Friday 2K Games announced that its 2K Marin studio is bringing the XCOM franchise back to the PC on March 6, 2012 in the form of an FPS. Also slated for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, the new XCOM installment will be a "gripping tactical action experience" set in mid-century America.
Previously spelled "X-COM," the franchise began its supernatural existence with the release of UFO: Enemy Unknown (aka X-COM: UFO Defense here in the States) back in 1994, developed by Julian Gollop and Mythos Games, and published by MicroProse Software. It was followed by two sequels featuring the same tactical gameplay in 1995 and 1997.
The series took a new direction in 1998 with the release of X-COM: Interceptor, an action-based space combat/strategy game, after Hasbro Interactive purchased publisher MicroProse Software and acquired the X-COM brand. Hasbro released one final and fifth installment in 2001, and then canned its next X-COM themed RTS and tactical FPS projects when it shut down Hasbro Interactive studios.
Nine years passed without a new X-COM release until 2K Games announced in April 2010 that it acquired the rights to the X-COM franchise and would reboot the series as XCOM. The publisher and its 2K Marin studio promised to stay true to the X-COM roots even though the new installment would be a first-person shooter.
"Every time I think of XCOM it gives me the chills, the kind that come from standing witness to the corruption and destruction of your world as you stand powerless to prevent it," said Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K, in a statement on Friday. "I’m pleased to announce today that we will be bringing this experience to an even broader audience when XCOM comes to the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC in March 2012."
According to 2K Games, XCOM pits Special Agent William Carter and his veteran team against the threat of human extinction. "But every enemy is an opportunity – players will strike surgically against the alien menace, capture their technology, and by the science of desperation – turn the invaders’ weapons against them. Armed with these lethal new tools of war, players will command their squad on XCOM’s front lines: Main Street, USA."
More is expected to be revealed next week at E3 2011. In the meantime, here's the official E3 trailer: