That Big XCOM News Oct21


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That Big XCOM News

Ahh XCOM. How do I love thee? Let me count thy ways.. In many gamers’ eyes, XCOM is the pinnacle of gaming excellence. No of developers: 6. No of Floppy discs: 3. Awesomeness: priceless. There is simply no other game like it. Some would argue that Jagged Alliance had better strategic combat, but XCOM is more than just a turn-based strategy game. It’s an economic management game. It’s a horror game. It’s an RPG. It basically takes all the genres and seamlessly combine them into one unique package that no other game can match. There have been attempts to clone the original. XCOM:UFO Defense (or Enemy Unknown, or…whatever it’s called in your country) is the original. It’s sequel XCOM: Terror From The Deep remains exactly the same, and simply jacks up the difficulty to insane levels. I’m already having trouble with the first one, I didn’t survive the second. The third, XCOM Apocalypse, tries to take the game to the defense of one city with corporations instead of countries and introduces real-time combat. Interesting, but it still can’t match up to the first. In my eyes, XCOM stops here. Interceptor, Enforcer, Aftermath and Extraterrestrials are to XCOM what the Matrix sequels are to the original, and what the Star Wars prequel trilogy are to the original trilogy. And now, we have a re-imagining of the XCOM universe…as a First-Person Shooter. Sure, a lot of XCOM fans has passed judgement on this game. “It will suck” is the general consensus I get. XCOM is our beloved franchise, and none of us can see it get raped and exploited like this. It will be become just one among the myriad of FPS’es that involves aliens. Except that now, the XCOM label is tacked on to it. I don’t mind a re-imagining really. It’s a fresh new take, on a different genre. I don’t think that sequel to the first XCOM can ever be made. It is already the peak of greatness. It itself is an evolution of games that come before it, Laser Squad and Rebelstar (haven’t played thos yet). Those are 2 popular turn-based strategy games from a generation behind mine. As long as they don’t call it a sequel, or name it “XCOM 2″, it’s fine. A fresh perspective is always nice. Fallout 3 is nice, albeit more boring and easier than the originals. There’s not much lore in XCOM, it’s not really remembered for it’s storyline. Earth is attacked by aliens from Mars. Build a under-funded resistance. Fight aliens. That’s about all the lore you get with XCOM. I have no idea why they add FBI into the mix, since XCOM, or Extraterrestrial Combat Unit, is an organization that was specifically formed to deal with these aliens in the first place. I’m not sure why the press release states that it’s an FBI agent who’s dealing with the alien threat, since it should be an XCOM agent. Hmm, mistake, or messing about unnecessarily? First sign that things might not be so rosy. Anyway, before the FPS hits, I highly recommend you play this game to immerse yourself with the original before getting corrupted by its “reimagining”. It may be graphically dated, but the gameplay is timeless. I played a pirated copy a long time back, but bought it last year through Gamersgate. I highly recommend the Gamersgate, since it’s client-less and once downloaded, you may store and backup the downloaded installer. After installation, it uses Dosbox to wrap the game, effectively making it portable. I simply copied it to my Mac and used Boxer. Works like a charm! It’s also available on Steam if you’re into the whole tying-your-games-to-an-account-and-online-activation-every-play thing. Both Steam and Gamersgate feature a “Complete Pack” as well, which includes Terror From The Deep, Apocalypse and the other XCOM-games-which-must-not-be-named.