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XCOM Debut Trailer and Preview

FrankT

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Jan 18, 2007
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http://pc.ign.com/dor/objects/14252327/x-com-project/videos/e32010_xcom_e3trailer_60910.html;jsessionid=3s3venh6b5pl8?show=hi

http://pc.ign.com/articles/109/1096051p1.html








E3 2010: XCOM Preview
Forget little grey men, 2K Marin's XCOM reboot shatters the American Dream with an all-new threat... and it's looking hot.


FBI special agent William Carter pulls up, stopping his car in the picturesque, tree-lined suburban street. His surroundings are the very vision of archetypal 1950s America – modern houses, well-kept lawns and white picket fences. But something isn't right. The scene seems frozen, eerily quiet. There's no activity in the streets. No kids playing or selling lemonade. No guys working on their cars in their driveway. Something terrible lurks beneath this silence.

Carter pulls out his map, and checks his destination. The distress call intercepted by XCOM (or Extraterrestrial Combat Unit) came from a house in the area, so that's where Carter and his two offsiders are headed. They begin making their way down the road, but a shout for help rings out from a nearby house, and Carter takes off, following a slimy black trail that coats the ground. It's too late. One of the inhabitants of the house is lying face-down, covered in black goo. It's all over for him, but Carter takes a photograph, which he'll take back to the XCOM Ops team to help their research.

Gathering samples, evidence and information will be crucial to succeeding in this reboot of the XCOM series, as the enemies you'll face aren't the Greys you might expect, but an array of utterly alien life forms whose actions and motives simply aren't signposted the way enemies in first person shooters often are. In this game, shooting first and asking questions later won't always be a wise option.

Moving on, we glimpse our first enemy in action at the gruesome scene of a car crash, where a number of quivering black blobs are moving across a lawn and into a house. Thankfully, Carter and his crew are equipped to deal with them. They've come across the blobs before, and for this mission are packing equipment that can take them down. In this case, that's a standard issue shotgun, a specially developed lightning gun and the 'Blobatov' – a glass grenade with black goo swashing about inside it, which functions very much like a Molotov cocktail.



Victims of the blobs. As a side note, I never understood why suspenders went out of fashion. Such a good look!
As they reach the house a man stumbles out, spewing black muck all over the ground before collapsing. Inside, chaos reigns, with blobs moving on every surface, pulsing with a vicious sense of purpose, pursuing anything that moves. One leaps up onto one of Carter's back-up agents, tendrils trying to whip around his neck as he desperately fights to hold it off. A blast from the shotgun sends it flying.

In fact, the shotgun seems to do decent damage to these schizophrenic beasts. A few blasts exposes their bulbous core, which can then be shot to finish them off. It's soon clear, however, that there are too many of them, and Carter starts lobbing Blobatovs. Blazing fires soon burn throughout the house, the sound of the flames interspersed with cries of terror, as well as the skittering chitters and unholy roars of the blobs themselves. A few more shotgun blasts help finish the first wave off, but one agent is now down... and they keep coming.

By this stage the once-pristine room with its clean, modern 50s design and rough stone feature walls is covered in goo and badly charred. Time to bring out the big guns. Carter switches to his lightning gun, which can simultaneously fry several blobs at a time thanks to its wide area of attack. It makes short work of the remaining goo-balls in the living area, allowing the team to get to a woman trapped upstairs.

After rescuing the civilian and coming back downstairs, an explosion rocks the house, shattering the windows, sending things clattering to the ground and leaving the player's ears ringing and his vision red. Looking outside, a monolith - the Titan - hovers in the air: its clean, precise lines unreadable, humming with energy. Carter quickly snaps a photo of it as it reconfigures itself into two concentric circles sitting in the air like a giant eye. It's impossible to know what the Titan will do and what it's capable of, and after the organic oozing nightmare that was the blobs, something this utterly foreign and high tech comes as a shock.


The Titan will melt your face off. And the rest of your body.
It seems to draw in energy from its surroundings, sucking fragments of reality itself in towards its core, while a roaring, rushing sound fills the air. Carter's remaining agent steps out from the safety of the house to fire off a few rounds. Big mistake – it fires a ball of matter into the ground, which expands, energy bursting from its seams as it rips him apart before exploding.

There's only one thing for it – getting the hell out there. In XCOM, when you want to withdraw, you've got to make it back to your car, and Carter makes a beeline for it, pausing to turn and fire as he goes, not that the shots seem to have any effect. The Titan tracks him down the street, buzzing and crackling with energy, a vortex of force surrounding it. It attacks, just as Carter reaches his car...

