XCOM: Comeback, Trailer, Thoughts

What lovely blue eyes you have

After a year long silence, the enemy unknown is among us again. Below, you can find a brand new and very different to the last trailer for the XCOM reboot, which is created by some of the guys behind Bioshock 1&2, as well as the long-awaited release date. Hooray/uh-oh. Here we go.

Whew. Right.

Let’s start with the release date: March 12 (US) or 9 (everywhere else) 2012. PC, 360, PS3 are the platforms, 2K Marin remains the named developer. Here’s some offical words from 2K, followed in a few minutes by some unofficial words from me. Note the phrase “tactical action” in the below market-o-speak:

XCOM is a gripping tactical action experience set in mid-century America, where the player leads an elite field team of specialised government agents into battle – combining deep, visceral gunplay with powerful sci-fi abilities. Together, they face a vicious and otherworldly enemy, who conspires to shatter our world and rebuild it in their own image.

“Every time I think of XCOM it gives me the chills, the kind that come from standing witness to the corruption and destruction of your world as you stand powerless to prevent it,” said Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K. “I’m pleased to announce today that we will be bringing this experience to an even broader audience when XCOM comes to the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC in March 2012.”

Featuring a bold new origin story told from a first-person perspective, XCOM pits Special Agent William Carter and his veteran team against the threat of human extinction. But every enemy is an opportunity – players will strike surgically against the alien menace, capture their technology, and by the science of desperation – turn the invaders’ weapons against them. Armed with these lethal new tools of war, players will command their squad on XCOM’s front lines: Main Street, USA.

I’m back! Things I have observed:

1) Much more emphasis on a squad rather than a lone hero
2) All kinds of alien tech to use, and none too subtly
3) Jeepers, those cuboid shapechangers are creepy
4) That looks a whole lot bigger and more spectacular than what we’ve seen before, but suggests more of an all-out action game than an investigative and strategic one. That’s presumably/hopefully just the tactic they’re using for E3 – sound and fury is forever the fastest way to achieve that. (See also the E3 demos for Fallout 3, which entirely dispensed with the RPG elements).
5) The army get involved, it appears, suggesting that either this escalates far beyond secret investigations or that the alien invasion ends up entangled with an international crisis. In the 50s? Cold War references will presumably run high.
6) With the release date now set in stone, hopefully full-on answers about the game are on the way, as opposed to the previous stonewalling.



  1. Anthile says:

    Is his vision augmented?
    Anyway, good to see the game is still alive. Contrary to most people, I believe it might turn out quite interesting.

    • Diziet Sma says:

      Mr glowy eyes is an alien.

    • iniudan says:

      Agree with you the game do look fun, the question is mostly just the name of the game, since they are taking the name of the strategy game series and almost only showing an action game until this point.

    • Ross Mills says:

      Spoilers much, Diziet!

    • Benny says:

      Staring eyes tag missing.

  2. Stijn says:

    I’m thinking it’s a good thing I have no previous experience with X-COM whatsoever, because disregarding any is-it-xcom-or-is-it-not shenanigans this looks really, really interesting.

    Though “deploy XCOM division immediately” does remind me of “Move `Zig`! For great justice” a bit too much.

    • Teddy Leach says:

      Take off every zig! For great justice!

      I have fond memories of Zero Wing. Mainly because of the translation and the music.

    • Martha Stuart says:

      It’s a crime against humanity that you have no previous experience with X-com. It is seriously one of the best PC games ever made, and it was made in 1991 and is still absolutly awesome.

  3. Tei says:

    The style is fantastic good. I don’t think I have see this visuals before. I love the colors, geometry, animation. Fantastic!.

    • PoulWrist says:

      Art-deco ;)

    • thisparticularmat says:

      Alien stuff looks like Rez, only with intrincate animation and poor geometrical solutions. And a bit like HL2’s Combine architecture on the materials.

      I personally think in this year since the other trailer they have taken a visually quite interesting world (bright and stylized 50’s against an unsettling and alien enemy) into a conventional first person-shooter nonsense. The humanoid soldiers and their animations look just terrible.

    • The_Great_Skratsby says:

      That ain’t no art deco.

      The pastel colours really do fit with the stylised 1950s themed setting and alien designs really are fantastic too. Same about the rest of what I’ve seen and know.

