Tuesday, August 30, 2011

XCOM Gameplay Video: Why 2K Games Deserves More Respect...

There's SO much hate for this game from people who haven't even played it yet or worse, have such a death grip on their beloved (and indeed, absolutely classic) PC game that they're unwilling to let the dev team make the game they're trying to make. I say let 2K Marin and 2K China do their job and enjoy their take on XCOM on its own merits. The team has already bowed to an incredible amount of pressure from some of the more vocal "fans" out there, making tweaks to the gameplay to add more 'tactical' elements. But I think that's all that needs to be done to appease some that still don't seem to understand that every story needs a beginning. Hell, something as huge as the X-Com organization you know and love didn't come from a vacuum. I see the new game as laying the groundwork for a more complex future that includes all the other turn and action-based games in the series. Bending over backward and taking do or die orders from a mostly mean-spirited bunch that's not even interested in touching the new game will only strip away what the developers are trying to create.

It's also a really nasty case of ignorance and turning a blind eye, as I'd bet real money most of the complainers have NO idea what the game they WANT to play is actually based on. I wonder how many of these loud folk realize that X-Com was derived from Gerry & Sylvia Andersen's UFO TV series? The makers of the original PC game used many elements from that old show and expanded on them, but if it weren't for the show, there would be NO X-Com at all. To the folks griping that a FPS is a bad idea, take a gander at this clip from the very first UFO episode. Notice that he series kicks off with a dramatic first-person shooting sequence partially presented from the eyes of one of the alien invaders. It works quite well over 40 years after it was originally filmed and if you own the DVD, you'll see that the alternate opening was even more effective.

As a longtime fan of X-Com on the PC, I'm actually excited to see 2K's take on the origins of the organization even though it's not lined up at all with what the Andersons did back in 1969-1970. The intentionally retro visual style is highly appealing (I'm amazed that too many people can't grasp the concept of stylization) as were the common weapons of the period naturally evolving as the game progressed into more powerful alien-influenced gear. The game I want to play will hopefully show the genesis of a much larger organization that will evolve into one where gamers get to also experience a more tactical experience as the story progresses. As for the classic game, I can see a modern remake set in the future as a portable/mobile device-based side story or a standalone release AFTER the new game ships.

As much as I love the original X-Com (STILL one of the best strategy games ever created), trying to market a turn-based strategy game effectively these days is a really tough thing to do. Blame lazy gamers not wanting to expand their horizons, game companies not wanting to make a slower-paced experience for consoles or whatever else you can think of. But I'd say it's a mixture of things and the only way to see if a turn-based X-Com will sell in the numbers needed to make a profit is to get the original back out on XBLA and see how it sells. Bump up the visuals to HD quality, keep the gameplay intact, promote it properly and track those sales. If it manages to be a hit that surprises everyone and brings in new fans, 2K might want to consider adding it to the new game as a bonus. Of course, this is all wishful thinking on my part, but I'd love to see a LOT more respect in general for developers who want to tell stories, not just make a small segment of people dance around the room because they're getting what they want. Being angry and loud doesn't mean you're right about anything (but it may make you ripe for a cable "news" hosting gig)...

1 comment:

  1. There is 1 solution. Release the turn based remake first so all hate or love from fanbois can be focused on that , where it's supposed to be focused.