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X-COM is a series of computer games, started by Mythos Games and MicroProse in 1993. The first three titles were tactical games while the fourth was an action-based space combat/strategy game.

The first installment, UFO: Enemy Unknown in Europe (also known as X-COM: UFO Defense in North America) was written by a team led by Julian Gollop. MicroProse quickly had an internal team create the sequel X-COM: Terror from the Deep. Subsequently, the Gollop brothers went straight to work on X-COM: Apocalypse, which would end up being the third in the series when released in 1997. Soon after Apocalypse, MicroProse was bought by Hasbro Interactive, which released two more X-COM games.

All titles were developed for the PC, with a few ports to the PlayStation and Amiga. The first three titles were originally developed to run under DOS, and have subsequently been ported to run under Microsoft Windows using DirectX.

Contents

The series

The X-COM canon series includes these MicroProse titles:

  • UFO: Enemy Unknown (1994)[1] (also known as X-COM: UFO Defense)
  • X-COM: Terror from the Deep (1995)
  • X-COM: Apocalypse (1997)
  • X-COM: Interceptor (1998)

The first game is undeniably the most popular and most successful of the series. It was often voted to be one of the best video games of all time by many gaming magazines and websites, including #1 on the IGN's list of Top 25 PC Games of All Time in 2007 and again in 2009, #2 on the Pelit's list of Best Video Game Since 1992 in 2007, #3 on the PC Gamers list of "Top 50 Games of All Time" in 2001, and #3 Computer Gaming Worlds list of Best Game of All Time in 2001.[2]

Apocalypse took several new directions with the series: it introduced a real-time combat system, in addition to a modified turn-based system, and the aesthetics were shifted to a less grim and more futuristic style. Despite being created by the original makers of the first X-COM game (Terror from the Deep was made by MicroProse's internal team), it failed to repeat its success.

After Interceptor, Hasbro Interactive purchased MicroProse and acquired the X-COM brand. In 2001 Hasbro released an action game named X-COM: Enforcer, loosely based on the events of Enemy Unknown. There was also a budget range multiplayer game X-COM: Email games, released in 1999.

Two more titles were planned for this series: X-COM: Genesis (a strategy game) and X-COM: Alliance (a tactical first-person shooter). Both were aborted when Hasbro shut down Hasbro Interactive in 2001.

In 2000 Hasbro sold all of its Hasbro Interactive intellectual property to Infogrames (now Atari) when it shut down the studios. In 2005, Take-Two Interactive acquired the rights to the X-COM series from Atari;[3] in 2007 there were unconfirmed rumors that Irrational Games (who are owned by Take-Two) may be developing a new X-COM title.[4]

Series standards

The premise for the series is that armies of hostile aliens have begun invading the Earth, killing and enslaving the human race. An international organization is set up to capture and research the alien technology, and to ultimately defeat them. Inspiration for this setting was drawn from the TV series UFO, and Timothy Good's book Alien Liaison.[5]

In all the games, the player is put in command of X-COM (Extraterrestrial Combat Unit), the international military organization set up in the near-future of 1999 (now the past). By defending X-COM's funding sources (initially the countries of Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Nigeria, Russia, Spain, UK, USA in the first game); any nation may quit, if X-COM's service is deemed unsatisfactory or the nation's government has been infiltrated by the invaders from enemy invasion, the force loses monetary support from that nation. Through scientific research of recovered alien artifacts, X-COM is able to develop better and more powerful weapons, armor and vehicles to combat the alien menace, and eventually uncover how to defeat them.

The game takes place within two main views: the Geoscape and the Battlescape. The Geoscape consists of a global view of the earth from space (land in the first game, oceans in the second one). The player can view the X-COM bases, make changes to them, equip X-COM aircraft, order supplies and personnel, direct research efforts, schedule manufacturing of advanced equipment, and sell alien artifacts to raise money. From this view the player also directs interceptor and troop transport aircraft on their missions. The Geoscape is continual and not turn-based.

Gameplay switches to the isometric combat view of the Battlescape whenever X-COM personnel come in contact with alien units. This can result from investigating downed enemy space ships, combating alien terrorist activities, or attacking alien bases discovered during play; aliens may also manage to attack and infiltrate one of the X-COM bases. In the Battlescape view, X-COM combatants are pitted against the alien enemies. The Battlescape mode is turn-based (in the tactical combat titles of the series - X-COM: Interceptor is a strategy-space flight simulator game), and each combatant has a number of "time units" that can be spent each turn. When all alien forces have been neutralized, the mission is scored based on number of X-COM units killed, civilians saved or killed, aliens killed or captured, and the number and quality of alien artifacts obtained. Troops may also grow in rank or abilities, if they made successful use of their primary attributes (e.g. shooting enemy lifeforms). Instead of experience points, the combatants gain points in skills like PSI or Accuracy, a semi-random amount depending on how much of the action they participated in. In addition to personnel, the player may have vehicles such as HWP unmanned ground vehicles outfitted with very powerful weapons and heavy armor, but incapable of growing in rank or ability.

Re-release

In May 2007, a representative of 2K Games (a subsidiary of Take-Two) declared on the Steam forums that they had inherited the X-COM franchise. In light of this, 2K Games re-released Terror from the Deep on Steam with support for Windows XP only (in October 2008, an update was released through Steam, which enabled Windows Vista support for Terror from the Deep). In September 2008, UFO Defense, Apocalypse, Interceptor, and Enforcer were re-released with support for Windows XP and Windows Vista available on Steam and Gamersgate among others.

Novels

There were two X-COM novels: Diane Duane's X-COM : UFO Defense - A Novel (1995) and Vladimir Vasilyev's X-COM: UFO Defense Novel (1997).

Spiritual successors

Because of the series' popularity, other game developers have created games similar in theme and tone of the X-COM games. The level to which they borrow from the original series varies.

  • The Dreamland Chronicles: Freedom Ridge was a canceled game for PC and PlayStation 2 by Mythos Games (the authors of the original game), claimed to having been "essentially a remake of the first X-Com with 3D graphics".[6] It was however canceled in 2001 and Mythos Games ceased to exist.
  • UFO: Aftermath is a 2003 singleplayer game which was heavily influenced by the X-COM series and used elements of Freedom Ridge project; during its development, the developers solicited comments from the X-COM fan community. It has since been followed by two sequels, UFO: Aftershock in 2005 and UFO: Afterlight in 2007.
  • In 2005, developer Codo Technologies (made up of key members Mythos Games) and publisher Namco released Rebelstar: Tactical Command for the Game Boy Advance, very similar to the X-COM's Battlescape.
  • UFO: Extraterrestrials, released in 2007, aimed to be an unofficial sequel to the X-COM series.
  • UFO: Alien Invasion and Project Xenocide are two free open source strategy games heavily influenced by the X-COM series.
  • UFO2000, a free, open source, multiplayer, turn-based tactical squad simulation based on Enemy Unknown.
  • X-Com: Tactical is a free board game, aiming to reproduce the squad tactics element of X-COM: UFO Defense. It also borrows the graphics from the original.
  • Isochron, still in development is an iPhone/iPod Touch/Mac OS X strategy game heavily inspired by the X-COM series.
  • Incubation was commonly thought to be inspired by X-COM.

Intellectual property rights

The trademark for the X-COM name was filed on May 25, 1995, by MicroProse Software. Following the acquisition and subsequent merger of MicroProse with Hasbro Interactive, the X-COM intellectual property was also transferred to Hasbro Interactive on August 19, 1998. Due to financial difficulties, 100% of Hasbro Interactive was sold to the French concern Infogrames Entertainment SA on January 29, 2001; as part of this transfer, the X-COM IP was legally transferred to Infogrames on December 21, 2001 (shortly thereafter, Infogrames was renamed Atari Inc., able to do this since acquiring several Atari IPs from Hasbro Interactive). In 2005 Atari transferred several IPs to Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. and X-COM was transferred with them on June 12, 2005. The X-COM IP is currently owned by Take-Two and its subsidiaries.[7]

See also

  • Elerium-115: Fictional material and the alien energy source in the X-COM universe
  • Laser Squad: Sci-fi tactical game by the developers of X-COM; immediate predecessor of X-COM
  • Laser Squad Nemesis: a multiplayer game from the original creators of X-COM
  • Pocket UFO: a re-implementation of the game for the Windows PDA platform
  • Rebelstar series: Precursor games to the Laser Squad and X-COM series, by the same developers
  • UFO: Alien Invasion: Open Source UFO Clone

References

External links

  • The X-COM series at MobyGames
  • UFOPaedia: An extensive wiki containing information, analysis, strategy, and other resources for the X-COM series of games.
  • X-Com: The oldest X-COM website still on the web. Has been dormant for years, but still hosts unique content including new ship maps for X-COM 1 & 2, plus a bunch of game tools and utilities for the first three games.
  • X-COM Game Info: An in-depth description of the first game of the series with numerous screenshots.
  • XCOM: UFO Defense: Another X-COM fan site with numerous resources and patches for the Windows versions of the X-COM games.
  • StrategyCore.co.uk (formerly X-COM.co.uk): News, fan-fiction, files and forums.

Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to Category:X-COM article)

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

Series name
The logo for Series name.
Developer(s) Mythos Games, Hasbro Interactive, Infogrames
Publisher(s) MicroProse, Hasbro Interactive, Infogrames
Designer(s) Julian Gollop
Years active December 31, 1993April 19, 2001
Genre(s) RTS, Strategy, Third-person shooter, Turn-based tactics
System(s) Amiga, Amiga CD32, MS-DOS, PlayStation, Windows
Mode(s) Strategy

X-COM is a series of six strategy games started by Mythos Games and MicroProse in 1993. The first three titles were tactical games while the fourth was a strategy game. The fifth game was an online multiplayer game that followed in the same vein as the first three. The sixth game, a third-person shooter, was developed and published by Infogrames in 2001.

All of the titles were developed for the PC, with a few ports to the PlayStation and Amiga. The first three titles were originally developed to run under MS-DOS, and were later ported to run under Microsoft Windows using DirectX.

Main series
  • UFO: Enemy Unknown (1993)
  • X-COM: Terror from the Deep (1995)
  • X-COM: Apocalypse (1997)
  • X-COM: Interceptor (1998)

The first installment, UFO: Enemy Unknown in Europe (also known as X-COM: UFO Defense in North America), was written by a team led by Julian Gollop. MicroProse quickly had an internal team create the sequel X-COM: Terror from the Deep. Subsequently, the Gollop brothers went straight to work on X-COM: Apocalypse, which would end up being the third in the series when released in 1997. At the end of 1998, MicroProse was bought by Hasbro Interactive, which released two more X-COM games (Interceptor and Email games).

Independent titles
  • X-COM: Email games (1999)
  • X-COM: Enforcer (2001)

Canceled games

X-COM: Genesis, a RTS game, was to be the fifth installment to the main series, but was canceled during development when Hasbro Interactive shutdown the former MicroProse development studio in December 1999.

X-COM: Alliance, a FPS game, was the second and final game to be canceled during Hasbro Interactive's closure.

editX-COM series

UFO: Enemy Unknown · X-COM: Terror from the Deep · Apocalypse · Interceptor

Spinoffs: Email games · Enforcer

Pages in category "X-COM"

The following 2 pages are in this category, out of 2 total.

X

  • X-COM: Apocalypse
  • X-COM: Terror from the Deep







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