2K Boston resurrecting Spec Ops?

Teaser video may offer first glimpse of mysterious shooter that has been gestating at the studio formerly known as Irrational Games; is X-com still in the works?

by

Source: See below.

What we heard: Since the release of BioShock in 2007, speculation has run rampant that 2K Boston is working on a new installment in the X-Com sci-fi strategy series. The rumor pyre heated up in March, when Ken Levine, the studio's iconoclast creative chief, declared he was "probably the world's biggest X-Com [fan]." In late October, the resume of an ex-2K employee plainly stated that the studio was working on an X-Com game for the Xbox 360 and PC.

That said, some doubt was cast on the X-Com theory in August, when 2K Boston job listings revealed that the studio's "next big project" is a "shooter." Now, various reports in the wake of a teaser video appear to have scuttled the notion that the studio's upcoming title will be an X-Com game. The clip in question was touted as a "mysterious new 2K games shooter" by game blog Kotaku over the weekend. Instead of X-Com's futuristic setting, it shows what appears to be the aftermath of modern-day military action in the distinctive Persian Gulf metropolis of Dubai.

Soon, though, the mystery surrounding the trailer appeared to have been dispelled by 1up. The gaming site uncovered an extended version of the trailer on the advertising video site Adland.tv under the title "2K Games Spec Ops Trailer by Marco Brambilla & Tronic." (The trailer has since been removed but is still viewable on sites such as Dailymotion and is embedded below.)

Spec Ops is the name of a series of military shooters published in the late 1990s and early 2000s, at first by the now-defunct Ripcord Games and eventually by Take-Two Interactive, owner of 2K Boston. The trailer appears to have been made by Tronic, a New York creative agency specializing in high-end computer graphics.

The official story: 2K reps had not responded to requests for comment as of press time.

Bogus or not bogus?: Likely not bogus. First, a Spec Ops remake was first mentioned in a July 2008 rumor roundup by the now-defunct magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly, as pointed out by 1up.

Second, although the Spec Ops games were not well reviewed, they do have the same sort of contemporary military setting as the wildly popular Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Take-Two's portfolio currently lacks a high-tech shooter series, which have also proven profitable for Ubisoft in the form of the Tom Clancy series Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon. Last but not least, 2K Boston has the chops to handle a reboot, having developed SWAT 4 and its critically acclaimed expansion in its previous life as indie studio Irrational Games. However, whether it is also working on an X-Com game remains to be seen.

Discussion

122 comments
MagnumPI
MagnumPI

Both "Rangers Lead The Way and "Green Berets were good PC games during their time, but today they are a reflection of horrible game design. The Single Play was absolute garbage, so much like the Delta Force PC games they were only good for multiplay. And since all of the Spec Ops servers were shut down years ago there is no reason to play the originals ever again. The playstation version were an absolute joke.

Klock26
Klock26

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

valent1n
valent1n

I hope so, an X-Com game will be just perfect....soon.

fiskefyren
fiskefyren

i gotta say... that trailer put me off... god it was so ****** made -_- anyway, might be a good co-op game. oh... that song/music... god it was awful!!!! *vomit*

wexorian
wexorian

spec ops were good game don't post that they were bad ones for ps1 it was good shooter. Good if they will ressurect Spec ops

staticks
staticks

You guys are all idiots for saying the old Spec Ops games sucked. Yes, the crappy PS1 spin-offs sucked, but the original PC versions were good games.

Erik729
Erik729

Woah! This is...not very interesting. The trailer looked lame too. I played Spec-Ops for PS1 and remember enjoying it, but I enjoyed anything around that age. Humorguy_basic: Are you implying that console gamers are unintelligent? Or uninteeligent? I am both a PC gamer and a huge fan of consoles and intelligence has nothing to do with casual playing. And to Dark_MetalSonic: Always. (joke)

Hockenberry
Hockenberry

carlos171719 Posted Nov 29, 2009 1:12 pm PT Even though this game sucked it might not be bad after all!!! i mean killzone sucked then when killzone2 came out it ended up being a really good game!!! Really? You didnt like the first Killzone? I know it got a fair review and some problems with it but I thought it was a good game. I think people were anticipating that its a "Halo Killer" thats why lol. But yeah I heard it sold lots of units for a fair game though.

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

Wouldn't surprise me if they swapped from doing a strategy game to a shooter. Shooters are mostly all that get written and non shooters (The Witcher, Dragon Age, Fallout 3, GTA IV, ETW, etc) are what sell the most generally. Once again, proving how little most publishers know and how inteeligent most PC gamers are!!

Dark_MetalSonic
Dark_MetalSonic

let me guess....the Americans are the good guys and save the world.

Petch1984
Petch1984

These games were a shoddy mess....they looked and played like SOCOM afterbirth.

mrklorox
mrklorox

Three cheers for 2K Publishing Producer and ex-Gamespot alum Greg Kasavin!

Jack_n_Coke07
Jack_n_Coke07

I think the only reason to ever bring it back would be for nostalgic reasons. I think I played Spec Ops only once and I absolutely hated it. Then again, I was only about 4 at the time.

