Reviews by Farris
Tries to stay to stay true to the XCOM brand, stumbles a bit.Farris | Aug. 30, 2013 | Review of The Bureau: XCOM Declassified
I played through it all on the "Commander" difficulty and the for first few hours it was quite frustrating and rather hard (in a good way), you actually had to think tactically, flank, use cover on the high ground etc.
The extra nice bit about the highest difficulty is that if your agents get "downed" you can only stabilize them, and they will not get back up on their feet. That essentially means you could be faced with having both of your agents downed, but stabilized, and you were left alone with facing the remaining aliens.
All that coupled with the perma-death of your agents Is really nice, and stays rather true to the XCOM brand.
The story overall was also quite good, and (without spoiling) there were some things in the story that I did not see coming, which was a pleasant surprise, and was dealt with rather nicely.
So what was bad with The Bureau? Well for one, there is no research at all, nothing.
You find an alien weapon that has not exploded (pre-defined placements throughout the campaign missions) and you pick it up, now you have it unlocked, and all agents that can use that weapon class can also equip it.
You don't even have to get back to base before you can start equipping your agents with it, you just need to get to a "resupply point". That was a really bad design choice in my opinion.
The backpacks were also implemented rather oddly, you find backpack schematics littered around on some levels, and others you get from sending out your "reserve" agents on their own missions via the main map from the base. And it's the same deal as with the weapons, you find a schematic, you have instantly unlocked the backpack for use on your agents and yourself.
All in all, it had some strong and good sides, such as the need to use tactics, flanking manoeuvres, combine your own and your agents abilities and not just sit behind one chest-high wall and use blind-fire all the time, like some other 3rd-person shooters.
And the bad and ugly sides were the lack of some of the more complex systems, such as research for new weapons and equipment.
I quite enjoyed the game, and for this price I got it at, it was worth every penny!