Theonly downside to the 360 version is having to use the controller instead of a mouse. If my pc was powerful enough i would have gone for that version instead (and its about £15 cheaper)
Senior editor Kevin VanOrd delves into Enemy Unknown to see just how deep it goes.
What would you say to Sid Meier if you got the chance? Would you wax philosophical over Sid Meier's Civilization and Alpha Centauri? Would you ask him about the inspirations that led him to make some of PC gaming's greatest achievements? Would you genuflect?
Meier might enjoy the first two options; hero worship, however, doesn't seem to be his kind of thing. We visited Firaxis' Maryland studios last week for a top-secret look at the upcoming XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and the strategy gaming legend was humble and forthright--not a deity to be praised, but more the kind of guy you want to invite over for beers and boardgaming. That's particularly apt, given that some of the work that went into building Enemy Unknown's strategy layer involved translating it into a board game to see just how fun it was.
XCOM isn't "Sid Meier's XCOM," but he knows his game systems, and his involvement with the upcoming strategy reboot has been key. But Meier is not a one-man show, and indeed, he acknowledged during the tour that not all of his ideas were winners. Lead designer Jake Solomon and his erudite team seem pretty confident, however, that the ideas that have made it into Enemy Unknown are the right ones.
Of course, what matters most is the game itself, and we had plenty of time to play and chat about XCOM: Enemy Unknown during the visit. There's a great deal to report--aesthetics, strategy, interface, depth--but the most important takeaway from this visit is that you can play Enemy Unknown with friends and strangers over the Internet. Yes, indeed: XCOM is both a single-player and a multiplayer experience, and you can read our multiplayer breakdown right here. But it's offline where you discover most of the game's depth, and we got the most thorough look yet at Enemy Unknown's strategic flexibility.
You might know of Enemy Unknown's tactical turn-based skirmishes, but that is only part of the alien equation. The strategy layer is the other keystone of this invasion story. Your strategizing occurs at XCOM headquarters, where you make global decisions and conduct research, choosing what to build and how to upgrade your base. You view the base from a cutaway view that might remind you of an ant farm--though here, the ants are scientists interrogating captured extraterrestrials, and combatants sweating off their excess weight on treadmills. From this view, you excavate downwards and outwards, making room for more facilities, and receiving bonuses when similar facilities are built next to each other.
What are these facilities? Well, some are for resource generation. For instance, building a thermal generator over a steam vent allows you to generate power. In another facility, you can grill captured aliens for information, which not only advances the narrative, but also confers technological bonuses. (You also get the evil satisfaction of knowing that the invading SOBs never live through the interrogation process.) There are other alien facilities to build, though Solomon didn't divulge too much where this subject was concerned, as he feels it's best that players discover the surprises on their own. But he did point out that the strategy layer wasn't initially meant to be as involved as it ultimately became.
Im not to broken up about the base invasion part being gone, that got annoying in the old game most of the time. Unless they let u build alot of base defenses I think i would rather have it out of the game..
The one base thing bothered me as well, until I read on the official boards from people quoting the devs that it's not exactly like that. You get one main base to train your squads, and do your research and manufacturing, however, you will be able to build multiple interceptor launching points around the globe, depending on if you can afford to build them and pay for the upkeep.
Essentially, that's how I played the original XCOM anyhow. I think at times I made another base just for manufacturing due to space constraints, but if it can be done in the one main base just as well in this re-imagined version, then it really doesn't matter to me.
Anyhow, I hope anyone that reads this will feel better about the one base thing.
Wow. All the bigtime fans of this game should be old timers like me and Kevin V, right? So are we really _still_ so immature that we have to go all Chicken Little about them removing base invasion? "My life is over!!!"
Base invasion was a tough fight in the original game. And the threat of it kept you always worried. But I would never say the game hinged on that single thing. In fact, I frequently found base invasions to be rage-quit inducing nightmares. This is a seasoned development firm that knows turn based games better than anyone still working in the business. They said they tried and tried it but it didn't work. And somehow we don't trust them? Jeez. At least try it before you crucify people's hard work.
For myself, I'm totally stoked that they are making this. Waiting for a decent, actually turn based XCOM game has been decades of disappointment. Its a little bit campy looking but much improved graphically, and most of the best gameplay elements seem to have been kept. It could turn out to be terrible, but its the most promising effort I've seen since TFTD.
