My expectations for an X-COM remake have not been particularly high, and they certainly were not helped any by the transparent cash grab of taking a classic turn based game and shoehorning it into a first person shooter. So even with that puzzling remake being pushed back to somewhere between 2013 and never, I still couldn’t muster up any real desire to be excited about XCOM: Enemy Unknown. This is not any direct aspersion cast towards the fine devs at Firaxis, but more an accumulative reaction due to years of massive disappointment when it comes to unnecessary entertainment reboots, re-imaginings, remakes, or whatever other re-word they are currently using to describe questionably updating things. When it comes to X-COM, this is made even more drastic considering the original series was among the first PC games I was exposed to, and thus gave me a good kick in the pants towards the PC gaming master race elitism I wrap myself in like a warm, and more sophisticated, blanket. Regardless of which platform you lay your allegiances upon, I’m sure that many of you share my opinion that not every classic game series needs to be remade for the consoles and modernized. Especially when that decidedly un-modern game play still holds up quite well decades later.

Our collective opinion is at odds with the game industry, who I’m fairly certain would remake Faxanadu as a post apocalyptic first person shooter with stealth kills because fuck-you-give-us-your-money-that’s-why. I personally began to lose my appetite for this whole trend before it even hit its stride, a first person shooter version of Shadowrun was more than enough to ruin my taste for rebootmaginingmakes. Safe to say, I did not expect much from the news that X-COM was being dragged, kicking and screaming, into the modern console world.

Although, after seeing gameplay footage and hearing the devs talk a bit more about it, I’ve dialed back my crippling cynicism a bit. I know, I’m as surprised as you are.

Obviously, the PC elitist in me will never stop being concerned about deep games possibly being over simplified for the console market, and there are still some other red flags being put up – slow motion kills and cover shooter mechanics, oh joy –  but it seems like the spirit of X-COM is definitely there. I had terrible visions of them turning it into a drab run-and-gun third person cover shooter. Those worries may now be a bit unfounded. More importantly, it seems like it is actually a whole bunch of fun. Fun usually trumps my grumpy old man gamer complaints no matter how bad I want you god damn kids to get off my god damn lawn.

[Source: RockPaperShotgun ]


  1. That’s okay, even if the hype-wave and PR-wind knocks you off the “being sensible” wagon, there’s still cynical bastards like me here to point out that the move-whatever mechanic sounds dull and stiff, the lack of ammo for anything but heavy weapons is lame, the loss of the battle inventory in favour of a bar of cooldown powers is crap, the lowered number of troops will make this feel less like an X-com style wargame and more like dungeons and dragons and there are plenty of us who just aren’t wowed by the perk and class jazz.