Xenonauts, the fan X-Com remake, draws closer to completion

One indie game project I‘ve followed for a while is Xenonauts, essentially a fan remake of one of my favourite games: X-Com (which I played under its UK title of UFO: Enemy Unknown), the strategy game where you led a secret government organisation against an alien invasion. Many of Xenonauts’ bullet points seemed promising, from a backstory tweaked to explain the familiar X-Com starting position, to the addition of a feature I’d always wanted, allied NPC human soldiers. Still, I was cautious. Would the project simply turn out to be vapourware? Even if it did come to fruition, well, X-Com clones generally haven’t been well received.


Well, today, I saw a developer diary on PC Gamer that highlights the current state of one of the two main game modes, ground combat – and I was impressed. The basic gameplay – moving your soldiers around, taking cover, shooting it out with aliens, using tanks and rocket launchers as support – is in place, although the art assets aren’t all there and the game balance is still a work in progress. I’m not a huge fan of the tile graphics, but the unit sprites themselves look pretty good. And a glance at the Xenonauts website, which I hadn’t visited in some time, indicates that much of the game’s other key component, the world map, is also in a playable state (for example, air combat, base building, and R&D are all present).


The finished product could still fail to work out, but after seeing the latest coverage of Xenonauts, I do have more confidence that it will see the light of day. For fans of the original X-Com, this is one title to keep an eye on as it draws closer to release.


(Link to PC Gamer courtesy of No High Scores)

2 thoughts on “Xenonauts, the fan X-Com remake, draws closer to completion”

  1. The UFO: Aftermath, Aftershock and Afterlight series are ok… best played in short bursts so that it doesn’t feel too old too quick. The lack of variety kills it. The fact that in one game I have going, I’ve got a stash of 50 odd AK-47’s that I won’t be using, that is just the nail in the coffin.

    Sometimes I think I need to write a debrief on where those games really went wrong, in some sort of coherent, thought out manner. The premise was good, the execution bad. But I’ve sunk in at least 20 hours alone on Aftershock….

  2. I don’t think I’ve ever played any of the UFO games. I went by their reputation, which sounds pretty deserved based on your comments.

    Do let me know if you write up that debrief! I’m curious as to why games that try to clone X-Com never, ever seem to recapture the magic.

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