@jimrhurst Yeah, you're right. Being pessimist about that is what most do and that happens because we have been deceived previously, but that's not the right path. Let's wait and see what this try will bring, yes?
Long time X-COM fan, since the first Enemy Unknown, ?I can't wait. I sure am glad this version is coming out now instead of the FPS that isn't really X-COM.
first day pick up for me :)
but for those who cant wait give UFO aftershock a try its as close as i got to a decent xcom game thats why i still own it i guess.
So many mediocre UFO games have been released since the original X-COM, but seeing as the strategy veterans from Firaxis is working on this upcoming game I am definitely looking forward to its release :D
This game cannot come any sooner. I've always wanted to play a semi remake of Ufo: Enemy Unknown for a while now. I hope it has similar features. One thing that kind of bums me out is; there is no coop campaign, or so it seems.
There are a lot of people stuck in the past it seems. If this game was 100% the same as the original what would even be the point? Better graphics? People need to let game designers actually design games, and wait to judge it until they actually play it. Even direct sequels made a few years after an original game usually change things. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. You never really know until you play the game.
And besides, any turn-based strategy fan should just be excited that a quality title in the genre is coming out soon. I mean that happens so rarely anymore...
@Kevin-V Citing the difficulty regarding base invasions is idiotic since the original X-Com was essentially impossible to beat even on easy. You always had to save and load important battles! Really epic and tough battles were a big part of the fun. Building choke points in your bases for defense was awesome. X-Com is supposed to be really, really hard! Casually removing this feature is an insult to the franchise. The truth is they probably figured they could save development time by scrapping BI. It interfered with their stupid "Ant-Farm" base feature that never should have been implemented in the first place(Base layout didn't need changing). They also probably figured it would help streamline the game for console game pads. Guess what? Console gamers aren't going to buy this game! The only people who remember X-Com are geezers like me. What's up with the cartoon graphics too? This game is supposed to be scary remember? Fail. I guess once again it will be up to the fans to produce a proper X-Com remake. I think there is one on Kickstarter right now that is fully funded. Hopefully that will be good. They have committed to keeping all the original features. Such a shame they won't listen to the fans. Then when these games fail they say "Well, I guess nobody want's TB strategy". Pathetic.
@Gooseman321 The original had even more cartoony graphics and was still Scarey. So I don't get your point. I like the ant farm view and many others will I think. It could have still had base invasions by making a top down map too, but they chose not to. I'm a grownass man, I can live with it, without crying before I try it. Main important things are all there that I love from what I can tell. Interceptor combat was terrible in the first Xcom, maybe it's been really improved this time and I love the immersive active camera modes. Big improvement there. So try focusing on positive things rather than just the thumb sucking.
@Gooseman321 The original had even more cartoony graphics and was still Scarey. So I don't get your point. I like the ant farm view and many others will I think. It could have still had base invasions by making a top down map too, but they chose not to. I'm a grown ass man, I can live with it, without crying before I try it. Main important things are all there that I love from what I can tell. Interceptor combat was terrible in the first Xcom, maybe it's been really improved this time and I love the immersive active camera modes. Big improvement there. So try focusing on positive things rather than just the thumb sucking.
@Gooseman321 I play on the 360, and I'm going to get this game.
@Gooseman321 And judging a game before you even play it isn't pathetic?
@Gooseman321 I happen to be a huge fan of the old school XCOM. I had XCOM, Terror from the Deep, and even Apocolyps (I know I spelled that wrong). I also happen to be getting it for my XBox so I can teach my son to play it. I do agree that they should have kept the BIs in though.
The one base thing is in place since depending on where you decide to set up shop, you get a regional bonus (Like in South America, where you get a bonus to interrogrations.)
But, I can understand why some would be disapointing, seeing how single base means more decsions on what to build and what not, though isn't the point of the game to make tough decsions in the face of an overwelmig threat?
i bet you Sid meiers ideas were awesome. I bet he would of put multiple bases in...... the young developers should of let him speak. Imagine Civilization with only one city!, be terrible and an injustic.
You better be able to at least put the base wherever you want on the whole planet and have radars or satallites over areas YOU choose and its not like a crappy unlock system or anything.
