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X-Com 'Re-Imagined' as FPS by BioShock 2 Dev

by Alice O'Connor, Apr 14, 2010 5:40am PDT

BioShock 2 developer 2K Marin is to revive the classic turn-based tactical PC series X-COM as a first-person shooter, publisher 2K Games announced today.

"True to the roots of the franchise," according to 2K, the PC and Xbox 360 shooter named simply 'XCOM' will put players "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" as an FBI agent.

"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 2K president Christoph Hartmann in a press statement. "Players will explore the world of XCOM from an immersive new perspective and experience firsthand the fear and tension of this gripping narrative ride."

The X-COM series was begun in 1994 by Mythos with UFO: Enemy Unknown, blending base management, research and production with turn-based combat. The series was re-released on Steam and other outlets after 2K owner Take-Two picked up the rights.

Rumours had swirled since 2007 that BioShock creator Irrational Games would revive the franchise--which studio head Ken Levine has described as "sort of like my first love"--and resumes indicated that former Irrational studio 2K Australia was involved.

There's no word yet on when XCOM is scheduled to be released.





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  • Here's how this is gonna go down.

    - Just to mess with us, the mandatory tutorial is going to be a rail shooter where an FBI agent encounters some aliens. Leads to a crash site somehow. There he encounters an XCOM team. XCOM is a secret UN thing like before but even less powerful and very decentralized -- Only rich nations have XCOM bases, and they share research and intel but otherwise act independently. Part of the plot is uniting them, and in-game this is represented by gaining more bases, and eventually the ability to choose locations and build them from scratch.

    - Base screen is a globe map, otherwise pretty similar to the old games. Hire and fire scientists, engineers, and soldiers, plan research and production, buy gear and equip dudes, standard stuff.

    - Standard missions (crash site investigations, whatever else) are whatever they are. Your FBI guy always leads the troops personally. Work it into the tutorial that he was a former infantry officer or something, and now for some reason he's in charge of the US XCOM project. At this point, they can really do whatever they want, but I'm thinking a heavy Rainbow 6 influence but less hardcore.

    - Some research will open special missions. These are sometimes solo sometimes not, can vary from almost all plot to sneaking to helicopter fights to more or less normal squad tactical combat. Of course success advances the plot and brings more powerful aliens to the party.

    - Eventually, if you can learn the enemy's secrets before they crush you, just maybe you can find a way.... X-COM, Bitches!