Announced just this morning, XCOM: Enemy Unknown pairs revered development house Firaxis Games with one of the most beloved strategy series ever. In development for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Enemy Unknown is due this Fall.

Truly, this news should be more than enough to make old school gamers “freak out.”

XCOM: Enemy Unknown joins the previously announced first-person update of the series, simply titled XCOM. While that game’s BioShock meets L.A. Noire aesthetic certainly looks intriguing — and impressed us when previewed it at E3 2011 — when fans think of XCOM, they think of strategy. Could there be a better developer to bring the series back to its roots than Firaxis Games?

Best known for the absolutely brilliant Civilization games, Firaxis’ reputation is deservedly sterling. There is a reason why Firaxis Director of Creative Development Sid Meier was the second person inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame (after Shigeru Miyamoto).

Steve Martin, president of Firaxis Games, describes how the developer approached Enemy Unknown.

“It’s been a dream of ours to recreate X-COM with our unique creative vision. We’re huge fans of the original game and it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to re-envision a game that is as beloved as X-COM. We were careful to keep XCOM: Enemy Unknown true to the elements that made X-COM such a revered game while delivering an entirely new story and gameplay experience for both die-hard X-COM fans and newcomers to the franchise.”

While much about XCOM: Enemy Unknown remains a mystery, the game’s press release does offer just a few more details.

“XCOM: Enemy Unknown will expand on that legacy with an entirely new invasion story, enemies and technologies to fight aliens and defend Earth. Players will control the fate of the human race through researching alien technologies, creating and managing a fully operational base, planning combat missions and controlling soldier movement in battle.”

Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it?

Among the many reasons why Firaxis is such a perfect choice for Enemy Unknown is that the developer has demonstrated it knows how to successfully bring strategy games to platforms other than PC. Civilization Revolution was a blast on consoles, and even on iPhone. Pairing Firaxis’ design expertise with the XCOM license has the potential to deliver something magical — put this one right at the top of your Games To Watch list.

For players who missed out on XCOM the first time around and want to get up to speed before Enemy Unknown hits the shelves, has Steam ever got a deal for you. Both X-Com: UFO Defense and the X-COM Complete Pack are on sale for 66% off. That’s just $1.69 for the original game, but the offer expires tomorrow, so the time to act is now. Get ’em here.

Ranters, what are your thoughts about XCOM: Enemy Unknown? Can you think of another developer you’d like to see take a shot at the series? Why do you suppose it’s “XCOM” now instead of “X-COM”?

XCOM: Enemy Unknown releases Fall 2012 for PC, Xbox 360, and PS3.

Follow me on Twitter @HakenGaken

Source: Game Informer, Firaxis Games

 

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