XCOM is the reinvention of a franchise approaching 20-years-old. This first-person, strategy, squad-based shooter is 2K Marin’s, the studio behind BioShock 2, shot at reinvigorating the series with a brand new take.
Of course, moving from an top-down, turn-based, strategy genre to the world of the shooter, regardless of its tactical merit, would completely flip any game on its head. That would likely be the reason why the trailer you see above, posted to the official 2K Games account, is scoring so many dislikes. The X-COM (yes, hyphen intended) crowd is a diehard one. They represent a cult following that stayed with the X-COM franchise through both its massive success and its obscurity.
Take the game they know and love, flip it over and you get a reaction.
Still, I was a fan of the original property. And I was able the catch this demo first-hand at E3 last June. I may be speaking out against the herd of X-COM supporters by saying this, but I absolutely loved the fresh take with XCOM. Yes, it’s another shooter… not really.
The perspective is a shooter, sure. The core mechanics make it a shooter, yes. And, honestly, 2K Marin knows how to make shooters. This all makes sense. But the game’s strategic elements, its locale, its setting, its intelligence make it more than a shooter.
I took two things away from the XCOM demo you should be watching above: first, the aliens aren’t your standard breed of goop and slime. Second, I absolutely love the period of time this game happens in. The 50s/60s feel, the tone of the characters, the manner of the weaponry, that all feels wonderful. Then add in the teaser we get at the end of the clip?
It may be a departure from what was once one of the greatest franchises ever made; but, me? I loved the demo for XCOM.