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XCOM creator takes to Kickstarter with Chaos Reborn

Julian Gollop, original creator of XCOM, has taken to Kickstarter to relaunch his 1985 magic-based tactical arena game Chaos.

Julian Gollop, original creator of XCOM, has taken to Kickstarter to relaunch his 1985 magic-based tactical arena game Chaos.

(Credit: Julian Gollop)

Originally released by Games Workshop in 1985 for the ZX Spectrum, Chaos would be seen today as a rather unusual sort of game. An arena-based battle game, it pits players against each other in a last-man-standing fight to the death — but all the characters are wizards with magic.

It sounds utterly brilliant — and it's looking like we're going to get a chance to play it. For the last year, its creator, legendary developer and father of XCOM Julian Gollop, has been working to rebuild and relaunch the 30-year-old title.

"Chaos Reborn is part sequel, part re-imagining of that original game brought up-to-date with high quality presentation," Gollop wrote on Kickstarter. "The magic combat system remains true to the original Chaos. It is all about summoning a host of weird and mythical creatures, moving and fighting with them, and using your wizard to attack, defend, buff and de-buff with large array of spells."

However, the game, which is in development for Windows, Mac and Linux, will have a bunch of new features that simply were not possible with the hardware available in 1985. New features will include online multiplayer, both asynchronous and live; offline multiplayer battles on a single machine; tournaments; co-op options for either two-vs-two multiplayer or co-op vs AI; guilds; item trading; systems for leagues and rankings; and a single-player RPG campaign.

(Credit: Julian Gollop)

This is called Realms of Chaos. "When you enter a Realm you must seek out and defeat the Wizard Lords, the loyal minions of the Wizard King," Gollop wrote. "As you travel, the Wizard King will build his power and reinforce his Wizard Lords, so efficient exploration and effective combat are the keys to success in the Realms. You will discover things to help you and hinder you along the way, and you will build your spell knowledge and equipment as your progress. Once all the Wizard Lords are defeated you can challenge the Wizard King, and if you are victorious you are certain to win valuable treasures and potentially rare or unique artefacts."

This mode includes procedurally generated realms to explore, as well as player-generated levels; a massive amount of gear to collect, with stat boosts and buffs; spell books to expand your repertoire; the ability to level up gear by entering "inner realms"; and co-op mode.

It looks and sounds like nothing we've ever played before — and we're fascinated. If it catches your fancy, too, head on over to pledge your support — a copy of the game can be yours for a minimum pledge of US$20.