Reviews for The Bureau: XCOM Declassified
A really solid game, despite its troubled historycommanderhavoc | Oct. 26, 2013 | See all commanderhavoc's reviews »
This game was originally going to be a first person tactical shooter where you would be doing investigations while also fighting the aliens in the 60's, but the outcry from gamers, critics and the XCOM creator himself was so bad that the game went underground and it went through several changes until it became the third person tactical shooter we have now. It is a surpisingly solid game that doesn't hold back on testing you, even on the easiest setting. You must act quickly in the middle of battles by issuing orders to your agents to take cover and perhaps provide cover fire or deploy a turret. There are also several interesting powers that can turn the tide of an otherwise hopeless battle in your favor, like a shockwave that will knock the human-sized enemies off their feet and a telekinesis-style power that lifts smaller enemies up in the air and leaves them even more vulnerable to your attacks. And it is rather interesting to see the origins of the XCOM project unfold before your eyes as you play through the game as well.
Better Than ExpectedDrakeHerder | Oct. 13, 2013 | See all DrakeHerder's reviews »
I understand that most people would view this game warily as it deviates quite radically from the pre-established formula of XCOM games.
In the end, the XCOM game does it more harm than good.
The setting is solid, the presentation values are good and, all in all, it is a very enjoyable game, even if it does not do anything too different or original to distance itself from other thrid person squad based action games.
As far as gameplay goes, it is very reminiscent of the later Mass Effects in terms of abilities and pacing, though with bigger emphasis given to position.
If it had been a bit bolder in terms of how the player interacts within the base - which also serves as the hub for the game - it would've been an even better game, especially considering the numerous side missions. Some such missions are designated dispatch missions, giving you the ability to pick a squad to go on said mission, like what was present in Assassin's Creed.
All in all, I'd say give the game a shot, especially when it's on sale or at a lower price. You might just be pleasantly surprised.
Awesome Story and Gameplayspongengebob | Oct. 12, 2013 | See all spongengebob's reviews »
I really liked this game the story is really really awesome. The "Command-Mode" where you can give orders to your squad while your in fight is really cool but I hate it when i told an Agent that he should go to that position and he goes to the position and then he tries to kill himself because he rans into aliens. So the AI of the own squad isn't the best but i really liked to play the game.
Enjoyable. What else?MarcoCav | Oct. 2, 2013 | See all MarcoCav's reviews »
XCOM Declassified is a third-person shooter pleasant and able to give a lot of satisfaction to the experienced player, thanks to the mechanics of managing agents which, in terms of gameplay experience, are able to distinguish the game from the compatitors. However there are some flaws: the artificial intelligence of companions sometimes failed, and the graphic is not particularly optimized in spite of the look and feel of the game. The main points in his favor are the setting, the dialogue, the characters and the story goes. In a word, this game is really enjoyable to play.
A solid gamevirulent0o | Sept. 30, 2013 | See all virulent0o's reviews »
Although The Bureau takes on the XCOM name, it does not play like any of the previous titles. It blends 3rd person cover shooting with squad management. The result feels very much like a more tactical version of Mass Effect.
If micromanagement is not your thing, you might shy away from this title. For those opting to stay, you will find that managing your squad in the heat of the battle is rather enjoyable.
There is a lot of negativity towards this game due to it not following the XCOM ways nor does it excel in being a pure shooter. My advice, don't let the critic's score put you off, The Bureau is a solid game.
enemy unknown i miss you :(kapamaru91 | Sept. 29, 2013 | See all kapamaru91's reviews »
Generally The Bureau: XCOM Declassified although not bad game, just has nothing to do with their ancestors. The battles are quite fun and quite interesting, but it is found in many other releases. The title of 2K has a serious identity crisis, because while he wants to import data from classic strategy games of the past, does not want to complicate more than they should things not to scare the average kazoual player. Therefore, what remains in our hands is a mediocre shooter with unresponsive script and graphics. Definitely not the worst proposal in the market but if you were looking for something fresh and innovative based on the universe of the series X-COM, just forget it and stay very good XCOM: Enemy Unknown.
Excellent Mass Effect like gamezakk77 | Sept. 20, 2013 | See all zakk77's reviews »
I don't understand the bad reviews this game has got, it's excellent. There might be few techncial glitches but the story and gameplay is pure solid gold! If you're into games like Mass Effect this one is just for you, It's tactical 3rd person shooter with a lot of story elements. Some people might play it without doing additional investigation quests and without reading notes and audio logs, then I understand why they don't like this. This is for patient players who like to read a good story while playing. Recommended!
A new take on XCOM.Bobafett2k6 | Sept. 6, 2013 | See all Bobafett2k6's reviews »
(review also on my steam profile - Bobafett2k6)
An enjoyable 3rd person take on XCOM in the 1960's. It plays well with a good cover system and 'in battle' squad management system, there are plenty of abilities available as you and your men level up to keep battles interesting for the most part too. Visually it looks good, and there are a nice mix of locations to keep things interesting. Unfortunately the story isn't believable and feels a bit like it's been cobbled together to fit and the technology available right from the start just doesn't make any sense, laser turrets available in the 60's? And that's before you encounter the aliens. You'll find yourself up against sectopods and mutons from early on in the game which unfortunately has the side effect of making it feel a little repetitive later on. The battles do feel a bit staged as there doesn't seem to be any alien resistance between areas of the mission, it's more like moving between battle areas that are nicely set up with lots of cover options.