Whether Carter makes it out alive will be entirely up to the player. XCOM will very much be a game where risk must be weighed against reward. Unlike most shooters, it's entirely possible to bail out of a mission at the first sign of trouble. In fact, this is a shooter where running away is a perfectly legitimate strategy – as long as you've gathered some evidence to take back to XCOM's secret base.

It will be learning about each threat that will allow you to overcome it, and the idea is that players will regularly come into contact with foes that are so unknowable at first that facing them would be suicide. Better to find out more about what makes them tick and face them later, when you're better equipped. This cycle of combat following discovery should give XCOM a different rhythm than most shooters, and tie nicely into the gradual unravelling of the mystery at the heart of the game - just who is this alien threat and what the hell is going on?

Importantly, many of the choices players make in XCOM will have consequences. Take the two offsiders that were lost during the demo sequence – from what 2K Marin has told us, these won't be faceless, replaceable grunts, but individuals with distinct traits. As in the original XCOM game, where players grew attached to their men, losing one in this game will be a true blow. To what extent you'll be able to command them in the field remains to be seen, however. We certainly didn't see anything along those lines in the demo, and right now 2K Marin isn't ready to talk about it further.

Fans of the original game, however, can rest easy in the knowledge that this isn't the only element being brought back. The 2K Marin team has a deep respect for Enemy Unknown, and see retaining core aspects of that title as imperative to its mission. As mentioned earlier, the base of operations returns, but instead of a top-down view where new facilities are slotted into place by the player, the operations centre will be navigated in first person, and it's impressively realised. From offices where staff monitor the airwaves for mysterious reports to a large warehouse space where an artefact - the artefact, really, as this is the find that led to the formation of XCOM – is being examined, it promises to be an interesting space to return to between missions.



Meet Angela Weaver, XCOM's Executive Intelligence Officer. A woman in a position of power in the 50s? What is this, bizarre-o-world?
Of course, we've only seen the base on a superficial level. We've visited Mal, XCOM's Chief Engineer and weapons specialist, to find out what new weapon he's cooked up to fight the alien menace, and we've seen the huge map of America, which is where missions that are currently available are posted. What we haven't seen is how all this will be linked with strategic options for the player. We know the base will expand as the game progresses, but we don't know how much control the player will have over that expansion, and whether the player will be able to spend resources hiring different staff members then assigning them to research/investigate various things, as in the original.

We do know, however, that different missions will offer different rewards. Some will be a hunt for Elerium – the substance that powers the alien technology, some will be for cash and some will be research-focused, while still others may simply be to rescue civilians and thus keep the people on your side. Deciding which missions to undertake will be one of the primary choices a player makes, and the missions available will be dynamic, so choosing one mission may see other missions close off by the time you return to base.

In line with the theme of choice, missions will be open-ended. In the sequence we saw the player had an entire neighbourhood to explore. The main objective was set, but beyond that Carter was free to respond to other events as they occurred. This won't be a game with linear, highly scripted missions. As stated before, the end point of a mission is up to the player, while scripted events will be placed dynamically. We imagine that there'll be a big pool the game can draw from, with encounters popping up based on a few factors, such as the level of technology the player has and the decisions they've made up until that point.

Check out incredible new XCOM trailer.

It's an enthralling prospect, and we're excited to see the game in full. 2K Marin may just be able to satisfy the old school fans and the expectations of players weaned on modern shooters alike. And just as BioShock - the series 2K Marin is best known for - presented a world unique to videogames, so too will XCOM. Transplanting the series to the 50s has given the team a rich and quite iconic world to draw from, but by embracing the mythology of the American Dream while simultaneously side-stepping the cliches of alien invasions, XCOM is forging its own path.
 
Oct 3, 2005
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Really cool trailer. Looks nothing like X-COM, though.
And the enemy design is rather curious 'cause it seems like you're fighting The Blob.
 

Bernbaum

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Oct 28, 2007
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Soooooo.... a mix of Bioshock's gunplay with enemies from the X-Files story arc 'Tunguska'.

Fuck, it even uses the 'Century Gothic' font from Bioshock.
 

EatChildren

Currently polling second in Australia's federal election (first in the Gold Coast), this feral may one day be your Bogan King.
Jan 29, 2008
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Looks cool but absolutely nothing like XCOM. Should have been a new IP.

