XCOM – Reprised

The man who nearly had a blog has pointed out an article on Blue’s News which reveals that a new XCOM game is in the early stages of development. The XCOM series is one of my all time favourite game franchises, and it’s one of the few that I still own all of the games from so I was naturally excited. There’s already a website up for the game, but there’s only a single screenshot so far, and the blub on the page is already causing my head to shake:

XCOM is the re-imagining of the classic tale of humanity’s struggle against an unknown enemy that puts players directly into the shoes of an FBI agent tasked with identifying and eliminating the growing threat. True to the roots of the franchise, players will be placed in charge of overcoming high-stake odds through risky strategic gambits coupled with heart-stopping combat experiences that pit human ingenuity – and frailty – against a foe beyond comprehension. By setting the game in a first-person perspective, players will be able to feel the tension and fear that comes with combating a faceless enemy that is violently probing and plotting its way into our world.

So it’s going to be a a rip off of the X-Files then, and crossed with Half-Life probably?

I don’t know about you, but that seems like a total let down. Sure I may be misinterpreting the blurb, and there’s not a lot of information to go on of course, but it seems to me that this won’t be a first person shooter in the traditional sense. Nor will it have anything particularly to do with the original XCOM franchise. The player is an FBI agent tasked with identifying and eliminating an alien threat to Earth rather than the commander of a special force dedicated to combating the alien menace.  I take it the developers have done the usual and thrown the original game in the re-imaginatron 2000 and this is the result. No doubt it will also be “gritty”, “realistic”, and have an “innovative control mechanism”.

I’m not at all enthused about the whole project, but out of fairness to 2K and the XCOM franchise I’m going to reserve judgement on the project until I see something concrete examples of in game screen shots and know a bit more abotu the game itself. Speaking about screen shots, there is one on the page and it looks decidedly the wrong side of budget game graphics, but I suppose it’s early days yet.

This isn’t the first time that an FPS has been attempted in the XCOM universe either. Those of you with long memories will remember XCOM: Alliance which was the great white hope of the XCOM franchise. It sadly sank without a trace along with the whole franchise at the end of the nineties.

At least one good thing has come out of this announcement though. I’ve been inspired to dust off my old notes for the xcom TV series scripts that I was working on ages ago.

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