Firaxis Games' turn-based strategy game, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, is coming to iOS devices this summer, publisher 2K Games announced.
The game is being ported by 2K China with guidance from Firaxis. XCOM's lead developer Jake Solomon tells Polygon that the iOS version is intended to be a complete port of the AAA console and PC experience.
"The idea was to port the game fully," Solomon says. "The one exception we made was to the number of maps in the game, but we still have all the destructible environments, there's the fog of war — this is a full AAA game we're porting. It really is XCOM."
Solomon tells Polygon that work began on the iOS port almost a year ago, before the core game shipped on PC and consoles. He says Firaxis knew that an iOS port would work because the studio had experience porting Civilization Revolution to touchscreen devices, and they realized that "touch interface is sort of uniquely suited to strategy games, especially turn-based strategy games."
According to Solomon, porting XCOM to iOS felt "natural," and as soon as the studio tested out the controls, they knew it would work.
"This is a full AAA game we're porting. It really is XCOM."
"I think that moving your soldiers feels super intuitive with touch controls," Solomon says. "It was one of those things that was a challenge for us to figure out on consoles where you steer the cursor with the gamepad. It was actually much easier on the iPad because it mimics the PC in the sense that it's easier to steer your soldier, because all you do is look at the screen and click."
Solomon says the game's camera also translates well to touch devices, because players can drag the camera around with their finger.
The only changes players should expect in the iOS game is fewer maps; a result of file size limitations on the iPad, and a revised user interface that makes sense on the iPad. Even with the reduction of map numbers, Solomon says there will still be more maps than what a player would experience in a single playthrough of the game's PC and console versions.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown will release in the summer on iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. A release date and pricing is yet to be announced, although a 2K representative told Polygon the game will be a premium-priced app.