Once many years ago (1994!) a game came out that was to capture the imagination of PC gamers the world over.
UFO:Enemy Unknown (UK) or Xcom:UFO Defense (USA) was a game where the player had control over a secret global anti-alien military taskforce.
You had to build bases,recruit soldiers,scientists and engineers and decide what to research and build.
Even the decision of what UFO incidents to respond to was up to you.
Basically the whole worlds security was down to you,and any sucesses were all due to you..as well as the many potential catasrophes-Many a UFO player can tell you tales of losing entire squads of troops to psychic aliens and worse!
Thankfully-and not before time-Firaxis studios have announced that they are making an updated 're-imagining' of this seminal classic.
As far as has been reported in the gaming press, the game will be similar to the original,but with obviously improved graphics and sound and bringing the game play elements up to modern day expectations.
They will be retaining the key elements of the game i.e the relationship you build with your troops throughout their (hopefully!) long careers,alien tech research,strategic base placement and of course the ability to destroy buildings and secenery in the fight against the alien menace.
So far the games looking good and i look forward to playing a demo at some point nearer the end of summer.
One of the major factors that made this game a sucess was the atmosphere of paranoid fear created by sending your favourite troops into the unknown and hoping you made the right tactical decisions to bring them back alive again.
MY THOUGHTS SO FAR:
AS a long time UFO fan im a bit wary that Firaxis have said they will be cutting out "tedium and uninteresting mechanics"..UFO wasnt perfect but to my mind and many other long term fans,it had no 'boring' bits.
The original game is still being played today because it is has such a great atmosphere and is still fun to play and has never been bettered.
I look forward to the Xbox 360 version..i just hope they keep the spirit of the game intact and respect what has gone before and made it so unique.If they do this then they will have a surefire hit on their hands.
Only time will tell..guess we will see in the autumn ( providing the development schedule doesnt slip back further!)
ABOVE: The game as it was back in the day..'94
BELOW:How its looking at the moment..not bad!;)
*All pic rights belong to Microprose and Firaxis Studios respectively*