X-COM: UFO Defense Retrospective

Since the recent remake/re-imagining is one of the most recently discussed games, Eurogamer saw fit to do a retrospective article on X-COM: UFO Defense, the very first X-COM title, and without a doubt also the most loved.

Here's an excerpt:
Going back to X-COM in the wake of XCOM and its many changes throws many things into sharper relief - it forces a sort of objectivity from me that hasn't been remotely possible over the last two decades of worshipping at its VGA shrine.

I can see a game that's more flexible and with a greater density of tactics, features, victories and fail-states than its 2012 reincarnation.

I can see a game with an awkward, unhelpful and inconsistent interface that predated the huge changes Windows 95 and Mac OS 7 brought to the way we use computers.

I can see a game that's hard as nails and scary as a face at the window at midnight, and one that demands players teach themselves everything and take loss and death on the chin.

I can see a game where the missions lack a bigger tactical picture, where most of your too-large squad staggers aimlessly and slightly tediously across the map, jealously guarding time units in the hope of stumbling across near-stationary enemies, then all rushing over in a desperate huddle when one finally makes itself known by insta-killing one of their mates out of nowhere.

I can see a game where I have at least a dozen different objectives in my head at any one time, where I'm juggling a quantity of balls that any mainstream game would shy away from in commercial terror today. A game in which I both figuratively and literally create my own, unrepeatable path through, working through its tech-tree as my squad organically grows and tearing through the wall that lies between my soldier and the enemy.

I can see a game where the majority of my soldier's actions don't especially matter, compared to the life and death tension attached to every shot in XCOM.

I can see a game that can and will co-exist with rather than be supplanted by its remake. X-COM and XCOM are completely different games, both ingenious and both flawed in their own ways. I'd kill for a hybrid of the two, but having two rather than one sure is nothing to sniff at.