XCOM

XCOM Preview for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3PC
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XCOM screenshot
XCOM screenshot

Before heading out for the demo mission, we headed down to XCOM's research department to collect a new toy. This area resembled a cross between Q's hideout in a James Bond film, and something you might expect to find in Half Life. The chief scientist shows off a new weapon that resembled a glass flask filled with black goo; when hurled at a test dummy, the container exploded into a shower of flames. Devices like these can only be discovered if you've made the effort to gather evidence and alien materials from alien encounters, and even then you'll have to be sparing in the use of these advanced gadgets, as ammo is limited. Carter can manually change his load-out by visiting the armoury, where weapons sit ready and waiting on wooden wracks. For the demo mission, the player chose a pump-action shotgun and a lightning-spewing prototype gun.

After heading back to the map in the main room, the player was presented with a choice of three assignments, each taking place in a different US State. The E3 demonstrator chose to undertake a rescue mission in California; someone handed over a typed briefing - a held, in-game object rather than a menu screen - while we listened to an accompanying recording of the initial distress call: a terrified young woman babbling down the line before screaming and being suddenly cut-off. The voice acting here was excellent, recalling the drama and overall quality of the audio logs in BioShock. There was clearly no time to waste, so the player headed back to their car at the entrance to the base, where two other agents were already waiting.

Oddly enough, the action that followed was initially quite reminiscent of that bit in Modern Warfare 2 where you fight the Russians in a leafy American suburb. The player showed up in a quaint looking street of low-rise houses, all decked out in a vibrant colour scheme that makes everything look a bit kitsch. There didn't appear to be anyone about at first, but the peace was suddenly disturbed by the sound of someone screaming for help. Carter and his two buddies headed into a yard, stumbling across a damaged kennel, covered in black slime, and the ravaged remains of a dog. A few seconds later, they discovered the smouldering corpse of a man, also covered in the gloop. At the prompting of one of the other agents, Carter takes a photo of the victim - evidence that will assist researchers back at the XCOM labs.

It didn't take long before we caught our first glimpse of the aliens themselves - large blobs of black pus, rolling around in the street. Despite the player's efforts to blast them with his shotgun, the goo-bags proved to be quite nimble, avoiding Carter's shots and causing him to damage several nearby vehicles. We gave chase down the road, towards the open door of another house… and at that point things started to get really grim.

As we approached the home, a man in a white shirt stumbled out, burbled a desperate plea for help, and then vomited his guts onto the driveway. It was at this point that I finally understood what 2K is going for with the bright colours and borderline-cute stylings: it's supposed to look a bit quaint and safe, because that way you get a much greater impact when the nastiness starts. The developers go to great lengths to recreate the cosy, idealistic stereotype of 50s America, and then they smash it to bits with a big Alien hammer. The combat that followed the death of Mr Whiteshirt was utterly chaotic, as Carter and his chums chased the blobs through the interior of the wrecked home. It felt a lot like the wanton carnage of the Ghostbusters films, only it wasn't remotely funny. In fact, it was really quite disturbing.

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8 Comments

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Endless's Avatar

Endless

Would have preferred XCOM: interceptor remake myself :)
Posted 22:12 on 21 December 2010
Queenhunter's Avatar

Queenhunter

I still do not know what to make of it-after seeing trailer- I always thought and hoped for at least a remake of Enemy Unknown or mine as UFO defense.With updated graphics and such.still have the orig. DOS Discs and play them occ.

the orig. was such a great game. Just update and expand it and I would be thrilled. Recently had the thought of creating 3d models of orig. type craft
and creating a short film.Just found out about this while looking for references to model. thanks for the posting.
Posted 21:21 on 21 December 2010
Bloodstorm's Avatar

Bloodstorm

It is the same universe as the RTS, it's just and FPS which has REALLY pissed off fans of the old games.
Posted 02:57 on 18 June 2010
Mr_Ninjutsu's Avatar

Mr_Ninjutsu

This actually rather interesting! (Honestly? I actually thought this was an RTS game from the sound of name lol) Reminds me of Resistance 2. Which is only a good thing.
Posted 23:13 on 17 June 2010
scaz2244's Avatar

scaz2244

never heard of this game until a couple of months ago sounds relly good and the trailer looks great love the 1950s style of it
Posted 23:10 on 17 June 2010
Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk

Added to the Big List o' Gameage. Bloody hell the future is getting expensive!
Posted 15:38 on 17 June 2010
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

Looking forward to this
Posted 14:20 on 17 June 2010
rbevanx's Avatar

rbevanx

Awesome preview, also extra kudos for writing it during E3 and still being very well written.

I have never played the original but I had heared they were remaking this and I was "sort" of interested.
But after reading that and the tease at the end of "you make the story" sounds fantastic to me.
The screenshots look good as well and remind me of some of the old American Sci-Fi films with a mixture of films like 2001: A Space Oddysey and the Ninth Configuration, as well as a living breathing world like in Half Life 2.

Really looking forward to this game now.
Posted 13:49 on 17 June 2010

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Release Date: 01/01/2012
Developer: 2K Marin
Publisher: 2K Games
Genre: First Person Shooter
Rating: TBC
Site Rank: 5,395 91
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