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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  • Irrational Games and 2K missed the point. For the past decade, When gamers asked for a new X-COM game. We did not ask you to create a FPS using the X-COM logo, we asked you to create a X-COM strategy game like the original. The FPS you are building might be a good game, but its not what we asked for.

    As was mentioned above: Not every game needs to be a FPS or a 3rd Person shooter.

    This was done for one reason only: money. The suits in Corporate figured that the FPS genre was a much more lucrative business model especially with all those 13 year olds and their PS3 consoles out there. The trouble is that the original X-COM came out before many of those kids were even born so the X-COM name means nothing to them. How many kids today remember Microprose?

    The ones they pissed off were people who were kids/young adults in 1993 who are now grown adults. As one of these adults I wanted a chance to revisit a classic gaming masterpiece of my youth, not what is obviously a quick cash in of the original developers work. How truly short-sighted of them.

    Unless its a revolutionary FPS, I probably wont buy this.





  • Granted, there isn't much information about the game at this time, but why would they even want to attach the name X-COM to an FPS project? Sure the name 'X-COM' has some marketing clout, but the kind of credibility it has is tied heavily to the strategic gameplay style of the original versions. Do they expect some older gamer who loved the original X-COM games to spot a new 2010 X-COM game on the shelf and go home and be thrilled with the fact that it is an FPS?

    The people for which the name 'X-COM' has credibility will be annoyed that it is an FPS, and be disappointed that gameplay is nothing like what they believe an X-COM game should be. X-COM won't mean anything to the mass market they are clearly trying to appeal to by making an FPS.

    None of this means they can't make a fun FPS game set in the X-COM universe ... but I'm not sure why they're eager to plaster the name 'X-COM' on this.

  • If Levine's game adheres to a squad based tactical experience like Rainbow Six/Operation Flashpoint/ARMA II style gameplay this would be fine. But if this turns into just a straight shooter with NPCs beside you, then why even call it X-Com? Just call it F.E.A.R., I mean S.P.A.C.E. Threat or something. At first blush, this looks like a simple attempt to cash in on the brand name.

    This kind of thing rubs me the wrong way for some reason--similar to the re-imagined "Clash of the Titans" movie. It bore zero resemblance to the first film in any way besides three or four characters and should have been called something else like "Gods vs. Men" or something. Whether or not you thought it was better or not is beside the point.

    I see a lot of negative backlash coming if this game ends up doing the same thing. :(