Crispy Gamer

2K Games announces their plan to screw up X-Com, and I begin shopping for high powered hunting rifles.

in

 

Earlier this week 2k Marin, the game developer studio that brought us Bioshock 2, announced that they have no idea what the hell they’re doing. In an earlier post, I asked the question “Is it possible for a new X-Com game to not suck?”  Well the answer apparently, is no.

2k Games has announced that while they’re finally going to release a remake/sequel of X-Com, one of the most beloved and well thought of PC games of all time, they’re also going to do everything in their power to make it suck

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, X-Com will be a FPS, a first person shooter. Take that in. They’ve decided to remake IGN’s “#1 PC game of all time” and turn it from a squad based, tactical combat, strategy game, into a FPS. Now admittedly, after buying the IP from Microprose, Hasbro contemplated doing exactly this with the game X-Com: Alliance. However they ditched the project after committing cognitive rape with the release of X-Com: Enforcer. I bring up this little history lesson to point out that while this was a bad idea nine years ago, not a damned thing has changed since then and it’s still a damned fool idea today!

According to the press release they want to stay “true to the roots of the franchise, players will be placed in charge of overcoming high-stake odds through risky strategic gambits coupled with heart-stopping combat experiences that pit human ingenuity - and frailty - against a foe beyond comprehension.” While it is true that these are some of the major themes of the series, it’s also true that every non-tactical strategy game sequel X-Com’s ever had has been god awful. How do you screw up an X-Wing clone that much? How? You give it crappy controls and completely miss the damned point of the series because you think squad combat games don’t sell anymore!

There’s been a lot of hate on the various gaming sites since the revelation and a few havetried to dismiss the issue as obsessive fanboys overreacting to the concept of change, similar to the initial reaction to the announcement that Fallout 3 would be first person. One of the claims seems to be that turn based strategy games are a niche and there’s just no market for them. Which explains why games like Civilization, Dawn of War 2, and Star Craft just don’t seem to sell very well.

The reason why my reaction to this news can be classified as, really fucking pissed off, is because this is just a cheap, safe decision as far as game design is concerned, and it completely abandons what made the series so memorable. It’s not hard to make a FPS game these days. Hell, anyone can do it, just look at South Park, Judge Dredd vs. Judge Death, and Rogue Warrior. So choosing to make X-Com a FPS is a safe move financially speaking. Also, there’s the precedence Bethesda set with Fallout 3. They took a turn based, isometric rpg and made it into a real-time FPS. However, the big difference here is that even in FPS form, Fallout 3 was still a damned RPG. That’s why it didn’t fail miserably. The change that 2K Games is suggesting here is more akin to making a FPS based on the damned Warhammer 40k strategy games. Oh wait, that’s what THQ did with the failure that was Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior. Dammit, I’d almost forgotten about that piece of crap!

Anyway, back to the whole point of this article (aside from blood boiling hatred). 2K Games could do something great with this IP. They could put the time and effort into it and make a complex, squad based strategy game that not only appeals to the old fans but brings the genre back to the console market (the original X-Com” UFO Defense was actually released on the Playstation back in ’95). But instead of putting the creative energy into a risky move like that, they’re going to go with the safe and rather lame route. And while this will provide the market with yet another unimaginative and forgettable FPS (Area 51 anybody?), what it will not do is bring back the X-Com franchise.

Earlier this week 2k Marin, the game developer studio that brought us Bioshock 2, announced that they have no idea what the hell they’re doing. In an earlier post, I asked the question “Is it possible for a new X-Com game to not suck?”  Well the answer apparently, is no.

2k Games has announced that while they’re finally going to release a remake/sequel of X-Com, one of the most beloved and well thought of PC games of all time, they’re also going to do everything in their power to make it suck

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, X-Com will be a FPS, a first person shooter. Take that in. They’ve decided to remake IGN’s “#1 PC game of all time” and turn it from a squad based, tactical combat, strategy game, into a FPS. Now admittedly, after buying the IP from Microprose, Hasbro contemplated doing exactly this with the game X-Com: Alliance. However they ditched the project after committing cognitive rape with the release of X-Com: Enforcer. I bring up this little history lesson to point out that while this was a bad idea nine years ago, not a damned thing has changed since then and it’s still a damned fool idea today!

According to the press release they want to stay “true to the roots of the franchise, players will be placed in charge of overcoming high-stake odds through risky strategic gambits coupled with heart-stopping combat experiences that pit human ingenuity - and frailty - against a foe beyond comprehension.” While it is true that these are some of the major themes of the series, it’s also true that every non-tactical strategy game sequel X-Com’s ever had has been god awful. How do you screw up an X-Wing clone that much? How? You give it crappy controls and completely miss the damned point of the series because you think squad combat games don’t sell anymore!

There’s been a lot of hate on the various gaming sites since the revelation and a few havetried to dismiss the issue as obsessive fanboys overreacting to the concept of change, similar to the initial reaction to the announcement that Fallout 3 would be first person. One of the claims seems to be that turn based strategy games are a niche and there’s just no market for them. Which explains why games like Civilization, Dawn of War 2, and Star Craft just don’t seem to sell very well.

The reason why my reaction to this news can be classified as, really fucking pissed off, is because this is just a cheap, safe decision as far as game design is concerned, and it completely abandons what made the series so memorable. It’s not hard to make a FPS game these days. Hell, anyone can do it, just look at South Park, Judge Dredd vs. Judge Death, and Rogue Warrior. So choosing to make X-Com a FPS is a safe move financially speaking. Also, there’s the precedence Bethesda set with Fallout 3. They took a turn based, isometric rpg and made it into a real-time FPS. However, the big difference here is that even in FPS form, Fallout 3 was still a damned RPG. That’s why it didn’t fail miserably. The change that 2K Games is suggesting here is more akin to making a FPS based on the damned Warhammer 40k strategy games. Oh wait, that’s what THQ did with the failure that was Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior. Dammit, I’d almost forgotten about that piece of crap!

Anyway, back to the whole point of this article (aside from blood boiling hatred). 2K Games could do something great with this IP. They could put the time and effort into it and make a complex, squad based strategy game that not only appeals to the old fans but brings the genre back to the console market (the original X-Com” UFO Defense was actually released on the Playstation back in ’95). But instead of putting the creative energy into a risky move like that, they’re going to go with the safe and rather lame route. And while this will provide the market with yet another unimaginative and forgettable FPS (Area 51 anybody?), what it will not do is bring back the X-Com franchise.