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2K Marin creative director Jordan Thomas wasted little time in addressing XCOM's year-long absence after E3 2010.
"We're here to pull back the curtain on what we've been up to for a year," Jordan told us during a demo last week. "We've kind of been flying under the radar for a long time, and I wanted to start by talking about why that was."

The studio was comprised of plenty of talent from Irrational who had worked on BioShock (including Thomas) and then developed BioShock 2 at 2K Marin. In other words, BioShock was their comfort zone, Thomas said. "Our first crack at XCOM kind of had a run-and-gun feel. It was very BioShock. It was contiguous first-person, it had a creepier, splicer-like alien enemy, and so on," Thomas said. Over the last year, they've tried to get away from that, making "several key alterations" to the XCOM reimagining we first saw last year.

XCOM was a strategy game, the new XCOM is a first-person shooter, and that incongruity seems to be responsible for much of 2K Marin's second draft. "The main reason for that is that we are strong fans of the original XCOM series," Thomas said. "Basically, XCOM was about being the best of humanity repelling an alien invasion through cleverness and dynamism. Through taking the enemy technology and subverting it, to remove their strategic edge." Lucky for you, the "best of humanity" are on your team.