Reviews and Problems with The Bureau: Xcom Declassified
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Value for money 6
A New Kind Of XCOM Emerges
16 September 2013
Excerpt: So it looks like the original plan for 2K's rebirth of the XCOM franchise has finally been released. You all know my stance on 2K Marin's XCOM. When it was first announced, it would be a first person shooter set in the 1950s with a unique, if not cartoon-like art style. Needless to say the backlash among fans of the original X-COM series was massive. One incident in particular came from internet personality Noah 'Spoony' Antwiler.
Conclusion: The Bureau is a bit of a step back for the XCOM franchise. The game lacks the identity of its Firaxis cousin and feel way too much like an uninspired derivative of other games. A fractured development history clearly left its mark.
Summary: The press materials for The Bureau like to stress that, for 2K Games, this is considered a brand new intellectual property. It says this, even though the game continues to cling to the XCOM name it originally begun development with. It says this with the sore memory of angry fan reaction to the first-person shooter this was originally going to be.
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified Review: An interesting origin story with little else to offer
29 August 2013
Summary: A Frankenstein monster of gameplay sensibilities, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified is a good origin story for series fans but doesn't do third-person shooting or real-time strategy well enough to compel enthusiasts of either genre.
Conclusion: In terms of length the campaign with all the side-missions done clocks in at around 12-14 hours, depending on how much you explore or how well you do. While not game of the year or anything and containing many features found in other games, along with a plot that utterly fails to sensibly connect to XCOM: Enemy Unknown despite 2K Marin’s best efforts, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified is nonetheless entertaining.
Conclusion: The Bureau is trying hard to pass as a shooter and a strategy game, but seems to accidentally squash its clever ideas with brute force. Though combat might slosh around and threaten to spill, it’s functional. The presentation can only be called cheap, but there’s a dab of polish. Struggle through the Bureau and your victories will still taste sweet, but a lot of details would need to be redacted to put a truly positive spin on this troubled campaign.
Excerpt: The story starts simply enough, with you, William Carter, tasked with the delivery of a mysterious package. It slowly builds to a satisfying climax, at times even drawing parallels with BioShock 2. It’s in its DNA, inherited from the talented developers at 2K Marin. Outside the narrative, the switch to third-person works brilliantly. It’s like being a soldier in XCOM, albeit during the agency’s early years. The game revolves around combat, which is deep and accomplished.