It was years and years ago. I'd just got a new job and was looking in the software store for something fun to celebrate and keeps my nights amusing. I checked out the box for the game and it sounded cool. It looked cool enough on the box, and I thought running a special-forces unit fighting aliens at the squad level sounded intriguing.
Well, it's like 12 or so years later, I've had several computers since then, and I'm still playing XCOM 1 from time to time. Once I tried it, I was instantly hooked: the real-world relevance, the tension, the music, the mood - it felt, in its own way, so REAL and dramatic. Aliens were touching down around the globe, abducting people, mutilating cattle, doing experiments on people, conducting terror attacks, it HAD to be stopped!
As pixelated as the game is by modern standards, it remains unmatched for its captivating premise and tension, other than perhaps by true clones of it, like TFTD, Apoc, and even UFO:Alien Invasion. It deals with Earth as it basically really is, and addressed current UFO theories from the perspective that they're true, and the player has to stop it. Brilliant. I remember my first base-defence mission. Sectoids and discs raided my base and I had 10 little agents, with one decent sergeant. I was so proud of my little squad, and it was heartbreaking to see them get hunted down and cut to ribbons in their own base. It was so desperate. Even reloading didn't make a difference - the sergeant died every time. I think I eventually repelled the attack, but with most of my new veterans dead. It was like watching a horror movie that I was trying to control, and just couldn't.
After all these years, the premise still gets me.
No, you HAVE to play Apoc. It has its cartoonish elements, but you won't hate it. It's real XCOM and you won't regret it.
Back in high school I had a small network of gaming friends and we would always circulate the good games we came across. (I miss the post-copy protection days) Among the many good games this resulted in the biggest gem was the original X-Com. I was hooked after the first mission and kep backup copies of the Zip files on 2 sets of disks and my hard drive to never risk losing the game.
Later when Xcom2 was released i rushed to stores to get a copy. One of my biggest gaming regrets is not having yet beaten part 2 (friggin tech tree) I eventually bought a full copy of part 1 so that i would have Cd backups of both games. Sadly i heard horrid things about apocalypse so to not ruin my feelings of the Xcom universe i have passed it over and stayed with the originals.
I'm HIGHLY looking forward to playing Xenocide. I've been hoping someone would take the reins and revive this classic in a modern setting for too many years.
Your parents both played it? That is SO cool. None of my real-life friends play it. They ... suck.
My mom and dad bought X-com when it first came (wow) and they beat it in about a week (wow, for me anyway) and then they let my uncle try it. Then he was on vacation in the UK sometime and got Enemy Unknown and he gave the CD to us in exchange for the floppies. And one time I was visiting and he gave the floppies to me.
Sometimes I'll play 1.00 from the floppies that were saved on a zip
Yes it's heartbreaking that the copyright owners have let XCOM rot. Imagine how great the game COULD be, especially with today's graphics and computer hardware. Then again, games today don't have the awesome plots of the old games like the XCOMs.
X-COM being in the public domain might not be quite true (my suspicion is that local copyright laws differ...)
Abandonware sites vary by the criteria for which they will put a game up. All the game being on an abandonware site means is they don't think the publisher is likely to sue them for it.
Copyright turned on or off, I would agree with those Abandonware sites. The odds of the publisher seeking to sue you for any of the oriignal 3 X-COM games seems rather remote. Might be slightly more likely to sue for pirating Interceptor, but maybe not, who knows?
In any event, getting the accurate scoop on what is or isn't in the public domain is so annoyingly difficult that I don't think the original games will be released on this site anytime soon. (I do find it interesting that one Abandonware site I went to had Terror from the Deep but didn't think UFO Defense was abandoned yet... haha)