Things are not looking good for 2K Games‘ forthcoming first person shooter XCOM. After looking somewhat appealing at E3 2011, the title began a slow decline that included the announcement of an official reboot of the XCOM property — the game fans had been clamoring for the whole time — and a delay into 2013. Needless to say, 2K Games was going to have to go back to the drawing board if they were going to turn all of these negatives into a positive.

And that’s what 2K appears to be doing: as it is rumored that XCOM is now being developed as a squad-based, third person shooter. Gone is the first person shooter concept, traded for a more SOCOM or Star Wars: Republic Commando-esque title.

The rumor comes to us by way of Kotaku, who have come across a purported survey for XCOM that includes some third person screenshots of the game. While the screenshots show that the 1960s setting  has yet to be tampered with, the perspective and gameplay options appear to be undergoing significant retooling. If developer 2K Marin (the folks behind BioShock 2) are turning to gamers for help in finding the right tone for XCOM, that suggests they have finally heard detractors’ comments about this game.

In addition to a new look for XCOM, the survey suggests the title might become a downloadable-only offering, as it no longer mentions the PC in connection with the game. As fans will attest, true XCOM is best experienced with a mouse and keyboard, but this new variation apparently wants to adapt the gameplay style of a Ghost Recon.

XCOM Third Person Shooter Rumor

As well, the survey hints that XCOM could only retail for $40, not the typical $60 price tag that accompanies major releases. It’s all a series of feeler questions, but they do suggest that 2K Marin is looking to fundamentally change their approach to XCOM not just in its gameplay options, but also in its marketing and retail positioning.

At this point we still have no idea if the game will ever see the light of day, even though 2K Marin is working diligently to “improve” their product.

How would you feel about XCOM as a third person, squad-based shooter? Should 2K Games continue trying to retool the game, or cut their losses?

XCOM is rumored to be targeting a 2013 release on Xbox 360, PC, and PS3, but these new rumors put most of that information in question.

Source: Kotaku

Follow me on Twitter @ANTaormina