XCOM Preview for Xbox 360

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XCOM screenshot
XCOM screenshot

While a lot of the atmosphere stemmed from the trashed, blood-splattered ruin of the home itself, it was the blobs that really stole the show. An awful lot of sci-fi games simply give us aliens that look a bit like humans, only slightly different. The blobs, by contrast, felt really otherworldly - with that freaky otherness quality that Silent Hill does so well. As the blobs were zapped and blasted, their inky substance was sprayed all over the surrounding scenery. After being badly wounded they then seemed to grow a pair of white lung-like organs which began to madly pump and throb; as this happened, the creature began to re-form itself, with streams of black liquid slithering along the ground to join the main body. At this point the other two field agents started yelling at Carter to finish the creature off. The only way to definitively kill the blobs, it would seem, is to target the white lungs: a successful hit here punctures the organ, causing white gas to spray out into the room with a loud hiss. It's a deeply odd sight, and it looks horrible.

The four or five blobs in the house put up quite a fight, but eventually Carter and his colleagues were able to put them down for good - allowing them to proceed upstairs to find the lone, terrified survivor, who was immediately evacuated. The mission appeared to be over, but this wasn't quite the case - because in XCOM, you've also got to leave the area once a job is completed. What with this being an E3 demo and all, I figured that something pretty big was going to happen on the way back to the car - bigger, at any rate, than one of the agents simply saying, "Ooh, that was scary, wasn't it? Oh well, job done. Shall we go get a McDonalds?"

As Carter and his pals headed downstairs, a sudden force caused every window in the house to smash. Stepping out into the garden, we soon caught sight of something strange in the air - a swirling, invisible vortex, sucking up nearby rocks and crackling with blue electricity. A simple column-like shape appeared in the middle of this anomaly, followed by several other shapes that span around and shifted formation to form something resembling a spoked wheel. And then it attacked - blasting Carter's two colleagues with some kind of ray that made them disintegrate into white ash. The player dashed down the road, desperately letting rip with the shotgun, to no apparent effect. The alien craft had morphed into two concentric rings by this point, and it appeared to be gaining on the player. The ship began to charge up for another devastating attack, and then…

And then the demo ended, leaving me with a smile on my face and a whole bunch of questions. Unfortunately there was no time for a Q and A session, and as soon as the presentation ended we were herded out of the booth. I did, however, manage to fire one question at the presenter from 2K: Is it possible to save the two field agents, or were their deaths a scripted event?

"The mission outcome is always based on how you play," came the cryptic reply. I pressed the developer again, but he merely smiled and repeated his answer, word for word. It was an infuriating end to the session, although appropriately enough I felt a bit like Fox Mulder attempting to squeeze information out of a shady Government operative. No matter. For now, I'm deeply impressed with what I've seen of XCOM - and when the opportunity presents itself, you can believe that I'll be pushing hard for answers. Remember kids, the truth is out there.

XCOM is due for release on Xbox 360 and PC in 2011

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User Comments

Endless's Avatar


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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: 3,679 1069
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