Enemy Known: XCOM’s Baaaaaaaaaack

By Alec Meer on April 14th, 2010 at 8:51 am.

Yeah, you heard me. X-COM, the game to end all games, is finally getting its long-rumoured remake/sequel. [Boom. Internet explodes.] Wahoo, basically. Yes, it is indeed a first-person shooter – it is extraordinarily sad to wave away X-COM’s traditional genre, but c’mon, did you really think a AAA title in 2010 (or 11, or whenever it ends up being released) was going to be a turn-based strategy game? Let’s wait and see where they take it, at least.

Contrary to ancient prophecy, this tantalising do-over isn’t being made by Ken Levine, but rather is pitched as a game from 2K Marin, the Bioshock 2 chaps. Though it also seems 2K Australia (née Irrational Australia) are heavily involved. Sparse announcement details and the first in-game screenshot are below…


Click upon the curious, space-donutty shot above for a bigger version, and pore over it carefully – you may dig up more details than are at first apparent. It’s also worth keeping an eye on the minimalist new website.

Here’s the sum total of details so far…

2K Games announced today that XCOM®, the re-imagining of one of gaming’s most storied and beloved franchises, is currently in development at 2K Marin, the studio behind the multi-million unit selling BioShock® 2. Currently in development exclusively for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows PC, XCOM combines the strategic core of the groundbreaking franchise with a suspense-filled narrative and distills it into a tense and unique first-person shooter experience.

“With BioShock 2, the team at 2K Marin proved themselves as masters of first-person, suspenseful storytelling, and with XCOM they will re-imagine and expand the rich lore of this revered franchise,” said Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K. “Players will explore the world of XCOM from an immersive new perspective and experience firsthand the fear and tension of this gripping narrative ride.”

XCOM is the re-imagining of the classic tale of humanity’s struggle against an unknown enemy that puts players directly into the shoes of an FBI agent tasked with identifying and eliminating the growing threat. True to the roots of the franchise, players will be placed in charge of overcoming high-stake odds through risky strategic gambits coupled with heart-stopping combat experiences that pit human ingenuity – and frailty – against a foe beyond comprehension. By setting the game in a first-person perspective, players will be able to feel the tension and fear that comes with combating a faceless enemy that is violently probing and plotting its way into our world.

“Violently probing”. Snicker.

You’ll be hearing much more about XCOM (look ma, no hyphen!) soon. I would strongly advise staying your jerking knee until then. Those few words above, these two mysterious screenshots? That is all you know. It’s not Enforcer. I promise you that.

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306 Comments »

  1. the army of none says:

    In before angry internets man rage.

    I say that because I myself had a bit of a “oh god, why would they defile this altar of gaming” moment before stopping and reading a bit more.

    • subedii says:

      I stopped and read some more. It didn’t exactly inspire me with confidence.

      I don’t actually mind a first person perspective but if this is to be an X-Com I can already see it losing a lot of the stuff that made the original great, namely

      - Randomised levels (OK, these could be deathtraps, but that was the point). These simply don’t work in an FPS, at least not so far. I suspect this is going to be a very story-led approach, which would make it far more linear. Which again, could be good but unfortunately that also likely means:

      - No more management / research / etc. because those things probably don’t work in-line with a more linear story-led FPS either. Still, I could be wrong on that one.

      So what does the game have going for it? Well despite the fact that this is 2K Marin, we need to remember that way back when, Irrational games was responsible for SWAT 4, which was an extremely awesome tactical FPS. Levels weren’t random, but things like enemy placement and objectives were, and that was enough. You could also set your team’s equipment going into the missions, and the gameplay was slow paced and tactical, and very tense.

      I could easily see a first-person XCom following this model, and I think an evolution along those lines would suit the franchise really well if it’s to be brought into First Person (plus RPS actually reported once on a Zombie variation of SWAT that 2K were trying to make before). But there’s another problem. SWAT 4 is from an era of tactical shooters that no longer exist, publishers are pretty much afraid of those games. If you look at the other tactical shooters of the era, Rainbow 6, Ghost Recon, they got ridiculously Hollywood-ised and ended up turning into action games instead of the tense tactical affairs they used to be.

      I mean, in Rainbow six you could literally plan through an entire mission, and simply let the AI carry out your orders.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ai1Uk1kMcn0

      Naturally this was considered too “complex” for a modern market and no big publisher would touch that with a ten foot pole, so instead we get health regen and run and gun gameplay, but slightly more lethal.

      I think that’s the biggest hurdle any new XCom game faces. XCom by its very nature was that it was pretty in-depth and tactical (and had a fairly hefty strategic element attached to it as well with the base and resource management), but publishers typically want mass market sellers. Which complex games aren’t, not normally.

    • mrmud says:

      SWAT4 was from Irrational (i.e what used to be 2K Boston and not 2K Marin)

    • Robert says:

      Angry internet person here. But I get angry about the mangy dogs feeding on the body of this newspost. Them hounds are not satisfied until they have rend everything into pieces.

      People need to stop proclaiming genre-ownership to a franchise. And, while we are on it. Lose the double standards.

      X-COM -> XCOM: Oh my god, it’s not the same as 10 years ago!
      Bioshock -> Bioshock 2: Oh my god, it’s the same schtick!

      Including all kinds of disclaimers, I’d say that XCOM will be the true sequel to Bioshock. Bioshock was arguably an awesome game. They took an idea (system shock), marinated it with 2K Marin-sauce and made it into an intelligent game. You can’t sequel that in the usual sense. You can do what you are good at – in my opinion – and it might actually become a nice game.

      If you want games ever to rise above the pulpy image it has now, you might want to treat it like you treat other arts. Intertextuality – or equivalents – are a big part of it.

