In fable 3, you become king/queen. You are then given choices which lead you down one of two moral paths.
Be a benevolent, kind, generous, and virtuous ruler and the people adore and idolize you. However, the royal treasury quickly dries up, you can't afford a military, and your kingdom is massacred by a swarm of Cthulhu monsters.
Be a harsh, money-hoarding, morally-flexible militaristic dictator and the people detest you. However, you manage to hire an army fully capable of defending itself from the ultimate evil.
This is the dilemma Firaxis faced in making xcom. Honor the sacred elements of the original, or sell-out and to keep the game alive? Unlike fable 3, you can't just "power game" your way to do both.
Lets face it, hardcore xcom fans are a small sliver of the population. Firaxis could have made a game tailored specifically to this group, but it would have commanded a fraction of the budget. In order for a fully 3D environment with full HD quality skins, textures, destructible enviornments, musical score, and balanced gameplay to become a reality, Firaxis needs money. To get money, they need to sell to a larger market outside just devoted xcom fans. Many people xcom is marketing too have never even played turn-based strategy games before.
Xcom sold-out on a few things, but in doing so, was able to cash-in on others. What we have ended up with is a game that is neither a sell-out, or a direct successor to the original; it is somewhere in the middle, and thus has redefined itself as an xcom title. Whether you love the changes, or hate them, it's important to understand why Firaxis made tge choices it did.
Look at the new DLC for example. Not exactly the direction tried and true gamers who have played the game 100+ hours since release would have hoped for. These gamers would like more skins, aliens, weapons, maps, and other randomizable content which adds more replayable variety. However, while these kind if gamers make up a majority population on these forums, they do not in terms of total sales. In contrast a new "adventure" is more palletable and Familliar to the more modern gamer generation.
I'm not saying every decision Firaxis has made is justified, but I do understand what they were at least trying to accomplish. They aimed to create a high-quality, full-budget, reimagining of xcom. But in order for this to be financially feasible, they needed to make some compromises. Ruling the xcom franchise like a benevolent fable 3 ruler would have condemned it to getting devoured from existance by the Shareholder-business-interests at Firaxis.