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XCOM E3 2011 Playthrough - Changes Detailed

This trailer offers the E3 2011 playthrough demo for XCOM, with more than 20 minutes of gameplay and cinematic footage from the upcoming FPS installment in the classic UFO strategy series (thanks GayGamer). This includes an introduction from narrative director Jordan Thomas explaining the "pretty aggressive design changes" they've made to the game over the past year because it just wasn't "XCOM" enough for the hardcore fans of the original games at 2K Marin, who serve as our creative conscience." Here's that intro:

Hey folks,

So we've been flying under the radar with XCOM, for about a year -- and felt that it was about time to put together a little video update in order to lift the curtain on the reasons why.

2K Marin had just finished working on BioShock 2, and that game will always be deep in our DNA -- but our first crack at adapting XCOM to a more personal, real-time experience was way too much within our creative 'comfort zone'. It was kind of a run-and-gun affair, without a lot of focus on the command of your squad, or indeed on tactical play itself.

Candidly, it just wasn't "XCOM" enough for the hardcore fans of the original games at 2K Marin, who serve as our creative conscience. So over the past year, we've made some pretty aggressive design changes, in pursuit of the feelings that we experienced when we played the original games. I'll cover those in the video itself, but a quick note about story:

Narratively, XCOM is an all-new origin story in its own timeline; a deliberate reimagining along the lines of something like Battlestar: Galactica or Batman Begins. What that means in practical terms is that while we take narrative inspiration from the original games, we have also deviated in a couple of key ways. For example, our game is set in 1962 within the continental United States -- at the moment the XCOM organization is formed.

We wanted to tell the story of the first man on the ground -- exaggerating cold-war fears about invasion from within -- via this alien threat for which there is no precedent. And we felt the best way to express that kind of intimate take on the XCOM universe is from that character's perspective: limited information, overwhelming odds, and direct personal involvement.

In our XCOM, you play William Carter, Special Agent in Charge of field operations at XCOM. So as you start up the video, I'd like you to slip into his shoes as he reviews a piece of evidence which was discovered somewhere out there in mid-century America.

Hope you dig it -- there's a whole lot more to come.

- Jordan Thomas

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22 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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22. Re: XCOM E3 2011 Playthrough - Changes Detailed Aug 27, 2011, 20:35 Fletch
 
This looks terrible, nothing like X-Com. Hey developers, how about just making a new X-Com game like the old X-Com? Turn-based, research tree, bases, terror missions, geoscape, funding based upon performance, classic alien grays, fog of war, line-of-sight, updated graphics, runs in Windows 7. I'd buy that.  
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21. Re: XCOM E3 2011 Playthrough - Changes Detailed Aug 27, 2011, 17:57 Jerykk
 
This may end up being damn good, too. It moves further away than Fallout 3 did, but that can be a good thing, especially as it isn't billing itself as a sequel, more a way to renew interest in a dead game.

I don't think these modern sequels/remakes really revive interest in the original games. They target a completely different demographic, primarily console-based, and this demographic isn't particularly interested in 2D, isometric, turn-based PC games from more than a decade ago. Of the millions of people who played FO3, how many went back and played the first two games if they hadn't already? I'd venture to say less than 1%. For most people, Fallout 3 was the first Fallout game.
 
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20. Re: XCOM E3 2011 Playthrough - Changes Detailed Aug 27, 2011, 17:33 Bumpy
 
Prez wrote on Aug 27, 2011, 13:43:

For me it moves SO far away from X-Com that one has to stop and wonder why even bother linking it to such a beloved game?

Indeed. I don't get hardly any kind of X-Com vib at all from the video.
 
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19. Re: XCOM E3 2011 Playthrough - Changes Detailed Aug 27, 2011, 14:14 Slashman
 
Prez wrote on Aug 27, 2011, 13:43:
It moves further away than Fallout 3 did, but that can be a good thing, especially as it isn't billing itself as a sequel, more a way to renew interest in a dead game.

For me it moves SO far away from X-Com that one has to stop and wonder why even bother linking it to such a beloved game? Really, it could be a great game, (the video showed some real character and vibrancy in the part where you walked through the base) but unless it is completely overhauled in the next 7 months before release, it just isn't going to be X-Com from what I can see.

Fallout 3 still ended up feeling like Fall-out because the only thing they changed was the view. This game changes the theme, the focus, the time period, the mechanics, the design, the art style - virtually every conceivable aspect. In the end, all using the X-Com name in this manner does is piss off the X-Com faithful and create a lot of unnecessary negative buzz. That's the last thing any new game needs.

I asked the same question of Dungeon Siege 3. With Fallout 3, it still felt like the Fallout universe, so I'm not faulting them for going with a FPS view. It's the complete lack of all things X-COM that make it baffling. Just use another name already!
 