Otherwise, I hope the gunplay isn't as lame as BioShock.
 

EmCeeGramr

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Jun 25, 2005
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FBI special agent William Carter
the first fucking line and it already proves that they don't know what XCOM is


EDIT: And I don't get why they're going with the old-timey setting. Is it to make it like a B-movie? XCOM was planted squarely in the modern near-future. An X-Files setting might work, this is just off.
 

Johann

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Jul 6, 2008
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Kyoufu said:
Looks really cool.

But why is it using the X-COM name? ...
So they can use Elerium as this game's ADAM? You know that rare, water-soluble, alien energy source that is now conveniently found on patio furniture in this game.
 

DaBuddaDa

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Sep 12, 2004
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Trailer protip: dissonant, high-pitched screeching throughout makes dull things seem x-treme.

Black goo fighter 2011.

edit: also, is the whole exploiting 40s and 50s culture in horrible situations shtick is getting stale with anyone else?
 

Lime

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Apr 27, 2008
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EmCeeGramr said:
the first fucking line and it already proves that they don't know what XCOM is


EDIT: And I don't get why they're going with the old-timey setting. Is it to make it like a B-movie? XCOM was planted squarely in the modern near-future. An X-Files setting might work, this is just off.
GODDAMNIT CARTER YOU'RE A LOOSE CANNON! But, my god, do you get the job done!

Seriously though, it looks like TF2. Should've been a new IP.
 
Jun 6, 2004
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trying not to go bitchy cult fanbase fanboy nerd on this but



i need to see more, to see where any of the xcom branding parts come into play

at least with fallout 3, was basically what a real time first person fallout game would be in 2008?.

xcom wasnt....50s throw back? i dunno mebbe its riding the whole "retro 40/50s is teh kewl" wave...


did anyone else think back to tasha yar dying when they say the enemies?

1 thing i didnt like is...how do u know where they start and end? and if they are dead? your shooting big blobs of black ink.... that leave trails of black ink.....
 

EmCeeGramr

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Jun 25, 2005
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So, what are the odds that your character will somehow develop superpowers from the goo and the last half of the game will revolve around that?
 

FunkyPajamas

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EmCeeGramr said:
So, what are the odds that your character will somehow develop superpowers from the goo and the last half of the game will revolve around that?
Booooo, spoiler that shit man! :lol
No_Style said:
That's the vibe I was getting as well. It looked like BioShock sans the Rapture and plasmids.
Bioshock gunplay, Condemned CSI-type environment/hazard/enemy scanning, and as EmCeeGramr put it: alien fusion with psy powers later on. Ohhhh boy.
EmCeeGramr said:
2K Marin: Developing Other People's Franchises With 1950s Art-Styles, TODAY!
Maybe they should do the next Halo.
 

EmCeeGramr

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Jun 25, 2005
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No_Style said:
That's the vibe I was getting as well. It looked like BioShock sans the Rapture and plasmids.
That was the exact thing I thought once I saw the lightning gun and the funky grenades.

"This is BioShock, above water, with aliens."


2K Marin: Developing Other People's Franchises With 1950s Art-Styles, TODAY!
 

V_Ben

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May 8, 2009
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That looked like space bioshock: the war of space - featuring space.

kinda neat though.
 

Cohsae

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Dec 6, 2008
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Nonononononononononononononononononono
What the shit is this? It sure as fuck ain't X-COM.
Since when was X-COM set in the 50s?* Since when was every alien a blob of shit? Why call this X-COM? It just doesn't make sense.

*Possibly since Fallout 3 was a hit?
 
Apr 27, 2009
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I love the setting/era. I only hope they have more than just FPS combat. I pray for randomized encounters / tech trees and management of resources.

I will get this if all of my scientist wear heavy black framed glasses, wear suits under their lab coat and are constantly smoking while working on explosives and artifacts. In fact, they should have 2 cigarettes lit at all times.
 

Barakov

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Sep 30, 2006
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Looked good but yeah, doesn't need the XCOM name. Then again XCOM sounds better than LEAVEITTOBEAVERSHOCK.
 

Nemo

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Sep 10, 2007
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Looking good, keeping my eye on this one for sure. Was getting a bit tired of shooters but the setting alone has me interested
 

Dipswitch

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May 14, 2009
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Looked alright. Very atmospheric. Don't see any resemblance to the original XCom though, so it's a shame they felt the need to make that association when the game probably would have worked perfectly fine as a new IP.