X-Com Sequel on the Way.

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Apr 14, 2010

Filed under: Rants 177 comments

Yes, they are making a sequel to X-Com.

Described as a “reimagining” of the series that was created by MicroProse in the mid-90s, players in the new XCom game (that’s right, XCom, not X-Com) will take on the role of an FBI agent in charge of identifying and eliminating a deadly threat posed by “an unknown and faceless enemy that is violent probing and plotting its way into our world.” The game will maintain the “strategic core” of the original X-Com games, combining it with the natural intensity of a first-person experience.

So, they have decided to honor the legendary turn-based strategy sim by reimagining it as a shooter. Perfect. Perhaps next they can reimagine 12 Angry Men as a Jerry Bruckheimer-produced buddy cop movie with car chases and explosions. Let’s reimagine the Sistine Chapel on the ceiling of T-Pain’s pimped-out mansion with an image of T-Pain doing a fist-pound with a deified Vanilla Ice. Citizen Kane can be reimagined as an anime harem comedy about a Newspaper Tycoon / Mech pilot and the bevy of hot young girls who come between him and his robot maid Rosebud. And then let’s reimagine the Audrey Hepburn / Gregory Peck movie Roman Holiday, using Pam Anderson and Ben Afleck.

Tastes vary and no opinion is better than another but if you prefer Pam you are wrong.

We had to destroy the franchise in order to save it. Except, it was already destroyed. So, I guess we had to use the wreckage to build cheap, shallow mockery of the original.

Is there anything on this planet you idiots won’t turn into a shooter? I’m a fan of shooters, but isn’t there room in this hobby for something else? You guys have successfully euthanized the turn-based strategy genre, but is it completely necessary for you to rape the corpse?

Dang kids. Get off my lawn.


From The Archives:

177 thoughts on “X-Com Sequel on the Way.

  1. BaCoN says:

    Dear lord, he’s angry!

    My roommate woke me up to tell me this news you posted, Shamus. And then he kept reading, and his enthusiasm for an X-Com game went quickly sour. “I’ll take any X-Com game over No X-Com game….. I guess.”

    I’m worried now that the new Mechwarrior game will be a dating sim.

    1. Amstrad says:

      I’m worried the new Mechwarrior game may never happen because of Harmony Gold yet again seeking to make a quick licensing buck and tossing out cease and desist orders on anything remotely resembling a Macross mech.

      1. HeadHunter says:

        Considering that Battletech (originally Battledroids, before Lucas stepped in) was intially intended to be a strategic game set in the Robotech universe, Carl Macek had good reason to want to protect his property after the deal with FASA went sour.

        Both Macek and Sam Lewis from FASA are former business acquaintances, and I’ve spoken to Ross Babcock before – and I can see both sides of the issue. FASA wanted to do something a bit different than Macek had in mind, so when a licensing arrangement could not be reached, FASA just changed the names of the ‘Mechs but kept their appearances. The original models are undeniably Robotech mecha.

        Things have changed now – Fasa (and now WizKids) have concentrated on original designs, so as long as they don’t bring back stuff like the Warhammer, the Archer or the Marauder, we should be fine.

        1. Tim Skirvin says:

          The Unseen ‘Mechs came back a while ago, with new art. Check out Project Phoenix.

          I wish they’d release a nice turn-based Battletech game…

    2. Audacity says:

      And well Shamus should be angry they’ve dared mess with one of PC gaming’s holiest relics. Were Interceptor and Enforcer not bad enough for them?

      What follows is a fanboyish rant that shouldn’t be read by anyone.

      Start Rant

      I’m pissed too. I saw that headline and let out an ear shattering squee of fanboyish glee. Then I read the word reimagining and released an equally ear piercing bellow of rage. Followed by a long string a of creative profanities. I mean what the hell is the point of calling it X-Com if it’s about Fox fucking Moulder!?! What does the FBI have to do with X-Com?

      Irreverent bastards! First System Shock, then Fallout. Will they never cease to exhume and rape the dessicated corpses of my favorite childhood titles! Will they stop at nothing, have they no respect for the dead? Why can’t they just let them lie forgotten in peace? What’s next on the list of classic games to be turned into empty soulless husks? Syndicate? Cannon Fodder? God forbid, my beloved Arcanum? Maybe they can turn Transarctica into a crappy Halo clone while they’re at it, or Close Combat into the next WWII Shooter franchise. Aaarrrrggggghhhhhh! I need to stab something!

      End Rant

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Well,at least theyve changed the name of systemshock enough for it to be considered a completely unrelated game.If they rename this to,for example,”Fcom:the hunter”,Id consider checking it out.

      2. rattus says:

        Definitely syndicate. EA and someone announced yesterday they are fiddling with syndicate license.. let’s hope it won’t be fps shooter… even though for syndicate it would at least make sense.

        fps xcom with fbi agent done by “masters of fps storytelling” .. *faints*

      3. Greg says:

        I feel, as a fallout fan, that Fallout3 is a great addition to the series. I wouldn’t mind seeing more isometric games, but fallout was always about storyline and mood at least as much as gameplay, and this game does a great job with that.

        1. krellen says:

          On what planet does Fallout 3 grasp “great story” or the same “mood” as the original series?

          I try not to disparage its fun in others ways, because different strokes, different folks and all that, but claiming that Fallout 3 forges either a story on par with even Fallout 2 (or with Fallout Tactics, for that matter) or that it shares the same mood as the original game (water was scarce because southern California is a desert, not because of radiation, dammit) is simply something I cannot sit by and let go unchallenged.

    3. tremor3258 says:

      Actually, I’ve heard very good advanced reviews of ‘Solaris Memorial’… I kid, I kid. But this just seems a strange way to try and drag in those with fond memories of the previous game. I take it the current execs haven’t ever actually seen a box of the game, let alone played it.

  2. Rayen says:

    GAH… No no no no no no NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Actually it more like using the corpse to supply the organic flesh for the mindless terminator style automaton to go back in time and destroy our memories of one of the better turn based stategies. I look foward to sid meier’s Civilisation based FPS.

    1. Jarenth says:

      I’m holding out for the Unreal RTS, personally.

      1. Senji says:

        I would pay good money to play an unreal rts. Maybe you could go down to fps view on some of the marines.
        mmmmmmmmm, oh yes ;)

  3. Andy_Panthro says:

    My thoughts exactly.

    I was disappointed with the “UFO” trilogy of newer games, since they made it real-time and didn’t quite capture the magnificence of the original.

    Now they have the audacity to make Enforcer again and call it XCom?

    Now I fear for the Syndicate remake that’s on the way…

    1. GoodApprentice says:

      Oh yeah baby! I haven’t thought about the glory which is Syndicate for a long time now. I remember lighting crowds of people on fire with my flamethrower in order to kill my target hidden within.

      Syndicate and X-com, what a fantastic time for computer gaming! Lord protect my precious gaming memories!

  4. I’m waiting for “Master of Orion V: The FPS” myself.

  5. TA says:

    I’ll just quote from IRC.

    [00:34] Not exactly the most comprehensibly written or designed website, but that blurb makes me think ‘Rainbow Six vs. aliens’ and that’s interesting.
    [00:34] Like, some kind of squad-based thing in addition to first-person shooty.
    [00:35] Typically ‘strategic’ tends to mean ‘you get to boss NPCs around at some point’
    [00:35] Or ‘bullet time,’ but that seems unlikely
    [00:36] More likely “strategic” will mean “you’re a lone dude with a gun but you get a VATS system”
    [00:37] Nahh, it’s adapted from a turn-based tactics game, some kind of squad-level mechanic seems likely
    [00:37] “players will be placed in charge of overcoming high-stake odds through risky strategic gambits coupled with heart-stopping combat experiences” <– 'in charge' being the operative bit
    [00:39] It’ll probably still have you flying solo for parts of it, but when shit goes down they’ll give you some soldiers to order around or something

    Now, maybe it’s just me, but that actually does sound interesting.

