The original was tactical "in its own way," but Firaxis have added cover systems, elevation bonuses, perks and "a big tactical layer" on top of it all. The team wanted it 'tactical but fair'.
The original could have your squad being shot from seemingly nowhere as alien forces remained hidden by the fog of war and could see further than your own guys.
"The original game wasn’t as tactical as this game. I mean, it was tactical in its own way, but we have things like abilities an explicit cover system, bonuses for elevation, perks, passive perks and we just put a big tactical layer over the experience," explained Solomon to .
“The original game would do things like having enemies being able to see further than you,” he continued, “so they would just shoot you from behind the fog of war. These were things that, at first you might not have understood, but in our game everything is very clear.” The team want shortcomings to be explained, not just a mystery.
"With the original game – I know how it works – but people typically didn’t understand why they were getting shot. That created huge amounts of tension in the original game, and put you in the dark – literally in the dark. You could take a step, get shot and be like ‘who the f**k was that?’”
“With our game we said, ‘it has to be tactical, but it also has to be fair’, as tactical games that aren’t fair, just aren’t tactical. We started moving out XCOM game toward fairness and that got us worried and thinking , ‘well hold on, is this still tense?’” Soloman promises that while 'shots in the dark' won't be terrorising us, we'll still get plenty of anxiety.
"It was a big struggle throughout development to give a sense of risk and tension. Because in the original you could run around a corner and be like, ‘aw f**k, there’s some guy standing there and now he’s going to shoot me.’ We wanted to make sure the game was tactical but that there was still a chance to gamble.”
XCOM: Enemy Unknown releases on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC October 9th in the US, 12th in EU.