XCOM video walkthrough brings 22 minutes of joy/heresy

Richard Cobbett

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Here's 22 minutes of XCOM, using footage shown as part of this year's E3 demo. The video was posted with a written introduction from narrative director, Jordan Thomas, which 2K invites everyone to read before watching. He describes how the original iteration of XCOM was "way too much within our creative 'comfort zone,'" saying that "it just wasn't "XCOM" enough." The team have since gone back to the drawing board, and made a number of "aggressive design changes" to make XCOM a more tactical experience. Click "read and comment" below to see the whole message.

It's may not be the turn based strategy game fans wanted, but could 2K Marin's take on alien hunting be an awesome game in its own right? The video comes with added narration from Jordan Thomas (writer of the very underrated Bioshock 2) and producer Harvey Whitney. Skip to 1:30 to look at the base, 3:30 to meet some of the agents you'll be getting shot in the face when aliens attack, and 7:30 for shooty action. Then, check here for our impressions.

Here's that note from Jordan Thomas.

Hey folks,

So we've been flying under the radar with XCOM, for about a year -- and felt that it was about time to put together a little video update in order to lift the curtain on the reasons why.

2K Marin had just finished working on BioShock 2, and that game will always be deep in our DNA -- but our first crack at adapting XCOM to a more personal, real-time experience was way too much within our creative 'comfort zone'. It was kind of a run-and-gun affair, without a lot of focus on the command of your squad, or indeed on tactical play itself.

Candidly, it just wasn't "XCOM" enough for the hardcore fans of the original games at 2K Marin, who serve as our creative conscience. So over the past year, we've made some pretty aggressive design changes, in pursuit of the feelings that we experienced when we played the original games. I'll cover those in the video itself, but a quick note about story:

Narratively, XCOM is an all-new origin story in its own timeline; a deliberate reimagining along the lines of something like Battlestar: Galactica or Batman Begins. What that means in practical terms is that while we take narrative inspiration from the original games, we have also deviated in a couple of key ways. For example, our game is set in 1962 within the continental United States -- at the moment the XCOM organization is formed.

We wanted to tell the story of the first man on the ground -- exaggerating cold-war fears about invasion from within -- via this alien threat for which there is no precedent. And we felt the best way to express that kind of intimate take on the XCOM universe is from that character's perspective: limited information, overwhelming odds, and direct personal involvement.

In our XCOM, you play William Carter, Special Agent in Charge of field operations at XCOM. So as you start up the video, I'd like you to slip into his shoes as he reviews a piece of evidence which was discovered somewhere out there in mid-century America.

Hope you dig it -- there's a whole lot more to come.

- Jordan Thomas

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