X-COM, a PC strategy classic released in 1994, appears on several “Best Games of All-Time” lists. Its difficulty is the stuff of legend, as is its ability to make you care about individual X-COM personnel. The franchise fell into disrepair though, hitting its low point with X-COM Enforcer: a 2001 third-person shooter. The X-COMs needed fresh eyes with a respect for what made the property unique.
Enter Firaxis Games, led by Sid Meier of Civilization fame. He was one of the co-founders of Microprose, the company that conceived X-COM to begin with. That’s a name strategy gamers trust to bring this tale of alien invasion back to life. Firzxis is bringing us X-COM:Enemy Unknown this Fall (2012). Your soldiers are charged with capturing alien technology so our scientists can reverse engineer it, giving humanity a fighting chance. Get too attached to them at your own risk. Staying faithful to the highly revered 1994 X-COM, once an operative is dead, they’re dead. All the skills they may have learned in their battle against the invaders are gone too.
The game will switch between real-time strategy and turn-based action. A global view allows for directing research, fundraising and manufacturing weapons. Once soldiers head into the field, you go to a tactical view for the turn-based action.
Every step of the way, you must make the critical decisions to beat back the alien menace. Even simple things such as where you build a research facility will have long term impact. Soldiers start out as normal humans. After your research and reverse engineering, they can enter the battle with psionic powers and high-powered laser weapons.
X-COM:Enemy Unknown is coming October 9, 2012, on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.
Here’s the E3 2012 trailer: