X-COM Creator Rips Reboot Efforts

Illustration for article titled emX-COM/em Creator Rips Reboot Efforts

As intrigued as I am by what 2K's doing with X-COM—and I freely admit I'm in the minority there—the publisher's recent move to delay that game another year, and release a more traditional turn-based strategy reboot meantime, reek of please-everyone panic. Fans of the original can read between the lines and see an expression of low confidence in the first-person perspective game that has everyone up in arms.

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The creator of X-COM (UFO overseas) thinks so too. "When from out of the blue we heard that Firaxis are doing a turn-based version, it's as if 2K are trying to cover all their bets," Julian Gollop, who created X-COM more than 18 years ago for MicroProse, told Edge Online.

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Saying that most publishers view turn-based gaming as "a completely niche market and not worth their attention," Gollop doubts XCOM: Enemy Unknown by Firaxis will get the kind of resources to become something really different. "I'm guessing it isn't a hugely big-budget title, so I think they'll be sticking to fairly safe ground. I don't think there will be any technical innovations in their game engine," he said. Gollop said the game could benefit from "procedurally generated environments, a more sophisticated destruction model for the terrain," and more advanced AI but "I suspect they're probably not going down that route, judging by the screenshots."

Gollop thinks a 3D, third-person camera in a game such as X-COM will be "disorientating" to players of turn-based games and says he specifically chose an isometric, single perspective view for X-COM to keep that game focused on strategy, and also because it was more efficient visual design to build a level from a single perspective. As to the first-person XCOM, the one delayed now to 2013, Gollop does not think much of it either.

"I thought it was a great shame because it was going down the same route as some of the previous X-COM sequels, like Interceptor and Enforcer—in other words, going completely against turn-based combat," he said. Those two games were critically panned for shallow gameplay and, in Interceptor's case, campy themes that marked a huge departure from the X-COM canon that has acquired such a devoted following.

Gollop has much more to say about X-COM, both with and without a hyphen, in the interview with Edge.

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Julian Gollop on X-COM [Edge]

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DISCUSSION

Ok so, people bitch and moan about an FPS entry in the IP, so they push that back and give a more strategic, turn based global management game and now people are bitching about that?

Ya know what?

Fuck you people. Take a look at this month's game informer. They've got a nice 4-6 page article on it. I wasn't even remotely interested in the game (not a huge fan of anything turn based outside RPGs) but after reading that article and seeing some of the stuff that they're working on for it, it sounds like it could be a pretty damn fun game.

#quityerbitchin'