The XCOM series has been everyone’s favorite alien invasion simulator since its release back in 1994, and has won numerous industry awards throughout its lifetime, and even when it has won an award, they’ve been nominated for dozens more.
We aren’t expecting anything soon, after all, XCOM 2 hasn’t long been with us, at least on consoles such as PS4 or Xbox One, but the developers are clearly working on it. A quick Google search will pull up pages and pages of speculation, rumors and asks from the fans, but are Firaxis listening or reading those fan-forums? You’d have to say yes – after all, it’s exactly those fans that have made the XCOM series so popular, they would be crazy to turn their back on them now.
We know that there are plenty of rumors surrounding the release of XCOM 3, but they really just are fans speculating about what they’d like to see, mixed in with a few half-truths. In reality, we don’t know what the XCOM 3 release date will be, nor do we know any solid XCOM 3 news, but we have spoken to some industry insiders that have given us their view.
This is what we know so far, and we’ll be updating it regularly, so keep checking back.
Will there be an XCOM 3?
In a short answer, without doubt. The slightly longer version is that the developers, Firaxis Games have won awards for the game, it is perhaps more popular than ever, and there is still an army of fans clamouring for some XCOM 3 gameplay.
There is no chance that we won’t see some XCOM 3 PC action.
We’d expect at the time of release, Firaxis will release the PC version first, with the console versions later on, just as with the XCOM 2 launch.
Terror of the Deep
Yes, the rumors say that given the ending of XCOM 2, XCOM 3 will be reviving the Terror of the Deep name, and we’ve almost had confirmation of that via the developers themselves; they released a picture of a fish with ‘XCOM 3’ via Twitch Streaming.
OK, that’s not a definitive answer, but speculation was already there, and the developers have only pushed that speculation further, giving hope to the millions of fanboys out there.
But what can we expect of the gameplay itself? Will Firaxis go all retro and return to some of the DLC’s that were available when they first released the game? Almost going as far as doing an updated version?
We don’t think so.
What we do know is this though … XCOM 3 needs to be glitch free from the off; XCOM2 suffered all manner of glitches and bugs when it was first released, with players complaining of the game hanging, even on the most high market of machines. Firaxis need to get it right, and straight from the off if they’re to stand any chance of not bombing.
From the fans point of view, there as many different ‘wants’ as there are rumors – one popular theme is to swap sides and play as the aliens, others have mentioned about teaming up with the aliens (and managing the relationship as part of the gameplay). One consistent theme is that most people want recognizable, normal, Planet Earth locations as the setting.
How this will sit with the Under the Ocean theme has yet to be seen – perhaps a blend of the two environments could work; it seems that no one wants a purely underwater based game.
Having said that, the possibilities that the underwater environment would bring are almost endless; sure, we all know that water is wet, that fishes live in the sea and that we can’t breathe underwater without equipment, but what about the prehistoric monsters that could be there, the crushing pressure and the depth’s that have never been truly explored?
It really could open up a whole new world to us. Quite literally.
Given that the console version didn’t arrive in the shops until September 2016 (with the PC version arriving much earlier – February 2016), we don’t expect to hear anything official about the updated version for at least another year, and even then, we’ll be some way off from a full release.
For the legions of fans waiting for an updated game, we know that they won’t be disappointed; as we’ve already said, Firaxis won’t turn their backs on such a money generator this time round, so we’re absolutely sure that an XCOM 3 is coming, but we just don’t know when.
It’s going to be a while before we see any XCOM 3 reviews online, we wouldn’t expect to see any gameplay until at least 2019. Of course, Firaxis will no doubt release an XCOM 3 trailer when they’re getting closer to having something playable, but they’re certainly remaining very tight lipped about it at the moment.