I tried Firaxis's XCOM as soon as I could, seeking the flexibility of the first two games; the devilish plays you could pull when in a tight spot (prime alien grenade - toss at buddy - buddy picks it up - buddy lobs at alien), shooting or running as your speed (TUs per turn) allowed, switching equipment on the field, breaching walls for your teammates... all were fond memories worthy of revisiting with a modern engine.
The first cinematic of the landing scene gave me a huge grin, and it was mostly disappointing from then on. Its walk-shoot-shoot; you die with the gear you brought; you can't shoot at walls because they've done nothing to you. I played four missions and didn't get to experiment with classes or see whether you could ever learn Mind Control.
My hopes are now on UFO: Alien Invasion. Bit rough around the edges but coming along nicely. If you share my feelings, give it a go.
Agree with you on all points, and I will add one game-breaker I gleaned after completing the game a few times, for all the great promise of the new XCom game, this is the killer that made me stop playing it -- the AI cheats.
That's right, it cheats. Not in the strategy game purest sense of cheating like it knows the position and gears of my team before they can see them (it does), but in the much more serious way as teleporting its units, literally, behind your back. So you can have your units partition the map into two, heard enemies on the left half in one turn, and sudden have then appear on the right the next turn!
Higher level snipers can get a motion sensor that reveals enemies, and the game is bugged in that it considered enemies revealed by motion sensor as still hidden. So you will get to see how the AI moves (i.e. teleports) those units to ALWAYS JUST out of sight of your units!
So instead of the strategic thinking the original XCom encourages, the new XCom just have one way to play without having your squad getting killed, which is to prepare and respond to having enemies popping up from any direction, even from parts of the map which you have cleared already!
P.S. Mind Control, don't even bother. You only get to control the alien for a few turns, not enough to make a real difference. The option of keeping one or two mind controllers in the team sitting at the starting location and just control aliens as they were spotted and use them is no longer viable. Since you cannot drop equipment now, mind controlling one to have it disarm itself is also not possible. Dropping a grenade on itself is the most useful thing you can do.