    • monkeybreadman says:

      If this is like SWAT4 in a XCOM costume, i will be happy

    • Michael says:

      Just for clarification, have they announced this game as a tactical fps? From the tiny blurb, I get the feeling they’re going for a straight-up vanilla fps with the generic space marine replaced by an FBI agent. Regardless, I can’t really muster up any anger about this development. The strength of the X-COM series was never it’s story. The plot of every X-COM has been aliens are seeking to invade, and the player must build up their agency to ward off these invaders. In fact, they could have set this in a similar but legally distinct universe and saved a bit of cash. It’s the same problem I had with Fallout 3 really.

    • Oddtwang says:

      @Robert: How on earth did you miss the opportunity for a 2K Marin-ade gag in there? What kind of RPS reader are you?! :P

  2. Cael says:

    They act like bioshock 2 was anything other than a mediocre console shooter, this is going to be horrible.

  3. Baboonanza says:

    I’ll jerk my knee whenever I want!

    Seriously, what is a the point of a new X-COM game if it bears no relation to the original? Even if it’s a ‘first person tactical shooter’ that’s still nothing like X-COM.

    What fans are asking for isn’t a new gameset in the X-COM universe, it’s a proper bloody sequel that plays like the original for christsake. It wouldn’t even have to be a AAA game, a turn-based strategy is inherantly cheaper to produce than an FPS.

    In closing:
    Cock your honour.

    • Baboonanza says:

      ‘overcoming high-stake odds through risky strategic gambits ‘
      Pull the other one, it’s got weasels on it.

    • archonsod says:

      To be fair, I always dreamed about an X-Com FPS.

    • poop says:

      I disagree and cant wait to make use of classic unique xcom weapons like LASER RIFLE and ROCKET LAUNCHER

    • Corporate Dog says:

      I can’t truly work myself up to the sort of righteous lather that some Fallout fans manage, but I guess I don’t really see the point of this, either.

      I don’t play a lot of shooters. I don’t play ANY shooters, really; Mass Effect and Fallout 3 are about as deep in the pool as I care to swim, and that’s because they have stronger RPG pedigrees.

      X-Com is a tactical game at its core, with a lot of seamless management bits built in. Strip out that, and you’re left with a bog-standard yarn about alien invaders that we’ve already seen many times over. It’s ‘Men in Black’ with a militant edge. It’s ‘X-Files’ with a more comic-book feel.

      Now, I don’t have an altar at my home, where I make dark sacrifices to the gods of Isometric Turn-Based Gameplay (memo to self: build one). If this were to be a tactical, squad-based shooter (ala Rainbow Six) with the rest of the management details largely intact (and updated), it’d probably still pique my interest. But the press-release doesn’t really lend itself to the conclusion that this is the sort of game they intend to build.

      2K Games gets the benefit of the doubt, I suppose (never played Bioshock; have a whole lotta love for Freedom Force), but I was really hoping for something a little more special with this remake.

    • Mr_Day says:

      @archonsod

      I was worried I was the only one – I remember being incredibly excited, and subsequently very disapointed when they announced X-Com Alliance and canned it all those years ago. That was an fps and basically had the plot of Stargate: Universe.

      We used to say it had the plot of Voyager. But Voyager was just Star Trek Again, The Next Iteration. Delta whatrant? I have no idea what you are talking about, I am going to teach an alien to love.

      Also, I can’t quite forgive them for Enforcer. I only even have that as part of the complete X Com pack, and out of curiosity I let it burn away a part of my reason to live.

    • Hmm says:

      “did you really think a AAA title in 2010 (or 11, or whenever it ends up being released) was going to be a turn-based strategy game? Let’s wait and see where they take it, at least. ”

      What is an AAA title? SERIOUSLY. Will Civ 5 be an AAA title? And is it outdated in this day and age?
      Let’s stop with this bullcrap, first the piece of cow dung known as Fallout 3 that raped the original concept (but still found its audience because it plays like an FPS and is bloody! Yeah! Awesum!), now X-COM?
      Civ has a unique gameplay, will we consider it a nice compromise if it’s turned into an FPS, too? Because “none makes turn-based games anymore, so accept it”.

    • Adam Bloom says:

      A triple-A title is a title with one more A than a double-A title. Duh!

    • ohnoabear says:

      I have to wonder what about this game makes it X-Comy. I mean, the most striking feature of the X-Com games is its strategic layer of resource management built onto a solid core game (the TBS tactical battles). That and its mood of creepy ambiance, which later games in the series completely abandoned.

      There really was no story, at least none worth mentioning. It was more about the story you told through your actions. It doesn’t have a signature art style, like Fallout–the art mostly aped the style of 90s comic books.

      So, there’s no point just using the name, because let’s face it, X-COM is kind of a niche thing by now. It’s not the sort of name that could make money as an expensive AAA game all by itself. Really, the only people who are going to care are the people who’re most turned off by it being a first person shooter.

      Hopefully that means they’re going to try to infuse the spirit of X-COM into the first person shooter genre. Come on, research and manufacturing between missions? In a moody, squad-controlled tactical battle from an experienced FPS developer?

      Heck, if it’s an halfway decent FPS with any sort of interesting meta-game tacked onto it, that would be enough to be both a potentially great game and worthy of the X-COM name. Hopefully that’s what we’re getting, and not a linear story-driven FPS.

  4. mrpier says:

    Get your ass to Mars!
    Edit: From the blurb this sounds more like X-files the Fox Mulder story

  5. Acosta says:

    *CRIES*

    Why? Why? It was beautiful in my mind and now there are only ruins,

    My day is ruined, thanks 2K.

  6. Jason says:

    Not an X-COM remake.

    This is an X-COM remake in the same sense that X-COM Enforcer and X-COM Interceptor were remakes. It’s not. It’s just another cynical attempt to exploit a beloved license with some shit they will pump out that lets you shoot aliens in the face.

    • Alec Meer says:

      When did you see the game? Can you tell us more about it?

    • Jason says:

      In 2001, when it was called Enforcer.

      I know you’re duty bound to push the PR, but give it up. This is shit.

    • Alec Meer says:

      We’re not duty-bound to push anything, Silly Paranoid Person, but we’re also not in the business of deciding exactly what a game is and how good/bad it’ll be based solely on 50 words and one screenshot.