      Pew pew, you there in the fedora, no you, go behind that waist high wall and shoot faster dammit.

  4. Teddy Leach says:

    OK, that does look good.

  5. Crimsoneer says:

    Shit that looks awesome. Few points of interest:
    1) There is a base, with scientists, who do research.
    2) You do order your squad around
    3) The emphasis is on using enemy tech.


  6. JonWood says:

    It actually looks like it could be a decent FPS, but they’ve left a bitter taste in my mouth by making something so completely unrelated to the X-Com universe.

    Apart from the name it seems to have nothing in common with any of the other games, so the only thing they’re going to achieve is selling a few copies of the game to fans of the originals who don’t read anything about the game to begin with, and pissing them off. Hardly a great way to build a fanbase.

    • battles_atlas says:

      I would feel much better about this if it had any other name

    • StranaMente says:

      I agree with that. If they simply had given it another name I would be rather more interested.
      As a fps is somewhat nice (even if “tactical action” sounds to me like “cover based shooter”) but why did they feel the need to link this game to x-com?
      Is it because in the crysis only sequels are financed?

    • Acorino says:

      This looks really interesting and distinctive.

      But since they’ve chosen the XCOM name they always remind us that they don’t think turn-based strategy would sell. While this title will probably be a quite creative and unique one, it seems to stick cowardly to the FPS template so it won’t flop.

      I can only see the XCOM name as a disadvantage.

    • Dozer says:

      I think it’s interesting how X-Com has gone from being a supranational organisation with global scope to an arm of the US Government. A bit like the contrast between the 1990 UN invasion of Iraq and the 2003 unilateral US/UK one.

    • Bret says:

      Well, it makes sense with the cold war setting.

      I mean, in the late ’90s, X-Com’s most reliable backer was Ivan.

      Ivan ain’t exactly pals with the Yanks back in the then.

  7. Jonathan says:

    That is looking grand. People may whine about it not being “real” X-Com, but at least they’re trying to come up with an interesting setting.

    • Teddy Leach says:

      Agreed, but I still have to question why they called it XCom, and didn’t just come up with a different name and call it a spiritual successor. It’s the name that a lot of people are having trouble with.

      It does looks damn good though.

    • Alexandros says:

      @ Jonathan: Yes, alien invasion set in the 50s has never been done before.

    • kyrieee says:

      For me a setting isn’t enough for an FPS to be interesting.

      Stop with the god damn FPSes already, seriously!

    • Jolly Teaparty says:

      @Teddy Leach That’s exactly how I feel about it. It doesn’t need to be an XCOM game, I don’t know why they felt the need to make it one.

    • Jonathan says:


      1) I didn’t say it hadn’t been done before
      2) But has there been a 50s B-movie FPS game? I have doubts

    • coldvvvave says:

      Destroy All Humans fits that description.

    • rivalin says:

      Do people just not pay attention IT’S THE SIXTIES NOT THE FIFTIES!!!

    • Teddy Leach says:


    • Bret says:

      Destroy All Humans is a TPS.

      And the complaints about FPSs being made combined with the confusion of third and first person games doesn’t exactly leave the best impression.

      I mean, do I want a shiny new X-Com strategy game?

      Of course. And when it comes out, I’m probably grabbing Xenonauts.

      But does that instantly mean I hate the X-Com FPS?

      Heck no. It looks quite fun. I’m hoping for terrain deformation, of course. But it seems to have base expansion, research trees, and a lot of running like hell because you’re screwed otherwise, and that’s more important to what I like about X-Com than Sectoids or Mutons.

      Chryssalids, of course, are still important. I’ll miss them.

  8. Nitrium says:

    This is sad. I’m bummed after watching this trailer.

    • razlebol says:

      I am bummed with you Nitrium.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Same here, I’m surprised by all the positive responses to it on here. It was very ugly, the framerate was poor and the game looked very average.

    • Nitrium says:

      I’m double bummed with you, razlebol.

    • jackflash says:

      I, too, am bummed.

    • Highstorm says:


    • Yor Fizzlebeef says:

      Now if they would ALSO make an AA turn based tactical/real time strategy game, I would be all for that! That would be ok! Firaxis could make it, 2K!

