XCOM creator bestows blessing upon Firaxis

Omri Petitte

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XCOM Enemy Unknown missile explosion

When XCOM: Enemy Unknown producer Jake Solomon told us he considers original XCOM creator Julian Gollop a " personal hero ," his sentiment factored heavily into Firaxis' deep reverence for the 1994 turn-based favorite when developing Enemy Unknown. Strong sales and review accolades vindicated Firaxis' efforts, but in a Eurogamer report, Gollop himself declared "Firaxis has done a great job" interpreting XCOM its own way.

"The game is addictive and absorbing, not to mention quite challenging on the Classic difficulty setting," Gollop said. "Most of Firaxis' decisions have been pretty sensible. Overall, I think they have preserved the essence of the original XCOM."

High praise, indeed. Eurogamer's interview began with Solomon's adoration for XCOM and how it shaped his approach to overseeing a modern remake. When made aware of interview author Owen Faraday speaking to Gollop about Enemy Unknown, Solomon likened his sudden bout of nervousness to "like saying, 'Hey, I heard you're making a movie of For Whom the Bell Tolls, and I just talked to Hemingway about it.'"

But Gollop also dispensed light criticism for a few "deliberately contrived" departures from the original XCOM's design. "One small disappointment is that the positions of events and bases in the worldview have no relevance at all," he explained. "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."

Gollop plans a directorial return to strategy gaming with the recently announced remake of his 1985 ZX Spectrum classic Chaos: The Battle of Wizards.

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