@nyran125 Sid and Jake would spend entire weekends coding various ideas and testing them to see which ones were fun and which weren't. He's creative director--he wasn't not allowed to speak. Making games is a collaboration. Some ideas turn out great, and others don't. Suggesting that the ideas of "young developers" were terrible and that Meier's must be uniformly amazing and perfect is a very reductive view of what games development is--and speaks to a lack of understanding of how games are made. Sid would be the first to tell you that to arrive at the good ideas, you have to have plenty of bad ones too--and that plenty of his weren't that great.
In any case, Sid was extremely pleased with the game he and his colleagues have made.
Continents are divided into different countries, and you choose what countries you protect with your satellites. Successfully defending those countries makes you a success. Failure causes the people to eventually panic. There are also different options as to where you put your base, but I don't recall how many options there are, I am afraid :(
I hope you and everyone else keep an open mind. I have no idea whether the full game will be great or not, but if anything else, these guys are very excited about what they have made. All of them are X-COM fans, and they have great affection for the series. The alternative is to not have any turn-based XCOM at all; I am willing to give Firaxis the benefit of the doubt. What I saw had lots of depth and breadth, so I hate to see people making rash statements without letting the game speak for itself.
@Kevin-V Look. I've played the original x-com and it's sequel, Terror from the deep, with many friends through year and years. That was our favorite game to play when we hung together. Every guy would take a soldier, name it, equip it, and play in sort of a hot seat manner. The base administration was shared and decisions were taken by all.
Of all the guys, there were at least 8 of us, I'm certainly the most lenient. I've tried X-com: Apocalipse, extraterrestrials and others. Most of my friends just took a quick look to decide they wouldn't even try. They would say it has nothing to do with x-com right away. Those are the fans that will die without ever experiencing the sheer joy of playing a worthy sequel or remake of that game.
No matter how optimistic I am, the more I look at this game and the changes they have made, the more it seems the unique genre that was created with the x-com series is lost forever.Make no mistakes about it, I'll play the crap out of this game, but I'm quite sure that I'll feel it just isn't x-com, no matter how good it comes to be it'll look just like a lousy look alike.
@Kayweg As I've said, I'll very much enjoy playing this game. I'm quite certain that they're doing a good game and that the changes in the game industry certainly changes how things are done today. Yet what I can't understand is how they always waste the chance to make something that was already perfect even more perfect just because they want to put their damn signature in it. Sid Meyer? Seriously? The man is a genius, but the changes that have been made here make quite clear that he, and many others, don't know what is the genre they're working in. It's not regular strategy, it is not regular turn based strategy either. It's X-com, that is the genre.
For all real die hard fans of X-com, that genre is pretty much dead.
@zdods See, i share your concerns, as i'm sure many players of the original game do.
Obviously none of us will know exactly until the game goes live.
I think, at heart, everyone of us who played the UFO games back then would've been quite happy with a straight remake with improved graphics.
And the same is true for Jagged Alliance and Syndicate...and i guess every other "old" IPs developers dig up.
However, we have to accept that compromises have to be made.
This is 2012 now and not 1994, things have changed.
And believe me, i hate myself for even admitting that. ;)
With all that said and from all i've seen of XCOM so far, my impression is that this could be the first one to "get it right"....or at least come very close to it.
Also remember this:
You can NEVER repeat that sensation of "the first time".
But that doesn't mean that the "second time" has to be bad...if you keep an open mind.
Catch my drift ?....Good :)
Yes, I also remember the cooperation aspect of this game, just hanging out with your friends and playing XCOM. Those were the days :D
@Kevin-V Oh, and I really think that game was the most perfect game ever. The only one that has such a perfect formula that could generate endless sequels without any change in the game's mechanics and still be a success. But game developers don't seem to understand that at all.
@Kevin-V I guess disapointments like the recent Jagged Alliance, mediocre at best, make people afrait of watching helpless while their beloved series are destroyed, even when they are not turn into a mindless FPS (what have you done to Syndicate, EA)...But from what I saw so far, this new X-com seem to be shaping up really well, and I'll buy it anyway, because I don't like to judge a game before a complete playthrough (and because I'm in deficit of good turn based games, so I'd buy it even if it's merely "good", and I don't see how that could turn out to be bad).
"All your bases belongs to us"... so but em back in! I fear the "no base invasion", and "only one base" is a mistake... but I have not lost faith just yet.
@jimstein "Faith" is the 2nd worst approach to any game purchase, with "preordering" being a distant 1st. ;)
No base invasions!?!? And only a single base!??! Booooo! This is rediculous. Here I thought they were remaking an old classic, not disecting it. I have been so excited about this game until now. For shame, Sid. For shame.
