The new Xcom is a better tactical game, with the global simulation thrown directly out of the window. I would say that goes into the realm of "feature removal", and it makes the game less enjoyable and more mechanically predictable.
Less sandbox, more rails. Which is not so good, IMHO.
I'll happily argue against it being a "better tactical" when not only were most tactical features "streamlined out" but, and this is the bug that crawled up me arse, the game was replete with illogical animations, etc., that made no sense and just came across as incredibly lazy.
Shooting through solid objects as if they aren't there yet being forced to acknowledge 'em as solid in every other aspect o' gameplay (even having missed shots colide with said objects where moments before they were immaterial), aliens just standing in a group until discovered, having even less strategic depth in ufo interceptions, etc..
They made the game totes pretty (teehee) and hoped that would be enough to distract fans from the fact that they removed so many features that are common to the franchise. It made the game less brainpower intensive, making it widely available to the general public. Many franchises have done/are doing it.
I think I'm incredibly more pissed about what that says 'bout our society in general.
Anyhoo, the removal o' so many features resulted in "streamlining" simply because there were less buttons, whatever, required to control the game. Streamlining didn't happen first...