Tuesday, June 5, 2012

XCom: Enemy Unknown E3 Presentation

Right at the end of the first day E3, around six a clock, we got into the last showing of XCom: Enemy Unknown. We were shown a short presentation of the game that gave a general overview and showed some late game abilities, armor, weapons and squads, plus some new enemies. I'm not going do to an in depth overview this time, but if you would like one check out my previous post on X:Com Enemy Unknown. This X:Com is made by Firaxis and it is re-imagining of the original beloved turn based strategy X-Com games for PC. X-Com gives you control of a military organization that is out to protect earth from alien invaders. You manage a base, shoot down UFO's, help cities under siege and strategically battle your enemies with turn based combat. Originally I was really worried that they were taking away most of the tactics and strategy from X-Com and mainstreaming the game and I wasn't entirely wrong, but it does look like the mainstreaming they are doing to X-Com may reinvigorate the stagnant genre and bring X-Com to the wider world.

The presentation we saw started off, after the overview, with a squad of rookie X-Com soldiers in the middle of a city under siege. The representative from Firaxis explained that when you start the game aliens do subtle and cover attacks, but eventually they will get bold enough to assault cities. The main enemy they wanted to show off here was the Chrysalid. If you played the original X-Com games you know this enemy. It was the quick and powerful alien that turned civilians and soldiers into enemies. They are back in XCom: Enemy Unknown, but they look quite a bit different. They now look more like some type of bug, but they are still very fast and very deadly. We watched as they surprised the rookie X-Com soldiers and murdered two of them, then some psychic aliens showed up and made one of the other soldiers eat his own grenade. The last soldier left called in some reinforcements and they sent in a high tech team lead by non other than Sid Meier. This team was geared up with plasma weapons, grappling hooks, cloaking shields, jet packs and psychic powers.

They quickly brought in the team and showed just how deadly your soldiers can be if you train them and research alien technology. Sid Meier promptly made one alien eat his own grenade, while one soldier with a jet pack took out the Chrysalids with ease since they cannot hit anything except for ground units. The third soldier of this small squad used her cloaking abilities to get close to a large brute on the roof of a ruined building. She grappled to the roof, while cloaked, and then shot that brute right in the head. All of this was done in-game, while the previous scene with the rookie X-Com soldiers was using the in-game engine, but it was merely a cinematic of sorts. Oddly enough this whole thing didn't change my mind about the game and I am still worried about what features they are mainstreaming and how the whole four to six player squad is going to work (in the original game you could have huge squads). I'm glad I saw the game in action, but I wish it had just been a full gameplay demo. Check out this E3 trailer they released the other day and if you want more information check out the links below. Thanks for reading.
Main Website: http://www.xcom.com/enemyunknown/



  1. GankaliciousJune 7, 2012 9:30 AM

    From their website:

    "Enemy Unknown couples tactical turn-based gameplay with incredible action sequences and on-the-ground combat."

    This worries me too......... Is liking turn based games really so niche? I must be too old :)

    1. It is definitely worrisome, but it's either going to be really special and great, or at worst mediocre.