All in all it's a decent game and I feel that some of the reviews out there are a little unfair as it's not what you would expect from an XCOM game.
Me like!!!DanielZo0 | Aug. 31, 2013 | See all DanielZo0's reviews »
I REAALLYY thought this would just be another shooter but they implemented X-COM's style of strategy so well it actually feels like 3rd person RTS xcom, I dont care about the unsatisfied destructoid review I don't see why in the world he would like how it isnt a shooter or a strategy or an xcom game BECAUSE ITS ALL OF THOSE COMBINED, and that's much more awesome than it sounds
GamePlay: 9/10 Story: 8/10 visuals: 7/10 Replayabilty: 10/10
P.S: anyone going into this expecting a carbon copy of XCOM enemy unknown or UFO defense's gameplay is an idiot
Challenging game of tacticsDanJamesStone12 | Aug. 30, 2013 | See all DanJamesStone12's reviews »
I couldn't wait to pick up my copy of The Bureau after playing it's predecessor: XCOM: Enemy Unknown, I absolutely loved both games as they provide several options of how to play the game.
The Bureau combines both FPS and Strategy very successfully into one immersive and awesome gameplay experience that you will not regret.
Tries to stay to stay true to the XCOM brand, stumbles a bit.Farris | Aug. 30, 2013 | See all Farris's reviews »
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!
A spinoff, not a sequel nor a prequelzonzon | Aug. 28, 2013 | See all zonzon's reviews »
This game has what XCOM lacked, a bigger emphasis on a scenario and exploration. This is a TPS that tried to keep the strategic nature of the originals, but is not really as complete as what XCOM was. Nevertheless, the scenario is quite enjoyable, with a little surprise occuring at the 2/3 of the game. Surprise that was actually quite brilliant, you may see it like Far Cry 3 hidden message, but this one is not outrageously insulting us as a gamer and rather intelligent.
The game is clearly poorly optimized, crank down the reflections on lower end cards. Shadows look great at max setting, but they tend to glitch sometimes, restart the game if it occurs, or lower the shadows setting.
The worst point about this game, is that it doesn't light the events of Enemy Unknown, this is not a flaw in itself, it's just a shame.
A good Mass Effect clonesCavalieroscuro | Aug. 28, 2013 | See all Cavalieroscuro's reviews »
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified is an action game, with several RPG elements on it. If you have played Mass Effect 2, well, is pretty similar to it. Same dialogues reel, same strategic and action options...but the game is good. It's a nice clone, with a good plot, several weapons and upgrade (you can level your main character to 10, all the other NPC to level 5). The graphic is good and the game run smoothly even on not so new PCs. Give it a try.
Agent Carter, report to the Skyranger hangar at once!Guardian412 | Aug. 27, 2013 | See all Guardian412's reviews »
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified is a great game regardless what the mainstream reviewers says. Actually I enjoyed this game much better than most of the recent releases. It has an interesting, twisted and long storyline, a polished gameplay, good missions, great skills, well designed tactical controls and authentic atmosphere. Some says the game could have been better. Yes, just like every game. Some parts of it could be different, such I would enjoy an open world exploration and more side missions. Or more interaction with the base staff. But as I look back, I enjoyed every moment of this game, regardless I wasn't able to discover every house, or couldn't interact with much elements on the levels. It takes about 20 hours to finish the main storyline, so it's also a very long game considering it's a tactical TPS game. The only two real cons are the higher system requirements which is unusual for the Unreal engine and the A.I. could have been better here and there. But if you get used to the tactical control and get the real taste of The Bureau, you'll like it. If you loved XCom: Enemy Unknown and if you'd like to know what leaded to the foundation of XCom organization, or if you want to play in the XCom universe from a different perspective, The Buraeu is a great game to do this. It has an interesting premise, a great atmosphere set in the 1960s Cold War Era, a very long gametime, interesting skills and sometimes very-very hard missions and tough enemies. Even if it's a TPS, you have ti use similar tactics what you used in XCom: Enemy Unknown. The Bureau is a great and challenging game, what I bravely recommend it to those who love longer storylines and challenging battles.
What I expected and moreDomEReapeR | Aug. 27, 2013 | See all DomEReapeR's reviews »
I'd been waiting for this game for ages, when it finally came out (3 days later here than in America) I was blown away by all the bad criticism it has recieved.
The game is pretty much what I expected, a third-person Xcom. It took me about 14 hours to finish which is a biiit on the shord side for 45 euros but it was a very enjoyable 14 hours.
The game gives you a main character, and as you rank up, you gain powers based on technology taken from the aliens you've defeated, eventually you're able to throw out your own silacoids and drones as well as mind controlling enemies for a short period of time.
You can bring 2 squadmembers, that can each have one of 4 classes in the game. I personally brought a Recon for specific target high-damage strikes as well as an orbital bombardment, along with an engineer who could throw out mines and turrets.