    1. swimon says:

      wow that was not where I though you were going ^^ to me that sounded like it would sweep the “most uninspired game of the year award” and take a nice stab at “most annoying AI of the year award”. But what do I know I never played X-com to begin with

    2. [d20]thegrinner says:

      As long as some amount of management stays in (especially the option to rename my low stat personnel things like Meatshield Alpha) I will remain cautiously optimistic.

      Honestly, I have more fun with the UFO revamps (at least Aftermath and Aftershock).

    3. MintSkittle says:

      I was thinking something along the lines of Star Wars: Republic Commando myself.

  6. Bret says:

    Well, I’m going with cautious optimism here, given the little info I can get from Rock Paper Shotgun. Selling X-Com as a TBS these days probably wouldn’t work, but it sounds like they’re going to keep base management and tacticsyness to some degree.

    Here’s to cautious optimism.

    1. JKjoker says:

      what i dont get is this : if you cant sell a TBS game today then WHY are you taking an old, loved franchise known only by veterean PC gamers and make something that is not a TBS ?

      the whole point of making a sequel is the established fanbase, but you are kicking those right square in the balls, then why ?

      are their brains so burned out they are unable to make up a semioriginal franchise that they need to go rape an old one that is mostly remembered by its gameplay (which you are tossing into the trash) ?

      XCOM’s lore was never very interesting or good, it was just a short functional story to set up the gameplay (remember the times when not ALL games needed an epic story that may or may not include New York in ruins and some dude gazing vacantly into the sky, clenching his fists and chiseled ass while things blow up on the background ?), in some cases XCOM was pretty ridiculous, remember Apocalypse’s muppet aliens ? can you imagine lobster aliens with next gen graphics ?

      1. Felblood says:

        You know, if you put a Lobsterman in a current-gen game, people would accuse you of ripping off the look and fighting style of Bioshock’s Big Daddies.

  7. Aelyn says:

    I just want to state that I’m a big fan of this announcement regarding X-Com. Without it, I wouldn’t have come to the blog and gotten the pleasant surprise of Audrey Hepburn’s photo. She was gorgeous.

    Life is all about enjoying the small things.

    1. Jarenth says:

      Amen to this. I could spend this evening being depressed about a classic game series getting the Frankenstein treatement, but instead I’m going to play Heroes of Might and Magic III again with some friends. Remember, caring is a choice.

      Optimism, woo!

  8. TA says:

    also: Fallout 3, Metroid Prime.

    1. Heron says:

      Yeah, but Metroid Prime was actually good (though I had never played the earlier Metroids before when MP came out), and Fallout 3 is at least passable.

      The description of XCom to me sounds like a cheap, crappy “let’s throw together an FPS based on a beloved franchise for some quick $$$” sort of thing.

    2. Samopsa says:

      They both kept the essence of the game intact.
      Metroid Prime’s biggest change is the visor/beam system, and 3d instead of 2d. At the core it’s just Super Metroid 2.

      Fallout added real time combat in addition to turn based combat, but again, the core gameplay is the same (lone wanderer in a nuclear wasteland, solving quests and finding loot).

      This X-com game totally changes the genre, which could make for a terribly sucky game, like Shamus argues.

      1. krellen says:

        Fallout 3 did not have turn-based combat. VATS was pause-and-aim, not turn-based.

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        The core of fallout is not the same in the first two and the third one.The core was not the gameplay,the core was the feeling.The dialogues,and the things you could do.Kill everyone,or be a pacifist.Be an idiot,or a genius.Be a brute,or a gunslinger.The sheer number of options available to you was amazing.You could tailor the story any way you want.And the story itself was nice as well.The third one changed all of that.There are so few options,and they are meaningless.The story is idiotic.Nothing but the name was kept.

        1. Avilan says:

          Now I should know better than to debate religion, but um… I disagree. The feeling is there. In fact, it is stronger in FO3 because the atmosphere is better (due to modern(ish) graphics.
          And believe it or not we are quite a few that love all three games.

          1. Tom Davidson says:

            You think modern graphics make a better atmosphere? Why?

            1. krellen says:

              He’s a young kid (who needs to get off my lawn, by the way) that grew up without having to use imagination to craft strange, exotic worlds for him – he got them delivered by modern graphics instead.

              1. Teldurn says:

                That’s precisely right. For a less-than-optimal simile, it’s kind of like reading a book you absolutely love and adore, and then watching the movie and complaining that the set pieces and characters looked NOTHING like what you imagined in your head.

              2. Ciennas says:

                Not to explode too large a fuel tanker here, but while I love me some finely crafted 2-D pixels, and turn based strategy is cool for multiunit management…

                3D installments in real-time are not the anti-christ of games. rather, they are the natural progression of the technology.

                Turn based combat was implemented to make up for shortcomings in the hardware, and we have definitely surpassed those limits.

                We’ve been shooting for the Holodeck for years, and now we’re looking at its ascendant.

                Although you’re right: Having it all handed to you takes out the fun of imagining the scenery yourself. For that, we need text based games- stuff where the details come entirely from your own imagining. But that approach limits your audience to people who have a vocabulary large enough to match, and so risks breaking that all important immersion.

                You could take the middle road: Fancy graphics that offer suggestions of the world around you, or what plot critical doohickeys look like, with a wall of text, but you’re still limited to the knowledge of your players.

                Purely visual information through pretty graphics (Either hyper realism or any of the games with a strong art direction, like I hear psychonauts was,) and you don’t have to know if your audience is lugging around a dictionary in their brain or at their sides.

                I don’t want the pretty at the cost of my intelligent stories and appealing gameplay, I love those just as much.

                If you like turn based old school lower res games, more power to you, my good man.

                Also, Tabletop gaming is still purely imagination and funtimes. Turn based, even. Maybe that could scratch your itch.

                (Long thing about Daggerfall compared to Morrowind and Oblivion. Short version, Morrowind provided excellent middleground between good graphics, land mass size, and gameplay features. Daggerfall had the most, but looked like ass, and that left me wandering dazed and confused, because imagining does jack when you’re lost and frustrated in the first dungeon. Oblivion was the opposite: too many features from the previous two cut out and while pretty, was bland and uninteresting before too long, especially with all the hand holding.)

                1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Turn based combat has nothing to do with hardware limitations.Compare civilization with rise of nations.Both are using very similar concepts,with one being turn based,and the other being real time.And civilization 4 came long after rise of nations,yet it is still turn based.So real time is not an improvement of turn based,its just a different style.Some fancy one,some fancy other,some fancy both.Personally I prefer biowares approach to combat(real time with pauses)than that of original fallout.However,this mess in fallout 3 is terrible.

                  Also,while 3d graphics is an improvement over 2d,it doesnt mean anything by itself.Its art style that matters most.I still prefer architecture in baldurs gate over that in neverwinter nights.And I loved that first impression of the waste when you exit the vault.So the move from isometric to first person wasnt bad by itself.Its the size of the world that destroyed the feeling of fallout.In original,you were alone in the waste,finding just pockets of starving humans and mutants here and there.In 2,there were beginnings of great cities forming,but you still were alone in the waste.And thats what you expect from wasteland:To be deserted.

                  So 3d graphics and real time combat arent the failings of fallout 3 by themselves.Its their lousy implementation that failed.

                2. Don J says:

                  Having it all handed to you takes out the fun of imagining the scenery yourself. For that, we need text based games- stuff where the details come entirely from your own imagining. But that approach limits your audience to people who have a vocabulary large enough to match, and so risks breaking that all important immersion.

                  I disagree with the last sentence. My vocabulary grew larger because I read stuff that exceeded its limits. I think the same could be said for most people with large vocabularies.

              3. Avilan says:

                Since I love (non illustrated) books, I don’t think that is my problem. :)

                1. krellen says:

                  You’re willing and expecting to take your imagination into a book. You’re not expecting, and thus unwilling, to do the same in a video game.

