Stolen Pixels

Stolen Pixels
Stolen Pixels #186: Well Lookie Who We Have Here

Shamus Young | 16 Apr 2010 13:00
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How did they come up with the idea to turn X-Com into a first person shooter? Do they just have IP darts that they throw at a genre dartboard? A real time strategy Sonic the Hedgehog! Mass Effect tower defense! A Metal Gear dating sim! Cooking Mama brawler. Animal Crossing: The Flight Simulator. A BioShock MMO.

X-Com was an overhead turn based game where you directed a team of extremely expendable commandos. Most of the game was spent building bases, requisitioning supplies, doing research, and hiring new squad members to replace the mooks you led to ruin in the last mission. It was largely plotless, open-ended, and sandboxy. The kind of thing people would sneer at today for being a "spreadsheet".

In the new one you aren't the director of a clandestine international alien-fighting force, you're an FBI agent. It's not turn-based overhead, it's first person shooter with (I assume) cover-based real-time combat. (I'll bet you 1 billion dollars I'm right.) They're not even keeping the name. They're changing it from X-Com to Xcom. The only single thing they're keeping for the original is the premise of "Aliens Invade". Do you really need to harvest an existing IP for that? Is that not something you could come up with on your own?

Maybe they're trying to secure the loyalty of the people who liked the original, but there's what? A dozen of us? Games were a niche market back in 1993. And we liked the game because it was turn based strategy, not because it was called X-Com.

I'm not saying the game will be terrible, I'm just saying that using the X-Com license for this is completely pointless. Unless the point was to troll the entire industry and gather attention by doing something absurd. In which case: Well played, douchebags.

Yeah, I'll probably get it.

Shamus Young is the guy behind this website, this book, these three webcomics, and this program.

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