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18. Re: XCOM E3 2011 Playthrough - Changes Detailed Aug 27, 2011, 13:43 Prez
 
It moves further away than Fallout 3 did, but that can be a good thing, especially as it isn't billing itself as a sequel, more a way to renew interest in a dead game.

For me it moves SO far away from X-Com that one has to stop and wonder why even bother linking it to such a beloved game? Really, it could be a great game, (the video showed some real character and vibrancy in the part where you walked through the base) but unless it is completely overhauled in the next 7 months before release, it just isn't going to be X-Com from what I can see.

Fallout 3 still ended up feeling like Fall-out because the only thing they changed was the view. This game changes the theme, the focus, the time period, the mechanics, the design, the art style - virtually every conceivable aspect. In the end, all using the X-Com name in this manner does is piss off the X-Com faithful and create a lot of unnecessary negative buzz. That's the last thing any new game needs.
 
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Goodbye my Monte boy. May you rest in the peace you never knew in life.
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17. Re: XCOM E3 2011 Playthrough - Changes Detailed Aug 27, 2011, 13:35 Slashman
 
MattyC wrote on Aug 27, 2011, 13:23:
Beelzebud wrote on Aug 27, 2011, 13:12:
Fallout 3 still sucks compared to the original two.

I have always been on the fence on that. I don't want to say it sucked. I mean, I had a lot of fun with Fallout 3 and NV. That said it clearly wasn't a Fallout game. They should have called it "Oblivion II: Now with guns n stuff". It just wasn't anything like the first two.

I think that people always look at things from a skewed perspective when it comes to their favourite games of old. Of course, you have to also take into account the business perspective of the developers and publishers(as much as ignoring it would be preferable). If they did just reskin X-COM with a new 3d engine and kept everything else(unchanged) from the original, how successful would it be?

We always like to say that there are plenty of people who want to play a remastered X-COM, but how many is the plenty? If a publisher/developer doesn't think they'll make the money they are looking to make from a game...they are going to ignore it or change it to something they think will be an easier sell. FPS is an 'easy sell'.
 
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16. Re: XCOM E3 2011 Playthrough - Changes Detailed Aug 27, 2011, 13:23 MattyC
 
Beelzebud wrote on Aug 27, 2011, 13:12:
Fallout 3 still sucks compared to the original two.

I have always been on the fence on that. I don't want to say it sucked. I mean, I had a lot of fun with Fallout 3 and NV. That said it clearly wasn't a Fallout game. They should have called it "Oblivion II: Now with guns n stuff". It just wasn't anything like the first two.
 
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15. Re: XCOM E3 2011 Playthrough - Changes Detailed Aug 27, 2011, 13:17 nin
 
Beelzebud wrote on Aug 27, 2011, 13:12:
Fallout 3 still sucks compared to the original two.

If you're making a sequel to a franchise, and the game doesn't even share the same mechanics that made people enjoy the first games, then you're doing it wrong. Fallout 3 would still be itself if you removed the Fallout from it. Other than art style, they share nothing.

You should be able to look at a screenshot of an X-Com game and be able to immediately tell you're looking at an X-Com game. Same goes for Fallout. You notice that they're making Diablo 3, and when you see 1 screenshot from the game you immediately know you're looking at Diablo.


It's funny you mention D3 as your example, with all of the controversy over the color scheme, requiring online, and real world currency AH.

I'm not disagreeing with you: When I see new D3 screenshots, my first thought is "Oh, Diablo 3", but some of the changes and pretty groundbreaking (compared to previous Diablo games), though a screenshot may not initially convey them.

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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14. Re: XCOM E3 2011 Playthrough - Changes Detailed Aug 27, 2011, 13:12 Beelzebud
 
Fallout 3 still sucks compared to the original two.

If you're making a sequel to a franchise, and the game doesn't even share the same mechanics that made people enjoy the first games, then you're doing it wrong. Fallout 3 would still be itself if you removed the Fallout from it. Other than art style, they share nothing.

You should be able to look at a screenshot of an X-Com game and be able to immediately tell you're looking at an X-Com game. Same goes for Fallout. You notice that they're making Diablo 3, and when you see 1 screenshot from the game you immediately know you're looking at Diablo.
 
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13. Re: XCOM E3 2011 Playthrough - Changes Detailed Aug 27, 2011, 10:54 EddieTheHack
 
BioShock was a decent enough game. BioShock 2, not so much.

When I sit back and take off the rose tinted glasses that shade every game I loved back when I was a child - the thing that to this day sticks out about UFO and XCOM was the fear. Maybe fear is not the right word but its close enough. It was not 'spooky monster' fear but more 'can't find your child at the grocery store' fear. It was a mix of being scared,adrenaline, and uncertainty. Of course back then it took very little to really get me going and today I'm a bit jaded.