    • Inglourious Badger says:

      Just buy enough copies of Frozen Synapse that mode7 have the budget to set Frozen Synapse 2 in an X-COM themed world

    • ttcfcl says:

      Bummage. Why you ask? Here’s what I hope vs what will probably happen:

      Hope: First person but very tactical. Think Brothers In Arms, or an FPS version of Freedom Fighters, Mass Effect, or KotOR, where you can tell members of your squad to go to different areas, do different things, etc.

      Reality: We’ll get “attack/defend/follow”, cause you know, there aren’t enough controller buttons for all those other commands

      Hope: Ok Alien tech? Hopefully it’s generally random, and we have options to upgrade everything, just like the original game

      Reality: I’m sure it will be as stale and linear and formulaic as Bioshock weapons.

      Hope: That we can customize and choose research and all the rooms on the base, like the original

      Reality: I bet it will be, again, predefined and linear, if it’s not already just a glorified mission hub.

  9. Wizlah says:

    Still curious to see what this is going to turn out like. I certainly like the visual style.

  10. Alexandros says:

    I humbly request that RPS removes the “X-Com: UFO Defence” tag from the article. This… thing has nothing to do with the true X-Com.

  11. Mungrul says:

    See, I don’t think that graphically it’s looking that great at all. I’m really beginning to notice that games developed primarily for the PC are totally outclassing console-level graphics.
    Stylistically, it’s interesting, but I can definitely see the rough edges thanks to technical limitations.
    But then again, I’m firmly in the grumpy camp when it comes to X-COM, and really don’t see a first-person, cover based shooter as being true to the spirit of the series.

    • Ertard says:

      My thoughts exactly. It really does look technically limited, and when they moved away from the more cartoony style from the last trailer the age of the tech really does show.

  12. N says:

    I.Want.My. Chrysalids.

    • Dana says:

      Chrysalises ?

    • Srethron says:

      Chrysalids. If you have not played the first X-COM that word is no doubt meaningless to you. For those of us who have… it is a delicious snack we have gained PTSD from and, having never properly recovered from, crave all the more.

    • thegrieve says:

      I still wake up with cold sweats. Can never remove the image of my dead sergeant shambling towards me, my laser pistol doing nothing to stop him. The drooling maw of the chrsyalid just behind him. I knew it wasn’t long before I would be facing two of them.

    • Bhazor says:

      Whenever I was on a terror mission with chrysalids I’d always have my men carry grenades. I’d tell them to carry it in their off hands with a zero second timer.

      When they were captured, there would always be someone captured, they would drop that grenade killing themselves and their attacker. I imagined they were thankful to me in their last breath as a human.

      Fucking. Chills. Every time.

      No other mechanic in any other game (apart from maybe the cyanide pill in Robinson’s Requiem) ever had the same bleakness to me.

    • Torgen says:

      link to suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com

      The “joy” of Chryssalids. The rat bastards had excellent night vision and TONS of time units (action points.)

    • thegrieve says:

      This image has made my day. You sir, win.

  13. Tunips says:

    I’m interested to see just how much of the investigation and research actually shows up meaningfully in the game. Waving a tricorder around obviously doesn’t make for good trailering.
    Golly that’s a heck of an art style.

    (I would not be upset if we did away with the jumpy humanoids though. We’ve had plenty of those, thanks)

    • MuscleHorse says:

      My feelings exactly – if you personally direct what to research from your findings and where to spend your budget I can just about stomach this. However, I want a [i]real[/i] X-Com and this isn’t it.

    • Martha Stuart says:

      If you want a true x-com sequel check out Xenonaughts, this might be our redemption.

      link to xenonauts.com

  14. Hentzau says:

    From the hand gestures in the video it looks like it has Brothers In Arms-style squad commands, which isn’t the worst thing they could have gone for.

    • Moni says:

      Whenever I end up playing Brothers in Arms I always think: “It would be awesome if, instead of ordering around army men, I was ordering around X-COM agents, shooting aliens and collecting their technology.”

    • Hentzau says:

      I know, right? It’s a far better fit than that ludicrous “War World II” scenario.

    • Bhazor says:

      Didn’t they explicitly state there would be no squad command elements? Huh, maybe the huge backlash from last year made them re-evaluate. I really hope so.

