Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Alec Meer)

Much as I love X-COM and would have as many of its turn-based, slow-scrolling babies as it asked me to, I would have zero hesitation in demanding one important change from it – to change the name of hovering alien foe known as the Floater. No, no, no, NO I’m not going to tell you why. If you don’t already know you live an enviably innocent life. And probably haven’t read many issues of Viz.

Distressing name or no, Floaters will not remain a thing of the past, having recently been confirmed as making a redesigned appearance in this Falltumn’s XCOM: Enemy Unknown. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Alec Meer)

Is that a Nissan Micra?

It’s probably horribly sensationalist to suggest there’s a cold war on between Firaxis’ XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Goldhawk Interactive’s more mechanically purist X-COMlike Xenonauts, but then again it is the battle to end all battles, one shall stand and one shall fall and the Earth itself will be left in smoking ruins by the time this apocalyptic conflict is over.

Xenonauts has been smartening itself up since the announcement of Firaxis’ official reimaginging, as lead dev Chris England chatted to me about a few weeks ago. More detailed environments, and the ‘evil alien sheds’ have now been replaced with suitably dramatic crashed UFOs. Images of its newly endetailed look are now available for all to clap eyes upon. Which is only so much preamble, innit? Here you are… (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Alec Meer)

Just in case my three-part, 15,000 word interview with Jake Solomon, lead designer on Firaxis’ XCOM: Enemy Unknown, wasn’t enough for you, here’s a follow-up chat with the effusive main brain behind the X-COM remake. This time, we’re finding out about how much soldiers’ special abilities define the game, what’s been done to ammo and why the perception that this new version only has one base isn’t quite right. > (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Alec Meer)

Here are my words on Firaxis’ X-COM remake, here are the lead developer’s words, and below, for the first time, is your own chance to eyeball it in glorious technicolour and living motion. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Alec Meer)

Wolverine needs to go on a diet

Last week, I finally got to see XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Firaxis’ X-COM remake, with my own failing eyes. I have various things to post about it over the coming days, but let’s start with a break down of what made my little belly flutter with excitement and what made my weak jaw clench with anxiety. It’s X-COM, but… not. Here’s why.> (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (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 - (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 - (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.>


Shacknews - Shack Staff

Last Wednesday we added 1994's X-Com: UFO Defense to our growing list of video game classics, presented by

Ask fans about X-Com: UFO Defense and you'll likely be told enthusiastic stories about what's largely regarded as one of the turn-based genre's seminal strategy games. The game put players in the role of the Extraterrestrial Combat Unit (X-COM, for short), a secret squad responsible for fending off an alien invasion by assimilating their technology. Tactical combat, global strategy, UFO lore, and a heavy emphasis on resource management joined a host of player-driven customization options in order to create X-Com: UFO Defense's incredibly beloved formula.

Shacknews user (and X-Com super-duper-fan) mastermike569 explains why tactically and strategically saving the world from aliens is so rewarding. "I've personally pumped easily over 1,500 hours into this game playing it over the years and am an enormous fan," he begins. "This is the only game that I really go back to time and time again."

"This game has so many ways around situations that the amount of strategy you can put to use is only limited by your imagination," he continues, touting X-Com's flexibility with regard to player-strategy.

"The attention to accuracy regarding UFO's, the addicting game play, ever-changing maps and environments, and the nearly limitless strategy and music to tie it all in are some of the things that keep me coming back time and time again," he concludes.

Check out the original Chatty thread for more stories and memories from X-Com: UFO Defense.

X-Com: UFO Defense on

In the year 1998, the amount of reports of UFO sightings has been drastically increased. Stories about abductions and alien attacks became more and more widespread. Finally, after various nations of the world have failed to intercept the UFOs, their representatives met in a conference of global importance in Geneva, Switzerland. It was eventually decided to organize a secret paramilitary group, dubbed Extraterrestrial Combat Unit (X-COM). Starting with one base, two fighters, one transport, and a few soldiers, X-COM must locate the aliens, learn about their origins and technology, find out where their base is, and destroy it.

    Moby Games Classic is our chance to look back at the games that helped shape the video game industry with the help of our sister site It combines a short history lesson on the title and anecdotes from the Shacknews community.

    Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (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…)