The lack of a clear successor to the original X-COM has been one of the game industry’s biggest mysteries for almost two decades now. Even the company that produced the genre-bending strategy hybrid seemed mystified about what made it so popular, leading to a slew of increasingly odd sequels that were determined to be as little like their progenitor as possible.
That’s why it warms my cold, cynical heart to hear Greg Foertsch, the Art Director for Firaxis Games’ upcoming remake XCOM: Enemy Unknown, opining about the value of permanent squaddie deaths, iconic alien races, and the action figure-inspired designs that permeated the first game. This is a man who vividly recalls the comic book paneling in that first intro, the black outlines and rich color palette that gave the low-res graphics such a clean style, and has clearly devoted a lot of thought on how to retain that signature style.
Assuming the rest of the development team understands the reverence for UFO Defense this well, XCOM: Enemy Unknown couldn’t be in better hands. We’ll find out for sure when it comes to PC, 360, and PS3 late this year.