by Jeffrey Lerman
previewed on PC
Firaxis Games, the developers of Civilization, are taking on the task of bringing to you XCOM: Enemy Unknown, not to be mistaken with XCOM, the first-person shooter being developed by 2K Marin. With all the recent hype, you've probably heard a thing or two about Enemy Unknown already as it is slowly unveiled to the public. For those of you who remember the 1990s of PC Gaming, Enemy Unknown will certainly renew some of those memories by "offering a ground-breaking gameplay experience." as 2K recently stated.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown was first announced by 2K Games on January 5th through Game Informer magazine, letting fans know that an FPS isn't the only re-imagination going on behind the curtains. It should be interesting to see what Firaxis has come up with without Julian Gollop developing the franchise anymore. Considering the success Firaxis has had with Civilization, I feel confident they'll bring an over-the-top experience with Enemy Unknown.
What to expect
Enemy Unknown is an action strategy game with turn based elements during tactical combat. While overseeing everything from a global view, however, the game will be in real time, similar to real time strategy games. The global view brings in a ton of strategy, specifically when it comes to researching alien technology, ordering engineers, interacting with other nations around the vast world, recruiting more soldiers and a number of other activities. These are only a few of the decisions you'll be making to mount your defence against a global invasion of aliens. If you enjoy Sid Meier's Civilization, or have enjoyed previous X-COM games, then you'll probably enjoy Enemy Unknown.
Don't start jumping to conclusions, however, as gameplay is still going to be largely turn-based, much as in previous games in the franchise. Firaxis and 2K have stated that all combat gameplay will be turn-based. While dealing with resource management and technological advances, there are going to be important battles in your way. These battles will test your intelligence and tactics against the enemy. When your aerial transport reaches an abduction site, your global view will change to a tactical view allowing you to command your soldiers. You'll then be put up to the task of destroying all aliens on site, dealing with fog of war, line of sight, cover, and of course permanent deaths. Lets just hope those will mostly be on the aliens' side.
Creatures you don't like!
Previous X-COM games have had tons of aliens to deal with, but now the artists over at Firaxis need to bring those creepy creatures up to date! Firaxis Lead Designer, Jake Solomon, and Lead Artist, Greg Foertsch, discuss the process of bringing 18 year old characters into modern day graphics. Comparing today's graphics to what they were 18 years ago will definitely show major differences. In addition to updating older creatures into what modern day audiences want to see, Firaxis decided to create a few of their own, which tacks on a whole new situation for them to busy themselves with. Who better than Jake Solomon to lead this project, a man who goes so far as to say that X-COM is his favourite game of all time. A masterpiece, in fact.