I voted for The Equalizer in the poll by the way, but only because it needs another option for "as good as the original, but in other ways".
This is just my personal perspective and obviously you'll all have your own views, but for all the things I think it's missing they've improved it in other areas. There are also some things I thought I might not like that I've thoroughly enjoyed as the game progresses. I would strongly urge anyone who's not liked it early on to give it more time and see what happens further along (I was really worried about short missions early on, but they make you work hard later).
Classes work well for me, the cover system makes sense in combat, I've not found myself missing time units at all
which is my biggest surprise and the story seems deeper with a much bigger research tree that works very well at knitting together all the species and items, as well as taking a stab at explaining the alien names.
Whilst trying to see what the average rating was so far, I went and had a look on MetaCritic. I was horrified to see people (players, not review sites) have scored it at zero - presumably because they've thrown their toys out of the pram that it's not an exact replica of the original. This annoys me because, for a start, you only give that score to games that are unplayable and have no redeeming qualities whatsoever. This is clearly an X-COM game - the ingredients are all there, it's just a different recipe. No respectable gaming magazine gives out low scores without explaining them, and the ones on MetaCritic are, as I say, people throwing their toys out of the pram because it's not a clone of a game that still works.
It's all down to personal perspective, and sure the game could be deeper in some areas, but if I wanted to play a game like the original I'd play the original
. If I want to play something fresh and new, I'll play this until I'm as used to it as I am the original. I feel that even though I'm on the path to victory, there are still hundreds of hours of playthrough after this game - Classic difficulty will have its own horrific surprises I'm sure as the aliens get cleverer and more accurate, and trying out new tactics will become a necessity as the difficulty ramps up.
Similar to my "if you want to play a game like the original, play the original" statement, if I wanted to play a game where the soldier "perk" tree was deeper and there was more choice in terms of guns, I'd play Silent Storm. If I wanted to play the original with updated graphics, I'd play UFO:ET, or wait for Xenonauts to come out.
I think it's actually been a clever move to bring it to consoles too (bear with me). I know some things are almost certainly simplified as a direct result, but if it's successful across more platforms I would imagine that the profits are much higher and the likelihood of sequels is higher with equally high production values. Maybe they'll do a more strategic PC-only game, or a less strategic console-only game in future, but I'm hoping that both camps call for more strategy in a sequel. If you think about it, it's a bit of an experiment on the console side of things to see if something like this would have mass appeal (although I reckon FullAuto and others will point out a few tactical, turn-based games for consoles that I don't know about
Historically - and this is a generalisation - PC gamers are labelled as "too cerebral" by console gamers. Console gamers are told they have no attention span by strategy gamers in return. I hope this brings both camps together for a better gaming future.
May your terror missions always be infested with Chrysalids.