Classic Updates: It's First-person Shooters or Nothing

30 Nov 2011

The folks at CVG have editorialized on the recent revival of classic franchises such as X-Com and Syndicate in the form of first-person shooters, arguing what essentially has been the publishers' thesis so far: it's the only way to make them "relevant". Here's a snip:
If you think a big budget game is developed purely as an artistic endeavour, you're staggeringly naive. It's all about the money, and that's exactly why Syndicate and XCOM have to be first-person shooters. Remember: the biggest game in the world, Call of Duty, is an FPS.

The sad thing is that while both of these games are criticised for being shooters, the truth is that they incorporate many of the strategy elements of their forebears. In XCOM you can manage a squad of characters, harness alien tech to make your own weapons, and outsmart enemies with tactical play - all things that were a part of the original XCOM.

In Syndicate you can use hacking, upgrade your character and activate a brain-implanted chip to unleash special abilities - again, all reminiscent of the original game. Even the four-player co-op mode is directly inspired by the PSone sequel, Syndicate Wars. Of course they're nowhere near as deep or tactical as the hardcore strategy originals, but they are at least staying true to their roots - albeit in the modern guise of an FPS.

From what I understand the new Syndicate and X-Com are staying true to their predecessors by.. being first-person shooters with a few cursory mechanics? Color me puzzled.