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Narrative to be a “Fairly Large Part of the Game” in XCOM: Enemy Unknown

September 7, 2012 Written by Alex Osborn

While a XCOM: Enemy Unknown has been shown off quite a bit, there’s still plenty that Firaxis Games has kept under wraps, namely the substantial presence of story-related content.

Lead designer Jake Solomon had a few details to share about the game’s narrative, noting that it will play a significant role in the overall experience. In an interview with RPS, Solomon explained that straddling the line between showcasing the game’s features and spoiling many of the surprises has proven quite difficult.

I’ve tried to hold things back. Mystery was at the heart of the original, it was just sort of a built-in thing, you would have these moments with these completely unexpected twists and turns just in terms of how the game operated, and the mechanics and all these things that you would experience.

As you know, it’s really hard not to give everything away nowadays… but it is hard to hold large segments of your game back. I mean, we haven’t shown all of the aliens, nor will we show all of the aliens, because that’s important, but there are some concepts we haven’t talked about either.

Solomon went on to clarify that while story plays a major role in the experience, it’s not narrative-driven on the same level as something like Mass Effect.

We haven’t actually revealed any narrative either, we haven’t talked about that side of the game. XCOM is not Mass Effect in terms of the external narrative, but there is certainly a narrative to the game and cinematic moments. That’s a fairly large part of the game that we haven’t revealed, that will be completely new to players.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown is set to launch on October 9th for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.