Remember X-Com? Not if you’re under 28 years old…

But that’s just as well, because if you are old enough to remember the original X-Com fondly, you probably aren’t happy to learn the just announced new entry in the series, “XCOM”, is not the turn-based strategy remake by Ken Levine and Irrational Games long hoped for, but instead a first person shooter from Bioshock’s other developer, 2K Marin. Sigh…

An early look at the new, hyphen free gameplay.

A few years ago I was talking to a gamer friend of mine, only 5 years younger than me, and made mention of X-Com only to discover he was too young to know anything about the brand. It has never been more obvious that we need mandatory videogame appreciation classes in our high schools to ensure our children are not raised in such criminal ignorance. One wonders why the X-Com branding would even matter to the shooter fans who have no attachment or nostalgia for the original.

Although the X-Com series has been on ice for quite a while, this is only the latest attempt to spin the original game’s setting off into a new game genre. After the original turn-based strategy and one deep-sea themed direct sequel, we’ve been treated to a parade of increasingly shoddy games using the genre dujour of the times. First an RTS (Apocalypse), then a space-sim (Interceptor) and then an arcadey third person shooter (Enforcer). And now as a first person shooter.

With luck, the talented guys at 2K Marin know well enough to leverage the base building, technology research and global defense aspects of the original and all our misgivings will be laid to rest. The game is expected for the PC and 360. No PS3 version announced so far, for some reason.