PandaBear86
PandaBear86

I enjoyed Spec Ops on PS1, but absolutely hated how EVERY mission had a strict limit, even if there was no reason for a time limit to exist in the mission. Most of my mission failures were due to the time limits, rather than the combat. Get rid of the time limits, and then I might look at it.

Yathoom
Yathoom

@ carlos171719 I didn't play Kill Zone, but my brother told me it sucked. I played KZ2 ... it was REALLY GOOD, intense and very enjoyable. .... I too hope it's the case with this game.

carlos171719
carlos171719

Even though this game sucked it might not be bad after all!!! i mean killzone sucked then when killzone2 came out it ended up being a really good game!!!

stavske
stavske

There are only 2 thinks that made this series playable. 1. It wasent a blast fest, it had more tactics to it and objectives to complete. 2. 2 player split screet story. Was the main reason i played them at all to be honest. If it made a return it would have to keep this even if it was just co-op online. Is it just me or are there hardly any 2 plaayer co-op story games at all. Apart from gears of war i struggle to think of any that are actually any good.

athenian29
athenian29

Is the movie playing for anyone else? Because the play button isn't working for me.

nick31189
nick31189

i remember playing spec ops before for the ps1. i remember it being very mediocre.

halflife2100
halflife2100

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

s4dn3s5
s4dn3s5

why resurrect such a bad game?

tony2077ca
tony2077ca

someone bringing back psi ops would of been a better idea that to be continued crap is still pissing me off

travisstaggs
travisstaggs

I still have one of the Spec Op games of the Ps1 days, its awful the entire series was.

sonicremix9
sonicremix9

yay! Another painfully generic shooter!

Neosword
Neosword

Whatever it is, it looks pretty cool. As long as they don't follow the strictly "modern shooter" blueprint, I'm definitely interested.

Heshertonfist
Heshertonfist

I think X-Com would be far more profitable. The original is still one of the most fun games ever made.

dakan45
dakan45

@ THA-TODD-BEAST Ever heard of secret service? Exactly its even worse but new devs still came up with a new one.

Woodsburrow
Woodsburrow

jeffv541 Posted Nov 26, 2009 8:51 pm ET Why would they bring back this poopy series? They should bring back something good like Smash TV. Can you imagine Smash TV if they kept the original artform with all new level design and modern graphics and camera views? It would be like unreal tournament only on TV! Been done. It's called Zombie Apocalypse.

psicho1986
psicho1986

Kinda stiff animations, maybe it is jut my opinion, but look at the guy that runs with the M4A1 in his hand.

sweatmonicaIdo
sweatmonicaIdo

I was a big fan of the Spec Ops franchise ten years ago. That being said, I think I was the only fan as well. I am rather shocked that they are bringing this franchise back. Its the last one I thought they'd ever resurrect.

pogswarts
pogswarts

Oh dang, SWAT 4 is one of my favorite games. I have high hopes for this one!

staticks
staticks

Holy crap, these are the same guys who made SWAT 4!!!! I never played Spec Ops; is it as good and realistic/tactical as SWAT 4 or the older Rainbow Six games?

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

@RomisSandthief: 'Basic graphics' is the future for PC games, although I wouldn't call them basic, only graphic whores do that, and, thank god, there are fewer and fewer of them. The reason basic graphic games on PC is the future, is the simple reason that consoles are getting on for six years old! How demanding are multiformat games going to be when it comes to the PC version? With no sign of new consoles for at least 2 years (if ever!), basic graphics is the present and future of gaming - and that's a good thing! The only growth in PC hardware sales this past 2 years has been laptops, and we know the No.1 complaint for PC gaming is 'always having to upgrade'. So if all those with 2 year old PC's (8800, 2gb, 24.ghz dual core) and all those with new laptops can play more and more of the PC games that are released, the higher sales are going to be, and the more the PC gaming format will be supported!

Nodashi
Nodashi

A new X-com would've been a muuuuch better idea. Hope they don't go bankrupt because of this fiasco and manage to launch the X-com one year later. Well, they'll not go bankrupt with Bioshock 2.

hman1111
hman1111

Resurrecting an 11 year old franchise that flopped and has absolutely no fan base= FAIL

THA-TODD-BEAST
THA-TODD-BEAST

Most pointless rejuvination of a gaming franchise ever.

ptysau
ptysau

A developer in tune to "Bjork" has to to be working on something good!

cjasko94
cjasko94

neither nuf said. resistance 3 is what I want.

maverick_76
maverick_76

Well I just saw the trailer and that could be a really good game, but of course how will it play is another question unto itself.

maverick_76
maverick_76

X-Com was awesome, Spec Ops.....not so much.

BtmnHatesRbn
BtmnHatesRbn

Wow. The discount-bin series wants to comeback? (The original Spec Ops were the first $10 PlayStation games in 2001.)

wooly_mamoth
wooly_mamoth

Alpha build probably this trailer, explains the poor graphics. Interesting setting, Dubai but would rather have a rainforest any day