For a long, long, long, long, long time we have lamented the absence of X-Com. There have been various attempts at creating spiritual successors to it, most notably the UFO series by ALTAR, and these weren’t terrible games; but nobody has ever really captured the feeling of X-Com, nobody has ever come close in fact.
Now someone has. Spurred by the positive impressions of the fine gentlemen at RPS I picked up the preorder (Which unlocks beta access) a couple of days ago and, after spending a little time with the beta build, I can pretty safely say that Mr. Meer’s writeup is spot on. Let me lift a quote wholesale from what he writes;
A playable build of Xenonauts was on show in the RPS-sponsored Indie Arcade at the Eurogamer expo last week, and pretty much everyone I spoke to about it said the same thing: “well, it’s X-COM,” they offered with a wide grin. They didn’t say what worked or what didn’t or what they’d change or anything like that – they just said “it’s like X-COM.”
Xenonauts, ladies and gentlemen, is like X-Com. It’s hard to define what exactly X-Com is, but the end result is very clearly present here. You care about your soldiers even though you know they’re going to die very quickly. You find yourself cursing because in your eagerness to look around the next corner you didn’t spare enough time units for reaction fire. You feel the greatest tension when you take a long-range shot with a rookie. You need it to hit, it HAS to hit, or some other guy right next to the alien with no TUs is going to die next turn. And yes, you’re terrified of Hidden Movement.
It just adds up. Finally, after nearly 20 years, we’re getting a true and proper successor to one of the great, all-time classics of videogaming. I urge everyone to check out the Xenonauts page, take a look around, and to rejoice – for our prayers are being answered.