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XCOM: Enemy Unknown or what could've been

XCOM: Enemy Unknown or what could've been

Game News - posted by Trash on Mon 11 February 2013, 12:00:24

Tags: Firaxis; Polygo; XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Remember that recent 'good for what it is' XCOM: Enemy Unknown? Well, here's a rather lenghty article on Polygon where we see the troubled history of the making of XCOM. The kicker? Well, apparantly once it played like a real 2000's update on the original. And then disaster struck.
"The design was pretty far off, in terms of the actual mechanics," Solomon says. "Design-wise, in my mind ... Enemy Unknown was going to be almost an exact remake of the original game."

In the pitch video, you can see the beginnings of a train wreck. Solomon's design adheres to the hardest of hardcore strategy components of the original XCOM and then adds more. There are tons of soldiers, shot modes and time units. But perhaps what would eventually cause the most drama and confusion over the next few years was the one thing Solomon wanted in the game more than anything else: random maps.


"In our vertical slice, we had eight to 10 soldiers," Solomon says. "We had time units; we had people disembarking from the Skyranger into a procedurally generated level ... it was very much like the original game."

After they recovered from their revelry, the XCOM team showed the vertical slice to the rest of Firaxis. Responses were mixed: People either loved it or hated it.

On the love side were hardcore fans of the original XCOM, who shared Solomon's affinity for the complexities of the game. On the hate side was everyone else, who couldn't understand what they were even looking at. The realization started to sink in that Solomon and his team had wasted more than a year designing a game that, outside of a small, core group of passionate fans, would be a complete failure.
What the fuck is wrong with people? And hey, for rubbing some extra salt into your fresh wounds they've even got footage of that older and pretty neat looking version.

Thanks to CarpenVarra for showing me what could've been and ruin my day.

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