      But honestly, I think every shooter would be massively improved with BIA style squad commands.

    • bill says:

      it isn’t?
      Brothers in Arms must be the only game i’ve given up with an uninstalled in under 3 hours. It was horrendous. I’m usually willing to give games a bit of a chance, and to overlook rough edges. But I honestly couldn’t see a single redeeming feature in that game. Maybe it hasn’t aged well.

      Though actually, I think most of the horribleness was down to the level design and linearity. IF this has more open levels where a variety of tactics might work, then I guess the squad commands wouldn’t be such a waste of time.

    • somini says:

      Since I’m now playing all of BiA games(recent sale) I say that even if this XCOM just copies the gameplay it’s going to be fucking brilliant. I can’t undersand how can an FPS launched After BiA not have squad commands.

  15. Dana says:

    Looks quite decent actually.

  16. Moni says:

    The alien design is fantastic. I don’t think I saw the black liquid stuff from the earlier trailer, I’m wondering if that fits the feel of the cubey stuff.

    • Martha Stuart says:

      i completely agree, those black goo balls really pissed me off.

  17. westyfield says:

    No idea why they called it XCOM at all. Looks awesome though!

  18. Zoonp says:

    Xenonauts looks way more interesting than this blasphemy.

  19. soldant says:

    At first I was disappointed because I just wanted a modern UFO Defence, but now I’m intrigued.

    • Premium User Badge

      FhnuZoag says:

      I think I see their strategy now. Draw the haters early, and hope that as time goes on, they get tired of hating on what looks to be a fairly decent game.

      Also it’s not like the original X-COM games didn’t branch out from turn based strategy – arguably only 2 of the original 5 games were TBS games, with one other a hybrid. Didn’t the original group always intend that the next game in the franchise be a FPS, but it eventually got cancelled?

      Xenonauts doesn’t seem anything more than a clone of the original. You might as well just play the original game again.

    • Coillscath says:

      Incorrect. They were working on a proper TBS/RTS hybrid reboot to the series when they were “acquired” by Hasbro and subsequently dissolved. Interceptor and Enforcer were just godawful cash-ins on the name.

      Honestly, you may not believe me when I say Enforcer was one of the 5 worst games I’ve ever played, but it really was. You have no idea how bad it could be until you actually pick it up and play it. Gauntlet style enemy spawners all over bland, boring levels, with subpar animation and models, even for the period. That’s it. That’s the game.

      EDIT: Sorry, it looks like we were both right. There were two games in the works- Alliance (The FPS) and Genesis (The RTS/TBS hybrid) so there you go.

    • Fitzmogwai says:

      I was bitterly disappointed when they cancelled Alliance. It was looking really very cool indeed. I’ve got no problem with an X-Com FPS, and this new one is potentially very interesting.

      Doesn’t mean I’m abandoning my TBS though. I’ve just started my annual playthrough of TFTD. A top-rate new TBS X-COM would rock. So let’s hope that this new one is successful and the studio believe that there’s enough of an audience still there to make a new X-Com TBS.

    • Coillscath says:

      @Fitzmogwai, I thought I was the only one who did that. Have you finished the game? I don’t think I’ve met a single person who’s beaten TFTD yet…

  20. DainIronfoot says:

    Point! and then shoot.

  21. Hakkesshu says:

    I actually think this is looking pretty good, but why would you release a trailer with such a shoddy framerate?

    • Rii says:

      Accurate representation of Xbox 360 gameplay!

    • Felixader says:


      Stop bringing your PC games onto our consoles via half assed ports!

    • ttcfcl says:


      Stop bringing your console games onto our PCs via half assed ports!

  22. JonathanStrange says:

    Looks like a neat game actually, were it under any other name I’d be extremely excited towards it… but it’s not just any game, it’s supposed to be an X-Com game, and the thought of X-Com being so irrevocably changed from its roots makes me kinda sad. I’d really really hoped the X-Com brand might someday return in grand style as the tactical game I remember only now boasting all the enhancements and improvements modern technology has to provide.

    Now that dream is pretty much guaranteed to never happen. Like I said, makes me sad. Why couldn’t they have named it Y-Com or something? Go the ‘spiritual successor’ route like they did with System Shock/Bioshock? That tiny little title change would have made all the difference.

