Rumor: XCOM being reworked into third-person tactical shooter

With all eyes on Firaxis' upcoming XCOM: Enemy Unknown game, our memories of 2K Marin's first-person take on the franchise are becoming a bit hazy. After countless internal reboots, the subtitle-free XCOM is currently slated for a "fiscal 2014" release.

While Enemy Unknown is designed for fans of the original series, many were miffed by the first-person take of 2K Marin's new adventure. It appears that the BioShock 2 developer may be moving away from that direction, exploring the possibility of turning the game into a squad-based third-person tactical shooter.

According to Kotaku, new screenshots of the game have surfaced in a recent marketing survey, suggesting that the game has received a significant retool. While the 60s setting and art is intact, it appears the gameplay is "similar to SOCOM or Republic Commando, with the player in command of a team of agents, which you can order around the map to perform various actions." While a late-in-development switch in genre is disconcerting, fans will probably take comfort in hearing that it certainly sounds more like what an XCOM game should be.

The survey also raises the possibility that the new XCOM game could follow Ubisoft's footsteps with I Am Alive. The French publisher took its similarly beleaguered game concept, retooled it, and released it as a downloadable title. In the marketing survey received by Kotaku, it appears 2K Games is mulling over a $30 downloadable release, versus a standard $60 retail release.

A 2K spokesperson told the site: "We have not made any new announcements regarding the XCOM title currently in development at 2K Marin, and it is our policy not to comment on rumors or speculation."