Reboots are popping up more and more in video games, with both the upcoming Twisted Metal and Crystal Dynamic’s Tomb Raider among those shown off at this year’s E3. XCOM, a game developed by 2K Marin, is another title that is taking the reboot route, but those familiar with the series already know that they’re taking a much more drastic approach when it comes to the actual gameplay.
The game was announced last year at E3 2010, but has seen minimal press up until it was shown off again during this year’s E3. Thanks to the folks at 2K Games we now have a new trailer for XCOM, as well as a bundle of screenshots to get an idea of what the game will offer.
The original game, X-COM: UFO Defense, was released for PCs in 1994 and then a year later on the PlayStation. The game is not only a critically acclaimed strategy game, but is sometimes cited as one of the best video games of all time. It is well known for its (at the time) revolutionary AI, as well as its deep and engaging strategy mechanics.
After the game’s first sequel, the franchise began to veer from the strategy gameplay of UFO Defense and hasn’t looked back. Since then, the series has tried the real time strategy, space combat simulation, and third-person shooter genres, but has never returned to the greatness of the game that started it all. Nevertheless, XCOM appears to offer a fun experience and is worth taking a look at. Check out the new trailer for a sneak peek of the action:
Based on the trailer, the graphics don’t look to be pushing the envelope, but the style is very appealing. The premise of mixing aliens and craziness into a normal setting is not necessarily unique, but is hard not to love.
I’d describe the upcoming game as Destroy All Humans! meets Homefront, mixing the out-of-place feel of aliens in 1950’s/1960’s America with an FPS driven by a serious story. XCOM takes place in 1962 somewhere around Elkhart, Indiana and puts the player into the shoes of Special Agent William Carter, charged with defeating the other-worldly forces in order to prevent human extinction. In addition to an interesting premise, the gameplay itself will be giving players more than a few ways to wage war against the alien threat:
“. . . 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.”
The idea of stealing the alien’s technology and using it against them is a trademark of the series and offers exciting opportunities for players. The developer is also pushing other features such as a tactical mode that lets the player command other agents — a throwback to the strategic roots of the series.
For more insight into the reboot, take a look at the gallery of screenshots below:
The images definitely give off the ‘aliens in Main Street, USA’ vibe, and if XCOM can provide a solid story and competent shooter alongside its interesting theme, it will be a game to watch out for.
What do you think about XCOM and 2K Marin deciding to go the FPS route?
XCOM will be available March 6, 2012 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.