    Ah well! Guess I’m just grumpy. It really does look like a damned interesting game, I just wish it weren’t named X-Com.

    • D says:

      “X-Com being so irrevocably changed from its roots makes me kinda sad” – I’m sorry, is there some grand unifying canon of the X-Com universe that can now never be changed back? I don’t see anything stopping the next 10 attempts at X-Com.

    • Highstorm says:

      Well the press release does say “Featuring a bold new origin story…”. It’s not like that will make the original game obsolete, but it does perhaps suggest that any future installments will continue on with this new game’s setting and events as a foundation.

      Whether that’s a good or bad thing, who can say yet, but personally I’m not thrilled with the retcon thus far.

    • Urthman says:

      Just like the success of Bioshock enabled them to go back and make a proper System Shock 3, right?

    • wcanyon says:

      Let’s not forget that there were 2 great XCom games and 3 or 4 crappy ones. They did plenty of raping of their own canon.

  23. Khemm says:

    They should call it ALIENZ SHOOTER:THE FANCY GRAPHICAL STYLE EDITION. Anything would be better than even implying that has anything in common with X-Com at all.

    But of course, it’ll have an army of defenders claiming “you’re stuck in the past, this is the new shit, it improves upon the X-Com formula, has sooo much in common with the original, what a brilliant re-imagining, turn based combat SUCKS yadda yadda”. Fallout 3 again.

    • mondomau says:

      “Fallout 3 again.”
      Not strictly a fair comparison – at least Fallout 3 was still (loosely) an RPG. I totally agree with you though, if they hadn’t insisted on using the XCOM title they would have avoided a lot of disappointment and bad feeling.

    • Khemm says:

      This game will also be (loosely) a strategy game. The comparison is fair. Both games are insults to their respective originals.

    • thegrieve says:


      They removed the “-“

    • D says:

      Agree, but Fallout 3 was a worse crime. We’ve had lots of X-Com games before and it’s pretty much a guarantee that we’ll have more of them again, including remakes and reboots of the first and second. This is why I don’t mind XCom at all. On the other hand, Fallout 3 made sure that we will never see another Fallout game that is an isometric turn-based non-linear RPG.

    • Bhazor says:

      To be fair the turn based combat in Fallout 1 & 2 was always pretty awful. No real strategy, very slow progress, over reliance on dice rolls, no squad movement, no feats and all with dumb as a post ai. It certainly looked horribly out dated after the Infinity Engine games started to appear.

      The combat in X-Com on the other hand was and still is completely fantastic. Well paced, strategic, genuinely tense, requiring careful exploration and mount based movement.

      This isn’t nostalgia, I played the game for the first time about two years ago when the bundle first appeared on Steam. It still feels great even if the interface feels dated and equipping soldiers was often incredibly fiddly (having to go to a separate screen back in the home base just to switch armour for example).

  24. _Jackalope_ says:

    Looks fun, but agree it’s nothing like original X-Com. They could easily have just stuck an X-Files, Outer Limits, or Twilight Zone license on it and it would be just as related to them as X-Com.

    I will say I like the “Well Hello Dolly!” line. I definitely want to play it.

  25. Shadowcat says:

    I still think this looks like it could be a great game (although I didn’t like this trailer as much), but as for the license… well… this really is the Jerry Bruckheimer version of X-COM, isn’t it? Oh well.

  26. Angryinternetman says:

    Looks promising enough. I hope they keep the game moddable, so theres fun to go around for years to come.

  27. Po0py says:

    It looks very interesting. But it’s not X-COM. They just tacked that on as a cheapo marketing gimmick because they know the gaming press would happily fall in line and write about it.

    • Wilson says:

      @Po0py – Well, they could hardly just ignore the game entirely could they? Even if all the gaming press everywhere had been entirely super neutral about it, you’d still get a ton of fan commentary on the game because of the name. I expect it has been mentioned more in the press because of the name, but I think they were thinking as much or even more about stirring up fan sentiment (of any kind) than how much the press would focus on it.

  28. Rinox says:

    link to cracked.com

    #3. Don’t Wait for a Counterattack
    #2. Call for Backup

  29. CMaster says:

    Looks a lot like Half Life 2.
    Which is to say really, that it looks like quite a good, if perhaps not exceptional in this day and age game. (Thankfully it looks less Bioshocky than the old stuff did, because I didn’t enjoy combat in Bioshock)

    I just don’t get why they’re calling it XCOM.

