Xenonauts dev promises 'proper remake' of XCOM

Goldhawk lead Chris England talks about his reaction to the news of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and how he feels Xenonauts still has a place in the market next to the strategy remake.

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Xenonauts was a game born of adversity, a direct response to the first-person shooter XCOM. Developer Goldhawk Interactive wanted to craft its own re-imagining for fans of the original strategy game. But Firaxis has since announced its own official strategy XCOM, Enemy Unknown. It seems the two would butt heads, but Goldhawk lead Chris England sees a clear difference between these offerings.

"Nobody's really done a proper remake of XCOM without changing the fundamentals, I don’t think even Firaxis are doing it."

"It's quite good from our point of view, they're not treading on our territory too much with that," England told Rock, Paper, Shotgun, "they're making a much more progressive remake of XCOM and we’re making a much more faithful remake." He says his "only concern" is that the changes don't make Enemy Unknown fail to feel like XCOM.

"A lot of the features we add in or things we change aren't going to be a big headline because they are basically incremental improvements, but I think that's the way we have to do it," he said.

That's not to say that the news of Enemy Unknown was entirely welcome. England says he saw the news and thought, "oh, brilliant." But the silver lining has been increased exposure for Xenonauts. "All of the discussion and coverage of their game has also led to a lot of coverage of us, and our pre-order sales have gone through the roof since they were announced."

Goldhawk is hoping to share similar success by being part of the conversation close to launch. "We'd like to have the game out slightly before their game comes out, ideally, whether or not it happens is to be seen yet," England said. "But the reason for that is not that we don't think we can compete with them, but that we'd like to piggyback off their coverage as we have over the last month or so. When all the reviews of XCOM appear and say 'this is a great game', if we are mentioned in the comment thread then we'll get a lot of attention off the back of that."

A date hasn't been set for Xenonauts, but pre-orders are now open. XCOM: Enemy Unknown is scheduled for this fall.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 14, 2012 8:00 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Xenonauts dev promises 'proper remake' of XCOM.

    Goldhawk lead Chris England talks about his reaction to the news of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and how he feels Xenonauts still has a place in the market next to the strategy remake.

    • reply
      February 14, 2012 8:33 AM

      I like what these guys are trying to do, but they come off as bitchy in this.

      "Nobody's really done a proper remake of XCOM without changing the fundamentals, I don’t think even Firaxis are doing it."

      - That's pure speculation and pessimism.

      • reply
        February 14, 2012 8:38 AM

        Are you kidding? Firaxis have implemented HUGE changes in the gameplay, all of this is known already. The interviewer is the one talking the most about them because the xeno guy doesn't want to sound like a dick.

        • reply
          February 14, 2012 2:46 PM

          So you've played it?

          • reply
            February 14, 2012 2:50 PM

            Have you followed any of the pre-release coverage where they're talking to Firaxis about things like removing TUs and other gameplay changes?

            • reply
              February 14, 2012 3:40 PM

              So you've played it?

              • reply
                February 14, 2012 5:47 PM

                NDA bro, I've probably already said too much...

      • reply
        February 14, 2012 8:39 AM

        Reading that interview he did seem like a bit of an irritable dork.

        But their project seems impressive enough. Though I'll stick with the firaxis game I think. A straight remake is likely to be just as impenetrable as the original is today.

        • reply
          February 14, 2012 2:46 PM

          Oh yeah, I'm waiting for the game, it looks cool. I just think his phrasing is a bit off in the interview and it doesn't come off as friendly.

      • reply
        February 14, 2012 8:39 AM

        Your definition of "bitchy" is a lot different than mine, then.

      • reply
        February 14, 2012 8:40 AM

        Yeah, they make them selves look bitchy and like leeches, feeding off of Firaxis.

      • reply
        February 14, 2012 8:59 AM

        It would be more speculative to assume an X-Com game could be multi-platform without changing the fundamentals.

      • reply
        February 14, 2012 9:00 AM

        No, that sounds pretty accurate based on the information we know about X-Com.

      • reply
        February 14, 2012 5:48 PM

        They're not being negative on the idea of changing the game at all, they just think something that closely replicates that gameplay perhaps with a more advanced interface would be better.

      • reply
        February 14, 2012 5:52 PM

        [deleted]

    • reply
      February 14, 2012 9:16 AM

      KICKSTARTER!

      • reply
        February 14, 2012 3:19 PM

        You can already pre-order on Desura and get access to their latest build. No need for a kickstarter.

    • reply
      February 14, 2012 3:48 PM

      Honestly, I don't much care for a straight-up remake. That's what I have the original game for. I'm looking forward to what Firaxis is doing, though.

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