One downside of Steam Early Access is the deafening noise of industry. The constant clang of tools and wittering of blog posts can end up drowning out the most important bit - the sound of finished videogames announcing themselves to the world.
We’ve been keeping an ear out for Xenonauts, though - Goldhawk Interactive’s X-Com remake for those who miss extricating their troops from the Skyranger. It’s just this week arrived at version 1.0.
The question nobody really wants to ask about Xenonauts is this: is it redundant? Conceived as a straight remake back when X-Com’s future was in shooters, it’s since been upstaged by Firaxis’ XCOM: Enemy Unknown - the sort of surprisingly faithful remake we never expected to get from a major publisher.
But Goldhawk saw a new surge in Xenonauts interest immediately after Firaxis’ announcement in 2012, and that doesn’t seem to have abated since.
The developers have now released Xenonauts v1.0 on Steam’s stable branch - a move which “marks the end of formal development”.
“This is effectively the final version of the game, minus any stability patches that may be required,” said Goldhawk. “Official release and leaving Early Access for the game is in about two weeks, but the remaining time is mostly going to be spent on sending out review copies, the PR around the launch, porting to Mac / Linux and getting the Kickstarter rewards sorted out etc.”
Since its last update, Xenonauts has gained a smoother difficulty curve, some more instructional opening hours, new line of sight mechanics, and drastically improved AI.
That last part veers away from the Gollops’ X-Com, which relied on random alien movement to fake intelligent life. But practically everything else in Xenonauts is as it was in 1994.
Is there a need for this particular branch of the anti-alien coalition in your life?