The lead producer on Firaxis Games’ XCOM: Enemy Unknown remake thinks his game is more tactical than the original.
In an interview with VG247, Jake Solomon said that he didn’t want to upset fans, but “the original game wasn’t as tactical as this game”.
“I mean, it was tactical in its own way, but we have things like abilities and an explicit cover system, bonuses for elevation, perks, passive perks and we just put a big tactical layer over the experience,” he said.
Solomon felt that the AI in the original cheated somewhat, and that took away from the tactical experience, even while it added tension to enemy encounters.
“The original game would do things like having enemies being able to see further than you, so they would just shoot you from behind the fog of war,” he said.
“These were things that, at first you might not have understood, but in our game everything is very clear.”
“With the original game—I know how it works—but people typically didn’t understand why they were getting shot. That created huge amounts of tension in the original game, and put you in the dark—literally in the dark. You could take a step, get shot and be like ‘who the f**k was that?’”
The remake would be fairer on the player in this regard, said Solomon, but hopefully not at the expense of tension.
“With our game we said, ‘it has to be tactical, but it also has to be fair’, as tactical games that aren’t fair, just aren’t tactical. We started moving out XCOM game toward fairness and that got us worried and thinking , ‘well hold on, is this still tense?’”
“It was a big struggle throughout development to give a sense of risk and tension. Because in the original you could run around a corner and be like, ‘aw f**k, there’s some guy standing there and now he’s going to shoot me.’ We wanted to make sure the game was tactical but that there was still a chance to gamble.”
XCOM: Enemy Unknown is due out on October 12 on Windows PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.