  30. Rii says:

    Ehh … not as impressive as last year’s trailer. I’m still interested, though.

  31. Eightball says:

    “Every time I think of XCOM it gives me the chills, the kind that come from standing witness to the corruption and destruction of your world as you stand powerless to prevent it,” said Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K.

    This has to be intentional. >:|

  32. Kakrafoon says:

    Could somebody PLEASE just make a decent remake of the original X-Com? I’m imagining something like the Monkey Island remakes, with a few more RPG elements and some comfort features (saving the weapons loadout for your soldiers, mainly). That abomination from the trailer looked like a standard consoley cover-based shooter, against crazy reassembling lego aliens, with a bit of wonky research thrown in. I’m sad now.

    • Chauvigny says:

      Have you checked out UFO Alien Invasion?

      link to ufoai.ninex.info

      It looks quite promising.

    • Zoonp says:

      Xenonauts is the only thing you need

      link to xenonauts.com

    • Kakrafoon says:

      I wasn’t too happy with UFO: Alien Invasion, but I’m putting all of my hopes on Xenonauts. Thanks for reminding me, guys.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      The funny thing with X-COM, as with many DOS games from that era, is that the graphics aren’t even that bad. It’s not pretty, but it’s functional. The real issue is the somewhat clunky interface, designed for a tiny resolution. Just bring it up to Jagged Alliance 2 standards and I’d be happy.

      Same thing with Ultima VII. The graphics don’t bother me at all, but it’s missing the nice interface that Ultima Online had several years later.

      I’m strongly in favor of more remakes in general. There are so many classics that could do with a coat of paint and some interface tweakage. It should be treated a bit like art restoration

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      What you need is the rather good UFO: The Two Sides, which also has multiplayer.

      It’s still in development, but they’re up to version 0.99 now.

      link to ufotts.ninex.info

      There’s an Alien campaign in the works too!

      (I think it still requires you to have the original game for some of the assets, but it’s cheap enough on GamersGate or Steam).

  33. Chauvigny says:

    First of all, I always wanted an X-Com game which is in the first person perspective,
    BUT I dreamed of a more secret and undercover approach, like ‘Rainbow Six’ or ‘SWAT 4’ just in the X-Com universe.
    Sneaking through factories, powerplants, or even office buildings to eliminate or catch aliens, so the scientists can check them and their equipment out.

    But this looks far to much like a COD with aliens.. :/

  34. Drake Sigar says:

    It worked for the Fallout franchise. Although that was as faithful as a shooter could possibly be (I’ll leave others to argue just how much that is), while this doesn’t capture the style of the original X-Com at all.

    • D says:

      I’m sure you could argue that this “will be as faithful as a shooter can be.” The argument is pointless, in this case and in the case of Fallout. Can’t make a sequel in a different genre.

    • Coillscath says:

      As sequels, here’s how well they stuck to various elements of the originals:

      Fallout 3:
      [ ] Aesthetic
      [x] Setting
      [ ] Gameplay

      New Vegas:
      [x] Aesthetic
      [x] Setting
      [ ] Gameplay

      [ ] Aesthetic
      [ ] Setting
      [ ] Gameplay

      They’re already off on worse footing than Fallout 3 was.

  35. Jim Reaper says:


  36. hotcod says:

    This game will live and die on the stuff that they are not showing. If you can direct research, pick missions and load out your team then it could very well work as a new kind of x-com game… if you can do none of these things or in a way that has no real impact on the game then it will be awful.

    The style looks awesome but I need to know more about the stuff that would make it a x-com game before I can start making judgements

    • Rii says:

      “This game will live and die on the stuff that they are not showing. If you can direct research, pick missions and load out your team then it could very well work as a new kind of x-com game… if you can do none of these things or in a way that has no real impact on the game then it will be awful.”

      Exactly. The first trailer worked as a teaser, but this one coming a year later is like more teaser with the added reassurance for 2K’s shareholders that it will, in fact, contain enough shooting to be pitched at the FPS mainstream.

      And coming much closer to release, what *isn’t* evident in this trailer is of much greater concern than it was a year ago.

