Game Informer

Why Firaxis Loves XCOM

XCOM: Enemy Unknown’s lead designer, producer, and art director share their memories of the original XCOM game and explain what makes it a masterpiece.

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  1. So they sat half of their company down in front of X-Com without the manual and just said, "have fun?" The manual is really well written and teaches you everything you need to know about the UI and what you're supposed to do.

  2. It's amazing coming back to this after the release of 2 and WOTC and seeing how many crusty only-the-oriiiigiiinaaaal fanboys were crawling in the comments and being wrong about things.

  3. I really wish the remake was just a carbon copy with updated graphics. I don't hate the Firaxis version, but there is so much more to the original, even in combat. For instance, you can pick up the weapons that your dead soldiers drop, exchange items during a fight, shoot holes in walls and barriers to create shortcuts, etc.
    I love the Firaxis remake of Pirates as it is pretty much the same game as the original but with updated graphics. I still recommend the new Xcom to people looking for strategy games but I just don't think anything can touch the original.

  4. 'Build success on the bodies of the weak' This is why I love Jake. I still remember the feeling of tactical mastery once I figured out I could use smoke grenades to avoid getting butchered as soon as I landed the skyranger.

  5. we all had mcnamara soldiers that were scouting drones, io remember it was hard always,to learn and to keep pushing but somehow you came on top, was a glorious feeling, you can enjoy some of the og elemnts in the modern on, have to give these guys props, sometimes is too easy thou

  6. Im lovin X-Com 2 from this generation… as an original player of x-com:ufo defense i looked on steam and it was like a dollar! I now own original X-com again and its a fricken atom!

  7. The original XCOM was a game way ahead of its time, amazed at how much they managed to pull off in that game with the specs of computers back then. Guy isn't wrong when he says the game had a 'soul' remember a few times literally jumping with surprise/horror as a green laser bolt was shot out the dark of some wooden farmhouse. The music/sound effects used really kept you on edge and created a tense atmosphere.

  8. Games like UFO defense and half life 2 and such are definitely in their own category. it always pisses me off when people say "these games were great in their day but they dont hold up anymore" its so clear they havent played them and is why i also fundamentally disagree with the idea that the games that we dismiss as awful today would have been heralded as masterpieces back then.

    the reason i know this is because i wasnt even born when these games released… (i mean techincally i was like 6 months old when HL2 released but still) i didnt even play the original half life until 2 years or so ago, i realised that i'd been playing PC games all my life and it felt wrong to not have played the original classics like doom and half life so i went back and played Half life 1 and the fact that someone who grew up around modern gaming with all the amazing tools modern games have to offer and still think "damn this is a really well made game" the technical wizardry that is half life 1 and 2 is just amazing, if you had put half life up on my screen without any prior knowledge to what the game was there's no way i'd have guessed it came out when it did and the same can be said about half life 2.

    Xcom UFO defense i only started playing because i've been in love with the Firaxis style XCOM for years and whilst id tried to play UFO defense a few times before i was always put off by the sheer hostility of the UI, but once i finally got past that i was just amazed…. the thing that i think shows that XCOM UFO defense was so amazing is the fact that its UI IS so unfriendly, its not unfriendly because its incompitent, rather because its doing so many things so well for its time that it was literally impossible to make it any more streamlined than it is… any game that can have a UI as hard to grasp (for modern gamers) as that but still draws you in and makes you want to understand it is very obviously a well made game…

    i fell in love with UFO defense for the simplest of reasons, it was like the 5th or so turn that id been hucking smoke grenades and suddenly 2 of my soldiers dropped unconcious, i didnt know what had happened and then it happened again on the next mission… and i realised it was smoke inhalation. i was speechless… i know its a simple thing, in reality its probably not particularly difficult to make even for the time its more that they had that level of attention to detail that really showed the creators love for the idea and how amazing the execution is.

    I love Firaxis' XCOM but after going back to UFO defense ive found myself yearning for an xcom game closer to its routes, Xcom EU / EW and XCOM 2 WOTC are amazing games that i will continue to pour hundreds of hours into, but i cant help but hope that one day XCOM UFO defense gets a true modern remake. Until then, ill be enjoying some Xenonauts 🙂

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