|Engine||Playground SDK 5|
|Genre(s)||Strategy, turn-based tactics|
Xenonauts is an upcoming strategy turn-based tactics science fiction video game in development for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. It is the maiden title of Goldhawk Interactive, a London-based independent game studio, due for release in late 2013 / early 2014. The player takes the role of the commander of a clandestine organization known as the Xenonauts, attempting to defeat an alien invasion of Earth in the alternate history year 1979. The game is inspired by 1994's UFO: Enemy Unknown.
It has been confirmed that the game will retain the fundamental mechanics of the early X-COM games, in this case considered to be a real-time global air control and strategic management and research component of the game, coupled with turn-based ground combat where the player controls a squad of soldiers and vehicles against the alien forces on a tactical scale. Soldiers will develop their attributes through combat experience, and it has been confirmed (and demonstrated) that terrain in the ground combat maps will be destructible.
- An improved air combat model (in real-time with pause mode) that allows combat between up to three aircraft/UFOs on each side.
- Soldier equipment loadouts being saved between missions and the ability to change the weapon loadouts of ground vehicles.
- The starting position of infantry and vehicles can be arranged inside the dropship (at first a troop transport helicopter).
- The inclusion of a directional cover system in ground combat.
- Friendly local military and law enforcement NPCs present in ground combat.
- Alternative victory conditions for ground combat missions (rather than just simply eliminating all alien forces).
Xenonauts is in development since 2009. The game is heavily influenced by the X-COM series but is described by the development team as neither a remake nor a clone, but rather "a re-imagining". It is marketed as a Cold War-era based "planetary defence simulator" answer to 2K Marin's XCOM (later renamed as The Bureau: XCOM Declassified), which at the time has already alienated many fans due to its FPS-based gameplay.
In November 2010, the project launched a revamped website and announced that they were accepting pre-orders, benefits of which include early beta access and a discounted price over planned release pricing. A provisional release date was set as Autumn 2012. A public game demo was released on May 8, 2012. Its Kickstarter fundrasing project managed to raise $154,715 from 4,668 backers. The project was endorsed by X-COM creator Julian Gollop.
Xenonauts for Windows reached beta and launched on Steam Early Access in June 2013. A tentative release date of the end of 2013 was announced in September 2013, although the developer conceded that the title may be delayed until early 2014 if additional polish is required.
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