The X-Com series started off with a bang, 1993’s UFO: Enemy Unknown (Also known as X-Com: UFO Defense) was a massive hit that has truly stood the test of time, having been named the #1 PC game of all time by IGN… twice (Most recently in 2009). After three successful turn based strategy games Microprose decided to change the formula behind their game by making a space based combat/strategy game, followed by a run of the mill first person shooter… effectively killing the franchise.
Now nine years later 2K games, specifically 2K Marin (The developers who brought us Bioshock 2) are making a play to revitalize a PC classic by bringing XCOM to the next-gens.
In 2K Marin’s latest game, you take on the role of FBI Agent William Carter and are charged with studying and defending against the alien threats that have begun to plague the US. In stark contrast to the horror of Rapture, XCOM takes place in picture perfect 1950’s America.
In an attempt to incorporate both of their previous gameplay styles XCOM will be a mix of strategy and combat. The strategic element comes into play in the form of Research. Using a camera and a similar mechanic to Bioshock 2 players will take photographs of the aliens and their technology, this in turn will reward the player with new weapons and information about the alien threat to aid in your investigations.
Investigation plays a large role in XCOM, you’ll track down leads and eventually enter a large area in search of alien phenomena, once in the map players will scour the area for clues that will hopefully lead you to the alien menace.
From what we’ve seen of combat it seams like a HUD is non-existent, but we’ve only seen a single trailer so it’s unclear whether one will be in the final product. In another parallel to Bioshock, it appears that the player will be treated to a variety of weaponry, ranging from a standard pump-action to a grenade in the form of a “Blobatov” which is used to burn the ink-like blob creatures we’ve seen so far.
Hopefully 2Khas what it takes to bring a PC classic into the future… or the past, and judging by their previous games it’s safe to say they have a good chance of pulling it off.