If you haven’t gotten to play “X-Com: Enemy Unknown”, allow me to summarize. It’s an experience that somehow feels entirely unique, and yet perfectly captures the spirit of the cult classic sensation it is based off of. Its mix of tension and horror creates an uneasy setting where victory is never assured, never cheap, and always satisfying . Outside of puzzle games, I’ve rarely experienced a title that so perfectly executes ideas like “easy to learn and tough to master” and “one more game”, and playing it gives you a genuine feeling of reward and achievement.
It’s fairly incredible, in short, and is pretty high on my game of the year list at the moment. Not satisfied with having pulled off the impossible in reviving one of his old cult-classic PC franchises to appeal to the masses, though, “Enemy Unknown’s” co-creator Julian Gollop is going to try to do it again.
Gollop has announced his next title will be a revival of the highly obscure “Chaos: Battle of Wizards”, an old strategy title for the ZX Spectrum computer. “Chaos” pitted multiple wizards (up to eight) against each other on a field of combat with a range of spells as their only weapons. It employs somewhat of a rock, paper, scissors turn based format, but featured an incredibly deep series of checks and balances that turned it into something more resembling wizard chess (and no, not the “Harry Potter” kind). The immense amount of actions and counter actions available made it a pretty hardcore experience, comparable to “X-Com” in that respect.
For the new title, the only details known are that it will be in 3D this time around, and will be for PC, Mac, and iOS. Also, it appears that it will feature fundamentally the same gameplay as the original title.
Obviously it will be no easy task to adapt “Chaos” for the modern world, but I’m glad that the success of “Enemy Unknown” is giving Julian Gollop the chance to bring another unique and under-appreciated gaming experience back into the forefront. Of course, this time around the team will have to face an unknown enemy themselves as hype replaces doubt in the perception of the public.