On the down side it is way too colorful and there is no base invasion whatsoever. But I hope at least the atmosphere has been preserved. What made UFO: Enemy Unknown so good was the atmosphere more than anything to me.
@zdods I was about to say exactly the same thing. I think the current version is missing some of that B-movie horror atmosphere present in the original game.
The current graphics looks sharper but just like you said: way too colorful and cartoony to be scary.
Sad to hear that didnt make it
I def still want this though I'm not excited to hear them say resource generation that brings up a whole side of me that's all purist about x-com but that's my crazy and i'm trying to play the wait and see approach before I start to judge this game as it's been my personal dream that a good relaunch of x-com happens using modern interface and graphics, but i'm starting to worry this is not it... it's starting to sound like a civ revolutions reboot of x-com so it could be multiplatform but thats just my cynical side this is Firaxis and if I were to pick a company to do this right it's them.
@Unholy123 Unfortunately, you're right. As where all the most recent tries to bring back our beloved franchise, this one too seems to be tackling too hard at making it popular instead of chiseling the already perfect game we played and loved. After playing it I'm quite sure that playing the original X-com will still feel more rewarding, but at least it seems fun to try.
I did like using several bases to help protect other countries, but it sounds like satellites will be used to cover them instead. Although, I will miss setting up separate bases for research and production, even though I had to ship good between bases a lot, but I'm looking forward to this game. If this game is half as good as the first X-Com games I'll be buying it right away. I would like to try it out before I buy, so it'd be nice if there was a demo, but I'll probably throw down some cash for this game when it comes out.
NoooOO.. The took out Base Invasion. I kinda knew they would. How could you do the isomentric tactical combat from a side view of the base? Unless it had a seperate map to fight on. I will really miss having to juggle defending my base with doing everything else that reaches an almost overwhelming fevered pitch that was so frantic and memorable in the originals... sigh.. Well everything else sounds Fantastic! #1 game anxiety.
Ah crap, one base? That's a bummer. Game looks fantastic, but base invasions were one of my favorite aspects of the original. I named my troops, invented side stories for them. When aliens invaded my home, it was a chance to win it back, room by room. Or if I lost my research or production base, that would set me back a lot. Oh well.
im confused about the the invasion? when was the ever hard? in the old days when my based was invaded, they wasted their timesince i murdered them all. I did like having more than one base and tranfering my stuff from one to the other but i guess making things easier for the "impatient" young bucks you have to appeal to everyone. whatever but still looks alot of fun.
I really hope you can name your soldiers, and that not every soldier of a class looks identical. Still, the one base thing kinda stinks, but being able to excavate and create a layered base is neat. I am not sure that makes up for having to launch intercept missions from the opposite side of the globe at times due to the lack of multiple bases however. I am only slightly optimistic about this release. I am afraid that they may have altered the game for the better in only a few areas, but we shall see.
@ZOD777 In the E3 demo they showed that you can in fact name your soldiers.
@Atheosis Good to know, but that is one of the smaller concerns that I had. I fear that the game will be a shell of what the former game was. When doing a remake, if it ain't broke, don't try and fix it. I think they might have altered the game a bit much for my liking, but it is still a bit too early to confirm my suspicions.
One base. No invasions. No time units. Gamepad controls. Yeah this is gonna be great! I can't wait! (morons)
@executorbalin Do you truly believe that time units, invasions, multiple bases, and PC exclusivity are the core of the X-COM experience--and that game cannot be deep and challenging without those elements? I would say that the things that make X-COM what it is are very different from what you mentioned, and what I saw was very deep and very flexible. Why does it bother you that it is appearing on console as well as PC?
Well, yeah... sort off. I agree with executorbalin to some degree. With a game like X-COM the multi-platform thing is a real concern. Do get a once very complex game to work on console you will have to remove some elements to get the game to be playeble with a gamepad.
Maybe not as much with a TBS game, but considering the one base/no more than 6 troops/no ammo changes/etc to X-COM... it seems likely.
And I have nothing against console gamers, some of my best friend own consoles and if I had the cash to afford a nice big TV and a PS3 (along with my 25+ year old PC gaming habbit) I really would do it, why? Three words; "War", "God" and "of"! (sure everyone can put that in the right order)
But is isn't just about multi-platform though. Back in Action is a PC exclusive and pretend to be a "Jagged Alliance" game, but REALLY isn't! It isn't all bad, but as a JA title it is absolute rubbish!
