When Firaxis announced its new XCOM strategy game, Enemy Unknown, most fans went through the following two stages:
1. "Holy shit!"
2. "I hope this feels like XCOM."
Don't stress too much. According to project lead Jake Solomon, you'll get that old-school strategy feeling from XCOM: Enemy Unknown, which will be out this year for PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. In many ways, it looks just like its 1994 predecessor.
"I do think that like if you look at screenshots—320x240 screenshots—of the original X-COM, next to ours, you would see that sort of lineage there," Solomon told me during an interview in New York City last week. "You'd see the sort of DNA, because we've still got the top-down view of the soldiers, and a lot of the fact that it's turn-based... certainly there are changes and this is kind of our own game, but definitely if you look at the two side by side, a fan of the original could play our game because we are fans of the original."
Solomon is certainly a rabid fan of the first game. He spent a decade begging Firaxis to let him revisit the franchise before development on Enemy Unknown was finally started four years ago. And he says he wants to make it feel as close as possible to the game he loves.
"If you play the game—it's definitely XCOM," he said. "It's just a new XCOM."