    • GT3000 says:

      Well Alex, after departing the temporal rift in time, it’ll have lackluster story elements with forgettable characters. The gameplay while mostly fun lack polish and could’ve used more time in the theoretical game development oven. It gets a 72 from metacritic based on 20 reviews. You guys rate it 6 jibberjabbers out of a hootenanny.

    • Baboonanza says:

      @Alec
      While the poster above is being a bit silly, the quality of the game isn’t what people will be upset about.

      IT could be the best tactical FPS or whatever the hell it is that has ever been made, but it’s guaranteed that it won’t play anything like the good X-COM games. That is what people are upset about, we want a new X-COM, there are enough FPS games already.

    • NuDimon says:

      I really hope they pull this off. It’s a nice universe after all. It’s got more potential then just being a turnbased tactical strategy game. If they were to go back to the roots they would need to go the DoW route of a more taskforce based RTS. After all, the series did go downhill at a steady pace since the first one came out.

    • Ian says:

      I want that rating system to exist.

    • GT3000 says:

      @Alec

      Sorry, X key is right next to C.

      @Baboon

      I jest my friend. I am excited to see any meaningful expansion of the game I love.Turn-Based or not.

      @Ian

      It does. You’re welcome.

    • Jason says:

      In what way am I being silly?

      I said it my first post – they’ve done this before. Twice. Three times if you count Alliance.

      It’s just the standard “Well, we’ve got the XCom license – it’s got aliens in it. That’d make a good shooter and we can get a few extra sales out of the people that half-remember XCom being good.”

      I appreciate your improbable optimism Alec, but come on.

      To address the BS Fallout 3 comparisons – FO3 changed perspectives and cut some gameplay. This is morphing XCom into a different genre entirely.

    • Alec Meer says:

      Why would anyone want to make something like Enforcer again? It’s not like it was a smash-hit.

      All I appeal for is a wait for more information before making absolute judgements.

    • Alec Meer says:

      Oh, I’m not even slightly surprised. Trying to introduce just a little hope is hardly disingenuous, however.

      And you’re right, posting game announcement news on a games website is trolling. We’ll never do it again.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Could be pretty good if it nicked all the global map strategy from Terror From the Deep and just replaced the appalling away missions with SWAT 4 style heavily randomised pseudo-realistic tactical squad command.

      Actually, that could be incredible.

    • Manley Pointer says:

      No fan of X-COM played it thinking “It would be so awesome to see this universe in an FPS!” Why? X-COM was one of the best games ever, but that had everything to do with the tactical gameplay, the random levels, building your forces, building your base, etc. It had NOTHING to do with the larger world the game took place in. There’s nothing unique or interesting about the X-COM version of our planet, and it’s not like the game had a wry or memorable perspective on human/alien conflict.

      So when they say “X-COM FPS,” read that as “generic FPS about aliens invading Earth, coming from a developer that already made one boring, already-almost-forgotten sequel to a much more original game.” How could anyone get excited about that?

    • dyphemism says:

      I think it’s fair to say that XCom is turn-based strategy and base-building — and perhaps little else. To pull a switch-up on the genre, in my view, does deduct from its XCom-iness, no matter what other surface features you might decide to carry over.

      At the same time, who’s to say it will be a bad game? It might not be faithful, but being unfaithful can be a hoot (especially if it stars Diane Lane).

      Random thought: What if multiplayer drew from the Natural Selection model of troop command? Can we at least agree that could be awesome? My mind whirls with possibilities.

    • DK says:

      “We’re not duty-bound to push anything, Silly Paranoid Person, but we’re also not in the business of deciding exactly what a game is and how good/bad it’ll be based solely on 50 words and one screenshot.”

      No, but you are “in the business”. When has wait-and-see ever led to a genuine improvement? Not condemning without evidence is all fine and dandy, but it’s not as if something like this has never happened before – and it always turned out the “naysayers” were right after all.

      If you ask people for a little hope, I ask you for a little memory.

  7. JohnArr says:

    “I would strongly advise staying your jerking knee until then.”

    The Meer knows something! To the rack with you!

  8. Greg Wild says:

    My soul! My soul!

    They just dropped kicked my youth in the goulies. It got through to my soul.

    • Spacewalk says:

      That screenshot’s pretty awesome though.

    • dartt says:

      *SLAP* SNAP OUT OF IT YOU BIG GIRL!

      Calm down, go play Enemy Unknown (it still works you know) and then look forward to what might well be a fantastic reworking of the X-COM formula.

      I’m actually starting to get very excited; I’m hoping for full campaign co-op so we can form a HERO SQUAD!

    • HarbourMaster says:

      There are some god damn funny comments on this site.

    • Greg Wild says:

      Pah!

      I was playing X-Com 1 at the weekend!

  9. Larington says:

    They might – MIGHT – be able to pull something off with this, maybe do a hidden & dangerous-esque (dangeresque, you might say) system of being able to control squad members in a tactics mode or you walk at the head of a squad and they move with you *intelligently* and maybe, again, MAYBE this will work.

    Really though – haven’t publishers learned that doing a sequel that crosses genre lines is generally inadvisable? You inevitably end up upsetting the original audience by doing it and theres little in the way of PR that can make up for that.

    • Larington says:

      Potentially, it’s a gaming equivalent of taking a serious film like Citizen Kane or a horror film like Alien(s) and making a romantic comedy sequel.

    • GT3000 says:

      I think the Alien Queen and Ripley could’ve worked it out. It might be a RomCom but it might be a coming of age film where women learn to rely on another and that chest-bursters can be used for love as much as war.

    • Springy says:

      Aliens might not be the best example considering how it was a significantly different film thematically to its predecessor.

    • Stu says:

      Ooh, Alien/Aliens could be a great example; the original was a creepy, atmospheric horror film and its sequel was a gung-ho guns-blazing action film.