Pulling this game off will not be easy. 2K is walking into a franchise that is very near and dear to many gamers. Without a doubt this project can be pulled off - I just don't think 2K marin can do it. They had a rich universe to draw from for BS2 and they turned it into another run and gun. No doubt they would make a great COD clone but that is not what XCOM is about.

I hope I am surprised. I really do. I'm not getting my hopes up.
 
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12. Re: XCOM E3 2011 Playthrough - Changes Detailed Aug 27, 2011, 10:01 Beamer
 
i'll compromise for something more like Frozen Synapse and at the very least make it a real time game with the space bar pausing from bioware/apocalypse and play as a mutiplayer co-op game as well as any shooter but with more insta-death so as to get that sweet sweet mainstream dollar. But this game dosn't even do that.

Hell no.
If X-COM came out real time with pausing I'd hate it. Despise it. It would be pissing on X-COM.

This is far enough away that it can be seen as entirely new, rather than a minor fucking up of a good thing, which real time with pausing would be.


Anyway, the ranting here reminds me of all the ranting about Fallout 3. People here HATED me for thinking Fallout 3 was fine. "But it isn't isometric!" Who cares? I got bashed for it. And Fallout 3 was one of the best games of recent memory.
This may end up being damn good, too. It moves further away than Fallout 3 did, but that can be a good thing, especially as it isn't billing itself as a sequel, more a way to renew interest in a dead game.
 
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11. Re: XCOM E3 2011 Playthrough - Changes Detailed Aug 27, 2011, 07:11 Numinar
 
Destructible Terrain?
No.
Emergent gameplay?
No.
Deep, co-dependant and interesting management and tactical sub-games. No.
Awesome sense of discovery and well developed fear of the latent threat which still gets me today.
Hard to say... but I would put money on NO.
Xcom? No.

Maybe it will be like interceptor. A half decent game trading on the success of something no-one is willing to put the time and effort into improving. That's what this boils down to, there are no dev/pubs out there with the balls to try and pull off this game as it should be done. It would be difficult. You would have to create an amazing engine to handle the destructibility, the AI, the scale of encounters and the ability to generate varied quasi random tiled terrain and urban landscapes at the level of fidelity expected of today's games.

At it's finest it would play like the original, i'll compromise for something more like Frozen Synapse and at the very least make it a real time game with the space bar pausing from bioware/apocalypse and play as a mutiplayer co-op game as well as any shooter but with more insta-death so as to get that sweet sweet mainstream dollar. But this game dosn't even do that.

Rant mode disengaged.

 
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10. Re: XCOM E3 2011 Playthrough - Changes Detailed Aug 27, 2011, 03:07 Nate
 
It looks very on-rails and geared toward consoles. Way to ruin a beloved franchise.  
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9. Re: XCOM E3 2011 Playthrough - Changes Detailed Aug 27, 2011, 01:44 Surf
 
"Thanks GayGamer"

Haaa
 
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8. Re: XCOM E3 2011 Playthrough - Changes Detailed Aug 27, 2011, 01:12 Jerykk
 
One of the things I'm not really digging are the aliens. While they may be relatively unique, they just don't seem all that intimidating or visually appealing. If that was just one of many types of aliens, I wouldn't mind but apparently all the aliens look like that.  
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7. Re: XCOM E3 2011 Playthrough - Changes Detailed Aug 27, 2011, 00:22 zincthallinide
 
The actual XCOM universe was always rather generic, what made it unique for me was the researchable technology, the real-time alien incursions on a global scale, and the switch to tactical mode when you went into specific battles (I had never played a game like that). The detailed inventory management was new for me, too.

Really though, the actual universe of XCOM was always pretty generic.. aliens (greys, even) invade, only want to kill us all, shoot them with lasers, etc. etc.
 
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6. Re: XCOM E3 2011 Playthrough - Changes Detailed Aug 26, 2011, 23:30 Jerykk
 
The combat looked very reminiscent of Mass Effect.

I almost fell asleep a few times during the walkthrough.
 
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5. removed Aug 26, 2011, 23:09 sidof
 
* REMOVED *
This comment was deleted on Aug 26, 2011, 23:28.
 
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4. Re: XCOM E3 2011 Playthrough - Changes Detailed Aug 26, 2011, 22:57 Bumpy
 
All I saw in that video was Gears of War with added Psi abilities.

The on rails level design put me to sleep too.

I see this game failing on the PC side...hard.
 
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3. Re: XCOM E3 2011 Playthrough - Changes Detailed Aug 26, 2011, 22:47 nin
 

I'm trying to be positive, but I don't feel very confident about it. That first video didn't make a very positive impression.
 
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22 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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