I am still hopeful for XCOM, but I am rather sick of being handled like I cannot think further then clicking a few buttons and watching some cut scene!
I REALLY miss complexity... having to work for your victories... the true escence of X-COM I believe.
@slazz I didn't say a console couldn't handle a complex UI, in fact I said that it probably could, the first XCom being on the Playstation demonstrates that it's possible, but it's more cumbersome that dealing with it on a PC. my point is that whether a console and controller will work with a complex UI, companies tend to change it anyway to better suit the controller.
Also, the fact that no features will be left out may be an indicator of exactly what we fear, that the game in general has been simplified to better suit a console, and the PC version will also be simplified as a result.
Personally, if I were you I'd just hook my PC to my TV. It's what I did, 1080P 42in TV with 5.1 surround and a wireless keyboard, mouse, and controller. I think you'll get a better experience myself, but I tend to prefer PC anyway, your experience may differ.
Game looks great and as a PC AND an Xbox player I will be getting it for the Xbox because I like the comfort of playing from my couch on my huge TV.
They have said NUMEROUS times no features will be left out between the two platforms....
No need for sarcasm man, I did say "Maybe not as much with a TBS game". So no, I don't think it would be hard to navigate a screen with a gamepad at all. I do have a gamepad attached to my PC as well. Did you play the original X-COM though? Would it not be painful to have to negate so many menus with a game controller? That's more what I meant... if you had to transfer, say, crew, gear and resources between 8 bases... would that not be a chore with a gamepad?
I did own a 16bit knock-off Nintendo when I was young and like I said above, I use a Logitech Rumblepad II with certain games... but I never even considered to try and play something like X-COM (the original) with a gamepad:)
kingcole, I meant more the base and resource management element with a controller would be painfull, you know... the parts Firaxis will be leaving out.
@Trenchman Exactly. I really don't understand why they're making XCOM for consoles. Sales of console's strategy games are weak, so there's no point to try it again. It's stupid. It's begging for financial failure of the whole project. If you're trying to make happy different groups of players, you won't make happy anyone. This is a major problem which developers and publishers don't get it. It's especially true on niche market such as tactical and strategy genre. Strategy games are meant to be played on computers, where you can use keyboard and mouse. Firaxis should appeal to more PC/Mac gamers to buy their game. Devs should look at CD Projekt, who made The Witcher games - both were for quite a long time PC exclusive, and sold very well (3,3 million of copies).
I hope so, I do like what I have read and seen so far... and I don intend to pre-order as soon as I can:)
@kingcole225 That is exactly one of the reasons why they simplify some games. Interfaces can be far more complex on a PC, since the mouse is a quick accurate pointer, and the keyboard has a lot of shortcut keys, but a controller is far more limited in buttons and how quickly you can get around. That's not to say a console couldn't handle a complex UI, but it tends to be more of a hassle and as a result the UI is one of the main changes they make. Sometime, because of or regardless of, the UI change, companies will also change many of the micromanagement aspects of a game for consoles so you don't have to navigate and handle so many aspects of a game.
There have been many games that have suffered from what is referred to as "consolification", and more than a few sequels have failed because of the multi-platform simplification.
That isn't to say it's necessary to change the game for consoles, but many companies still want to simplify them for consoles. And, that could negatively affect the game if they go too far.
@MindlessTeef Why would you need to remove some of the complexity to play a turn based game on the Xbox? The strategy element barely requires quick movements. I mean do you really think it's that hard to navigate a screen with a controller?
@MindlessTeef I think you will be pleasantly surprised and happy. Or at least--I hope so.
- Release Date: Oct 9, 2012 (US)
- ESRB: MTitles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older.
- Release Date: Q3 2013 (US)
- Release Date: Apr 25, 2013 (US)
- ESRB: MTitles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older.
Hot Forum Topics
- an old game nobody can figure out its name
- The Quest: Rise of Emodo is on Kickstarter and needs you
- Classic is way too difficult?
- My Lets Play of XCOM Enemy Unknown - First Mission - PC - Max Graphics
- Last day to get XCOM for PC for 30 bucks alongside Bioschock infinite for 30!
- Where am I?
- See All XCOM: Enemy Unknown Forum Topics »