XCOM: Enemy Unknown

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XCOM: Enemy Unknown


Return to familiar ground

Creatures you don't like! (cont.)

So let's get into talking about the first major alien that needed to be redesigned, the Sectoid. If you've played X-COM, you'll know who the Sectoids are as they're the first alien you come across and are therefore the most important ones to get right. When you start out playing Enemy Unknown, you're going to want the first alien you see to be pretty epic looking. Chances are you'll see them frequently and you really want it to pull you into the atmosphere, while at the same time giving you the passionate desire to kill it. Foertsch believes that if they can snag the audience with the Sectoids, they're doing great and can really start making crazy intense aliens from there. Foertsch states: "We looked at the original character design and then put it away and started designing the character." They were fortunate enough to have a foundation to work off of. Solomon's addition to the end result is that he's scarier because he's naked: "If you see naked dudes with guns, clearly there’s something not right there." he states.

Then there's the giant green beast; the Muton. Foertsch found the Mutons to be among the toughest creatures to recreate because he wanted the player to know in an instant that it was indeed the Muton. Something you'll definitely want to be aware of. Foertsch and Solomon wanted to create a brutal killing machine with a tint of Orc. Throughout developing the Muton, they went from something a bit too human to a bit too Orcish, to eventually just right, making it seem more primal, more apelike. Who messes with apes? Overall, this created a wide, short, and hunched over alien with huge green armour that you don't want to mess with. While developing the Mutons, the idea behind how their appearance came to be: "They’re evil Seal Team 6."

Let's not forget about the simple, but mysterious Cyberdiscs. Perhaps a bit enigmatic, there's a lot more to that simple disc than meets the eye. While almost invulnerable in its closed UFO form, it's hiding an arsenal inside, waiting to be revealed. When going in for the kill it'll open itself up into a more vulnerable but deadlier form. When in its UFO form, it'll seem like only a machine or a robot, but when it reveals itself, you'll see the organic side of it. Even if it is more vulnerable when open, it is able to heal itself and can be considered a tank.

Arrival of New Enemies

But we already know all these creatures, what's new? This is where the Thin Man comes into play. The Thin Man takes on the role of blending in with average citizens, having few features revealing his actual nature. He is unnaturally tall and slender, making up exactly what his name stands for. His abnormal figure allows him to be extremely flexible but most of his skin is covered by a suit, tie, glasses, and shoes, making it tough to identify him in a crowd. One moment he can be blending in with a crowd and the next, he'll be leaping up stories of a building. If he still sounds too normal for you, then guess what his weapon is … poison. One of his moves, Solomon put emphasis on, is that he can remove his jaw and then vomit poison at his target. Last time I checked, that's not normal. The Thin Man is influenced by Men in Black and Aeon Flux to some extent.

Should you trust Firaxis?

Julian Gollop, the developer behind the previous XCOM games, has moved on to develop other games such as Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars. Firaxis has gathered tons of awards with Sid Meier's Civilization franchise; a successful turn based strategy game. Several of the developers working on XCOM: Enemy Unknown cherish the original and while it's not a remake, they're serious about keeping to the lore and creating an unforgettable experience. The team deems it a masterpiece and wants to keep it that way.