What Came First, The XCOM Or The Game?

I paid a visit to 2K Marin's Canberra offices last week to have a chat with the developers of the upcoming XCOM reboot for the 360 and PC. And there was really only one question I wanted to ask.

As a big fan of the old series, and someone more than a little disappointed to see the turn it had taken, I wanted to know what had came first for 2K? Was this already a pre-existing game concept that's simply had the XCOM brand slapped on it, or did the XCOM licence come first, and this game was built around it?

Turns out it's a bit of both.

"We've been working on this game on and off for around five years now", Jonathan Pelling, creative director at the studio, tells us. "Before BioShock 2, before BioShock."

"It gave us a chance to implement a lot of ideas in the first-person shooter space we've wanted to introduce for some time now. Make this game a new kind of FPS, something that's never been tried in the genre before."

"So when the chance came to use the XCOM licence, it was a great opportunity to take those game ideas and blend everything together, taking everything we thought was important from the old X-Com to make something new for those who had never played that game before."

It's not an answer that will satisfy angry old-time fans hoping for a more literal update, but in the long run, I think that may work in the game's favour. The demo I saw - which is the same one Brian saw at E3 - doesn't feel like an XCOM game, not one tiny bit.

I didn't sit there noticing homages to the old games, or areas where I could see a direct lineage. This is a completely new game and a completely new experience for the series, one so new and removed from what we associate with the franchise that I think most people will quickly forget it's called "XCOM" at all and will appreciate (or despise, if that's your thing) it for what it is, not what came before it.


Comments

    I think that fans will be even more pissed off...

    I played the old games, and loved them.

    I played the 'new' UFO games (I know they're not really Xcom games) and ABHORRED them. They were awful.

    I'm all open to this game coming out and being potentially good I hope.

    I'd love them to re-release a hi def version of Xcom 1 and 2 on XBL and PSN, I mean, if they could that's the ideal place to do it really...

      The ideal place wouldn't be Steam, the gaming service with probably the largest demographic that are familiar with the original games and also featuring a mouse-and-keyboard interface that these games were designed around using?

        Beat me to it Alex, it's the generation we're in now.
        This doesn't apply to weresmurf cause he played the old games but I think ALOT of new younger gamers want the old remade so they can get in on us old school crowd of gamers that were playing the old back when they where new.
        Lol I remember racing to the shops to get Sonic 2 when it first came out.. sigh...

          Essentially the reason I say XBL and PSN, is that if they did release them on those networks, STEAM is a given. Sorry I should have clarified that for sure. It perplexes me as to why they haven't raided the old Microprose back catalogue for the original 3 games, they were brilliant games for their time and retooled for our day could be brilliant again.

          I mean, the interception phase could now be animated in 3D, we could see the actual dogfight whilst selecting the type of interception etc. Not actually fighting as such ourselves but you know...

          The fact is that the control scheme offered by UFO Enemy Unknown, Terror from the Deep and Apocalypse lends itself very well to both Mouse/Keyboard and Controller very well indeed. Turnbased strategy usually does. Let's just hope someone, somewhere gets the bright idea to do this...

    It's still, no matter what they say, NOT AN XCOM GAME. And that's really what gets me about it. I feel personally offended that they're trying to sucker me into buying it by saying "LOOK! XCOM IS BACK!" when I can see full well that the game has absolutely NOTHING to do with XCOM. They're insulting my intelligence. I frankly don't care whether the game will be any good or not, I have quite enough good games to play already and this one has nothing that will interest me in it more than any other FPS. Now an ACTUAL new installment of XCOM on the other hand...

    In what way is a it a 'little bit of both'.

    They were making a period set alien invasion FPS, they bought the Xcom license after several years of development to get people excited about a project that otherwise looks a bit unspectacular.

    In no way shape or form is an Xcom game from what I have seen so far. It's not a reboot or a reimagining, its pure name dropping.

    I think they've seriously underestimated the affectionate nostalgia for the original game in trying to shoe horn their game into the license. The fact its an FPS is a bad start and it gets worse from there.

      I think it's a little unfair to say X-Com can never be a FPS, if you played a commander in the ground missions in FPS giving orders to your squad to hold positions and investigate things I feel it could really work. But I also want the Geoscape and Base building from the other games in there too.

      But yeah one dude kicking alien butt, not very X-Com. And from what I've seen that's this game. But I've heard there is R&D in there so maybe it will be a good game, just not an X-Com game.

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