New X-COM Announced


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#41 FullAuto

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 06:41 PM

I didn't like Bioshock, or Bioshock 2, and I'm a fan of X-Com, but I'm still somewhat optimistic.

It's not going to be what any of us would call a 'real' X-Com game, but then, I don't honestly believe it's possible to create another real X-Com game.  AFAI am concerned, there have only been three: EU, TFTD, and Apocalypse.  The problem is that when you run a series, people come and go.  Films are probably a better example of this, the Terminators, for instance.

Terminator 1 and 2, bloody good films, shared a director.  Terminator 3 and 4, crap.  Because the people making them changed completely.  The rules set out in 1 and 2 (predominantly the fact that the future is not set)?  Thrown out, because they hinder future iterations.

It's the same here.  They can't set the game during a period already covered by one of the games, so they have to go earlier, or later.  They won't adhere to the 'official' timeline, because it's inconvenient, and if they own the X-Com series the official timeline is whatever the Hell they say it is anyway.  The people working on it know of the previous works, they may even have played them, but they have to do their own thing, which is going to be different.  It's impossible for them to satisfy the diehard X-Com fans, no matter the game they make, because the game's been out for what, fifteen years, and become so deeply ingrained in some of us that nothing other than the original will really do.  Even if their entire dev team played the games for a year, they still wouldn't be as steeped in X-Com as us.  It's not going to be strategy, and even if it was, it wouldn't be turn-based since that is (at least perceived as) the kiss of death for a game.  It's not going to be made for the same reasons, for the same market, under the same circumstance, etc etc.

Quite frankly the number of really hardcore X-Com fans is so small as to be insignificant.  There's no financial sense in pandering to a tiny group, who are only going to lambast your game even if it turns out to be really good, for what they perceive as failings judged from their position on top of a vintage turn-based strategy game.  Not when there's millions of people out there who will happily buy the game because they weren't even born fifteen years ago.

I'm not saying it won't be good, I'm saying no matter how good it is, it won't be X-Com.

Also, I thought of the idea of the agents years ago and am going to sue.

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#42 Pete

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 07:34 PM

I'd love to eventually live in a time when people hold of slating things til they come out, but then they wouldn't be able to say "I told you so" I guess :)

I'm in the cautiously optimistic bunch. Ask me again when XBOX magazine hits the shelves with more information.
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#43 Bloodmoney

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 07:56 PM

View PostBomb Bloke, on 15th April 2010, 3:23pm, said:

I  dunno, I thought pretty much all the European releases of UFO  used XCOM... At least, that's what my Sold Out Software release uses.  Granted though, X-COM was well in place by the time of the  sequel.
  From what I read, Microprose introduced the X-COM title so people would  connect the game to the X-Files TV Show, which was very popular in that time.

Thanks also for explaining the Metroid sequel situation, Bomb Bloke.

#44 Gimli

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 10:25 PM

I am undecided until I hear more about the general design direction. In my specific case though, it is unlikely that it would be designed in a way that I would be satisfied with. I already have a set picture of how it should be designed for me to be able to enjoy it and quite frankly I don't know if something like that is even possible to make.

#45 StVier

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 12:15 AM

Some of the...err.... old-timers that grew up with X-Com over the years are pretty much resistant to any changes and will definitely be able to nit-pick just about everything off a new game. X-Com is an excellent game in the genre and trying to 'improve' the original is a daunting task. Even from the small step of changing from EU to TFTD, there has already been some noises from the community, although granted, the core formula of the game remains more or less the same and so there were no major complaints. Moving on to Apocalypse, with the introduction of new 'enhancements' like graphics among otheres, there was even more discomfort in the community as it strays away even further from the original. Following a long period of silence, all the other spiritual successors still get torn to shreds because they were simply 'not X-Com'.

It's very confusing as to what exactly do they want? If they want the old X-Com, then why bother with the new games? If the company just 'fine-tune' the original game, and put it on the shelves as a full price game, will gamers be willing to buy it? I suspect most would but will there be enough sales? In addition, 'fine-tune' is a matter of perspective and to come to the point of satisfying every single person takes years of communication between developers and fans, that or a very dedicated modder. That said, I absolutely stand by the fact that long-time fans have a right to not see the name of their favourite game being tainted but if we were all to accept that the original X-Com was the best game ever made, perhaps we could lower the bar from 100% and look at games in the 90% regions on the level.

