Did you ever play an X-COM game? You probably have and just didn’t know it, as the most successful iteration of the series was also the debut game, but it was more commonly known as UFO: Enemy Unknown, a somewhat eerie and psychologically horrifying title back in ’94 when it was released. It has since gone on to become one of the most highly regarded video games of all time.
So I guess it kind of makes sense that one of the larger video game developers would eventually find it worthwhile to revisit the ol’ X-COM well, in this case that OG dev being 2K Marin, one of the many development studios attached to the BioShock 2 credits (and only along side series creator Irrational Games for the PS3 port of the original BioShock). This also kind of makes the old rumors about an X-COM revival true, just with less Boston’s Ken Levine and Irrational Games and more of Novato‘s 2K Marin.
The biggest twist is that 2K will be taking the traditionally turn-based tactical series and be turning it into a first-person shooter for the PC and Xbox 360. The renamed XCOM will be “true to the roots of the franchise” as 2K puts it, placing the player in the shoes of an FBI agents with the overwhelming task of “overcoming high-stake odds through risky strategic gambits.” Sounds a bit buzz-wordy, but 2K also says that XCOM will pit “human ingenuity—and frailty—against a foe beyond comprehension.”
This, for the most part, actually sounds like a good idea. The ingenuity part has yet to be seen, but BioShock 2 proved that these developers can get something as abstract as an intangible human quality like frailty to come across quite clearly to a gamer. 2K president Chrisoph Hartmann recognizes this in his press release, so hopefully this means we can expect more intense, wicked-suspenseful storytelling with XCOM. Who knows, maybe this could be a Fallout-esque turn of the franchise, changing the traditionally turn-based gameplay into a successful, more action-oriented style.
Oh, and then pick up the game from Steam.