When Xenonauts development started all the way back in 2009, it had a simple mission statement: to be a modern update of the X-COM series, giving things a new lick of paint but otherwise preserving the mechanical core of the game. This was very much a good idea at the time. X-COM had been criminally neglected for over a decade, with only Altair’s excruciatingly mediocre1 UFO: AfterX series carrying the torch in the meantime, and there was definitely a gap in the market for an X-COM remake — especially after 2K announced that their own X-COM reboot would be a third-person shooter (this was the game that would eventually become the insipid Bureau). Thus it was that Goldhawk Interactive was formed, and work began on Xenonauts.
- I actually quite liked the first one, up to a point. That point was when I assaulted a UFO and spawned with my squad clustered in a small chamber surrounded by three aliens with rocket launchers. I never went back to the series after that. ↩