Reviews and Problems with The Bureau: XCOM Declassified
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The Bureau: XCOM Declassified
12 September 2013
Conclusion: OK, so The Bureau is different to what XCOM fans would be used to, but does that make it a bad game? As a squad based shooter, The Bureau is reasonably good. The game is great to look at and although the story is somewhat bland, it does flow nicely. The combat mechanics and cover system work well and finding out which combinations of agent abilities work well together can be a bit of fun. Unfortunately, the squad AI lets the game down.
Pros: Combat and cover system work well, enemy AI is well designed
Cons: The story is extremely linear, squad AI is disappointing
Excerpt: I didn’t grow up playing XCOM. I played the hell out of the original game’s demo as a kid but the series didn’t get embedded into my soul the way it has for many old school PC gamers. So when I read near-unanimously glowing reviews for XCOM: Enemy Unknown, I assumed that it was one of the greatest games in recent history and eagerly paid full price (something I almost never do) on launch day. The one thing I wasn’t counting on was mass nostalgia-based delusion.
Excerpt: There was a time, when it was first announced that The Bureau: XCOM Declassified was supposed to be the new XCOM experience. Then came Enemy Unkown; a stellar and unapologetically tough nod to games of the series past, and fans forgot about that other XCOM game. Now, almost two years later, The Bureau is here, and it's not pretty.
Review: The Bureau: XCOM Declassified redacts franchise staples while remaining familiar
31 August 2013
Excerpt: When we think of the 1960s we think of the Cold War, communism, racism, sexism, the space race, and wide-scale alien invasion. But when humanity is put to blaster point, suddenly those other unfavorable themes don’t seem quite as important. It’s us vs. them. It’s not a far change for an American organization designed to defend their home soil from the soviets to be transformed into an organization designed to defend against extraterrestrial invaders attacking US home...
Excerpt: The feeling is that The Bureau: XCOM Declassified doesn’t quite know what it wants to be. It began development as a first person shooter, 2K seemingly choosing the most popular genre of the time to try and revive their strategic alien sci-fi series with a contemporary hook. Before long, however, that idea was scrapped and The Bureau became a cover-based third person shooter before eventually adopting a tactical focus after the success and popularity of Firaxis’ excellent...
Summary: Like the redacted CIA documents featured so heavily in the game’s marketing, The Bureau comes across as disjointed, baffling and inconsistent. But moments of clarity may well keep you interested in what lies beneath that faltering surface.
Conclusion: All I got out of The Bureau was stress on the battlefield and boredom in the base. But I'm sure it might entertain some people, assuming they're smart enough to play it on a low difficulty. It turns out this game is only XCOM in name. It feels nothing like the original XCOM or Enemy Unknown, and it brings nothing interesting to the table. It's another generic shooter that won't make you care about what's going on.
Pros: You can see some beautiful classic automobiles here and there and men wear hats in this game;
Cons: Combat is anything but fun, the rest of the experience is a dull, joyless affair (sounds rather like my last marriage - Ed. Vader)
Excerpt: This is a case of slapping a brand on to hopefully draw in sales, and it harms the product 2K Marin has made. This isn’t an XCOM game, and it would be better if the brand weren’t forced. The game would still have plenty of issues, but standing side-by-side with one of last year’s best games certainly doesn’t help.
Pros: Encounters allow for great strategy, squad powers are fun, 1960s aesthetic is well-done
Cons: Weapons feel underpowered, game is a mess technically, XCOM brand is poorly integrated