  37. Srethron says:

    The skull-expressioned aliens blasting away with their guns behind chest-high barriers were hilarious in an unintentional way to me. Other than that this looked better than I was expecting. Sadly, I am yet another person grumpy that the game seems to have next to nothing to do with what “X-COM” actually was.

    Does anyone remember the aborted X-COM: Alliance project? It was an X-COM FPS in the Unreal engine where you had a squad of 4 and could see each squadmate’s view at all times, kind of Rainbow Six I guess. Also, it was on a space station.

    • Premium User Badge

      FhnuZoag says:

      Right. I imagine their design document read simply ‘Let’s make XCOM: Alliance’, but with a changed setting so that it doesn’t have to assume players know what Elerium, Plasma weapons, sectoids etc already are, but instead have them possibly introduced through the game.

  38. Bhazor says:

    Looks great.
    Has no reason to be called XCom.

    Heres a question.

    I remember the interview RPS had with the Xcom team when they said that there was never a chance this game would be a turn based strategy. So at what point did the genre die? Did the people who play Civ all drop dead in the night? Is it alternative universe where turn based strategy aren’t the second most common genre on every hand held?

    Who decides when a genre is dead?

    One example I’d guess is the Tell-Tale led point and click adventure renaissance. But to me the best example was the belief no one wanted a traditional almost isometric RPG and then Dragon Age came out and out sold the shooty action focused high budget star studded Mass Effect 2. By a big margin.

    At what point does a studio lead deem a genre dead? Is it when they stop selling? Is it when no one else has made a game in that genre? When does that happen?

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      A TBS doesn’t really work on consoles. I imagine it’s about as simple as that. They want to sell big-budget games to as many people as possible, and that means making something that works comfortably on Xbox360, PS3, and maybe PC.

      Now, what I don’t get is why the big publishers don’t also set up a few “indie” studios. They could set it up a bit like a startup incubator, except they own everything. Fund several teams of 5-10 people to make relatively niche titles. That’s enough core developers to make a proper X-COM sequel in a reasonable amount of time. Surely Activision, rolling in giant piles of cash from WoW and CoD, has enough spare to try something like this.

    • mcwill says:

      Because indies don’t want to relinquish control and publishers want to control everything. EVERY LAST THING. From the style of the opening video, to the main menu, to every last aspect of gameplay. If some suit at the publisher doesn’t like it, out it goes. Want to make a turn-based shooter? Our metrics say otherwise. Want to make a grand strategy? Our predictions say the market is too small. Want a lead character in your game that isn’t a space marine or a near-naked woman? Don’t make us laugh.

      Publishers routinely say they grant studios creative freedom. Don’t believe a word of it. There are maybe 3 or 4 studios in the mainstream industry with enough clout to do what the hell they want – Blizzard, Rockstar and Valve leap to mind. Everyone else is owned, one way or another.

  39. Renfield says:

    Humanity’s best are rather awkwardly outfitted for combat.

    Jokes aside, quite a strong Bioshock vibe. Alienshock?

    Edit: UFOshock. Ooph-o-shock.

    • Coillscath says:

      It’s Bioshock 2’s engine. Don’t expect anything more than Bioshock minus the water with a glorified mission selector, and “research” which probably behaves more like one of the upgrade vending machines from the Bioshock games.

    • Alexandros says:

      @Renfield: Franchiserapeshock.

  40. Bilbo says:

    Just appalling. These people are troglodytes and charlatans of the worst order and it makes me furious. I’m off to play UFO

  41. mwoody says:

    Gaaah, once again, the US is screwed. We get it on the 12th instead of the 9th. If we could just get retailers to move our standard release date to Friday, we could get games at the same time as the rest of the world! And it would mean we could play the games on the weekend, too.

  42. HeavyStorm says:

    Here’s one game that I *won’t* play.

    You’re hearing it from the guy who plays almost anything.

  43. Kdansky says:

    This is Prey 2, right? I liked Prey quite a bit, and this looks and feels quite similar. They seem to manage to make a decent sequel, after all.

    It also needs more cover buttons and iron sights, because I sure as hell only ever want to use the top half of my screen, and enemies should always be hidden by my gun, or it’s not a proper game. Are there any QTEs and annoying cut-scenes too?

