E3 2011 XCOM
Players: 1+ Player Game | Genre: FPS
Last year, 2K Marin debuted the re-imagining of the XCOM franchise to us in a closed door session. We were impressed and ready for more. Unfortunately, we have had a wait a while to see more. Now that we have seen more, we can’t wait to play the final version.
XCOM was originally a strategy game. When gamers learned of the series being transformed into a First Person Shooter, eyes rolled, fans cried out in agony, and nobody seemed willing to give it a chance... until they saw the demo. That changed the minds of skeptics.
XCOM: The Outsiders will give players insight into how the Agency began. You play as William Carter, the head honcho of the XCOM Agency. The game takes place in 1962 and you are tasked with keeping aliens away from terrorizing our nation and its citizens. That is where Carter comes in. As the head of the division, you have to assemble teams to tackle any alien crisis that come up. In the Closed Doors session, we find such an encounter in a formerly quiet American suburb.
Taking its cue from the classic Strategy XCOM titles, Carter has to select a team for the task and send them into action. All of your agents have slots for two different powers and perks. You also must then select the mission by looking at the map of the United states. As we learned last year, players will be able to pursue story or side missions. If a player ignores any missions, there is a chance that they will fail on their own.
As the player arrives to the story mission we selected, the streets are completely empty. We looked into the military camp and it was empty.... that is until we found a lone soldier with burn marks all over him. Around the corner, in the next room, another solider was there, along with more bodies. Quickly, he screamed out and exploded into a blue crystal form of an alien.
We took out that alien but as we did so, it triggered an alert so other aliens knew what just occurred. Things get worse as the alerted aliens possessed a shield to assist in blocking our guns. This allowed 2K Marin to show off the tactical options players have from our Alien Research Group. We could then disrupt their shields so Carter, and the team we selected, could go in and take out the aliens.
An example of other things you will do in XCOM is to capture alien technology. This is critical as it will be needed to help you in missions. Remember, we are using 1962 technology and need to learn as much about the aliens technology as possible--to put us on equal footing with them. In order to capture alien technology, players will need to weaken a device in battle. We were shown a cannon that we weakened and were given a choice: redeploy it for our side or send it back to R&D. This gives the player some choice in what they need during a particular mission.
XCOM: The Outsiders is coming to PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 on March 6, 2012. We full anticipate the game having a Mature rating for content. While the game may only be suitable for older audiences, it should provide a ton of fun if you love the idea of battling aliens in the 1960’s.
We can’t wait to see more of XCOM.