The art director on the new XCom says the old X-Com really nailed it.
X-Com: UFO Defense was a very visual game. Strategy and tactics formed its central core, but the visuals are what brought it to life. The dead Sectoid split open and pinned down on the laboratory table, the pixellated shadows of night-time battlefields, the rotating intercept globe: these are the exclamation points that punctuate our memories of the game. That's a fact not lost on XCom: Enemy Unknown Art Director Greg Foertsch, who said in the new "Art of XCom" community video that it's "super-cool" that the developers of the mid-90s classic were able to come up with such strong, enduring imagery at only 320x240 resolution.
The new game won't change things up too much, as Foertsch said the team looked back on the decisions made by the original developers and found that they've held up pretty well over the years. The first X-Com "really played with stereotype," he explained, and the new game will as well.
"These guys, they don't look like real soldiers, they look like G.I. Joes. And I said, 'Yeah, right, they actually are. They're action figures'," he explained. "It was something that I knew internally but hadn't actually necessarily vocalized at that point, and when I was called out on it, to actually sit there and think about it for a second... that's absolutely correct. We are making action figures."
XCom: Enemy Unknown is scheduled to come out in the fall for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.