XCOM dev diary reveals the motives behind 2K's reboot

2K Marin's XCOM FPS reboot may look nothing like its top-down strategy ancestors, but according to its developers there's a lot of the old XCOM still lurking beneath its surface. Watch now as 2K explains why taking the franchise to street level makes sense, and how it plans keep some of the series' elements intact in this new developer diary.

“XCOM is a really beloved franchise, and it's one that personally means a lot to me,” insists Jonathon Pelling, XCOM's lead designer. “It's a game that I treasured years and years ago, so it's super exciting to be able to come back and reinvigorate the franchise with a new entry that really adheres to the tennets of what made the original game so special.”

Justifying the genre swap, he adds: “Our telling of XCOM is an original story. It's about experiencing the origins of this organization from a really zoomed in and boots-on-the-ground perspective. We really wanted to make you feel like what it was like to be one of the squadies in the original game, and not the all-knowing top-down commando.”

Whether or not you jive with 2K Marin's vision, it's clear the studio is intent on honoring XCOM's roots. Being a business with bills to pay, it's also intent on bringing new fans into the fold, and that means appealing modern console players who – if we're being honest here – don't exactly line up in droves to buy top-down turned-based strategy games. It's a tricky balance to strike, and it will ultimately alienate more than a few XCOM die-hards. Still, isn't it better to have a modified XCOM than no XCOM at all?

Sep 23, 2011

Matt Bradford wrote news and features here at GamesRadar+ until 2016. Since then he's gone on to work with the Guinness World Records, acting as writer and researcher for the annual Gamer's Edition series of books, and has worked as an editor, technical writer, and voice actor. Matt is now a freelance journalist and editor, generating copy across a multitude of industries.