X-COM making a comeback as a FPS: Ready the Blaster Launcher!
Back in the 90’s Microprose created one of the pillars of gaming as we know it today. Although turn based strategy is slowly fading, at one point it was the most efficient way to allow players to absorb loads of battlefield information and make decisions. It was, at its best the way Dungeons and Dragons was supposed to be played on a computer.
For years I’ve wondered what was to become of the series, conjuring scenarios where today’s gaming trends meet the nostalgia of 10 years back. X-Com had a lot to offer to everybody: it was a simulator that combined turn based strategy, resource management and a bit of “my stats are better than yours” gambling with the chase scenes for downing UFO’s with ships. Bringing back turn based strategy would be a pain as the genre ultimately died when MMO’s became mainstream so lo and behold, the guys from Bioshock are developing “XCOM” as a first person shooter. Now hold on a minute, knowing how the guys from Bioshock work, “shooter” is a loose term. 2K studios are masters of visual storytelling and they’ve got nothing more to prove. The ability to break down a relatively complex game such as UFO: Enemy Unknown into a first person experience does have its challenges. I once thought that the franchise needed to go the online route, still a FPS and making it free to play for everyone. But what 2K brings to the table is something more visceral. I imagine myself more than 10 years ago playing X-Com, and the combined sensation of awesomeness and fear blowing up Ethereals and Chrysallids with the Blaster Launcher can only be replicated into something that meets you head on by today’s standards. Hence the FPS route.
I’m excited. XCOM will be making its debut on the PC and XBOX 360.