You're probably aware by now, but Eurogamer's Chris Bratt really loves XCOM and consequently has a bit of a man-crush on Jake Solomon, the designer who masterminded its rebirth at Firaxis with XCOM: Enemy Unknown and the recent XCOM 2.
Jake Solomon was starting to panic. For the second time in his career as a game designer he'd been given a shot at making the one game he'd always wanted to make: a true successor to X-COM: UFO Defense, the 1994 turn-based classic. But he was facing a problem, a really major one, in fact. Because again for the second time in his career, he couldn't make it fun to play.
Between the flurry that is E3, the brawl to top the Christmas sales chart and the steady trickle of releases all through the year, the games industry has a pretty unshakeable fixation on the new. While I try to make time to play older releases I may have missed, there's always that pressure to play something current - something of the now.
One of the things I love most about board games, on the other hand, is their sheer staying power. Carcassonne is often one of the first ones I recommend to people asking for a good place to start getting into tabletop, and it was published in the same year as Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2. Great as Anthony Hawk's Professional Skateboarder is, it certainly wouldn't top my list of recommendations for someone looking to get into gaming.
Basically what I'm trying to say is I reviewed XCOM: The Board Game this week despite the fact it came out in 2015. Hopefully I've done enough to convince you that's ok.
XCOM 2 sounds all kinds of exciting. With taller sectoids, procedural levels and humanity having already fallen from the get-go, it absolutely has my attention. But a November release date? Man, that is like five whole months away. I don't want to wait that long. I'd like more XCOM and I'd like it right now, thanks very much.
How does XCOM function on our £300 gaming PC? Here we test the game at 768p and 1080p, head-to-head.
Firaxis on bringing the franchise up to date.