XCOM Sounds a Lot Like Fringe, And That’s Okay

x com xbox 360

I'm still game for XCOM even though the planned revival of the series comes in the form of an FPS. And why not? It's still XCOM, and the team behind Bioshock 2 is making it. Arguably, the same could be said about X-COM Enforcer, but the less said about that game the better.

In the first XCOM Dev Diary, the 2K Marin team talks about the background of the game's origin story—like where its aliens come from; the creation of the XCOM organization to deal with that threat; human and alien environments; and a visual tour of the organization's base. 

"Our telling of XCOM is an origin story. It's about experiencing the origins of this organization from a really zoomed in and a 'boots-on-the-ground' perspective," said the game's lead designer Jonathan Pelling, who also added that it will stick to the tenets of what defined the setting of the original game. Players will experience what it was like to be one of the squadmates in the original game, in contrast to the omniscient perspective of the top-down commander. 

The game explores the foundations of XCOM as a US Government-funded organization intended to repel an alien infiltration from within America's borders, much like Fringe Division does in the TV series "Fringe." 

The members who make up the organization sound equally compelling: "The XCOM of our game is a kind of unconventional organization by the standards of the time," said narrative director Jordan Thomas. "It has an idiosyncratic thinker that put it together, and is specifically looking for people who are compensating for some kind of disadvantage. So you'll find that a lot of the core cast are not what people think of as an invincible G-Man." 

Once again, comparisons can be drawn between the game's main cast and that of Fringe. 

Likewise, the aliens you encounter in XCOM are not the typical kind of alien seen in science fiction, but rather technology-based entities. 

Finally, lead designer Zak McClendon provided some elaboration on the XCOM base. "The base is really the hub of XCOM as an organization," he said. "It changes and evolves over the course of the game. It's someplace that you return to at the end of every single mission. The base will serve as both a story and social space for the game." The base will be populated with a map room, research and development, and barracks. It sounds a little bit like Walter Bishop's lab. 

Missions in the game range from backbone missions that drive the plot forward, and a variety of strategic opportunities that come and go.  The map of America will change over the course of the game depending on the missions you choose and their outcomes. I wonder if you'll be able to seal off affected areas with amber. 

XCOM sounds like an ocean you'll want to plunge into.