          2. Daemian Lucifer says:

            The graphics is nice,Ill give you that.And the first time Ive exited the vault I was amazed.But once I strolled around a bit,it felt…lacking.Its too small,too crowded.You are not alone,there are people everywhere.And when those people started talking,it becomes dumber by the second.Its not a vast wasteland with interesting characters,its a small grey ruin with a bunch of idiots.It has that initial punch,but lacks endureance.

            1. Ciennas says:

              In fairness though, the bombs dropped… what, three or four hundred years ago from the start of that game?

              After a while, the wasteland would become a lush forest again. You’re playing in the last major transition before civilization begins an outward march and restored the plantlife it could that had survived the thermonuclear warheads.

              Honestly, I’m a little surprised that the place is still that messy after that long since 2077. What, does nobody bother to utilize ancient construction techniques? Nothing? Just live in the shell of the last decadent civilization that ended everything?

              Ty left behind power armor suits. And while admittedly Super Mutants and mad robots would be problematic, I’d drop a couple back to rebuild at least a couple of acres of farmland shortly after we opened the vaults again.

              1. krellen says:

                One of my biggest complaints about Fallout 3; the whole game is written (and everyone acts) like the bombs fell last week, not two-hundred years ago. The irradiated water is another victim of this problem, because even assuming your water was irradiated, it would not still be so two hundred years later.

                Even Fallout’s 50s-based science wasn’t that bad.

                1. Ciennas says:

                  True. But the answer here is for gameplay reasons. Rads are still there because otherwise they would have one less interesting mostly atmospheric mechanic.

                  It’s still ruined because if it looked like a rebuilt…. actually, it’d probably be Morrowind 20XX, replacing Dwemer ruins with actual cities, and the magic with SCIENCE!

                  Which actually sounds pretty damn cool, now that I think of it.

                2. Daemian Lucifer says:


                  Then why say it is 300 years from the war?Why not put the setting 20-50 years after the war?Its just a poorly thought out setting.

            2. Avilan says:

              That is a valid opinion, but it is at least better than Oblivion. Basically it has to do with the word being off-scale. In FO3 it is only a little bit, while in Oblivion it was extremely so (remember you being able to see the capital from basically every hill on the entire map?)

              The other (in game) explanation is that FO3 takes place in a much smaller area than the older games.

  9. Greg from St Paul says:

    That really points out how horrific Pamela Anderson looks.

    1. LOLdependent says:

      Don’t you mean terrific?
      And I can barelly wait for “Diablo 3:The FPS”.

      1. Senji says:

        Hey now. the engine will be 3d. Don’t think even for a minute that it can’t be made so the camera looks through the eyes of your char. Hell i’ve seen Warcraft 3 map mods that give you first person view.

      2. Volatar says:

        “Diablo 3:The FPS”

        You mean Hellgate London?

        How did that one work out? :P

        1. MechaCrash says:

          Hellgate didn’t suck because of the concept, it sucked because of its execution.

      3. Simon Buchan says:

        In the sense of “invokes terror?”

  10. Garden Ninja says:

    Is there anything on this planet you idiots won't turn into a shooter? I'm a fan of shooters, but isn't there room in this hobby for something else?

    Ditto. Apparently Stealth gameplay is too hardcore, because they gutted Splinter Cell Conviction.

    In an effort to make it more accessible, Max Beland of Ubisoft Montreal says the studio decided that the best way to improve the stealth gameplay in Splinter Cell: Conviction was to get rid of the stealth gameplay in Splinter Cell: Conviction.

    I only played X-Com briefly at a friend’s house 10 years ago, but it seemed cool at the time, and I have been hoping for an updated version of it. Guess that isn’t going to happen.

    1. Factoid says:

      I’ve played through the demo of Conviction…it’s still a stealth game. They’ve reworked a few of the mechanics and put more emphasis on takedowns.

      You can tell that they’re trying to appeal to gamers who want more action and find stealth games too boring…so they put in a system that makes one of the rewards of stealth an advantage in a gunfight…if you sneak around and mark your targets you can pop out and take out multiple guys simultaneously.

      So the action players get their action sequence, and stealth players can simply bypass the entire room.

      And this system is genious because it avoids the classic pitfall of games that ride the border between stealth and action: Usually a game that requires stealth makes you weak for fighting. You’re great in the shadows, but are immediately toast upon entering a massive gunfight. If they make you too combat-capable though there is no need for stealth..you can just shoot your way through the game, and if you do stealth and get caught it’s like there’s no consequence because you’ll just fight your way out of it.

      With this system if you use stealth properly you can win at a gunfight, but if you stealth carelessly you’re still toast.

      It seems like a good way of giving everyone what they want. The stealth element is still meaningful, and the combat action is there if you want it. Based on the (very short) demo it seems like there’s a lot of gunfighting, but I think that was a very deliberately chosen vignette to highlight the stealth combat system.

      1. Garden Ninja says:

        I’ve played the demo too and enjoyed it well enough. My second time playing it, was better, since I was being deliberately more stealthy. I’ve heard from a couple of places that the old style is still there, but it’s no longer the only option. Maybe, but I think the people who said that have a different play style than me, because there were several things that made it feel like “not Splinter Cell”. My goal in each level was to get through without anyone even knowing I was there. When that wasn’t possible, I at least strove for non-lethal no-kills. Plus I likes messing with the gadgets. SCC, or at least this demo, had at least one set of mooks you have to kill (might just be because it is a mark-and-execute tutorial), the gadgets are very limited, and takedowns are lethal by default (supposedly, you get non-lethal if you don’t have a weapon equipped — haven’t tried it yet).

        I love Splinter Cell (including Double Agent), and the co-op sounds fun, so I’ll probably still get it. I just wish they hadn’t strayed so far from their roots; Sam Fischer has always been his own character, and they are turning him into Jason Bourne or (ugh) Jack Bauer.

  11. Factoid says:

    I’ve tried multiple times to get into the original but it hasn’t stuck for me.

    There’s barely a tutorial, your objectives are vague and there’s little to no progression in tactics… you need to utilize your full range of tactical options from the very beginning.

    By today’s standards it’s not a very well designed game.

    That said, remaking it as a shooter is crime.

    I got behind Fallout 3 as a shooter, but that was an RPG…and shooter-RPGs have precedent in the industry…it can be done well.

    Turning a turn-based strategy game into a shooter makes zero sense to me. A few RTS games have gotten first-person treatments, but always as spin-offs…not as a remake or a sequel or something.

    I’m sure it can work as a game…obviously the subject matter lines up pretty well…alien invasion + FPS + FBI is a formula I think we can all follow…but I fail to see how this is any kind of a “remake” or even a “reimagining”. This is brand recycling plain and simple.

    1. Michael says:

      Off hand, the only one I can remember was Renegade, which was a pile of crap. But, I honestly can’t tell you how much of that was the fault of the dev, or the idea of adapting an RTS to an FPS…

  12. Primogenitor says:

    “image of T-Pain doing a fist-pound with a deified Vanilla Ice.”

    As I have no idea who T-Pain is, I read that as ‘Palin’. And that would be an entertaining image to see.

    Also, shooter xcom is nothing new. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-COM:_Enforcer and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-COM:_Interceptor (and also note that they were rubbish and thus Enemy Unknown is what is associated wtih XCom).

    1. Yar Kramer says:

      Which Palin? Michael or Sarah?

      1. HeadHunter says:

        OMG – that just brought to mind an image of “T-Palin”, and the kind of sound we’d get if we let someone like her do hip-hop.


      2. El Quia says:

        And here I am, thinking of Caramon’s youngest son…

  13. HolyBejeesus says:

    “You guys have successfully euthanized the turn-based strategy genre, but is it completely necessary for you to rape the corpse?”

