Well, you came to such conclusion because devs didn’t openly said “we want more streamlined game”? Or your point is that it’s not dumbed down because of consoles, just generally dumbed down?
Making game simpler is as good gamedesign choice as any other.
Just first game alone, sold over 600 000 units, this is in 1997. Since then, market grew about 6 times.
X-Com: Enemy Unknown sold about 1 mil units, scaling with a market growth it sold much much poorly than original game. Basically, original game grabbed a much bigger portion of the total game industry market than it’s successor. If we scale by market, we are looking at new game being much less popular than original one and review do reflect that.
Original XCom inspired about a dozen of games which aimed to recreate it’s look and feel and inspired games such as Fallout and Jagged Alliance. What did new X-Com inspired? The only loud player I would mention is Divinity Original Sin, which I’m not sure was inspired by it at all. Yes there are games in development and there was Hard West and Fantom Doctrine, neither of which was received too well.
Personal choice have nothing to do with changing sub-genre of the game. Just as many where not happy with shooter, many where not happy with a board game mechanics. Sales number show it. For me personally, gameplay mechanics is what constitutes the game, not the cover art and names of the characters. Changing core of the game design and slapping on top a brand created by someone else doesn’t constitute as a good game development, but a cheap way to gain some sales from exploiting existing IP. Sure, the game created in the process was good (definitely not great), but it was designed around what they could do, not what people expected/wanted. You are wording your point like X-Com is some sort of miracle of game industry. I don’t think it is, it could have made a much better legacy by being it’s own product. At least they wouldn’t have to pretend that we are fighting alien invasion.
Yes, board games can be great, just as any other games can be great when done well. Or you think that board games are superior to tactical strategies so we probably should replace them all with board games?
Well, it’s pretty basic vertical slice to judge much about it being fun or not as a tactical game. I see already a lot of graphics and animations but not features that actually matter. Designer himself mentioned how he cared so much about camera. Probably, his focus was already on making an experience game rather than a sim like. Are you trying to convince me that they made a better tactical game by making it a board game? Because somehow magic of gamedesign driven them to such solution?
Why bother investing time into coding a sim if you can make a light weight version of X-Com a like (at least 3 came out this year) and call it a day. Because one would be happy with grabbing even 5% of the fun base.
Look at Xenonauts team, which started with an actual remake of X-Com, then pooled some features from Firaxis for Xenonauts 2 and then reverted back but improved look and feel. You can even read their post explaining their design process and what exactly they tried and what was the result. These are the guys who deserve the praise. They are improving something that we like and expected to see in the game.