XCOM: Enemy Unknown is all about keeping on your toes, designer Jake Solomon has explained.
Speaking to Rock Paper Shotgun, Solomon said Firaxis has consciously endeavoured to keep character movement a vital part of tactical battle, rather than relying on special abilities.
“Movement has always been really important, flanking cover and height advancement,” he said.
“We tried to build a lot of things into the environment, otherwise it gets static and the player goes ‘oh, well I’m a sniper and I picked headshot so I’m just going to use headshot all the time.’”
Solomon said the other option is to rely on cooldown meters, which he doesn’t seem to like.
“So what we try to do is have really big bonuses for environmental benefits – flanking cover is a really big bonus. If [the enemy unit is] in high cover, especially if they’re hunkered down, flanking is the best thing you can do. We wanted to keep the player moving, moving is still probably the best thing you can do. So you’re always moving and then taking a shot,” he explained.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown is due on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, probably in 2012, and is an old-school take on the XCOM property, which is also being developed as a shooter by 2K Marin. Hit the RPS link above for some interesting discussion of Enemy Unknown’s ammo system among other gameplay snippets.