XCOM: Enemy Unkown is a cover-heavy, tactical game, and there were reasons to why it was designed that way. We asked lead designer and programmer Jake Solomon about this in a yet to be published interview, and he revealed how the game went through a lot of iterations before arriving at the final version, which offered a lot of tactical gameplay.
“We started with a prototype that was very similar to the original X-Com, where there wasn’t cover per se,” he said.
“We wanted a system where soldiers interacted more, and so we added abilities that linked together in interesting ways and started to work more as a squad.
“That actually made the game less interesting tactically when you had a huge number of guys because you could pretty much sweep the opposition on your turn.
“So we kept iterating on squad size and combat dynamics, and I think there was a pretty big shift at some point and the current version of the combat system was added, and suddenly the game felt a lot more tactical, and a lot more about making decisions with real consequences.”
Sounds good. If you’re on the fence regarding this game, you can read our review over here.