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E3 2011's Most Anticipated: XCOM

CVG E3 2011 Awards: Vote for the games that most excite you!

The games on show at E3 2011 are some of the best in living memory. So you really owe it to yourself to vote in CVG's inaugural E3 2011 Awards... in the Most Anticipated Title category.

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Shortly before the show, we'll work out which of these 60 special E3 game previews have enjoyed the most page views, Facebook 'Likes', ReTweets and poll votes (see below) and crown our first victor at the Los Angeles event. Show your favourites the love!

Game: XCOM
Publisher: 2K
Likelihood of E3 2011 showing: Certain

Drew Smith, producer of XCom, insists: "The original was about the terror of not knowing what's around the corner, but it was also deeply strategic. 2K Marin has a reputation for creating compelling shooters that tell stories, so we're taking the elements of the X-Com you might know and combining them with an XCom you've never seen."

Truth be told, any links to the classic-butdated PC series that did the rounds in the mid-'90s are tenuous at best, but then how faithful to an isometric, turn-based strategy game do you want a shooter to be?

Our demo kicks off in the XCom team's base. You're special agent William Carter, head honcho. After a brief tour of the base, Carter checks out the strategic map. This XCom reboot is all about prioritising. Our dolly-bird assistant informs us that if we hop over to California to rescue a housewife whose ivory palace is being assaulted by extraterrestrials, then a potential mission in Tennessee will just fall by the wayside.

"It'll buy us a lot of important gratitude, but it isn't going to do much for our research or fix our Elerium shortage," she warns us. Whatever. We're all about the bored housewife action. Before we depart, a visit to Mal - chief engineer and weapons specialist - is a must.

He's to XCom what Q is to James Bond, turning whatever you find during field research into enhanced firearm tech. The Lightning Gun is neat, but the Blobatov rules. It works like a grenade, explains Mal: "Toss it, wait a few seconds and - whoo! - you got yourself a real goo barbeque."

MISSION OUT-OF-CONTROL
Plunging into the mission, and the beautiful suburban neighbourhood is eerily quiet. A series of screams garner our attention, and we discover a corpse splattered in black gunk. This poor sap's death is not in vain though, at least not as far as XCom's research department is concerned. Snap a piccy and Mal will do the rest.

In the meantime, it all goes off. We start shooting blobsup as they squelch across the living room and kitchen. Cue a big shottie rampage, lots of alien-centric trash-talking, some poor lady getting 'blobbed', viscous black goo everywhere and one very dead agent.

The extraterrestrial scum eventually fall when we turn their own tech against them, the cute housewife is saved and it's another score for XCom. Or is it? The house then suddenly starts shaking and an ominous ET artefact looms oppressively in the sky, before the screen goes batshit and the demo fades to black. We'd seen enough though. This is one seriously intriguing shooter.

[Words: Games Master]

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