Tuesday, 06 March 2012 08:08
Games - Games
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XCOM: Enemy Unknown sees a true return to form as Firaxis takes over the franchise originally made popular in the 1990s. Rather than further alienate the fanbase, this turn-based strategy game contains elements fans of the original games will undoubtedly appreciate.
A newly released video by the company goes behind the scenes with the developers at Firaxis as they talk about the game. Like the original XCOM, the aliens in this game are essentially unknown—no one knows where they came from or why they chose to abduct humans.
The game is described as a reimagining of the original XCOM game rather than a simple remake. The core principles remain the same as that of the original game, as various nations on Earth form an elite military organization called XCOM to deal with the alien menace. The player takes on the role of the commander of this organization.
One of the first features from the original game that was carried over to the new XCOM is Time Units, which essentially allows characters under the player's control to perform a certain number of actions during their turn. This mechanic has been simplified somewhat to allow the player to issue commands like moving, moving and shooting, or moving and taking cover—to cite a few examples. This hides the Time Units in the back, so the player doesn't have to do a lot of unnecessary mathematics to decide his actions during a turn.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown sees the new addition of cover, which was not present in the original game. Characters can take cover behind low cover and high cover, which provides them with defense from enemy attacks. Likewise, the aliens can also use cover. Despite the simplification of the Time Unit mechanic, the addition of cover adds a new layer of tactical depth to XCOM.
Thanks to modern graphics, XCOM: Enemy Unknown will also see the introduction of a new cinematic camera system to give the player interesting vantage points whenever characters are shooting, taking cover from fire, or otherwise performing actions. Firaxis is leveraging the game's 3D tech to create a much more compelling experience. All of this is aided by the fact that the game is entirely turn-based.
"It was a way for us to take the camera and put in the environment in a way that got you out of a normal gameplay mode but let you see things a little clearer and a little more up close and feel like you're a little more part of the action," says art director Greg Foertsch.
Finally, the new XCOM sees the return of the base in a completely new, flexible form. Rather than create a flat level, Firaxis decided to add verticality into the base by making it like an ant farm. Made up of multiple levels, the base can be expanded with the addition of new facilities and upgrades. The player can see the soldiers interact with the technicians and scientists in this physical structure.
XCOM Enemy Unknown is exclusive to the PC and will be released in Fall 2012.
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