countries would get pissed at you and cut funding and each mission could reap different rewards. It wasn't linear really, it was a massive strategy game. It was a very fun experience to build your own army against the alien threat, which got stronger as time went on.

 

But how does the new one stack up to my expectations today? Sadly not very well from what I have seen so far. As soon as the new XCOM game was announced to be an FPS, there was a world-wide scream of rage that emanated from fans. I initially dismissed this simply as some fan-boy rage and began looking at the game with an open mind. I had in my head what I thought would be an ideal FPS XCOM game. I thought it would go like this; You would still have the world map base building part, but when you went into battle, it would go into FPS mode where you controlled your soldiers. Hell maybe you could do the interception missions as well! Wouldn't it be awesome to have an FPS and flight combat in the same game? It would be a faster moving strategy game that would still be true to the roots. And this game is being made by the guys who did Bioshock 2? Well I guess there's a pretty good chance it won't suck right?

Initially, this is what I thought they actually did...sort of. But after watching an interview Angry Joe did, I'm having doubts. From what I can gather, there is a completely new race of aliens (I like them, they look pretty cool), no interceptions, maybe for base building, alien containment and base management, a linear story "like Call of Duty" (actual quote and it hurt) and a full focus on single-player (that's fine IF single player is good). Also to make it more "tactical" they do a Mass Effect sort of system in combat.

 

To be fair it looks like an ok FPS...but aside from the new aliens and technology it just didn't really look that interesting.  After being inundated with FPS games, I just don't know with this one. In the interview, the guy was constantly saying maybe, maybe and it sort of seemed like he was trying to avoid anything negative for fans of the original games.  One of the issues is that this would be better off as being its own series rather than being XCOM. While Duke Nukem Forever wasn't a great game, it still felt like Duke Nukem and, let's face it, they were trying to recover what money they could from the development hell on this game. Here, it just doesn't feel like XCOM, there's no familiar enemies and so far, nothing familiar in technology (though that ring laser thing looked cool).

If it doesn't even feel like the original then I just get the impression that the title is there to appeal to past fans. They've been saying its a reboot and then change it to a prequel... I don't know it just seems they haven't really looked at the source material and they haven't set things in stone. It seems like a mess... Fallout 3 did amazingly well considering early fan backlash, but Fallout 3 kept the setting and general feel of the Fallout world with its new game.

As time goes on, I'm getting more cynical about this game. While it has a year or so left for development and I still have some hope, I think I'll expect the worst for this one. How do you guys feel about this? Interested or betrayal? Think it can pull a Fallout 3 or just fizzle out?
 

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