    False, thankfully! Civ 5 comes out this fall!!!!!

    1. Christopher says:

      Thanks for that. I didn’t know Civ 5 was on it’s way! Now I have a reason to rebuild my defunct PC.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      The weirdest thing about that:Civv is also being published by 2kgames.

    3. acronix says:

      You sure it isn´t a shooter too, right?

      1. krellen says:

        They’ve changed the battle mechanics, but I’m not sure it’s evolved into full-borne RTS quite yet.

        1. Garden Ninja says:

          The only things I’ve read about Civ 5 is that the map is hex based, instead of a grid, and that some ranged unit can fire over at least one hex.

          But I haven’t played a Civ since 2 (which came out in 1996), and the demo of Civ Rev, so I’m not sure what this means for the game.

  14. Zel says:

    It’s actually a good idea if you don’t want to face the competition of the originals. It’s highly unlikely a game as complex and user-unfriendly as X-Com would find its target nowadays, at least on consoles.

    Remaking it as a FPS gives them a big names people heard about, some buzz around it, and fans won’t rage too much about the changes in tactical elements because there’ll likely be little to none. I’d consider this game a spin-off. Now if they marketed the game as a proper sequel, there would be reason to get angry.

  15. Davie says:

    Now, I arrived on the scene about ten years too late to experience the apparent wonder that is X-Com, but I understand the caustic levels of rage. The strategy genre is sorely lacking these days, and a proper sequel to such a popular title would be great. God knows there are a billion different shooters out there already.

    This is pretty much my opinion on MMOs (I know, inflammatory words on this site). I just don’t understand why so many developers think it’s the logical next step in a series. We hear about the Fallout MMO, and now the Bioshock MMO, even that canceled Halo MMO and I just can’t imagine these games doing anything but damaging the atmosphere and purpose of the series in question.

    I even think this about WoW. Warcraft III was my X-Com.

    It’s not just with preexisting game series either. Your LP of LOTRO has made me realize how difficult it would be to appreciate the astounding, epic world created by Tolkien and carried over well into the films when running about with a pie trying to keep little scripted hobbits from jumping you.

    Sorry for turning this into my own little rant, but I’m quite fed up with developers suddenly deciding to completely overhaul the entire feel of the sequel to a great game. Command and Conquer 4, I’m looking at you…

    1. neothoron says:

      Sequels sell. Shooters/MMOs sell. Ergo, let’s make a shooter/MMO sequel because our publishers won’t fund anything else.

    2. Tesh says:

      MMOs are a sound business move. Subscriptions are the sneakiest DRM, and they are profitable.

      Of course, they are lousy *games* most of the time, but who cares about *that*, eh?

      *misses WC3*

    3. Audacity says:

      It not too late, you can find it dirt cheap online. I heard Steam had all three for less than ten bucks. Though I could be wrong on that count… I re-aquired it by slightly less savory, legally grey means on Abandonia.

      1. Bret says:

        15 bucks for all five, or five a pop.

        Unless, as there often is, there’s a sale. One week, the entire series was just two bucks.

        Get the first X-Com, and wait for a sale to grab TFTD and Apoc, if you want my advice. Apoc’s good, but incomplete, and Terror hates you. Personally.

    4. WWWebb says:

      Actually, I can totally see X-Com as a MMORPG and I think that would play far better than just a shooter. Everyone starts at base, then groups up (or not) and goes out to an instance of an alien landing. You can have varied objectives: kill all aliens, protect/rescue the civilians, capture the spaceship, defend your base, etc.

      Squad tactics are rewarded and people can specialize their skills/pick their load-outs. As people level up, they go onto a new base and tougher assignments. Aliens occasionally drop weapons. Eventually they release the expansion where you fly off to the alien homeworld.

      As long as they resisted the temptation to add a crafting mechanic, I’d try it.

      1. Decius says:

        I’d like a crafting mechanic as well.

        That is, a NPC at the base, with the title of mechanic, who can take the various bits of alien technology you’ve “Recovered” and craft something out of it, for a price. (After all, all the bits of alien technology belong to the organization, not you, and he’s going to have to “Borrow” some other bits, on his own time, to make you an extended magazine for your plasma cannon.)

  16. Jaz says:

    Is it definitely a shooter?

  17. JohnW says:

    Talk about a let-down! Please redo the title of this post so other readers are not taken on the emotional roller-coaster I just went on.

  18. GuiguiBob says:

    My initial reaction. Wow they are making a remake of X-Com Enforcer, weird.

    In my mind you don’t need to upgrade visually X-Com, it’s already a classic game that is great on it’s own, an artifact of its time. Touching it today only proves how games have changed. No need to come back to it. Perhaps make a mobile version of it on DS or IPad or something. But why do we need to visually upgrade everything.

    “Dang kids. Get off my lawn.”

  19. krellen says:

    I think I made a comment a while back about how there are games other than shooters. I’d repeat it, but it seems that game developers are trying desperately to prove me wrong instead.

    1. Ciennas says:

      And that is tragic. In spite of my comment up their about the natural progression of the technology, their is still very much room for turn based strategy games.

      Not my favorite style, but still a good ol’ funtime.

      Shooters must be trendy then.

      Now for the next big wave: I’m voting…. MMO FPS with a dash of Bejeweled for good measure.

  20. Fenix says:

    I almost peed myself laughing when I though about your Citizen Kane re-imagining. I would love to see a mock trailer for that on youtube.

  21. Ell Jay says:

    Star Trek reboot.

    1. Senji says:

      I’m still foaming at the mouth from that one.

      1. Tesh says:

        Agreed. The entertainment industry seems bent on destroying my childhood.

        1. modus0 says:


          I grew up watching the original series, and enjoyed the latest movie, despite the changes.

          Which, incidentally, they gave justification for, rather than changing without any explanation (ala Klingon foreheads…).

          1. CrushU says:

            This is interesting, actually, as there seems there IS an explanation for the foreheads.

            The Star Trek Online loading screens mentioned Kirk doing something to give them their wrinkled foreheads ‘back’ and it also made them less aggressive, iirc.

            Yes, ‘less’. :)

          2. Blackbird71 says:

            Frankly, I prefer they just make the change and move on, rather than waste our time with a half-baked plot trying to explain it.

            It’s easy for an audience to accept that a more recent version of an aged franchise will have a new look, and that a new cast will bring out new variations on the characters. If a film is announced as a reboot, you know there will be changes to the plot. Going into it, we know everything will be different from the original; like it or hate it, it’s still a given. What’s more is that these changes are the result of having different minds and imaginations putting the film together. In and of itself, this is not necessarily a bad thing.

            What’s bad is when they take all of these changes which have been made for reasons based in the real world, and then try to fabricate explanations for them within the franchise universe. As Star Trek demonstrates, what results is the most empty, convoluted, and contrived excuse for a plot to grace teh big screen. The whole thing was one massive tangled mess of an attempt at an explanation for why every thing was different. It was like trying to watch a shoe salesman shoehorn a size 13 foot into a size 3 sneaker – no matter how hard the pushed and prodded at one end, things just kept exploding out all of the others.

            Honestly, I would have preferred they just skip the lame rationalizations and just made a good story. They had some decent actors and takes on the individual characters, but the plot (or lack thereof) just messed everything up.

            1. krellen says:

              They had to have lame rationalisations, because you don’t just “reboot” a franchise as entrenched and long-established as Star Trek. It’s had three successful and two less-successful instalments before the reboot and, barring Enterprise (which is like Highlander 2*,) all continued the same time-line and universe.

              Rebooting Galactica could be gotten away with because it had so little history laid out. Rebooting Star Trek was a much riskier proposition, so they had to give a nod to its long-standing conventions.

              (*Meaning we all pretend it just didn’t happen.)

  22. RubberJohnny says:

    Hey, first they got rid of the survival horror genre, now stealth and turn-based strategy.

