2K Marin's troubled first-person shooter XCOM has been transformed into a downloadable, third-person shooter, rumours have suggested.

Judging by alleged new screenshots of the game (published by Kotaku), the game has been reworked as a third-person squad-based game where players command a team of agents around suburban battlefields overrun by extra-terrestrials.

Kotaku says that the game appears "similar to SOCOM or Republic Commando".

The screenshots allegedly formed part of a marketing survey which, Kotaku suggests, also asked participants "how they'd feel if [XCOM] was made available as a $30 downloadable title, as opposed to a $60 retail game".

XCOM was officially announced at E3 2010 and dated for release during 2011.

However, the game was hit by multiple delays and is currently expected to launch between April 2013 and March 2014.

2K told Kotaku that it had "not made any new announcements regarding the XCOM title currently in development at 2K Marin, and it is our policy not to comment on rumours or speculation."

XCOM: Enemy Unknown, a modern update of the extra-terrestrial strategy series, is due for release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC next Friday, October 12.