    I hate modern AAA titles. But at least I don’t buy them. They can kiss my money good bye. I’ll go have myself some more Indie. It’s kinda stupid that the games industry stopped making games for me when I finally am wealthy enough to buy them.

  44. yhalothar says:

    Epic Shooter #113, coming this season just after Epic Shooter #99 and Epic Shooters #100 through #112.

  45. Koojav says:

    WOW !

    It looks so amazingly meh…

  46. Coillscath says:

    Okay. It’s a shooter, in a sci fi setting.

    Cool. Why is it called XCOM again?

  47. Preston Parr says:

    I’ll put my money on the tactical gameplay consisting of a button you use to tell squad mates where to stand or what to shoot

    • Kdansky says:

      I will double whatever you are betting, and add to it that your squad mates will do the going over there sluggishly and stupidly, getting stuck on scenery and being generally useless.

  48. deadsexy says:

    I notice alot of people saying that this couldn’t possibly be related to the old X-Com games and to be perfectly honest I wouldn’t know if this is true or not, because I’ve never played them. But isn’t X-Com simply the name of this special international task force? and didn’t the original games play in the future?

    Who says there hasn’t been any alien invasion before, say in the 50s-60s, which led to the foundation of a special taskforce called XCOM, which would years later be renamed to X-Com which after all those fancy new technological advancements could be controlled in a top-down view through a live satelite feed?

    • Coillscath says:

      Not quite. A big part of UFO Defence’s gameplay was keeping the shareholders happy by performing well in your fight against the aliens, because X-Com was newly developed in response to that invasion. If you’d already proved you were a worthwhile agency in the 50s, then that gameplay aspect of the original games has been effectively retconned out.

      Oh, sorry, I meant to say “streamlined”. Those lazy developers love them buzzwords.

      EDIT: There’s also the matter of these aliens having cooler toys than the ones from UFO Defence, which begs the question- Why wouldn’t we have kept some?

    • deadsexy says:

      Thanks for setting me straight there. Maybe the agency founded in the 50s was consuming too much money after defeating the aliens, which is why they disbanded the agency after a couple of years. Would be a good explanation why future X-Com would have been privatized and constantly evaluated, wouldn’t it?

      Of course, the 50s-aliens weapons would probably come in quite handy against the new alien invasion. But almost any reboot/prequel has some inconsistencies.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to convince anybody that this is gonna be a legitimate reboot of a beloved franchise. But I simply don’t get the rage over those things. Bad Reboots, sequels, adaptations, spin-offs, whatever… why does everybody act like those things would “destroy” the original work? The original still stays the original. The entertainment business is so oversaturated these days that we will see those things more often anyway, better get used to it now and if you can manage to look at it with an open mind you might even enjoy new and different looks on your beloved franchises. (Sorry, if it sounded like I was specifically talking to you, I really wasn’t)

    • Kdansky says:

      I do not require the new XCOM game to be in the same time-line as the old ones. But I’d like it if it weren’t a random shooter with a bought IP that has nothing to do with it. Spin off or parallel universe, all fine. But this is to UFO what Peggle is to Tetris. Not related.

    • Coillscath says:

      @deadsexy, People get so outraged because we’ve been waiting so long for a decent sequel, and instead of a sequel, somebody comes along and says “This idea is no longer relevant and won’t work. We can do it better.” and in most cases, people will remember that IP by its most recent incarnation. Look at the Bayformers. We’re stuck with that aesthetic now.

    • Bret says:

      Well, the first games had X-Com get torn apart after every game as well.

      Remember how you got Blaster Bombs and a blank checkbook in TFTD?


      That’s because the governments in X-Com are total imbeciles. So, that’d be nothing new.

    • Coillscath says:

      @Bret, That was mainly the fault of their publisher though. After UFO Defence they were told to get a sequel out the door in a year to cash in on its popularity, so all they could really do was an expansion/reskin which became Terror From The Deep. It was a pretty fun and solid expansion with some great artistic direction, but it was essentially the same game as UFO Defence. Even the save game hackers are interchangeable between both games.

  49. Acosta says:

    I feel a bit dead inside. And old, too old…

  50. SwiftRanger says:

    So much for the aliens not having any humanoid form and thus actually looking alien. Not convinced at all here.