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XCOM: Enemy Unknown Announced – Original X-COM Series

By on January 5th, 2012 9:58 am

No, it’s not a post from 19 years ago :), XCOM: Enemy Unknown (yes, a new true X-COM installment with the same name as the original title) was announced today by Firaxis and 2K Games.

So, Firaxis Games and 2K revealed that our dear sci-fi strategy series is back. That’s right, this fall (hopefully) we’ll have a new good old X-COM game to dive-in and lose ourselves doing your best to stop another alien invasion. Will lobster navigators return? Perhaps the flying flowers-of-doom are back? Or the tiny insectoid-like creatures hidden in someone’s backyard doing gods-know what kind of experiences on we poor humans.

Now, this was the sort of news that I was needing to lighten up my day. Boy, I’m so excited about this. The X-COM games are among my favorite games of all time! And it couldn’t get better, I guess. A new (true) sequel to X-COM that is currently being developed by Firaxis Games, which is undoubtably one of the best strategy producers out there, and we don’t need to wait years for having it! It’s ironic that this gets announced now when XCOM, a tactical shooter (not to be confused with the real-time and turn-based strategy title we are talking about here), is coming out this spring, curiously brought also by the same publisher (2K).

Steve Martin, Firaxis Games president, said “It’s been a dream of ours to recreate X-COM with our unique creative vision. We’re huge fans of the original game and it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to re-envision a game that is as beloved as X-COM,”. Steve added “We were careful to keep XCOM: Enemy Unknown true to the elements that made X-COM such a revered game while delivering an entirely new story and gameplay experience for both die-hard X-COM fans and newcomers to the franchise.”

From left to right: X-COM: UFO Defense (aka UFO: Enemy Unknown) from 1993 , X-COM: Terror From the Deep (1995), X-COM: Apocalypse (1997). Credits for the images for

The original X-COM series offers a mix between a real-time strategic view where events unfold (new UFOs sighted, intercepted and crashed) and turn-based combat, where all the alien hunt fun began. Let’s hope both views are kept from the original installments, now (hopefully) with better graphics, improved gameplay and more surprises.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown will come out for the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 this fall. Keep tuned-in for more information on this as it comes out. Thanks, Game Informer.

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  1. Zeraan says:

    I hope that it’s true to its roots, and not a simplified turn-based combat! Either way, looking forward to more details!

  2. Claude says:

    Great news! I’m in shock! :-)

    • Adam Solo says:

      That was me also for like 10 seconds after reading the announcement. In fact at first I thought someone was making a joke, it felt unreal. “Enemy Unknown? But that’s the name of the first title!? What’s going on?!” Then I read Firaxis and I thought I was dreaming still. Then ok, I got a hold of myself and started writing the post :)

      I can imagine that the Xenonauts and the UFO: Extraterrestrial 2 guys are going to have a rough night today.

      I guess the timing was chosen by 2K deliberately now to divert attention as much they could from these two titles, specially from Xenonauts that is expected to release soon. I have high expectations for Xenonauts (an hands-on preview will come out soon btw, so stay tuned). But who knows, maybe everybody will benefit in the end from all this hype.

      One thing was certain, we were desperately in need for a good new kick-ass sci-fi third person tactical game like X-COM. Look what happened, a new X-COM is coming. It still feels unreal, I hope we’ll not be all disappointed in the end (it would not be the first time with this dev…).

  3. Nick says:

    It’s almost criminal to talk about anything X-com and not mention the honest to goodness remake called Xenonauts: It doesn’t much with what made X-com good, it just gives it slightly better graphics and makes it work on modern OSes. If you pay them while it’s still in alpha you get it for cheap and access to early builds.

    Check out this vid to see xenonauts in action:

  4. jay says:

    Wow, awesome !!
    I don’t think they could have picked a better developer. Long live turn based strategy games ! :D

  5. salvo says:

    A new Alpha Centauri type game would be great, in my eyes one tof the best strategy games of all time

  6. Claude says:

    Firaxis is using the original title (X-COM: Enemy Unknown) ? Impressive! Yes, we have a lot of competition here: Xenonauts, UFO ET2, UFO Alien Nation, etc…
    About Xenonauts; the latest build 8.5 is out, but I didn’t pre-order the game (Rebellion, yes), so, what’s going on exactly, I don’t know.

    Who will be the winner?
    Well, it looks like “UFO Internet Explorer ($) vs UFO Firefox (open source)” …. :-)

  7. zigzag says:

    Awesome! The phrase “one of the best ____ ever” is thrown around too often, but it definitely applies to the original.

  8. Claude says:

    I just wish to be able to play with my laptop. Notebook maybe ? Just kidding… :-)

    X-Com is a turn-based strategy game. A powerful CPU is a must, so the AI is able to calculate a lot of possible options.
    But a MEGA video card, like the one needed to play CivilizationV ?


    • Adam Solo says:

      Let’s hope not. A good CPU is normally required as you say. The best you have the faster the turn will be. As for the video card I hope I don’t need to switch to 800×600 to be able to play X-COM, like I do with Skyrim (curiously it doesn’t look that bad).

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