A 22-year-old game inspired XCOM 2 more than anything else

by: Randy -
More On: XCOM 2

In this video, Creative Director Jake Solomon talks about the evolution of the XCOM turn-based tactical strategy series. He played hundreds of hours of the original X-COM: UFO Defense (aka UFO: Enemy Unknown). So, naturally, Solomon had jumped through the roof when Firaxis approached him to work on the latest one, XCOM 2. Solomon describes the team's intentions when updating a 22-year-old game.

XCOM 2 is a tough game, though. You're meant to feel like the underdog. Solomon wanted to rebottle the lightning from UFO Defense; to recapture that feeling of being, as he says in the video, "outnumbered, outgunned, outclassed, and that, throughout the whole experience, the player felt like they were fighting an uphill battle." We gave XCOM 2 an 8 out of 10. But you can't help but feel like our reviewer was getting a little tired of being treated like some alien's punching bag.

In our E3 2015 interview with XCOM 2 Lead Producer Garth DeAngelis, we came out guns blazing, asking, "Why PC Only?" We all laughed because that had been the opening salvo from probably every single interview he'd had that day. But, graciously, DeAngelis had said, "It made a lot of sense for us to say we're going to be PC focus for now."

So here we are. Sometimes it's all about how you frame your marketing. Nobody on consoles wants to hear that you're getting XCOM 2 seven or eight months after PC. But if you say XCOM 2 is PC only, then, behind closed doors you work steadily towards a console release, it then sounds wonderful once PlayStation 4 and Xbox One get the news that it's coming to console. It's a well-played move. I'm not even mad. The strategy worked as intended, and I'm ecstatic that consoles are finally getting the game.

So, here we are. XCOM 2 launches in less than two weeks for PS4 and Xbox One on September 27.