2012 just got even more confusing, with 2K Games announcing yet another game based on the X-COM franchise. Perhaps developed in response to the lukewarm reaction received by the FPS re-imagining, XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a return to the game’s original strategy roots – and to illustrate just how seriously 2K takes the project, one of the world’s best RTS studios is onboard.
Firaxis Games, the team behind Sid Meier’s Civilization franchise has signed up for development duties, with the action-strategy title promised some time in the second half of 2012 for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.
Steve Martin, president of Firaxis is a little pleased:
It’s been a dream of ours to recreate X-COM with our unique creative vision. We’re huge fans of the original game and it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to re-envision a game that is as beloved as X-COM. We were careful to keep XCOM: Enemy Unknown true to the elements that made X-COM such a revered game while delivering an entirely new story and gameplay experience for both die-hard X-COM fans and newcomers to the franchise.
Even ignoring the remarkably similar name, XCOM: Enemy Unknown will be “instantly recognisable” to fans of the original game. Packed full of intense tactical combat plus deep strategy, you find yourself in control of a secret paramilitary organisation (that’d be XCOM, of course). Your task is simple: Defend against the encroaching alien invasion. That’s about it, really – and you can do that by developing new technologies, crafting new combat strategies, managing your ever-dwindling resources and plotting tactics for individual units.
Sarah Anderson, senior vice president of marketing for 2K explains:
We’re looking forward to building upon the core gameplay experiences that fans of the original X-COM love, while introducing the franchise to a new generation. With Firaxis’ XCOM: Enemy Unknown and 2K Marin’s upcoming XCOM, 2K Games will be offering two different gameplay experiences drawing from the classic X-COM universe. Each game offers a unique XCOM experience in different genres, as envisioned by two different studios with unique creative visions.
Starting afresh with an all-new invasion story, technologies and enemies, Firaxis is taking a respectful approach, hopefully soothing those nerves still jangled by the earlier announcement that 2K Marin‘s XCOM would be an FPS.
…and if all of this is still a bit much, prompting a nostalgic desire to revisit the real game, head to Steam and snap up all five of the original games for a little over $5. Today only, hop to it!