#46 gunnergoz

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 12:37 AM

I see a number of people asking "what do the X-COM hardcore fans really want?"

I'll be happy to answer that.

I want a new, modern, updated version of the game.  Is should be TBS, with a strategic layer and a tactical layer.  Missions should be randomly generated but their overall outcomes should impact the course of the strategic game.  Economics, recruitment, technology, alien culture & interrogations, surprise raids on friendly bases, all should be in the game, because  that is part of what I love about the original.

I would have no problem if some creative additions were made.  Go for 3-D, destructible environments, different tactical POV's, even character development.  I would be happy to see such things.

What I don't want is an RTS twitch game, a shooter or some bastardized RPG game where I have to play one character.  None of those is X-COM.  They could be based upon it and so advertised, but they are not the real X-COM.

Look, innovation is good.  I cite for example what is happening to the Civilization franchise with their new hex-based approach that eliminated unit stacks in favor of an entirely new combat paradigm.  At the same time they removed religion and spying.  I can live with such changes because I trust the team that owns that franchise not to kill the cash cow.  Sid is no fool and he loves the game he created.  He will do it justice and we will all ultimately benefit from the changes.  And it will still be Civilization!  TBS strategy at its best.

So is it too much to ask for some development house to step forward and take a chance with the X-COM franchise and to make a new, updated and really fresh TBS game for the current generation?  

"Oh, no, TBS is for HARD CORE" gamers is the response one seems to get.  Since when is using one's head a little bit considered "hard core?"  Unless, of course, your intended gamer is a hyperactive 12 year old.  

Unfortunately, with the industry now increasingly run by professional entrepreneurs who listen only to their accountants and carefully selected screening groups, the games we will see for the most part will consist of an endless stream of mindless shooters and pretty RPG's, because that is what they envision the consumer to want.  The fault lies in their definition of consumer, which is way to restrictive and excludes the fact that many people besides 12 year old boys buy games.

It is an industry that forever seems to seek the easy path to a quick buck.  It leaves it up to the small design houses and independents to come up with what the rest of us are really pining for...to play another, true X-COM, a worthy successor to the game, again in our lifetimes.

#47 Raion

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 01:48 AM

Ya, it is the new Hanna Montana X-COM version. No need to fear spacetime aliens, humans are on this Planet in this Universe. And forever shall they go by market of 12 year olds or something like that. It must be due to the educational system.

Now, all sing with glee!

#48 jverne

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 02:13 AM

Why is everyone twisting their panties on turn based.

Turn based is one of the later aspects of what x-com is about.

X com is about:

-Humans vs Aliens
-Plot, not necessarily story
-Strategic planning
-Tactical combat (Interceptor swayed off a bit but there's still some tactics for a space sim)

Turn based is just the method for combat used back then, it was the only one appropriate for that time and age.

#49 Exarch

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 02:25 AM

View Postjverne, on 16th April 2010, 3:13am, said:

Why is everyone twisting their panties on turn based.

Turn based is one of the later aspects of what x-com is about.

X com is about:

-Humans vs Aliens
-Plot, not necessarily story
-Strategic planning
-Tactical combat (Interceptor swayed off a bit but there's still some tactics for a space sim)

Turn based is just the method for combat used back then, it was the only one appropriate for that time and age.

I think an FPS X-COM would be absolutely spectacular if done right.

The problem is, I'm still hung up on "reimagined," "FBI," and the obvious 1950s setting. Why is this even called X-COM? If the game was a story of an X-COM operative during the First Alien War, I would actually be ecstatic over it, whether it had any of the management in it or not. Landing at missions in the Skyranger, clearing UFO crash sites at night, and seeing your buddies or yourself in that nifty personal or power armor in first person with modern graphics would be spectacular.

