XCOM Returns… Oh Meier!

If there are two words guaranteed to get us excited and, quite honestly, salivating here at GLHQ, they are “XCOM” and “returns”… as long as they don’t come coupled with “2K” and “Marin”, that is. Yes, according to the rain forest guzzling overly-serialised-exclusives behemoth that is Game Informer, the legendary Sid Meier and his Firaxis studio are rebooting the fan favourite and sticking to its strategic roots.  Anyone familiar with the original X-Com franchise will undoubtedly be aware of the furore that 2K Marin’s shooter-reimagination spawned and, as life-long fans of Enemy Unknown (UFO Defense for our American cousins), we too were seriously unimpressed by their XCOM offerings at the 2K booth at E3 last year.

While the omission of the much-needed hyphen is still glaringly obvious, it’s no secret that this new reboot of Enemy Unknown has everything that made the original great: turn based strategy and no mention of a first person run and gun in sight.  Whether other aspects such as air combat and the UFOpaedia will be included is anyone’s guess at this stage but one can only assume that the core features of base building along with research and manufacturing will have to make a return if the strategic direction is being taken.  That said, it’s entirely possible that Firaxis could go down the Command And Conquer route of favouring timeline pre-requisites over research, although that would certainly remove a considerable amount of gameplay.

If gameplay from 1994′s UFO: Enemy Unknown is retained and Firaxis follow creator Julian Gollop’s canon, with slicker graphics and a modernised feel, then this could be the revitalisation that X-Com fans have been crying out for.  The risk is that we’ll turn a metaphoric corner to face a Zombie just as they start to turn into a vile Chryssalid but, instead, what emerges is nothing more than a steaming pile of faeces although, quite honestly, it’s hard to imagine Meier allowing that to happen.

One thing is for sure, however, and that is that the fans of the original series are more likely to give face time to a strategic reboot over the hugely side-stepping first person shooter on offer from 2K.  There will, of course, be an audience for either genre but I, for one, know which side my Sectoid’s buttered.  We’ll be following the development closely and bring as much information as we can, as soon as we can.

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One Comment

  1. Lorna Lorna says:

    Whooo! Fucking finally. Fantastic pair of hands for the franchise to be in.

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