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X-COM: UFO Defense

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Up until January 5, 2012, the mega-ambitious Xenonauts, Goldhawk Interactive’s Cold War-set tale of alien invasion, was our number one hope for a modernised X-COM. Then, on January 5, 2012, 2K and Firaxis announced they were making an official modernised X-COM. We’ve already chatted to Firaxis about XCOM: Enemy Unknown at length, but what did that shock news mean to Goldhawk lead Chris England? Here, I chat to Chris about his initial reaction, why it doesn’t spell horror for his project, where he’s at with Xenonauts at the moment, what’s planned for the future, how he believes Xenonauts will be better than X-COM and whether spending his life savings on making the game has paid off.

Also, IKEA UFOs and drinking eight pints.> (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

You’ve read an awful lot about XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Firaxis’ remake of the original, the legendary X-COM, in our fact’n'theory-fat 13,000 word interview with project lead Jake Solomon here, but the only images we’ve been able to show you thus far are tiny 600 pixel jobbies you need to squint at to make much out. How cruel we were. But how lovely we now are: here are 16 high-res shots to scrutinise for signs of extra information, tribute and/or betrayal. Click on each – including the one above – for an embiggened version. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

In the third and final (for now) part of my enormo-chat with Firaxis’ Jake Solomon, head brain on XCOM: Enemy Unknown, the official remake of the legendary X-COM, we get into the nitty-gritty. To whit: why throw out time units, how the replacement system works, modding support, difficulty, soldier classes, country funding, Julian Gollop, ‘ZCOM’ and why he feels this new game has to bear the X-COM name.>

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Maybe I should close the comments thread?

OK, here we go. Brace for impact. Barricade yourself in your home. An American magazine has just put the first screenshots of the XCOM remake ‘reimaginging’, some teasy details, plus the vital answers to to whether it’s linked to the XCOM shooter and if it’s been… altered for consoles.

Good news! Well, ish. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Sectoid!

Firaxis making a new, true X-COM remake is the best gaming news of the year, and I fairly much expect to still be saying that on December 31 2012. Of course, it isn’t that simple. There are things this game needs to do, to get right, if it is to be both a successful homage and a successful modern strategy game in its own right. Here’s what I want from it. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

ANGRY ALIEN SAYS DIE ALTERNATIVE EARTH DEFENSE FORCE

EDIT: added Gamersgate deal.

Steam’s daily deal sees the complete X-COM bundle reduced to £3.05, while the complete pack is £2.49 at Gamersgate. It’s as if they think the whole internet is talking about the series. You probably don’t want Enforcer and Interceptor but if you don’t have them, you almost definitely want the other three. They are £1.01 each on Steam. I still play the original on a regular basis and find it laughable that it’s available for a pound and a penny. HA!

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

X-Steve: Ender Unknown

Night will always follow day, controversy will always follow a highly-anticipated game scoring less than 9/10 on a mainstream videogaming website, and X-COM will always see remakes. Xenonauts is the one to watch at present, of course, but Xenowar caught my attention because it’s going for a hyper-stripped down, simplistic, scrappy mini-take on the oft-aped formula. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Tiny men, you trust me so much. And yet my recklessess and lack of foresight means I am your DOOM

OK, I admit it: I am as cynical as you when it comes to half-suspecting that enormously ambitious, fanbase-courting independent projects announced before work on them has even begun carry the dread stench of vapourware. I’ve been very interested in Xenonauts for some time, if faintly horrified that lead designer Chris England claims he made the final decision to pour his life savings into funding an X-COM remake based on an offhand oh-if-only comment I made on RPS, but I confess wasn’t entirely convinced it would see the light of day. Partly this was due to the many tales of infamy concerning amateur game devs who started working together remotely without ever actually meeting – online tensions can run so high – and partly because I’ve been waiting a long time for an X-COM remake that actually feels anything like X-COM. It is not in my nature to believe that dreams can come true.

A playable build of Xenonauts was on show in the RPS-sponsored Indie Arcade at the Eurogamer expo last week, and pretty much everyone I spoke to about it said the same thing: “well, it’s X-COM,” they offered with a wide grin. They didn’t say what worked or what didn’t or what they’d change or anything like that – they just said “it’s like X-COM.”

I can’t think of a greater compliment for any game. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Curse our limited-length titles! For this post should really be called something like ‘Irrational co-founder and now Blue Manchu boss Jon Chey talks more about his splendid-sounding new PC boardgame/ CCG/ MMO mash-up Card Hunter, how to make free-to-play non-horrible, what he thinks the future might be for immersive sims in the vein of System Shock and his thoughts on his former studio’s controversial XCOM remake’. Doesn’t bloomin’ fit though, does it? Oh well. You’ll find all that stuff out for yourself simply by reading on: tons of interesting comments in here, and I’m particularly excited by the thought towards the end that a coming wave of mid-budget simulational shooters might be on the cards, and far more likely to take big creative risks than their glossier triple-A peers… (Oh, and if you missed the more Card Hunter-centric first part of this interview, looky here). >

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

After a year long silence, the enemy unknown is among us again. Below, you can find a brand new and very different to the last trailer for the XCOM reboot, which is created by some of the guys behind Bioshock 1&2, as well as the long-awaited release date. Hooray/uh-oh. Here we go.
(more…)

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