Firaxis - X-Com Interview @ RPS
Rock, Paper, Shotgun interviewed Ananda Gupta of Firaxis about the possibility of playing as the aliens in a new X-Com game.
Since the original X-Com and all the way up through Enemy Unknown/Within, the XCOM series has pitted humanity against lifeforms we can’t hope to understand. They greet us not with a scaly handshake or a polite, five-tongued “How d’ya do,” but with the one language we both know quite intimately: violence. The effect is spine-tingling and drenched in dread. How do you take your extraterrestrial intrigue? With one lump of white-hot horror or two?
That, in part, is what makes XCOM/X-Com so very special. But what if the dynamics were switched? What if we played as the aliens and carried out some mysterious plot(s) against a frightened yet fearsome human populace? Could it even be done? Firaxis’ Ananda Gupta can’t help but ponder the idea, but he thinks it’d take some serious work.
“That idea I think is very interesting from an abstract point of view, but when you think about the blanks that’d have to be filled in, [it gets a lot more complicated],” he begins, contemplative.
“Like, who’s the alien equivalent of central command? I actually think StarCraft fell victim to this a little with Heart of the Swarm. You have this English-speaking British-accented tentacle woman who talks to you about stuff. So I’m Kerrigan, I’m the Queen of Blades, which is really neat, and she definitely has a very alien feel to her – and yet, she’s surrounded by all these English-speaking aliens. Admittedly, they had very cool voices. Blizzard tried very hard there. But still, the Zerg didn’t seem all that implacable anymore. They don’t seem like this giant inexorable force so much as a commander and a ship and a computer. They’re a lot like us. They just have a bunch of pets.”