    This is all down to greatly increasing budgets requiring throwing the net ever wider to make the game a success while at the same time making creativity very conservative. “Generic third-person cover shooter with a single gimmick” is pretty much a template now.

    You don’t see this sort of thing on the Wii, or XBLA, or other, less technically proficient hardware. Talking of which, XBLA/Steam would have been a great way to do a new one, or remake an old one in HD, while keeping it an isometric strategy game.

  23. Neil Polenske says:

    Where is the assumption coming from that it’s a shooter? I didn’t see shooter mentioned in that article anywhere. Or is it just not physically possible for a first person game to be anything else?

    1. Well, X-Com was basically a combat game. If it’s a first-person anything, it will involve shooting. Having it be a first-person *non* shooter would be even farther from the original games.

  24. Oleyo says:

    Well, I have never played Xcom, but if the simile is anything like putting Audrey on the same HTML page as that thing, then I will share in your rage.

    Please never do that again, it hurt :P

  25. scragar says:

    When I first read a sequel I thought “It’s about time, 2 and 3 were more or less complete remakes”, after reading that it won’t be X-com though I’m disappointed.

  26. Ozymandias says:

    No, really, get off my lawn.

  27. Trevor B says:

    Is it wrong that I think that Citizen Kane remake sounds awesome?

  28. Vegedus says:

    Damn, man, I’m angry too. At first I was all “Huh?! Yes! YES!! YE-”

    “…combining it with the natural intensity of a first-person experience.”


    With XCom, 2K Marin will re-imagine and expand the rich lore of this revered franchise,” said 2K Games President Christoph Hartmann. “Players will explore the world of XCom from an immersive new perspective and experience firsthand the fear and tension of this gripping narrative ride.
    Yeah, neither “rich lore” or “fear and tension” or even “narrative ride” has much to do with X-com in any shape or form. The plot was basically “dayum, here comes the aliens, kill ’em and take research their stuff! Ho boy, they’re on mars, go therer!”. It really sounds like they’re trying to turn it into Bioshock.

    They say they want to keep the Strategic core (though strategy wasn’t the core, it was everything), but they don’t mention how, so I guess there’s some hope they have some kinda clever idea there.

    1. Solid Jake says:

      I’m going to have to emphatically disagree that X-Com lacked “fear and tension.” Those are probably the first two words I’d use to describe a Snakeman Terror Mission.

      “Oh look, a black Snakeman! And he’s smiling! Maybe this won’t be so ba-OH GOD”

      Anyway, if they retain the overworld map section with the full base-building, researching, budgeting, intercepting, etc. of the original and restrict the FPS to the tactical segments–maybe even add some investigation scenarios since you’re supposed to be an FBI Agent and all–then I could see this actually being an amazing game.

      I have zero confidence this will be the case though.

  29. somebodys_kid says:

    “And then let's reimagine the Audrey Hepburn / Gregory Peck movie Roman Holiday, using Pam Anderson and Ben Afleck.”

    Or it’s like reimagining the Audrey Hepburn / Cary Grant movie Charade, using Thandie Newton and Mark Wahlber*…waaaaiiiitttt a minute….

  30. Jabor says:

    To be honest, I thought the real-time strategy in Apocalypse was better than the turn-based stuff.

    But that might be because my only experience with X-Com turn-based was being raped by brainsuckers in Apocalypse, and then being raped by everything in TFTD.

    1. Bret says:

      Well, the unpleasant relations of a one sided nature with the aliens are the core of X-Com.

      But play the first one. It hates you, but not nearly as much as TFTD does.

      1. Tesh says:

        I cut my strategy teeth on TFTD. Maybe that’s why I’m so enamored of the genre. It’s all been smiles and rainbows since then…

        1. CrushU says:

          Ah yes, TFTD… Such a fun game.

          Until the psy aliens show up and brutally mindfuck your entire team.


          With rusty spoons.

          1. ehlijen says:

            While hiding in the closet no 37 on the cruise ship’o’closets…

          2. El Quia says:

            I hate TFTD, I think it’s worse than Enemy Unknown in all aspects, even thought it is almost the same game.

            On the other hand, Apocalypse was really fun, even though it changes everything. :p

  31. saj14saj says:

    Arghh…. this is how I felt about Mass Affect 2, as an old-school RPG fan. I have no twitch.

    While I recognize that ME2 might be a great game, I gave up about (from what I understand) 1/2 way through, because I didn’t enjoy the shooter elements at all. Even on casual, I die a lot! I hate shooters.

    X-Com, for its time, was a masterpiece, and to remake it as a shooter would be very sad.

    It would be like To Kill a Mockingbird starring Adam Sandler as Atticus.

    1. Stormkitten says:

      I’m no twitch/shooter gamer either, but I found ME2 far easier and more fun to play through the combat sections on easy than ME1.

  32. Sam says:

    I pretty much share this exact opinion, only I extend it to nearly all entertainment industries that insist on doing all these remakes, reboots, and “reimaginings” (a truly abhorrent word that should be censored) of intellectual properties that were perfectly fine when they were first released. I know it’s just to make a quick buck, but they don’t have to destroy every once original idea by making it into a crass, unimaginative bastardization of what it once was.

  33. Robyrt says:

    X-Com is so cool that the novel adaptation was written by Diane Duane, who is basically the Margaret Weis + Tracy Hickman of pulp sci-fi: she ignores all the dumb parts of existing canon and does whatever she wants. By the fifth or sixth Star Trek book, Captain Kirk is just a co-star, and the plot revolves around original characters.

    Honestly, the motivation here sounds like 2K Games having an entire studio that just finished Bioshock 2 and needed another game to make in that vein, but for some reason they weren’t making Bioshock 3. So they started casting about for another existing IP they could leverage from the Golden Age of PC games (the mid to late 90s), and came up with X-Com.

  34. UtopiaV1 says:

    Come now, you would have complained if they decided to re-imagine it as an RTS instead of TBS! That’s the most extreme fanboyism i’ve ever seen from you Shamus.

    Lets give these nutters-with-a-compiler a chance to destroy our childhood properly, without hanging them straight away. While i do love the original X-Com series, I wanna see some results from this reboot, you know, before we castrate them. Just to be fair.

    1. Shamus says:

      “Come now, you would have complained if they decided to re-imagine it as an RTS instead of TBS! ”

      Come now, you would have argued with me even if I had praised the game!

      (Kind of hard to defend yourself against accusations about what you would have done in an alternate timeline, isn’t it?)

      For the record, most of my outrage is feigned in the above post. This is a more extreme version of the Fallout 3 situation: No matter how good the game is, it won’t feel anything like the original because the original was turn-based, isometric, strategy-driven, squad combat. That was the heart of the game, and turning it into a shooter requires they get rid of it. (Unless, as people have said above, they are going for something radical and new. Looking at their System Shock to BioShock “evolution”, I think that’s a wildly unrealistic expectation.)

      There was never a chance that anyone outside of the indie scene was going to revive that super old-school gameplay, so it’s not like this game is precluding the release of a “True” X-Com sequel. It’s just that this is a really goofy IP to use for a shooter.

      Like Fallout 3, it’s possible that this will be a fun game, but whether or no, it will bear only a fleeting and cosmetic resemblance to its supposed originator.

      1. Damian says:

        Yes, exactly. My knee-jerk reaction was THE BASTARDS but then I remembered that I quite like Fallout 3 without having the need to tie it to anything in Fallout <3.

        I guess I'll look at the game on its own merits and quietly continue planning my release of an X-Com-like actual strategy game.

      2. UtopiaV1 says:

        Huh, that told me! I hate to argue with myself, I’m so stubborn…

        FYI, i do not subscribe to your Steven H Silver-style alternate history timeline theory. I’m more of a Time-Cube sortaguy (see Robert J Sawyer’s “Flashforward”).