But from what they're saying, we're not going to see any of that. We're not going to see much of anything familiar to X-COM except maybe some aliens we might recognize if this is truly going to be in the 1950s. So what gives? Why is this even carrying the X-COM name?

#50 ShadowBlade

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 04:18 AM

View PostExarch, on 15th April 2010, 11:25pm, said:

I think an FPS X-COM would be absolutely spectacular if done right.
I concur.

I wouldn't blindly reject everything that's not TBS. As I said earlier, a tactical FPS Battlescape portion would be a great innovation for missions as long as there's a macro-scale section in the game, a proper Geoscape. Add a clever twist to that as well and you'd have me in awe.

However, I can't help but think that idea is too advanced for the simplistic gameplay the mainstream industry seems to have grown attached to, only because they want to appeal to the dreaded "casual gamer". Those that come in throngs and therefore represent the best source of profits, which is all the industry cares about these days.
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#51 Jman4117

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 05:03 AM

I don't really see this being a good X-com game if they take out the geoscape and the ability to control multiple soldiers. Non linear is a biggie with me and if it turns out to be just a string of levels with one guy, it's a deal breaker and I would have nothing to do with it :) Perhaps if it followed an X-com squad leader through one of the Alien Wars, and you could have some say over the how the missions progressed, and could issue commands on the FPS battlefield, it'd be awesome.
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#52 Raion

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 05:23 AM

Why give this so-called X-COM new game any credit at all? Are you trying to fool yourself in what it will be? I know I missed UFO:Extratrerrestrials but then, about the only thing I will do is still play the X-COM games I have and they even make UFO:Aftermath sound better than whatever it is that they are trying to convince anyone of.

An FBI Agent in the '50's remake reimagined? Let me imagine!

NO!

Elvis Presely set with singing and shaking his knees singing "Hound Dog" would make a better agent than the little I am reading.

Whole lotta shaking going on!
Well, no!

Geeze! This gaming company has lost its mind in the fact that they are trying to pass this whatever it is off as an X-COM game.

Words can not describe the way that I feel about what I just read. Heard of Tea Parties Protesters today in Washington and other places. Heard of Sarah Palin!

That is what this game seems to be to me. Something from a "Bridge to Nowhere".

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#53 NKF

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 05:56 AM

Regardless of what genre they put out, it had better be good. Especially if they're aiming to reel in the new fans into the series.

Just hope there aren't too heavy on the platforming puzzles. I don't find them overly easy to do in FPS - since you often can't see where your feet are. 3d games often optimize performance by not rendering your character's feet. Maybe that's why I'm more comfortable with 3PS's these days. Odd how your tastes change.

I do find it hard to reconcile the fact they want X-Com to exit 40 to 50 years prior to its official formation. Unless it was a really super secret organization (Illuminati, MJ12, etc) that is later 'officially' formed by the council of funding nations. Could work. Would be easier if it was a group that eventually became part of X-COM. Probably not the Kiryu Kai - they were more recent.

In fact if they wanted to really cause controversy and take a much more unorthodox route. Say set it back even further. Maybe set it in the Carribean sea. Swashbuckling heroism, swordplay and cannonballs on the high seas against aliens, pirates... and alien pirates. :) Yes I jest, but you never know how it might turn out.


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#54 Jman4117

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 06:05 AM

The aliens are invading Vinland! MAN THE LONGBOATS!
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#55 chiasaur11

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 06:13 AM

View PostJman4117, on 15th April 2010, 11:05pm, said:

The aliens are invading Vinland! MAN THE LONGBOATS!

Okay. I want that. Bad.

#56 Bloodmoney

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 10:06 AM

View Postjverne, on 16th April 2010, 3:13am, said:

Turn based is just the method for combat used back then, it was the only one appropriate for that time and age.
Are you trolling or just repeat what Kotaku and other smart & modern journalist say? Turn-Based mode allows much better tactical gameplay then any RTwP system.  See how UFO: AfterSeries offer pretty low creativty & possibility comparing to X-COM: EU/TFTD. In RTwP it impossible to properly control whole squad without smashing space to freeze a game, and even them your & troops effectivnes is decreasing. In the end, you end up more time on smashing poor spacebar then giving orders in Turn-Based. For example, when  three of your snipers are attacked in the same moment there is a large chance that something bad happens to one or two of them, because you are not just able to take care of all of them at once, without sweating your butt. In Turn-Based you have control at everything and most importantly, enough time to think what you would be best to do in some situation. If you fail you can either blame yourself for mistake or just have bad luck.

