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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.

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Alec Meer

Senior Editor

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

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