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Firaxis: "No Need To Streamline Any Aspects Of XCOM: Enemy Unknown's Gameplay" For Consoles

Matt Gardner
2K Games, Firaxis, Jake Solomon, Strategy games, XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Firaxis: "No Need To Streamline Any Aspects Of XCOM: Enemy Unknown's Gameplay" For Consoles

Rest easy XCOM fans. Firaxis have stated that the upcoming XCOM: Enemy Unknown will not need streamlining for consoles, and that the PC version of the game will receive it's own UI, and mouse and keyboard support.

"There’s no reason to pull any punches with any platform," said lead designer Jake Solomon to PC Gamer. "Because, when it comes to input, X-Com is not particularly complicated. I don’t feel the need to streamline any aspects of gameplay because the player’s interaction with the game experience is still simple."

The interview also revealed that base building, real-time strategic elements, micro-managing your soldiers' equipment, permadeath and destructible environments are all in. Time units, however, are out.

"We had time units in our game, and we said, ‘Can we improve on this?’" Solomon revealed. "Yeah, I think we can. Time units are a great mechanic, but the player spends too much time thinking about that system. We want to add so much to XCOM – classes, perks, a ton of new weapons and a cover system and new mission objectives – and you cannot add that much stuff without making sure everything in there is carrying its weight."

Solomon finished by explaining how industry legend Sid Meier is ever so slightly involved with the project.

"He and I interact on an almost daily basis," he explained. "I say ‘Look, I have this problem. What do you think I should do?’ and he’s a very gifted designer. He can look at a situation and he can say 'have you tried this?' And I’ll be like, 'oh, that’s really good.' I claim all the credit for it, but I rely on him so much. I’m now to the point where I can basically hear his voice in my head, which is probably not healthy. He tells me to hurt people."

Add a comment 1 comment
Narf  Mar. 5, 2012 at 11:08

Time units are out because they decided to remove the system and replace it with something that looks just plain dumb instead of visualising the data so that players didn't have to do the math in their heads. In-battle inventory management is out, along with everything you used to do with it (now all you can do is activate items via a hotbar). The real-time element is now enforced in a really silly way by making time advance while you're unable to do jack with your radar or interceptors because you're on a mission. Base building will likely have no influence on base defence any more because the Unreal engine can't handle realtime procedurally-generated maps. Destructible environments don't even include "floors" and "roofs" like they did in the original game, so that's a downer. Squad size has been massively decreased in favour of an RPG system nobody asked for.

Call it what you like, but the form of the original game is taking some major blows in the name of "streamlining", "modernisation" and "getting Joe Consolegamer's money".

I can't say I'm terribly chuffed about it, old bean.


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