        I was just thinking now how they would bring back the old magic of X-Com in a new series of games. Not only has the vast vast vast vast leaps in computational power made isometric top-down TBS laughably unrealistic and ugly (in comparison to today, at least), but the only audience who would only give it the time of day is the nerdcore fanbase (as you’ve said). Even then they wouldn’t like it if it didn’t follow characters A or ignored subplot B from the original!

        I guess what I’m saying is, yes it may suck compared to yesteryear’s versions (as you’ve already pointed out), but I’m remaining cautiously hopeful that they will at least give a nod to the previous version, and at least keep some of its amazing atmosphere. I’m not ready to write it off just yet!

        1. ehlijen says:

          There are no characters or nerdcore plots to keep. Apocaplypse, Aftermath, Aftershock and Afterlight all managed to be very different approaches to the origial concept while keeping the original concepts mostly intact.

          And sure, turn based may seem dead (though I’m still swimming with the crocodiles about that). But why then take something that basically defined the turn based genre for a decade and turn it into something that the original fans won’t like?

          Given how little unique imagery XCom used (apart from the name there isn’t much in it that other conspiracy universes don’t have) it seems less like ‘let’s remake XCom’ than like ‘let’s make this. Huh, it kinda looks like XCom, let’s buy that name to give this a jump start’.

          XCom is dead, long lice XCom (hopefully in the form of Project Xenocide very soon).

        2. guy says:

          X-com had characters? Or plots?

          Seriously, the plot is as follows: Aliens are attacking earth. Kill them. Oh, hey, they are based on mars. Go kill aliens on mars.

          And there are no characters. At all.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Oh come on,how could you forget such memorable characters as Meatshield,Grenadeer,Rocketeer and Leader?Those guys were awesome.

            1. ehlijen says:

              You mean the new Xcom won’t have Gundrun Gunkel? How could they!

              (The random stock names were so funny, I never changed them!)

              1. Kdansky says:

                Changing them was a good idea, though, because you could not look at their stats during load out, and load out was never saved. The only game worth playing despite a worse interface than X-Com is Dwarf Fortress. It was obvious that they would change some things from the original, but make it an FPS? That’s like redoing Tomb Raider as an RTS, or Starcraft as Jump & Run. Those things might work if the IP is great, but X-Com has absolutely zero story, plot and setting.

                I’ve recently gotten Enforcer (Steam package deal, all X-Com games ever released for less than 5$, sadly, only half of them work), and I was shocked at how bad it is. It is quite honestly one of the worst games I have ever played.

                Bioshock and Fallout 3 did not appeal much to me. Fallout 3 is like Morrowind, Oblivion or MMORPGs: Tons of repetitive, boring tasks, a shallow story, mediocre mechanics that are married to an economy that can be broken before leaving the starting town. Bioshock is like System Shock 2, except reduced so much that it felt very bland to me and closer to Quake 2 than to System Shock 2.

  35. Johannes says:

    Well I’m not a fan of shooters anymore, now that the FPS genre playing field has become the Hollywood of computer games… All game reviews I’ve seen on Gamespot lately (yes, I visit Gamespot, if only for their fancy review clips, which at least can give me an impression of what the game would play like) seem to feature great looking games but bland, shallow gameplay. Where have the good games gone? I’m looking east to west, and everywhere the horizon appears clear, save some small spots. Even Left for Dead 2 isn’t as good as I hoped it would be…

    1. Kdansky says:

      L4D2 seems pretty good, but it is only a deluxe version of L4D1 to begin with. At least it is a proper sequel (more of the same, executed better).

      1. Johannes says:

        Indeed, I’d appreciated it when they just called it L4D+, or something along those lines… Plus, I really think they didn’t execute everything better. In some cases, it’s worse, IMHO.

  36. James Pope says:

    I dunno, if they made it turn based outside of the mission combats, which were squad shooters, that would be kind of awesome actually. So you’d have this 3D real time experience of shooting aliens for very short periods of time taking over bases, and then you’d have this strategic game outside of that with building up bases and doing research, etc.

    Actually that sounds a lot like a shooter version of something like the Total War series, which didn’t suck entirely even though I like the more complex awesomeness of Paradox Interactive games better. If they actually made it a more immersive experience somehow in all of that, it would be even better, no matter how much it digresses from the original.

  37. Someone says:

    This is gonnna be a pile of crap. I seriously fail to see the point. Hardcore (and when i say hardcore i MEAN hardcore) turn based strategy/management simulation isnt exacly fps material, and even if they just wanted to make a quick buck on the famous name of the franchise most of the modern gamers probably dont even know what x-com is or what all the fuss is about, and those who do also remember Enforcer.

    Im holding out for UFO: Alien Invasion.

    To all of you people wishing to play a modern remake of Enemy Unknown UFOAI is probably as close as it gets to it. Good old-fashioned turn based gameplay, none of this “real time active pause” nonsense, no kids on the lawn. Its also a lot easier to get into, easy to learn and hard to master as they say.
    Its an open source project, and its kiiiiiiind of a work-in-progress but you wont notice it until you get to your own aircraft design in the tech tree (about 25 hours in). I suggest you google it and check it out.

    1. Groboclown says:

      I’m going to second this one. I play UFO:AI off the Subversion tree (i.e. playing what the devs are making), and it’s getting really good.

  38. SolkaTruesilver says:

    I know you are all screaming in pain.

    But… … ….

    Think about it. Well made, you could have a Left 4 Dead-like game, multiplayer, with a group of teammates going into a alien-infested neighbourhood, and you have to work as a team to kill sectoids, Mutons, and etherals. You build your character with weaponry, psychic power, and you try not to freak out while entering the alien ship.

    I.. I actually can think of a game like that which would be simply awesome..

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      I remember that argument.Ive used it myself years ago when fallout 3 was announced by bethesda.Sadly,I was wrong.

      1. SolkaTruesilver says:

        But it’s not the same. Fallout’s gameplay was all about interesting RPGs and basic combat system. The game wasn’t about the fight.

        XCom’s was about the combat. And a fun, frantic combat, to say the least. You were on the edge of your seat and jumped 2 meters high when you were caught by surprise by an alien.

        If you played the individual soldier, against these aliens, you’d shit in your pants at the least sound. Chatter with your teammates would be kept to a minimum.

        Add a very good AI to the mix, and you could have something that would be a proper hommage to XCom’s, playing as the poor smuch sent against the Mutons and Crysalids.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          I understand what you mean.What I meant was:When fallout was announced as a first person game,I was “Well it can still keep the atmosphere.Imagine seeing all that wasteland through the eyes of the vault dweller,speaking with all those people while watching their faces,shooting mutants from point blank,…”yet when it came out it was none of those.Sure,the wasteland looked nice,but it didnt feel right.Nothing felt like fallout.It felt like some guy hiking through grey landscape speaking with idiots,pausing to shoot some guys.

          And I fear this will be the same.I too yearn to feel the great atmosphere and fear as I slowly creep near the alien ship and try to infiltrate it undetected.It would be awesome.But what well probably get is a guy shooting aliens,probably hiding behind chest-high walls until he self regenerates,and aliens will bumble about like dumb idiots,getting stuck in every doorway.I understand your optimism,and I would love to see a game youve described,but Ive been disappointed by too many sequels to still believe it can happen.

  39. pffh says:

    I’m hopefully optimistic. Even though I haven’t played bioshock I’ve heard it’s quite good so I hope they do something good with x-com.

    Ah childhood memories of not knowing any english and trying to figure out how anything worked in X-COM:Enemy unknown.

  40. Volatar says:

    By the way. For any of you that have not yet played the original X-Com, Shamus posted it here: http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=1386

    Get it. Play it. Enjoy.

    1. Actually as a better idea, if you don’t have any problems with Steam, you can get the original X-Com from Steam

      1. Kdansky says:

        Except that the gold version runs and new machines, and the steam version doesn’t. Believe me, I have both.

