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XCOM Playthrough Demo Reveals It's Not Just A Shooter

The new XCOM might not be a turn-based strategy like its predecessors but it's not completely abandoning its heritage. A twenty-minute walkthrough video shows some of the RPG and strategy elements involved in the game.

"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'," said narrative director Jordan Thomas in a written intro to the video. "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."

Between missions, you assemble a squad of agents. These agents have different abilities and you'll choose how to develop their talents. When you're in the field, you can direct your agents' movement and actions. A tactical menu allows you to freeze the action, survey the battlefield, and issue a limited number of commands. It gives the game a kinda-sorta turn-based feel. It reminds me a little of Fallout 3's targeting system.

"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," said Thomas of the game's squad-based shooter gameplay. "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."

XCOM is expected to launch on the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC in March.

Pete Haas

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.