In 1994, the strategy genre was rocked by Mythos Games’ and MicroProse’s classic X-COM: UFO Defense (known as UFO: Enemy Unknown in Europe). Combining turn-based combat with geopolitical management, the game received strong reviews and was commercially successful, with many fans describing it as “one of the best video games of all time”.


RELATED: Marvel’s Midnight Suns Features More Systems Than XCOM

In 2012, Firaxis Games re-imagined the X-COM series with a reboot of its own, creating XCOM: Enemy Unknown and XCOM 2, as well as a number of expansions. Both games were critically acclaimed, with many reviewers praising the games’ difficulty and re-playability. With XCOM 3 on the horizon, here are some aspects we would really like to see in the new game.

GAMERANT VIDEO OF THE DAY

7/7 A More Dynamic Geoscape

One highlight of the original game was that the geoscape side of the game was as fun (if not more) than the turn-based combat. Keeping the base equipped against a growing threat, ensuring one’s men were well supplied, and allocating resources to research and engineering projects, all whilst balancing a dwindling budget, were memorable aspects of the game. The player was required to adapt to a multitude of pressures, while not being overly reactive and making mistakes.

In the Firaxis remakes, this was taken a little further, but somehow felt even more limited in its scope. One of the things we would love to see in XCOM 3 is a more dynamic geoscape, with a wider variety of options, and one-off ‘side quests’ with corresponding rewards and threats. Mini-missions to which players can send soldiers (without having to attend the combat personally) were a concept introduced in XCOM 2: War of the Chosen. Even a return to underwater combat, à la X-COM: Terror From The Deep, would be most welcome.

6/7 Vehicles And Air Combat

One thing we need to see more of in XCOM 3 is the use of battlefield support vehicles. Even the original from 1994 had tanks, rocket tanks, and even a devastating human/alien hybrid, plasma-firing hover tank, which could penetrate even the toughest armor. Not only were these support vehicles of great practical use, but players were more willing to sacrifice them, having not formed the same bond with them as we have with our soldiers.

In addition, a return to the classic ‘Interceptor vs UFO’ dogfights would be most welcome, as there is so much that could be done to this element with just a little creativity.

The idea of the XCOM team being based inside the Avenger, constantly on the move from the alien threat, was a great idea and an interesting departure from the XCOM-base style of play of its predecessors. It also worked well with the game’s plot, complimenting the more guerrilla nature of the resistance fighting against the dominant ADVENT forces.

RELATED: XCOM 2: How To Increase Contacts

But in XCOM 3, we would like to see a return to XCOM bases. Expanding, defending, upgrading, and budgeting for the player’s secret installations was a prominent element in the original games, and one we would like to see back in the next installment.

4/7 More Classes and Abilities (But Not Too Many)

It is a careful balancing act required of strategy games to offer the user enough options to keep the gameplay varied and exciting, but not so many that it is overwhelming. The ability tree of the soldiers in XCOM: Enemy Unknown was very simple and basically allowed the development of two subclasses of each class, via the choice of one of two new abilities per promotion.

The simplicity of this was actually one of the game’s strengths but left the user wanting just a little more. In XCOM 2: War of the Chosen, the addition of ability points for special classes offered more customization without overwhelming the player. This, as well as the variety of weapons on offer, is something that should be deftly handled in the new game.

3/7 Sense Of Invasion

In XCOM: UFO Defense, one of the game’s highlights was the growing sense of invasion. With so much depending on the amount of global funding provided each month, it was with great reluctance that players refused to pursue a UFO and, as the aliens raised the stakes, this tension mounted. Players are forced to choose between playing offensively to wipe out the alien menace, or improving their own facilities.

There was nothing quite like the gut-wrenching feeling of seeing an alien terror attack on a major city when the player’s forces were depleted and wounded from the previous conflict. Knowing one couldn’t ignore it (lest their funding takes a knock), but having to offset this loss of cash against the likelihood of the player’s squad of rookies surviving a tough mission, was one of the best balancing acts of the original game.

2/7 Neutral Factions

An excellent addition to the XCOM franchise was the incorporation of neutral factions in XCOM 2: War of the Chosen. Each faction had a different outlook on the conflict and also its own specialist classes, which could help players out and, like many of the games’ downloadable mods, added a new dimension to the combat system.

Phoenix Point takes this even further with the New Jericho, Synedrion, and Disciples of Anu factions. It would be great to see this avenue explored in more detail in the upcoming release.

1/7 Improved Squad Attachment

An aspect that Firaxis got absolutely correct was how much the game made the player fall in love with their own veterans, and this is something they built on with each subsequent installment. By XCOM 2: War of the Chosen, this had been taken to a whole new level with the concept of squad mate bonds, which offered tactical perks between two closely bonded soldiers, but painful penalties if one of the two died in battle.

This attachment to one’s own soldiers, and the subsequent disruption to the dynamic of the player’s favorite squad configurations, meant that the death of one of their crew went from inconvenient to absolutely heart-wrenching, and is an aspect that must be encouraged in the next game.

MORE: Great Turn-Based Strategy Games To Play If You Like X-COM

free gems and coins
free gems and coins
free gems and coins
free gems and coins
free gems and coins
free gems and coins
free gems and coins
free gems and coins
free gems and coins
free gems and coins
free gems and coins
free gems and coins
free gems and coins
free gems and coins
free gems and coins
free gems and coins
free gems and coins
free gems and coins
free gems and coins
free gems and coins
free gems and coins
free gems and coins
free gems and coins
free gems and coins
free gems and coins
free gems and coins
free gems and coins
free gems and coins
free gems and coins
free gems and coins

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *