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X-Comeback

I wish I still had my savegames from 1993.

I had it in my head that this had been properly confirmed ayyyyyyyyyges back, but apparently it’s still stranded in rumourland. Furthermore, it’s a rumour that seemingly had yet to reach everyone’s ears, as evidenced by the internets suddenly talking about Bioshock creators Irrational 2k Boston reportedly working on a new X-COM game as though it’s some sort of ‘news.’ Still, might as well give you fine folks a chance to talk it over here.

2K – the publishery bit – picked up the X-COM rights last year, so it’s pretty much a dead cert to happen at some point, so the mystery remains which dev will make it. That Ken Levine has handed over Bioshock 2 development to a different 2K team further supports educated guesstimation that he’s off working on a super-exciting project like this.

My predictions for this comments thread:

Someone will assert that they believe Bioshock to be rubbish, and so this will be rubbish too
Someone will say ‘noooo, don’t mess with the classics’, or words to that effect
Someone will accuse of it being ‘dumbed down’ for consoles
Some people will shout at each other about turn-based vs real-time combat
Not many people will say ‘hooray! A high-budget take on one of the best games ever from a seasoned, smart developer, and I shall be excited and optimistic until the unlikely event that I see anything to suggest it won’t be absolutely brilliant’.

Of course, now I’ve listed them, they probably won’t happen. Which is no bad thing, really. So, what you could do instead is discuss exactly what you’d like a new X-COM game to do/include.

Another issue worth discussing is whether, regardless of the eventual quality of the game (and presuming the rumours ring true), this is the best thing Levine and co could be doing next. From the outside looking in, it’s a similar dilemma to Bethesda remaking Fallout, purportedly because of the love, and despite the high risk of fan outrage, rather than coming up with an original property. Irrational’s last three games – Tribes Vengeance, SWAT 4 and Bioshock – are all, to dramatically varying extents, originally derived from someone else’s playground. So which do we want more – a new X-COM game, or a flushed-with-success Irrational to try their hand at something entirely fresh? Of course, there’s every chance they are doing the latter. Bloody unconfirmed rumours.

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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