X-COM Creator Julian Gollop Praises Firaxis for XCOM Enemy Unknown

The creator of X-COM shares his thoughts on the newest title by Firaxis.


The creator of the original X-COM series of games has come out in praise of Firaxis for their efforts on XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Speaking in an interview with Eurogamer, the game developer gave his blessing to the series reboot, calling the developer's work with the title both "sensible" and "a great job."

"I think Firaxis has done a great job," said Gollop. "The game is addictive and absorbing, not to mention quite challenging on the classic difficulty setting."

"Most of their decisions have been pretty sensible, and they have made a very console-friendly game. Overall I think they have preserved the essence of the original X-Com."

Gollop did not hold back from criticizing what he perceives as some of the title's shortcomings, such as its simplified geo-scape, which originally saw multiple bases and allowed players to determine when and where their craft went instead of having the process entirely automated for them as it is in the new XCOM.

"One small disappointment is that the positions of events and bases in the world view have no relevance at all," he said. "I often get the feeling that some things are just too deliberately contrived. The three simultaneous abduction sites [of which the player can only respond to one] being the worst offender."

With that said, he shared his understanding of why they chose to make things the way they did. 

"The original X-Com had significantly more pseudo-random elements. However, it is clear that they have been following Sid Meier’s dictum that games are essentially about making interesting decisions. They have strived to make every decision have some kind of trade-off."

How did you feel about XCOM: Enemy Unknown? Do you agree with Gollop's assessment that the portions of the game are too contrived, or do you support Firaxis's decisions to streamline these elements? 

XCOM: Enemy Unknown is currently available on the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.