Ask, and Ye Shall Receive.
It’s hard to believe, that just a mere 24 hours ago, I was
whining like a little bitch waxing nostalgic about the about the good ole days, and how modern game industry has an apparent lack of respect for source material for classic PC franchises. This generation has seen many more than a few high profile reboots of classic gaming IPs, Culled from the back libraries of PC gaming, these (in most cases) venerated game franchises, have burst their way unto modern day game consoles, with a fresh coat of paint, for an entirely new audience to enjoy. Sadly in almost every case, gone is the charm that made the originals classics, gone is any sense of the cerebral depth which gave these classics their uniqueness, and endowed the players back in the day with a real sense of accomplishment upon completing those masterpieces. Gone is mostly any semblance of what made these classics, classic in the first place. Replaced by mindless running and gunning, as one by one, classic game play and world building were replaced shallow first-person shooter game play mechanics, which has become the de facto, go to game style of the Call of Duty generation. It seemed that the only games publishers gave a damn about producing any longer, involved guns, and shooting, no strategy, very little depth, and little to no visual representation of even the players onscreen avatar.
Well, that was literally, yesterday . . .
Today, something rather miraculous happened. Game Informer premiered their February issue cover story, and much to my amazement (as well as the amazement of a legion of fans), a new, new X-Com game was announced. As many of you ware doubtlessly aware, last year 2K Games announced a new game in the venerable X-Com series that was to serve as a reboot. However, unlike the strategy games the series is famous for, this “reboot” simply titled, XCOM, would be a first-person shooter, pretty much removing the vast majority of the strategy elements from the previous series, much to the dismay of X-Com fans the world over.
Well today’s announcement brings news of a completely new game in the series, that apparently has been in development deep within the bowels of the 2K owned Firaxis Games . . . yes, that Firaxis Games, headed by legendary game designer, Sid Meier, and maker of the best strategy game series of all time, Civilization. The game is titled, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, a remake of the very first game in the series, UFO: Enemy Unknown (aka X-COM: UFO Defense; aka X-Com: Enemy Unknown).
Not much is known yet about XCOM: Enemy Unknown, outside of the fact, that like it’s namesake, it will be a pure strategy game, developed at Firaxis Games, and published by 2K Games. It will be released on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. And it will see release something this calender year. Much more information, including screen shots are expected to surface next week when the February issue of Game Informer hits the stands. But even now, this old school fan of the series, as well as a fan of strategy games in general, is already celebrating. It seems just like a lifetime ago, but I can remember long nights sitting in front of the original, having watched new episodes of Chris Carter’s The X-Files (which also drew a lot of it’s inspiration, and information from the same sources the Julian Gollop and his team at at the now defunct British game development studio, Mythos Games (a division of MicroProse) used to craft the X-Com games), imagining in many respects how the game, and the television show, were natural extensions of each other. It was a great time to, “want to believe.” And I can honestly think of fewer times before or since, when being a geek, as the best thing on the planet.
And while there is nothing remotely like The X-Files on television today, at least we got our X-Com back . . . being developed by Firaxis Games no less. And that is cause for celebration. The new year is only five days old, and it’s already the best year in gaming . . . but more on that later, as I have a massive show-and-tell about the games of 2012 which will go up over the weekend.