X-COM Creator: 2K Marin’s FPS A ‘Great Shame’

X-COM Creator: 2K Marin’s FPS A ‘Great Shame’

We now have two titles raiding the treasures of the X-COM IP — a first-person shooter by 2K Marin and a turn-based one more in tune with the original at Firaxis. One has to wonder, with all this strategic alien arse-kicking going on, has anyone thought to talk to Julian Gollop, the guy responsible for it all?

Well, Edge did! In this forthright interview, Gollop explains his feelings towards the new games. He’s lukewarm regarding Firaxis’ approach, but downright cold when it comes to 2K Marin’s stab. From the chat:

How did you feel when the firstperson XCOM game was announced in 2010?

I thought it was a great shame because it was going down the same route as some of the previous X-COM sequels, like Interceptor and Enforcer — in other words, going completely against turn-based combat. It was a bit disappointing from my point of view and for many fans of X-COM. When from out of the blue we heard that Firaxis are doing a turn-based version, it’s as if 2K are trying to cover all their bets.

That’s an interesting conclusion, that 2K’s trying to please everyone. Alternatively, it could be it’s found another way to milk the IP. It’s likely die-hard fans will try both games out of sheer curiosity (I’m sadly in this category), while the shooter fans will yum up one and the strategy guys the other.

Gollop mentions that publishers have cooled to turn-based games. There’s Heroes of Might and Magic series and Civilization, but beyond these, the genre is fairly anaemic compared to FPS and even RTS.

Anyway, it’s a great interview from one of gaming’s legends, so full credit to Edge for getting Gollop to open up.

Julian Gollop on XCOM [Edge]


  • because they are boring!

    Turn based games are way too slow and unrealistic. I love stats and RPG bits and pieces, provided there is some pace to the game, otherwise it feels like taking turns slapping each other.

    The closest turn based gaming got to fun, was when SWOTOR made it semi real-time.

    There is no need for true turn based combat now, when the superior system of PAUSE – ISSUE COMMANDS – PLAY exists, allowing for people to chose on-the-fly action or strategy relative to the situation.

    • I find your point of view to be completely subjective. I am a huge fan of the TBS genre, and I’m sure there are many more like me.

      Realism doesnt need to enter into things, chess isnt realistic and yet it has remained popular for a great many years.

      Also, I think you might mean KOTOR, not SWOTOR.

    • I disagree with you, Awakening. If you think turn-based games are universally boring, then you’re not playing them correctly. Put more thought into your actions; StarCraft does not make Civilization (or Chess, or Go, etc) obsolete.

    • I also disagree. Turn based games are not superseded by real time. They’re completely different beasts. Turn based games do not ‘have no pace’, they have a different pace. Often slower, which may not be for you, but they can also be faster, more steady or more erratic. Whatever suits the game.

    • Yeah, well that’s just like, your opinion, man.

      It’s subjective as all hell.

      Not to mention you state TBS is unrealistic, but apparently pausing mid battle isn’t.

    • How about this.
      You bugger off and play your games, let us have ours, because we’re sick of having everything we love about gaming turned into shitting brown and bloom FPS games.
      Just because you don’t understand why we don’t like it and you don’t like it yourself doesn’t make it bad or boring, it just means you don’t like it. So go play something else.

    • I believe your in the minority I’m afraid, while they haven’t been as high profile in recent times (with a few exceptions), they have been selling quite well.
      Funnily enough many of these are indie games, or ironically console/portable based games.

      Your entitled to your opinion but your arguments for why could be used to describe any genre of game in general.

    • While I can’t agree with all Awakening’s reasons, I agree with the sentiment that TBG are generally quite slow, as do a majority of people, I mean why else are they making it into an FPS? If at this point you smugly answered “Um, money?” you are categorically wrong. Aside from the few dozen FPS games that fail every year (commercially or critically), there are plenty of games that aren’t FPS that have achieved great success.

      No matter how fast fans may claim TBG can be played, the fact of the matter is most of the time people who play them, don’t play for speed. And speed isn’t really the issue, it’s the absence of viscerality that is inherent to FPS games that turns what one might consider boring or slow into a more thrilling experience.

      It’s unfortunate that fans of the game or genre can’t see that this XCOM is a fresh take on an old game and reserve judgment until it comes out. You almost wish 2K had some way to appease these people like making another game that’s exactly like the old ones… which they are.

      • i personally would like to see the XCOM fps however it’s not the fact that it’s an fps I have (and I gather most sane fans) that’s the issue.

        The issue comes more from the fact that the only thing it has in common with the XCOM series is the name and aliens. The game itself does not respect the original source material or universe which proper reboots do.

        Syndicate on the otherhand does this, it’s a reboot but respects and even acknowledges its original material even if the story is restarting from the beginning. Thus it will feel like a proper syndicate game dispite the perspective and gameplay difference from the original.

        XCOM fps doesn’t have that same feel. It will be a decent game but it won’t feel like xcom

      • don’t think that’s entirely right either. There’s a difference between fresh take and “brand hijacking”.

        Why use the name X-com if there is close to no similarities bar “aliens invade earth”. Even they call it an alternate universe where the history of the formation of X-com and type of aliens are totally different.

        Of course if they use the brand X-com, people will start comparing it with the original, you can’t just do a “fresh take” and not expect it to keep some things that made the first game famous in the first place.

  • LAWL


    Yeh, I’m being subjective. I just wish all you TBS guys would dissapear so I could have more COD spinoffs.

      • It would be an isometric tbs with a modern military theme. The player has 4 commands. Move. Attack. Special and End. Classes have a limit break attack called a Killstreak, which has multiple levels of power, gained by dispatching opponents.

        We’ll call it ‘Call of Duty’ and release it with a straight face.

    • I wish all the TBS and COD fanboys would disappear* so I could have more text adventures!

      *: I am actually a huge fan of TBS games, XCOM in particular.

      I’d love to be optimistic about the FPS being the next step up from the pseudo-realtime of XCOM: Apocalypse, but sadly it looks like an attempt at Mass Effects of War.

  • I’m sorry to see people playing the “my genre is better than your genre” game.

    People have different tastes and different genre preferences. Nothing wrong with that.

    My favorite genre is the FPS/RPG hybrid (or RPS – Role Playing Shooter). But I’m not going to say my genre is objectively superior. It is simply the genre I enjoy the most.

  • This is odd.

    The latest Game Informer has a 4-page article on the turn-based game by Firaxis and it talks about how Firaxis’ goal is to create a true successor to the original X-COM, without dredging up old game design elements from 1996.

    I also thought the article said Gollop was excited about the Firaxis’ reboot…

    ALSO also, Firaxis make the Civilisation series. I think they know what the hell they’re doing when it comes to turn-based strategy! After reading the article in Game Informer, I’m pretty stoked for this game! (read it)

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