    • Alastayr says:

      And the third one was a Fincher-esque examination of the value of life to the hopeless and the broken, and the fourth one was Buffy resurrected in space.

  10. mrpier says:

    I like the first person bit, I thought X-Com Alliance was a brilliant idea at the time, and still do. But FBI-agent?

    So many thoughts racing trough my mind right now, let’s hope it will be a brilliant shooter at least.

    • Jason Lefkowitz says:

      I thought X-Com Alliance was a brilliant idea at the time, and still do. But FBI-agent?

      You can just imagine the brainstorming meeting.

      X-COM? What the hell is that? You mean X-Files?”

      “No, it was a –”

      “Man, X-Files was great. Why didn’t anyone ever make a game out of that?”

      “I’m not talking about X-Files, I’m talking about X-COM, which was a –”

      “Yeah yeah, whatever. It had FBI agents, right? I remember there being two FBI agents and everyone wondering when they’d get it on.”

      “That’s not X-COM, it’s X-Files, which is totally –”

      “I know! Our game can have the two FBI agents, and then there can be quick-time events where they try to get it on. PRESS X TO MASH FACE WITH WHATSHERNAME SCULLY. The geeks’ll love that.”

      “But that has nothing to do with X-COM, which was a –”

      “Are you still talking? Why are you still talking? We’ve got GOLD here. Get me Scully’s agent on the phone!”

  11. robrob says:

    Finally, an Enforcer sequel!

    • GT3000 says:

      My face crumpled into a frown when I read this. Touche’.

    • Pod says:

      Fnufact: I bought Enforcer for 50p from Gamestation and it gave me a lot of enjoyment for that 50p.

  12. Scypher says:

    …but c’mon, did you really think a AAA title in 2010 … was going to be a turn-based strategy game?

    You don’t have to rub it in! :(

    • Clovis says:

      Haha, now you know how us adventure gamers feel! Turn based strategy is the new Gaming zombie! (until CivV comes out)

      (I also love turn based strategy, so now I’m extra sad)

  13. Dawngreeter says:

    I have come here from 1981 to say that I am willing to show enthusiasm in regards to this reimagining.

    • Subject 706 says:

      Actually, if large publishers had any kind of sense, they’d diversify a little bit, and not turn everything into a grey mass of FPSes.

      At least the new Jagged Alliance will stay true to its roots…please don’t take that away from me. PLEEEEEASE!

    • terry says:

      Wait three years, there’s a game coming out called Rebelstar Raiders which will blow your mind.

  14. John says:

    Bethesda managed to turn Fallout 3 into a shooter and made a lot of money along the way. Granted, they retained plenty of features too, but the game stood on its own and was successful as a result.

    I can understand why people are upset about a change of direction here though. I never played X-com, but I imagine if someone turned Deus Ex into a dance game I’d be a bit miffed. I think it’s fair to be upset about the game’s direction, regardless of its final quality.

    • phlebas says:

      if someone turned Deus Ex into a dance game

      This must be done. Now.

    • Mitza says:

      Are you serious?

      I still don’t understand how Fallout 3 got all those praises. I just don’t get it. That was a bad game, yet everyone orgasms when they hear about it.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      That might actually make Deus Ex more fun…

    • phlebas says:

      Serious? Why not? It sounds a hilarious idea.

      (Aside: I enjoyed Fallout 3 a lot. It had its flaws but seemed true to the original games in a lot of ways – but then I generally find combat the least interesting part of an RPG by far, so didn’t really mind the change from turn-based to first-person-with-an-interesting-mechanic. The X-COM games, on the other hand, had a much tighter focus on the game mechanics and less on building an interesting world and characters, so a reboot as an FPS franchise seems more obviously inappropriate.)

  15. clippa says:

    “Xcom”

    Yay!

    “first person shooter”

    Oh

    “Bioshock 2″

    Oh, f*ck

    You build me up, buttercup baby, just to let me down, and mess me around :(

    • Pema says:

      There.
      You said it all.

      If it is like Bioshock2, it will be a poor game.

  16. SwiftRanger says:

    X-Com: Alliance was looking awesome and innovative, don’t see why this couldn’t work as long as it will be much more than a linear six-hour slugfest.

    That being said, just because new FPSs pop up every day doesn’t mean there should never be a turnbased tactical game in the vein of X-Com or Jagged Alliance again. It has been way too long since Silent Storm and Jagged Alliance 2. 2K got free rein here, just like they do with Civilization.

  17. dog says:

    wasn’t fallout 3 quite popular though?

    • EthZee says:

      It was quite a popular game, yes; but this may be due to the simultaneous release on consoles. Plus, at the moment it’s fairly unique; there’s not much like it out there on the 360 or PS3.

      I myself own Fallout 3, on PS3. I quite enjoy it; but I mainly enjoy it because I am able to be a berk and fire tin cans and teddy bears at people’s faces (and then their heads explode and the blood goes ffft through the air in slow motion).

  18. Ian says:

    Okay, so which X-COM game is it that I should be going back and playing?

    I never played any of ‘em and every time I remember to go look at them I see all the different ones, panic a bit, and then put it off again.

    • GT3000 says:

      Terror from the Deep.

      Barring that UFO Unknown.

      Armageddon was harder than was enjoyable. It can be if you’ve mastered Unknown and TFTD.

    • Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

      UFO: UNKNOWN, hands down. The very best of them all.

    • Ian says:

      “Enemy Unknown” is what Steam is calling “UFO Defense”, right?

    • Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

      Yes, thats the American title i believe. Pity you missed out on the whole pack being sold for uber cheap on steam a while ago.

      O already owned the games, but bought them again, as they are just that great.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Terror from the deep, Ian!

      TERROR FROM THE DEEP

      Ahem. Really good, even now.

  19. Acosta says:

    Alec, I know you really dislike the prejudgements but try to understand us. X-Com being a FPS basically makes it impossible to replicate the X-Com formula, and that automatically makes irrelevant if the game is good or not, what we know is that it won’t be the X-Com we love, it won’t try to improve or even replicate what made this name so big in first place.

    In RPS we have had this discussion a thousand times: why even bother to use a name if you are not interested in the spirit of it? It´s an insult to the people who have keep playing and keeping alive this name for years. It´s cynic, senseless and absurd, except from a business point of view.

    • Alec Meer says:

      Adhering to original genre/perspective is not the only way to stay true to original spirit. All I’m asking is wait and see. The genre is the only thing anyone knows so far.

    • Acosta says:

      What about this:

      “Puts players directly into the shoes of an FBI agent tasked with identifying and eliminating the growing threat”

      Would be wrong to extrapolate that sentence and think that there is no going to be base building or team management?

      In any case, if only for respect to you I’ll just shut up. I’ll wait and see, but my hope is near to zero.

    • Alec Meer says:

      What part of that sentence says the only thing that’s involved is shooting things in the face? “Identifying” is an interesting word, no?

    • Acosta says:

      I don’t assume it will be about shooting aliens in the face, but I would like something that made me think this is close to the original.

      Civilizations keeps being a 4X and nobody thought it needed an “exciting new perspective”, Firaxis just keep improving or tweaking it in different interesting ways. With X-Com we already saw two attempts (three with Alliance) to put it under a “new perspective” and both fell flat. That’s why I’m very apprehensive to this, especially when I remember how hopeful I was with Interceptor and the painful memories of waiting for Alliance (I knew Enforcer would be crap and it was), I just can’t ignore it.

      In any case, I will wait and watch their proposal.

    • Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

      Hmm, that makes it sound loads like the X-Files. Cause in the games, it is retrieved bodies and scientists that uncover the threat.

      Id guess that these FBI types are uncovering the aliens in disguise that infiltrate governments.

      Also of interest is the fact that its America vs The Aliens.

      Why else wouldnt they have the agent be an X-COM agent.
      They entire purpose of them is a multi national (So you could track them anywhere) task force specifically opposing the aliens, instead of just inside the US of A.

  20. clive dunn says:

    Can we have a seperate thread for people who actually got out of the RIGHT side of the bed this morning?

    This is great news!

    p.s Is there any way to manufacture an incident where my memory is wiped and i can play all the x-com games again (for the first time). Dammit, i bet in the future they have special pills for doing it.

    p.p.s Looking at that one screenshot, it looks like it’ll maybe be a countryside setting rather than a metropolitan one. I approve.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      A FPS. Oh good, I haven’t seen one of those in a while. >_<

      @clive dunn

      "Can we have a seperate thread for people who actually got out of the RIGHT side of the bed this morning?"

      No, you can't! You people can go play with the elves in happy rainbow land. This is the goddamn internet, here we are all angry buddy, all the time!
      ;)

  21. Sobric says:

    Well here’s my knee-jerk:

    I’m disappointed that it’s an FPS and not a… a… whatever acronym UFO and TFTD were (RTS?). I’m sure it will be a fine game, but I suspect the knee jerk comes from it not being more similar to the original. If it follows a Rainbow 6 style approach to tactical FPSing, however, it may well be highly enjoyable – they could also get an automatic 10/10 in my mind if they release with Mod tools (what developers can’t/won’t deliver, the community probably will).

    For anyone who is going to say: Why do we need a remake of the original, when it’s perfectly fine?! Well, I disagree. I’ll leave the debate of Audio and Visuals, since the original XCOM art style looks fine to me, but going back and playing it now (inspired to after the April 1st 1983 day) leaves me wishing that there was a UI overhaul somewhere.

    P.S.:

    *Spools up Angry Internet Man Machine*

    FBI agent?!? What the fuck? “XCOM” is the agency that was set up to fight the aliens, screw the FBI! Goddamn console pussies, ruining our games, taking our jobs etc etc

    *Spools down*

  22. toni says:

    in the 50 words they tell you that it will be a first person shooter.
    not a turn-based strategy game. what’s NOT to understand ?
    hey we make a fps set in the universe of a total different game and use its name for sales without having no other connection to the original whatsoever, just like we did with System/Bioshock. You know how it goes ! We just don’t respect game properties and its roots, we just wanna convert everything we can find and lay our hands on into the most profitable game genre present, the fps and use all the angry internet men rage for more publicity about our atrocity. it rhymes, therefore it must be true.

  23. Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

    Though i understand studios dont like taking risks, and using an established name garuntess more people at least look at it, i lament the fact that they cant come up with some original IP.

    No matter how good the game eventually turns out to be, I bet i am going to feel that the X-COM title that they slap on is exterrainious (does that count as a pun?). Its not like the aliens or places lend themselves particularly well to shooting (Grays and corridors?).

    But if they do manage to catch the tension of turning a corner with no AP (You thought the coast was clear) and having a crysalis in front of you, that could be something.

  24. Ashen says:

    I fail to see why this is being made.

    There was nothing particularly interesting about X-Com’s setting. What made it great was the gameplay mechanics.

    So what’s the point of digging up a decade old forgotten IP to do a game in a completely different genre?

    • Tei says:

      “Brand value”. The most hardcore fans of XCom will buy it anyway, even if his pure shit. So using something with a existing fanbase, you start with a minimal public garanteed. Also, theres existing “product image” about the product. And is proven to “work”. You don’t know if a Tarzan videogame have public, but you know a XCom game will have public (note: bad example).

      This is somewhat like buying Ferrari, buring all the factories, firing all the workers, and building cheap cars using the Ferrari logo and corporate image. It will sells.

    • Ashen says:

      Again, what exactly is the brand value of the X-Com IP? Sure, it’s a cult classic, but it won’t ring a bell to the mainstream audience today. Especially console audience.

      This will be an AAA game with a multi-million dollar budget. The hardcore X-Com fanbase that is going to “buy it anyway” won’t even begin to cover the expenses.

    • Tei says:

      Ashen. “This will be an AAA game with a multi-million dollar budget. The hardcore X-Com fanbase that is going to “buy it anyway” won’t even begin to cover the expenses.”