#57 StVier

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 10:43 AM

RTwP do have their merits and their place in strategy games and it's kinda unfair to compare it with Turn-based games... Besides, the main purpose of games is to be enjoyable and in whichever way the market trend determines, not just a specific group of fans. I mean, look at all the FPS on the market and it's not difficult to see why the next X-Com game is an FPS. It's not about X-Com, it's about the market and X-Com just happened to be a name that's been used for the purpose. Take away the name 'X-Com' and we have a 'FBI agent Vs Alien' game, which I'm sure most of us here would look at it differently instead of defending X-Com so aggressively.

Chill people... chill.

#58 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 10:50 AM

View PostNKF, on 16th April 2010, 3:56pm, said:

Regardless of what genre they put out, it had better be good.
The problem with a genre switch is that, whatever they change it to, it'll stay as for the foreseeable future.

That is to say, if it's like a basic FPS (like eg BioShock), then the hope of ever seeing a "proper" X-COM sequel is gone. It'll be an entirely new franchise, and since it'll've stolen the name of the old, that'll be the end of the matter.

View PostBloodmoney, on 16th April 2010, 8:06pm, said:

See how UFO: AfterSeries offer pretty low creativty & possibility comparing to X-COM: EU/TFTD. In RTwP it impossible to properly control whole squad without smashing space to freeze a game, and even them your & troops effectivnes is decreasing.
Huh? Granted I've only played Aftermath in regards to that particular series, but in that game you spend way more time hitting the button to unpause then anything else (it'd pause for you, while showing a note as to why it had done so). And you could define your own list of what was deemed "auto-pause-worthy", too (though the default lists consisted of pretty much everything except "your troops have sighted a kitchen sink", so most players found themselves turning off many of these alerts). Heck, when it came out, the boards were filled with threads asking how to get rid of all the many, many pauses it'd enforce on players...

But anyway, while paused, you could then set a queue of orders for every unit under your control, or create a new order queue if the situation demanded it. You couldn't stop a troop moving in mid-action, but you could at least get him to react as soon as he'd finished his current shot/step/reload/whatever.

Apocalypse's RT system was much the same, though that game engine had TB built into it as well (giving a great opportunity to compare RT to TB). This did indeed show the modes to be quite different - the most obvious example being how RT mode nerfed close-range units such as the Poppers and Brainsuckers (which were potentially devastating in TB, if you put aside the bug where 'suckers couldn't affect prone units...), but to this day people still argue as to which way was the best way to play that particular game.

TB is not inferior to RT, and vice versa. It's a case of apples and oranges. People will tend to prefer one system over another - but neither is outright "the best".

Of course, I'm only talking about RT in the context of games such as Aftermath and Apocalypse (RTwP style, as you put it - though I'm not sure it's an adequate description for how they handle it). In many other RTS games, the ability to give orders while the game is paused is frowned upon, and the option to have the game automatically pause for you is near unheard of.
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#59 Thorondor

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 04:49 PM

XCOM_box_turn.jpg

::

:)

#60 hot22shot

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 05:57 PM

OK guys I have some intel to share with you.

Yesterday CanardPC (a french newspaper, http://www.canardpc.com) published a first look about this news Xcom game.

I'm reading the article right now so this will be short :

- No world map : There's a USA map (with a 50s' style) for selecting the missions.
- Research & production : yes.
- Base management : yes.
- Team management : yes.
- Choice of the next missions : yes.
- No control of your teammate during the mission (in the demo, this may change)

It seems like you can goof around in your base between the mission (in first person view).

EDIT :

- The demo was running on an XBox360.
- You play as the chief of operation of the base between the mission.
- The choice of the played mission will impact the game.
- In the demo, lots of area of the base were off limits.
- During the missions you can take photos (research ?).
- The game is due for release in a little more than a year.




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