It can be fun to see a game evolve over time but such a thing can also show how troubled and unfocused development may be as well. Over the last few years we've seen and heard of some true horror stories such as the legendary Duke Nukem Forever debacle and I Am Alive, but those could be trumped by the oft delayed and seemingly ever changing XCOM shooter being prepped by 2K Games.
Not to be confused with the soon to be released XCOM: Enemy Unknown, there's actually another XCOM game in the works that was announced long before Enemy Unknown was a public thing that went on to receive the hype of gamers. Unveiled way back at E3 2010, the series reboot, simply titled XCOM, took the base elements the franchise was known for (aliens, advanced weaponry), and basically threw everything else out in favor of a more action oriented vibe set within the 1950s.
This change in direction for the series didn't set well with fans of the series and Take Two brass also weren't keen on it as well. After delaying the game several times admist rumors of development woes, it was supposed to come out in late 2011/early 2012, XCOM has seemingly jumped from genres as it may no longer be an action centric FPS but is now a squad based 3rd person shooter.
It's rare that we see a game evolve if not totally change genres during development, but considering that the XCOM shooter has been in the works for nearly six years, I think we can officially expect the unexpected from the project. The news of XCOM going the 3rd person route may seem a bit out there, but the news comes via a supposed marketing survey that was sent to Kotaku. Marketing surveys may not be hot news all together, but it did include some screens of XCOM bearing a familiar style but a different perspective from what we've seen before.
The E3 2010 debut trailer for XCOM
The rumored XCOM survey did list some noteworthy things beside the new screens as it asked if players would be willing to pay $30 for the game via digital distribution on the PS3 and Xbox 360. It could be possible that Take Two is trying to lower their chances of risk with the troublesome XCOM project by throwing it on the PSN/XBL with a lower price point to attract more gamers.
No new gameplay details have arisen from the survey, but as shown in the screens it appears as if gamers will be able to control one character while issuing commands to the rest of the squad – similar to other tactical action games such as the postumous SOCOM series. Longtime XCOM fans may still not be pleased with the new direction of the game as opposed to the modern update the series received via Enemy Unknown, but at least we aren't getting another full-tilt shooter that just so happens to be wrapped in a slightly different package.
Take Two has refused to comment on any of these new XCOM rumors and I'm sure they'll keep denying things until they announce the release date for the game – which at this point has to be soon to prevent it from becoming a complete joke.