      Hence… we have the Tarzan line.
      Is a proven fact that the “XCom settings” work. People like that settings. So is a safe bet. And these people are conservative. Maybe the “X-Files” line (you are a FBI agent) is added to take adventaje of the mainstream.

    • Sonic Goo says:

      The value of the brand is that you can inspire much internet frothing with just 50 words and a few pictures. You can’t buy that kind of publicity… oh wait.

  25. Darth Roxor says:

    This is bullshit. Especially the part on the official site that talks about taking it to the first person, to properly feel the TENSION AND FEAR! Excuse me, but I didn’t need any goddamn first person to feel the tension while invading an alien base in Terror From The Deep.

    ‘c’mon, did you really think a AAA title in 2010 (or 11, or whenever it ends up being released) was going to be a turn-based strategy game?’ – So, basically, what you’re saying is ‘shut up and take everything they give you up the arse’? This is Fallout 3 all over again. Classic franchise rape through something completely unrelated incoming, I bet it will have a cover system and regenerating health, maybe even superserious Bioshock-styled ‘moral choices’ like ‘Save the zombies from Chryssalids to get Elerium!’. But, of course, all the media throughout the world will just keep repeating ‘haters gonna hate, console shooters are teh future!’.

    • GT3000 says:

      HATERS GONNA HAT-..Right. Well. You know what’s up. Ahem. BITCH HARDER?

      I joke. Seriously, give it at least a press release. This is just a teaser.

  26. sigma83 says:

    In the same vein: Dungeon Keeper. WHERE IS ITS.

    • Corporate Dog says:

      They’re remaking it from an immersive new perspective.

      You’ll be the hero sent into the dungeon.

    • Manley Pointer says:

      @Corporate Dog:
      Funniest thing I’ve read all day.

      Then again, if it was multiplayer, with several players as dungeon keepers and another player in full Diablo mode as an invading hero…I would buy that.

    • Corporate Dog says:

      @Manley: There’s a pen-and-paper RPG called ‘Rune’, that was released alongside the computer game of the same name, and covers the same thematic territory (you’re a Viking warrior who lives for the slaughter of his foes, yadda, yadda, yadda).

      The RPG features what I felt was a novel mechanic, where traditional Dungeon Mastering is done in a round-robin fashion, and the DM scores points for all the traps and creatures he springs on the player.

      I always felt that the RPG would be awesome, if it were translated back into a computer game, and featured a construction set that would allow everyone to pre-build their own dungeons, which they would then spring on their fellow players in the course of a multiplayer session.

      Could make for a pretty cool multi-player roguelike.

  27. Tei says:

    XCom is sacred. Period.

    Is somewhat (to the gaming world) like the best of the 50′s horror-sciencie-fiction movies, like the invasion of the snachers, the invisible man, …

    We can’t touch it, because is made of silver on our imagination and memory.
    You can’t touch it, because if you try, the result will be campy (oh the horror) or unfaithfull.
    Arguabilly XCom Apocalypse (the 3th XCom) was too much campy… but it was accepted, because was inside the serie. Now the serie is closed.

    I don’t say is imposible, a genius can do things normal people think are imposible, I will not say is hard, … I have problems completing a puzzle with 3 pieces, other people think such puzzle are easy. What I am saying is that tryiing and failing, is something like a sacrilegy, something that just can’t be ignored.

  28. The Colonel says:

    I suppose they did manage to reimagine Fallout whilst keeping all the things that made Fallout great. I want to cry. I swear making money wasn’t the primary driver for all game decisions in the past…

  29. clive dunn says:

    @Ian. I’d recommend going all the way back to Rebelstar Raiders on the Spectrum.

  30. Mr Pink says:

    Given that Mr Meer aludes that we’re not hearing everything about this game, isn’t it possible that this could be a hybrid between the original X-COM and an FPS? i.e. instead of playing out engagements in a turn based strategy engine, it’s played as a squad FPS?

    That would be an interesting proposition at the least :)

    • Mr Pink says:

      And isn’t this idea backed up by this statements from the press release?

      “XCOM combines the strategic core of the groundbreaking franchise with a suspense-filled narrative and distills it into a tense and unique first-person shooter experience.”

    • archonsod says:

      If it did, I may want to have it’s babies.

  31. Wilson says:

    I’ve always thought a first-person X-Com thing could be pretty great, but it would have to be very different to your average shooter to really be X-Com. If they don’t have destructible terrain I will be very upset. Also, squad members that can die and be replaced by rookies. And lots of reloading games to save heroes from stupid deaths (if, like me, you weren’t that good at the game :) )

  32. d0c says:

    I wish it was April the 1st again.

    I know I should really hold judgment but from those few words it already sounds like a bad idea.

  33. Matzerath says:

    I hope they get pressed for time and have to use the original game’s art assets like they did for Bioshock 2.

    • archonsod says:

      What, so every five steps down a corridor the screen blacks out and displays the legend “Hidden Movement”?

  34. PleasingFungus says:

    “…c’mon, did you really think a AAA title in 2010 was going to be a turn-based strategy game?”

    Arguably the exception that proves the rule, but… Civ V? (It even has [i]hexes![/i])

    • Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

      Good point.
      I remember spending the whole day in a haze because of the hexes. I mean, its Civ! I can no longer attack from right above a city! Crazy days indeed.

    • jRides says:

      You beat me to it Mr Fungus!

  35. Hulk Hogan says:

    ….Jacob’s Ladder?

  36. Ovno says:

    Hope its good, doubt it will be, every time anyone has tried to do something other than a turn based strategy with the XCOM license so far it’s ended up being unbelievably bad…

    I’m sure this will be no exception.

    Pity I was really excited at the thought of a real sequal to XCOM not just something using its name…

    • Dawngreeter says:

      @Ovno (in case reply thing fails)

      Turn based strategy has also ended up being unbelievably bad (Aftermath/Aftershock/Afterlight). Not to mention that even in the original run Terror From the Deep was good only by virtue of being a reskin of Enemy Unknown while Apocalypse was… significantly less good.

    • archonsod says:

      I actually liked the After* series. Mind you, I also enjoyed Interceptor.

  37. BIG D says:

    I love X-COM! Yeah I want this to be faithful to the original but times have changed. We fear this game because it won’t be much like the original in its game play but I think most of all you can’t ever get around that nostalgia of games of our youth! A shame but at least we HAVE the original to play, and its the best!

  38. Hulk Hogan says:

    also

    omfg they’re making fallout 3 into an fps this game is gonna suuuuuuuuuuck! – us before fallout 3 came out

    omg omg i love this game i want to give everyone at bethesda a bj – us after it came out.

    wait in see before getting those man boobs all in a rage, brother. hulk hogan believes in pleasant surprises

    • Okami says:

      For me it was more like:

      Before FO3 came out: OMG, Bethesda are making a new Fallout game. They’re the worst RPG producers outside of Japan, they’ll rape the franchise.

      After FO3 came out: OMG, Bethesda aren’t only the worst RPG producers outside of Japan, they also suck at making FPSs. Seriously, why is this company still around? All the animations are still beeing made a single person and it’s obviously still the 12 year old intern, who also happens to be the son of the CEO.

    • blah says:

      @Okami: Thinking the same. Although I have to hand it to Bethesda, that they made a huge profit for recycling so much content e.g. (animations, textures, models) in comparison to overall development costs (probably why all the Special Edition/Collector’s Edition stuff got made – PR budget rampage!…).

  39. Flimgoblin says:

    20B Funstuff announced today that CivZation®, the re-imagining of one of gaming’s most storied and beloved franchises, is currently in development at Ion Storm, the studio behind Daikatana. Currently in development exclusively for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows PC, CivZation combines the strategic core of the groundbreaking franchise with a suspense-filled narrative and distills it into a tense and unique first-person shooter experience.

    • Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

      My eyes! They are melting!
      Seriously, that was harsh, man. Those words are toying with real emotions.
      ;P
      Also, is it by chance that my captcha is EMC2? Or E=mc^2…

    • Flimgoblin says:

      Sorry ;)

      The Daikatana is rather a bit on the mean side (and thoroughly unfair) – just happened to be the first lot that popped into my head.

  40. c-Row says:

    So, when will they turn Syndicate into a racing game?

  41. Flimgoblin says:

    We need some sort of indie->mainstream mega-hit to get turn based strategy back on the publisher’s radars (which is the only way you’ll get a AAA version)

    XCOM might well be a fun game in its own right, but “alien invasion” is hardly the most unique of settings, so I don’t see them getting anything from it other than a whackload of nostalgia to trade on (ok, so they get plenty from it ;)). Meh maybe I’m just old and cynical these days ;)

    Fallout had its own particular brand of post-apocalyptic (being retro 50s post-apoc) at least…

    aaaanyway, new AAA strategic FPS title announced about alien invasions and the like – sounds cool.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      I admit, I have no idea why Stardock aren’t making an X-Com clone. It strikes me as exactly the sort of thing they’d jump on. Abandonded mainstream genre, through a medium budget at it and raking in the cash.

      KG

    • Subject 706 says:

      At the moment they are probably too busy with another game set in a genre which is mostly dead to publishers these days, namely Elemental : War of Magic.

      But yeah, they really should. If you read this Brad, help us poor strategically-starved gamers!

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      I remember (more like, I think I correctly retained this memory) from way back, after Rebelstar was launched on the Spectrum, an interview with Julian where he admitted how hard it is to develop a turn based tactical shooter. I cannot really remember if he was speaking about the fact this had been mostly coded in BASIC, or because — and this is what my memory tells me the genre is very hard to balance right.

      I think what Julian did in XCOM was truly unique. If any of you guys remember Rebelstar, balance and AI issues would soon show their ugly face all over. It was another time then, though. And it was still one of the greatest games for the Spectrum.

      In this day and age however, I don’t know how many will want to risk doing a tactical combat shooter. And let me tell you, this genre is my favorite genre of all. You can see how much I have been missing it. But there’s more than just a lack of mainstream interest in it, that justifies the fact we don’t see one since Jagged Alliance. A game that incidentally only served to remember us all how hard it seems to be getting it right in terms of game balance. SInce X-Com I know of no other turn-based tactical combat shooter EVER did it right.

      I don’t know if a company like Stardock can afford to risk it. But I agree that indies are our best hope. Especially if they stick to the essentials and build the game from there… instead of trying to do everything in one title (which is often the problem with AAA who can’t afford to do it). Jullian Gollop had been already developing this genre for 10 years before he came up with X-Com.

    • Clovis says:

      @Mario: Since Jagged Alliance we got Silent Storm. It had good mechanics, but for some reason I never really got into it. Oh, it even had highly (or fully) destructable environments.

  42. Iain Galloway says:

    See if they keep the base-building aspects of the original series, but replace the tactical interface with AAAFPS, that’s got the potential to be up there in the “awesomest game evar” list.

    I suspect, though, that it’ll “just” be an AAAFPS, with “only” the setting from the original. That’d make me sad :(

  43. Lu-Tze says:

    This could be the best game ever. It could be the new Deus Ex, and become a First Person Shooter that stands above all others, and is heralded as being one of the great innovators of the genre. It could be.

    But even if t is, people will still hate it for not bringing that classic X-COM gameplay into the 21st century.

  44. James G says:

    “By setting the game in a first-person perspective, players will be able to feel the tension and fear that comes with combating a faceless enemy that is violently probing and plotting its way into our world.”

    Do some people not get this feeling from other perspectives?

    I’ve never been much enamoured with the industry’s obsession with first person titles, partly down to its tendency to embody the more ‘twitch’ gameplay. which I’m not very good at. I had always assumed it was just driven by relative ease of production, popularity with a large section of the the demographic and a difficulty and reluctance to attempt something less tested. Is this just a choice of words for marketering of what they realise is going to be an unpopular genre shift, or do so people genuine feel like that.

    Does seem like an odd move overall though. I have no particular affinity for the XCOM games, having only picked up the first on Steam in a sale, and not having played it too much because I completely suck (even more so than I do at your average twitch shooter. Perhaps I just suck at games). However this seems to be a far more significant genre shift than the FO>FO3 changes, and unlike FO I’m not aware of any particular affinity for the XCOM universe. I suppose as a squad based tactical shooter you could reproduce some elements of the game, but otherwise it does seem to be the case of using the name as little more than a marketing tool.

    On a related note, I’d love to see a developer try and release a turn-based AAA. It probably would bomb, I agree, but its a hypothesis I want to see tested damnit. We know the market isn’t entirely dead, as games such as GalCivII and Kings Bounty have managed to do respectably, but I realise that this doesn’t translate into a similar return on the substantially larger investment made in your average AAA.

    • Subject 706 says:

      I would not be so sure it would bomb at all.

      It all comes down to how they make it. It’d probably be very much cheaper to make than an AAA FPS, for starters.

  45. Devrey says:

    I don’t get it. I like turn-based games and I will like them in 2011. What does that make me? Weird? Old? Or simply an uninteresting small part of gaming demography?

    • Corporate Dog says:

      All of the above. I’ve come to accept it. You should too.

      I also get wood when someone mentions the word ‘hex’. Better than the blue pill, it is.

  46. Dubbill says:

    Even if they were making a TBS it’d come out slightly wrong, like Afterlight and all the other clones. I’d rather deal with the disappointment of this being a FPS now than the disappointment of a 7/10 TBS in 18 months time.

  47. JohnDoe says:

    I think its really stupid when you buy a licence then remove the part that made it memorable.

  48. Turin Turambar says:

    “Adhering to original genre/perspective is not the only way to stay true to original spirit” -Alec Meer.

    Uhh… yes, it’s the only way. Adhering to the original genre.

    What do you think it’s the original spirit of X-Com? “Fighting invading aliens??” No, that’s not the spirit, even if that was the basic “story” of the game.

    The original spirit of X-Com is controlling a squad in a tactical game and directing an anti-alien organization in the geoscape mode. In other words, the spirit of X-Com is being a strategy game. Because it’s was a “pure gameplay” game, like it was more common years ago.

    If you make a fps game where you fight aliens, perhaps with a bit of tactical orders a la SWAT 4 (a Irrational game), and a briefing screen where you can choose what to research, that’s not staying true to the original spirit.

    • Devrey says:

      Amen.

    • N says:

      Damn straight.

    • RogB says:

      the man, he speak sense

    • Bret says:

      Nah. Turn based? That’s the delivery medium, not the spirit.

      I served my time. Let me tell you about the spirit of the damn alien war, man to man.

      So, it’s mid July. Somehow, I signed up back at the end of January and served since without winding up in a pinewood box. Simms, that’s the name of the guy I knew best in the squad, he had nearly as much time in the field as I did, and a hellofalot more kills. Still used a laser pistol. And, let me say this, even if none of the rooks believe me. He was the toughest sonofabitch born.

      So, we head out one fine July evening. Some dumbass in shotcreek maine or some other stupid small town, he claims to have seen a black crab,big as a man. Oh, we all laugh, but command says we send out a team to check on it.

      When we get there, town’s empty. No people, no bodies. Simms and me take point. And I find a discarded lump of human skin on the ground. Seen some odd things, but that took the cake as far as nightmares were concerned. Simms looked a little shaken, and not much scared him. Took on a Reaper with a tun prod, if you can believe it.

      Well, we’re about to call in when the radio starts squawking. Somebody spotted something. Big crab, like we were told earlier. Sending a guy to check.

      And then the whole mess goes straight to hell. Turns out it was a Snakeman trap. Civvies shamble out of the corridors like B movie zombies, snakes start firing, and the whole damn city is trying to kill us. Simms and I, we start running back to the ranger, but it sounds like we might be the only ones. Whatever those crabs were, they were doing… something to the other recon teams. Know there’s a scientific name for it, but all I had then were muffled screams and the sounds of brave men committing suicide to avoid it.

      Well, we’re almost to the ‘Ranger when Simms gets jumped by one of the zombies. I shoot it off of him…

      And one of the crabs comes bursting out, and gets him. And now both him and the crab are coming for me.

      Somehow, I make it to the ship and yell for an evac. The pilot objects, as it seems I’m the only man aboard and wasn’t this a simple check on some civvy mention a bug eyed martian. I pulled rank, based on there not being another signal coming in, but as we lifter off, one of the things caught onto the wing, and…

      Well, that’s the damn spirit of X-Com. Dying alone and afraid from some nightmare we couldn’t imagine before it was laying eggs in our guts. The TBS part was merely the best delivery method.

    • Joe G. says:

      Sorry Bret, that sounds more like the spirit of Gears of War.

  49. Dan Pryce says:

    If they make it a bit like Star Wars: Republic Commando but much more involved and put emphasis on the maintainance and construction of bases, this might not blow. I do think it’s a mis-step to make it an FPS – no-one’s saying a Turn Based Strategy can’t be popular on consoles, look at CivRev. But if they insist on making it an FPS for the console tards, the best thing they can do to appease the core fanbase at the same time is to make the base building side of things as much like before as possible (even if they have to have an autobase option so the trigger happy console plebs can get straight into the action) and have the option to issue commands to your troops while paused at any time.

    That, to me is the best case scenario. More than likely we’ll get a fundamentally sound shooter with a bland projectable protagonist and medicore story – something like last years Wolfenstein.

  50. Stu says:

    If only Irrational had any experience in creating squad-based tactical first-person games. If only.

    • Corporate Dog says:

      I noted a distinct lack of the words ‘team’ and ‘squad’ in that press-release, else I might agree.

      Still too early, sure, but if we can’t use the Intarweb to read tea leaves, what’s it good for?