E3: At The Bureau
Alright - I had my doubts at first, especially considering how badly an impression its first iteration made in the gaming community and XCOM fans, but the third-person shooter based on XCOM may actually turn out to be not only okay, but in fact bloody awesome. Why do I say that? Well, I have been convinced by this incredible stage demo of the game in motion - despite being played on a console (pah!), it seems to hit all the right buttons, down to the "60's suit and tie" mixed with advanced alien technologies and dropships.
From here we can see that the game is based loosely on a cross between a team-command shooter, such as could be seen in games such as Brothers in Arms, or Republic Commando, while maintaining a vaguely 60s aesthetic with current gen graphics. There also seem to be a whole bunch of toys and powers to play around with, from scans to focusing fire. There even seems to be a focus on positional movement, which is an interesting mix between the ideas of turn-based tactical combat and third-person shooters. The lethality of XCOM does in fact seem to be present, though there will be more time to judge that for ourselves - I did spot one of the agents getting downed, though the ability to revive them was not clarified as a limited-use kind of thing, or something which is more akin to FPS gaming style revives. Oh wait. Wait... YES. THE AGENT DIED. Well, it seems that permanent death is present, as is evident in the glee of the voices of the two commentators stating "Sneath? Oh, Sneath's dead! He's gone."
One statement made by creative director Morgan Gray truly gives me hope for this game - "it has been shown that gamers of this generation are ready for games that do not babysit them, or put pacifiers in their mouths or hit buttons to the next cutscene."