The launch trailer for XCOM: Enemy Unknown, subtitled "Our Last Hope," offers a look at gameplay to celebrate next week's release of Firaxis' continuation of the X-COM series of sci-fi strategy/action games. They say: "Take command of XCOM headquarters, recruit and train your soldiers, and research alien technology to advance the capabilities of your squad. The battle against the enemy will be tough, and success will depend on your ability to keep your recruits alive and evolve them from rookies to more skilled and powerful soldiers. You are our last hope to save humanity from the global alien invasion. Good luck, Commander."
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This is one of those times when I get torn about a project - in truth there is little doubt that this game is going to be at least good. It seems likely to be great. But (and there is the "but" everyone was waiting for) after I read each preview and interview and watch each trailer, I have to ask myself, is it X-COM?
I mean, when I think about my favorite things about X-COM (the original), things that come to mind are not even in the new game. I loved the randomly generated maps. I loved how they were fully destructible. I loved the open-endedness where you could go on missions almost indefinitely, and I loved that you could bring a squad of 22 soldiers with you on missions once you researched the best ship. So in the new version I only get 4 to 6 soldiers? There's a finite number of maps? You may only see 30 of them in a game? In the original, I could go on 100 missions easily before I ever attacked Cydonia. What else is missing that we haven't yet heard about? This is all kind of hard to swallow for me. Because they named it X-COM, I am kind of expecting what I think makes up X-COM to be in there, and so much of it apparently is not.
Hopefully enough 'X-COM-ness' will survive the transistion to a new modern day iteration and I can avoid missing out on a great game because of a name.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” - Mahatma Gandhi