E3 2012
Games of E3 2012

The Escapist Staff | 8 Jun 2012 20:30
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XCOM: Enemy Unknown

The smaller squad sizes in Firaxis' strategy reboot might actually work better than the original game. Teams of four or six place the emphasis firmly on tactics, rather than the logistics of managing a squad of 24 men. Otherwise, Enemy Unknown stays true to its roots be concentrating on elements like turn-based resolution, fog of war, destructible environments, and permanent death. Now, every action just means a lot more.

Read Steve Butts' full preview here. XCOM: Enemy Unkown deploys October 9th, 2012 for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.

Steve Butts: Because you have fewer soldiers, each move becomes more and more meaningful. The old game featured plenty of final turns where I wasn't even moving my whole squad anymore. I'd just take a group of four or five of my best guys and use them to clear out the final corner of the map, skipping everyone else's turns. With fewer soldiers, each move is probably going to matter more, both in terms of tactics and in terms of emotional investment. On that topic, the ability to manage to promotion paths of the soldiers, not to mention renaming them and changing their appearance, will mean that, though the deaths are fewer, they're just as meaningful as before.

DeAngelis admitted there was a small army at Firaxis who advocated for more soldiers, but that the design kept pushing the producers towards smaller teams. Firaxis drew up a laundry list of elements that made the tactical battles in the original game so great - turn-based resolution, fog of war, destructible environments, permanent death. Large squads not only wasn't on that list, but even worked against some of the concepts that the team felt established a continuity with what people loved about the old game.

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