XCOM: Enemy Unknown is one of the best video games launched during 2012 and the team at Firaxis was widely praised for keeping the spirit of the original alive while also upgrading the mechanics of the series to appeal to modern players.
But Jake Solomon, the leader of the team who created the reboot, says that things might have been different if he had managed to get a 2003 remake off the ground.
The developer tells Edge that, “It was awful. It’s a good thing it never went ahead. Because I was way too young, I had very little experience, and I just wasn’t in the right place to make that game. It really took a long time until it made sense for the team and for the company.”
It seems that the initial plan was to keep all the features of the original X-COM in place and add a number of extra mechanics.
Solomon adds, “We had to identify those things that make a game XCOM, and it’s very hard to do with a game that’s so big and emergent, and has all these complex systems in it.”
The developer has spent more time inside Firaxis, learning how to put together a complete experience under Sid Meier, the creator of the Civilization series.
He then returned to the X-COM universe and decided that the entire game concept needed to be overhauled in order to draw in a new audience.
Enemy Unknown launched in late 2012 and quickly drew praise both from veterans of the series and from newcomers.
Firaxis has delivered a free DLC package for it, called Second Wave, designed to offer more options for hardcore players and is also planning to launch more complex scenarios or probably an entire expansion.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown is available on the Xbox 360, the PlayStation 3 and the PC.