        1. Volatar says:

          You should talk to Steam support on that one. They run it with a specially configured DosBox install, and it should work.

  41. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I wouldnt really call the franchise dead.The last sequel(afterlight: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UFO_Afterlight)wasnt really that bad.It had some quirks,sure,but it was a good game.They shouldve just continued with that.

    1. RodeoClown says:

      UFO Afterlight isn’t in the same series as XCOM.
      It’s made by different people – a ‘spiritual successor’ if you will.

      1. ehlijen says:

        Nevertheless, it’s the closest thing to it (apart from the in my opinion superior if buggy Aftershock) we’ve had to the original since Apocalypse.

        Given that the official franchise turned into interceptor and enforcer while unofficial remakes tried to evolve the gameplay without destroying it (to differing degrees of success I admit), I don’t see the name ‘xcom’ as being in any way related to what I like about the series anymore, and thus this cash grab won’t work on me.

        Not saying I won’t get the game, just that it will have to convince with its own merits, not its name.

  42. Owlish says:

    “Even then they wouldn't like it if it didn't follow characters A or ignored subplot B from the original!”

    Dude, for X-com? There were no major characters, there was no subplot. Which is why Diane Duane’s book worked so well- she could invent her own characters and stick them into the basic framework of the game.

    I’m not optimistic, but it would be possible to make a fun game. Some basic resource management and a tech tree for strategy, a choice of what kinds of missions you will and won’t do with limited time, FPS missions, PSI and big freakin guns…

  43. Blackbird71 says:

    You know, I actually remember seeing a movie that was a remake of “Roman Holiday,” but for the life of me I can’t remember what it was called or who was in it.

    It was probably something so atrociously bad that I just burned it from my memory.

  44. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I dont get it.Why cant a remake actually be a remake.Its not that hard.They did it with monkey island,and it sold.Big time.An adventure game,a dead brand(like so many people are saying),was just remade without changing its core,and it sold!Why is this concept so hard to grasp?!!And its also easier(and cheaper)to take an existing game and just improve its graphics and sound,then to go from scratch with gameplay as well.

    1. krellen says:

      I would love to see the old game simply remade with a better graphic engine – something giving a bit more diversity to the squad, both in and out of recruitment screens. That would be a sure-buy for me.

      1. ehlijen says:

        Check out Project Xenocide if you haven’t already. While I’m starting to doubt it’ll ever finish (been watching it since 2002) it claims to be what you’re looking for.

  45. guy says:

    The most out-of-nowhere decision: The player is an FBI agent, because apparently a group of secret internationally backed commandos is no longer cool enough to provide main characters. Also irritating: the UFO in the screenshot. If you’re going to keep the brand, use the same UFO styles.

    1. Rallion says:

      A group of secret internationally-backed commandos is no longer cool enough for the player to be in charge of, but apparently it’s still cool enough to name the game after. More than a little strange.

      1. Kdansky says:

        Because the FBI we can all identify with. We’re all Americans, after all.

        1. ehlijen says:

          So james bond is the last non american left in the world?

          But seriously, this is starting to sound like someone at 2k confused Xcom and X-Files…

  46. Joshua says:

    Next, they’ll remake Planescape:Torment as an MMO. When you go down to 0 HP, you just respawn with memory penalties. Unfortunately, you won’t be the “Nameless One” any longer, but you will be sharing the scene with plenty of other incarnations of your past selves, most who will have quite “colorful” names.

    1. WarlockofOz says:

      Please delete your post. While there has never been any evidence that publishers read these comments, better safe than sorry.

    2. Tizzy says:

      You know, it would capture the Nameless One’s multiple personalities very well. I’ve never played an MMO, but I would totally try that one.

      1. acronix says:

        You´d die of drain damage after seeing that 3/4 of the Nameless Ones names are variations on “usuck”, “lolzomgrofl” and “urrmomma”. And that´s before you see the quests.

  47. Allen says:

    Why can’t we get a turn-based game anymore? Sometimes I don’t want to have to make split-second decisions, I want to be able to watch a show and get a few moves in during commercials.

  48. CrushU says:

    On the subject of remakes…

    I want to see Rocket Jockey remade.

  49. ClearWater says:

    Maybe it’s not so bad. Maybe they’re re-imagining it as a turn based first person shooter.

    1. Simon Buchan says:

      This was what I think they should do. Seriously.
      On your turn:
      * You see a highlighted area of where you can move to given your Time Points.
      * You can do inventory stuff, crouch, etc… which uses more TP and shrinks the area you can move to.
      * You can reset doing the above stuff, regaining all your TP. (Think Super Robot Wars.)
      * Various things are no-take-back: seeing, attacking or being attacked by an enemy, anything with a random component or that gives you tactical knowledge.
      * At any time, you can swap control to another squad member.

      On the Enemy turn, simply show “cinematic” 3rd person shots of what your squad sees and hears.

      Gameplay of X-COM, with control and visual sensibilities of today!

  50. unitled says:

    I could at least understand the sequel to Fallout… The Fallout world was a fascinating place to set a game with plenty of history and characters that came along with it.

    But XCOM? No-one played XCOM because it was set in an interesting world! It was almost entirely generic. Yes, it had some cool aliens in it (which true PC Gamers still aren’t terrified by merely contemplating the Chryssalid?), but what made the game was the gameplay. Why make a sequel to/remake of the game by chucking that out?!

    1. Kdansky says:


      *goes on a killing spree in the office*

      1. ehlijen says:

        Ever since I encountered a chrysalid completely encaged by knee high flower bed hedges and thus unable to ever get next to me no matter how often he ran around in circles, I’ve felt kind of sorry for those things…

        1. Varil says:


          Can’t…get…mental image…out of my head…

        2. Bret says:


          Now I need someone to make world war II style X-CO propaganda posters with “Not so cute now!” over a chryssalid zombifying folks.

  51. froogger says:

    Oh dear. Quoting the 2K president Hartmann: “rich lore”, “gripping narrative ride”.
    The X-Com I know had neither. UFO Enemy Unknown and Terror from the Deep adapted to the players actions IIRC, the plot was wafer-thin and the lore… well, I did enjoy the cadets handbook included in the box, complete with doodles and all. Obviously he’s never played them and have poor counselling, or he’s full of it.

    What made X-Com special was, for me, the tight atmosphere, freedom of choice, and that all your actions had consequences – from placing and designing your bases to which ufo to chase, and what gear you put in your squaddies hands. The artwork was brilliant, as was the soundeffects. When you heard a door opening, and you didn’t know where, that was suspense. Can’t see how they’re going to “reimagine” this on any level.
    Not holding my breath here.

  52. Falke says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I read this yesterday and it was like running against a brick wall. What’s wrong with these people? Nothing against shooters but aren’t there more than enough already? No a real new X-Com game, now that would be something I’d buy.

  53. Halceon says:

    They are basically reimagining the game X-Com enforcer, which has nothing to do with the Great Grand Genre-defining Games that is the X-Com game line.

    The UFO: Aftermath, Aftershock, Afterlight trilogy is a reimagining. The UFO: Extraterrestrials is a reimagining. Even UFO 2000 is a reimagining. THIS… this is nothing but a mockery.

  54. equinox216 says:

    Some small part of me is going “You know what could almost work? ‘Dragon Age-style group management and player-controlled AI’ combined with ‘Fallout3- or Mass Effect-like combat’.”

    That, and 2K Games really thoroughly impressed me with Borderlands, which I had positively Eeyoreian levels of enthusiasm for before I Gamefly’ed it just to see… then totally loved and put the game and the DLC on my ‘to buy’ list.

    So, you know what? I’ll wait and see how it looks to be shaping up, first. Maybe they’ll pull it off.

  55. Tizzy says:

    Guess I’ll throw in my $.02, even if I break the internet while doing so…

    I am ashamed to say that I never played X-Com. Never even heard of it until a few years ago. But reading the description of the game, the various layers (strategy, tactics, research, economy), I’m just stunned at how many ways things could go wrong, how likely it would be to produce a broken game out of this blueprint.

