Reviews by thehumandignity

60

Average shooter

thehumandignity | Nov. 4, 2013 | Review of The Bureau: XCOM Declassified (ANZ)

The core element of the game, shooting things, is done far too poorly for this to be a real joy to play. It's always easy to tell when something is "off" about the controls in a game, but it can be hard to tell what it is. Whether it's mouse acceleration or just poorly calibrated, the controls are just bad. If you play a lot of shooters, you know what I mean; sometimes the controls just don't work the way they should, and it makes the actual shooting part of the gameplay feel like a chore.

The other part of the gameplay is the team tactics, what every gameplay trailer tries to showcase. This is the highlight of the game although a few things hold it back, namely the poor AI and the fact that you only have two team members. Only having two teammates, and very few options in how to order them about (No options to throw grenades, lay down suppressing fire, or to hold fire) limit the type of team manoeuvres pretty severely, and they really hold this part of the game back.

There's a character progression mechanic in the game, but it feels very tacked on. It gives you a few abilities, but they all seem fairly boring. They don't seem like they should be: the ability to call in an artillery strike, or set up a missile turret both seem like they should be fun to use, but when the core gameplay is so boring it's hard for anything else to attract your attention, I suppose.

In summary: what was promised was a simplified XCOM where you personally get to control one of your team members. This, the game provides, but the central components of the game, shooting and commanding your team, simply aren't done very well.