2K Games has announced that XCOM: Enemy Unknown will include a multiplayer game mode: one-on-one deathmatch, your custom squad of six vs. theirs. According to the announcement, the mode will draw on the "gameplay, tactics and strategy of the single-player experience without making any direct ties to the narrative."
"Players can mix and match both alien and soldier units to comprise their squad, outfitting soldiers with dozens of armor types, weapons, items and class-based abilities for thousands of possible loadout combinations," reads 2K's X-COMmuniqué. "These dream squads of up to six units are built using a point cap that can be scaled for players to fight in small skirmishes all the way up to epic battles."
Preempting potential "why add multiplayer to a single-player game?" remarks, Firaxis' Jake Solomon told Eurogamer :
"You played the original, it was always this fantasy to play as the aliens. Now, generally, the fantasy encompasses a game where you're aliens invading earth. But that has never appealed to me -- I don't know that would actually be that fun to play. So this is one way to fulfill that fantasy ... I don't know that from the very beginning we knew exactly what multiplayer was going to be, but it was something I absolutely wanted."
I'm not worried, especially considering the mode is standalone -- unrelated to the single-player narrative. My only problem with it is that I'm not playing it right now (the release date is currently October 9th in North America and October 12th in the UK and Australia).
To remain true to the game's title, I of course intend to play multiplayer under an anonymous pseudonym. Possibly Sarah_Palien. Or maybe Pink_Sectfloyd. You won't know.