    The game designers of the time were a lot braver, or just more willing to make stuff up as they went along. I don’t see anything this daring coming out anytime soon…

  56. WCG says:

    Is there anything on this planet you idiots won't turn into a shooter? … You guys have successfully euthanized the turn-based strategy genre, but is it completely necessary for you to rape the corpse?

    Amen! I’m just incredibly furious at this news.

    Ah, but Audrey Hepburn WAS lovely, wasn’t she? Thanks for posting that picture. Maybe it will help cool my white-hot rage.

  57. ChrisChris says:

    More than 10 years ago i was waiting for X-Com Alliance, a tactical fps.
    Unfortanetly it got canceled in 2000.
    Previews looked very promising and i was sad when i heard about it never being released.
    Perhaps I will get my X-Com Alliance after all.

    I’m far more excited about an X-Com fps then i would be about another classical x-com game.
    Maybe the reason for this is that i already played through the first 3 x-com games. Additionaly i played through Ufo: Extraterrestrials, a spiritual successor of the first X-Com game. My desire for turn-based combat is satisfied with that or maybe i just lost hope that there could be a game as great as the first two x-com.

    I’m with froogger on the plot issue.
    I hope they don’t create too much story.
    Whoa, writing the last sentence felt strange.
    Normally i like games with a lot of story. But in a X-Com game this seems like a bad idea.

    I never felt so much fear in a game as in the first X-Com games. Part of that surely was that everyone was expendable. There was no main character who would have certainly survived to the end of the game. Anyone could die in any mission.

    But maybe the FBI agent isn’t really on the battlefield and is just monitoring and directing a team of soldiers remotely.
    Ah well, enough clutching at straws.

    Time to wait for more information.

  58. Jon Ericson says:

    One good thing to come out of this is that I dug up my copy of Terror from the Deep (it still works)! I didn’t play it nearly as much as the original because I got a bit burnt out on squad-based, turn-based combat (X-COM, Jagged Alliance, 101st Airborne, and even Fallout and Steel Panthers in a way) by the time I got around to it. So far, it’s kicking my butt while I try to remember how to play the first few game months.

    X-COM had plenty of problems (equipment should be assigned to squaddies, not ships for instance), but the core combat was exceptional. There’s nothing quite like the knife edge of a tough fight where a few actions could mean the difference between victory and total panic.

    It’s not likely to happen, but I think there are ways of using the first-person POV to enhance the game without sacrificing the core experience. My design notes would be something like:

    * Battle locations other than player designed bases must be randomly generated. Not negotiable.

    * There needs to be some sort of battle map for the player to plot the squad’s movement. Isometric would be a nice throwback, but overhead might be better. It should be possible to direct several turns from the map to save time, but action stops when an enemy is detected. Simultaneous turns, rather than sequential, should be possible as well. (Didn’t 101st Airborne do that?)

    * Players can switch to any squaddie’s POV at any time in their turn. Movement and other actions are possible in this mode, but they are limited to the squaddie’s remaining TUs. Time Units need not be explicitly presented to the player as long as the reserving system is flexible enough. It should be possible to reserve time for crouching AND a snap shot, for instance.

    Having access to the first person POV would actually solve one of the biggest problems with the isometric layout—it’s difficult to visualize line of sight. In first person, it should be easier to know how to move in order to get a shot off.

    But it would be a bit of a stretch to call my system an FPS.

    1. Bret says:


      I’d say “Good Luck” but…

      Luck won’t save you. Skill won’t save you. Faith won’t save you. The depths will claim their own and the age of man will come to an end. Ia! Ia! Tasoth fhtagn!

      Ia! Ia! Tentaculat fhtagn!

      Ia! Ia! Lobsterman fhtagn!

      …Sorry. Don’t know what came over me.

  59. Ferrous Buller says:

    This is not the first time something terrible has been done to X-Com. Hell, it’s not even the second.

    Also, you do remember that Pamela Anderson has already reimagined Casablanca, right? Of course you don’t, because your mind naturally rebels at horrible things to protect you! Glad I could fix that.

  60. Zaghadka says:

    And it will star Adam Sandler as the FBI guy. Hollywood has moved in, time to move on.

  61. BuschnicK says:

    There seem to be a lot of old-school hard-core X-COM fans around here (myself included). Few games have managed to leave such a lasting imprint and spawn so many fan projects trying to update the original glory to a modern game. I totally agree with the sentiment that turning the franchise into a FPS completely misses the point and even if done well will have nothing whatsoever to do with what made the original great.

    Having said that I’m toying with starting my own interpretation of the original game and am wondering what people’s opinion to my planned approach is. Please comment at:







  62. Shinjin says:

    I’m late to the conversation, but this indie title in development shows some promise: Xenonauts. Doubtful that they’ll hit their December 2010 target, but it sounds like they have the right idea.

  63. FatPope says:

    It’s been mentioned but I think it deserves more attention: Isn’t this X-Com Alliance? You know, that game everybody was salivating in expectation of but never came out. This is exactly what an awful lot of people wanted, fanboys included. I guess it’s just a different era now: the idea of an FPS X-Com was original back then but now (possibly correctly) people are assuming it will be generic shooter trash.

    There’s no reason, however, why this can’t be good. An investigative, possibly tactical team-based FPS might be fantastic if they coupled it with the original base-building strategic layer. They did mention keeping the “strategic core”, although that could be interpreted many ways.

    Ultimately, I suppose, it’s too early to make much of a judgement on this just yet, positive or negative

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      I wasnt salivating in expectation for alliance.Also,when that was announced,we didnt have this many sequels that disappointed.Most notably,we didnt have fallout 3.

  64. Decius says:

    I’m not quite sure that X-COM FPS is a bad thing. Just because it’s not what X-COM has been so far doesn’t mean anything.

    What we need is an interesting set of choices that are made by the player/agent. I’m not sure what they might be; the X-COM universe I know doesn’t have good aliens, and I’m not playing X-COM to decide which humans are cooperating to excess with aliens. There will probably be overtones of “Peaceful Coexistence”, but if you take that route, it turns out that for some reason you still have to go through the same excessively long combat section just to see the ending that you chose in the taxi when you killed/didn’t kill that one guy.

    Case in point: If someone made a Jagged Alliance FPS, using the JA name, it could be awesome. It wouldn’t be so much about judging cost/benefit ratios of other mercenaries, but there would be other considerations: which side of this conflict do I work for, how do I respond to this moral/tactical choice, is the improved firepower of the M-2 worth the trouble of transporting it and the cost of ammo?

    I know that the “Mercenary FPS” premise has been done, but perhaps it could be done well at some point.

  65. Scipio says:

    Some random X-Com thoughts: Are they confusing X-Com with the X-files? The FBI makes me think investigations, forensics, and mysteries, not laser guns, grenades, and flying assault craft. Basically it sounds like it will have almost nothing from the original. Ah well.

    Also, while we’re on the subject of odd sequels, what was the deal with Terror from the Deep?! I played that one first, and thought it was amazing. Then I went back and played the first one and was totally mind boggled to find that they were the exact same game. TFTD just had a blue palette swap. If I had purchased that as a full game back in the day, I would have been pissed.

    Still, nothing beats that feeling of dread when you hear that squelch squelch sound of an approaching tentaculat and you wonder if it has enough movement to reach your guys. I always got a kick out of thinking about those poor grunts. “alright boys, before you head out, everybody prime two of those alien grenades and stick em in your pockets.”

    On the subject of sounds, you guys ever notice that the X-Com door opening sound gets used from time to time? I’ve heard it in a couple of commercials over the years. I figured X-com probably just ripped it off from somebody else so the sound effect was fair game.

Thanks for joining the discussion. Be nice, don't post angry, and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darth_Vader">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.