Along the game you find a lot of new fun weapons, from ballistic to laser, and eventually plasma. All the weapons are satisfying to use, and work perfectly in conjunction with your powers.
There are a lot of enemy types that all look pretty similar but function very differently.
I played on what I think is supposed to be the normal difficulty (I played on squaddie) and the game was a bit on the difficult side, but it was managable.
I'd say there's definietly replayability if you switch out your squadmembers classes and your own abilities and weapons.
All in all, the game did not dissappoint, was very enjoyable, and fans of XCOM are going to absolutely love it.
So familiar and so very differentivangroznyi1 | Aug. 27, 2013 | See all ivangroznyi1's reviews »
You thought it would not happen. I did. And then it happened. The XCOM franchise moved into the cold war period. Now you get your XCOM in a 60s setting, and it's so full of character and so unique that the atmosphere sometimes dominates the game of The Bureau: XCOM Declassified. The game is a great twist on the XCOM universe, as now the game is presented from third person perspective. Yes, it's not another XCOM strategy... But fortunately the person in question is interesting enough to make the game addictive and interesting. And the whole story and setting are so good that even if the gameplay was bad (which it is not), they would justify playing the game just for the sake of them. If you can immerse yourself in the XCOM universe once more, even though the game is not another XCOM strategy, you will surely have a blast!
Great XCOM Game!Plasros | Aug. 27, 2013 | See all Plasros's reviews »
Pretty much everything I wanted from the canceled XCom Alliance game that we never got. Yes, it apes Mass Effect, while offering a deeper tactical system. Voice acting is pretty solid and the overall flavor is very unique.
So far it's the 3rd best X-com game, past the first and the recent tactical remake.
The story was compelling, if a bit rushed in parts, and I wish they had incorporated some more of the research and building aspects of Unknown but in the end I was completely happy with my purchase. The end of the game feels very rushed, and I would have liked a bit more diversity among my squad as I tended to use the same two for every mission.
Definitely worth a buy though, as long as your expectations are right.
A good game, but has potential for improvement.Shadowwolf414 | Aug. 26, 2013 | See all Shadowwolf414's reviews »
A well done, very original combination of the third person shooter and real time strategy genres. It has good visuals, and for the most part the game play is very smooth. Generally, the game is very similar to Mass Effect, in that you are a commander of two squad mates, who you can co-ordinate in the field, as well as the dialogue system, in which you decide how Carter (the protagonist) responds to the situation. However, the main point for improvement I think could be made, is that this game didn't need to be XCOM. It felt like the XCOM theme was holding the game back more than anything, and that the temes of the game had been developed, and then changed to fit as an XCOM game.
Overall however, definitely worth a play for a challenging, quite original experience.
Decent gamelaterbase | Aug. 26, 2013 | See all laterbase's reviews »
This game got a lot of flak for not staying true to the original IP, but it is a pretty fun tactical shooter with good atmosphere and a fun setting. Give it a try.
Great and underrated gamezakk77 | Aug. 26, 2013 | See all zakk77's reviews »
I don't understand all the bad rep this game has got from reviews. Solid tactical FPS shooter with very good plot! This is for someone who want's to think how to win the battles and is ready to read the notes and listen all the audio logs in game. Without it I understand why someone would not like this. If you're friend of Mass Effect series I'm sure you won't be dissapointed! My recommendations.
A different XCOMzipnox | Aug. 25, 2013 | See all zipnox's reviews »
After the recent success of XCOM: Enemy Unknown comes The Bureau: XCOM Declassified. This time however it’s not the strategy game you might expect, instead you get to play as an agent tasked with the defense of the world in a third person shooter perspective. The story presented in the game is engaging, accompanied by excellent sound direction and voice acting.
The graphics and overall atmosphere are well done and the game offers lots of tactical thinking in shape of squad management. The biggest issue with the game in my opinion is that it tries to approach several genres at the same time while never reaching its expected potential in either category; this is accompanied by the fact that the game has been developed for optimal play on a console device. I feel that this severely limited the game potential, trying to reach all audiences at the same time is an improbable mission.
Overall, the game is enjoyable as long as you don’t expect the same turn based strategy that we’re used to get. It’s a different game and well worth trying out if you’re into third person action games.
Pretty good xcomBradaz85 | Aug. 25, 2013 | See all Bradaz85's reviews »
This game is a decent enough third-person-shooter, Not the best but still good. For me, it does deserve the Xcom name and it does a good job of telling a story, even if the gameplay feels slightly like a mass effect clone, for me that was a good thing. The game performs well on AMD hardware.
Some issues but enjoyable!p0tenc | Aug. 25, 2013 | See all p0tenc's reviews »
Although not perfect I don't understand why the game is getting bad reviews. A few negatives are that only one key can be bind to each action and some agent abilities can be fiddly moving with the camera. Over all though this game is enjoyable and much better than some reviewers would have you believe.
I especially like the XCOM 60's theme and the GFX is good too. I probably would not pay £30 for it but considering I got it for £20 with all the pre-order bonuses I'm quite happy and will have fun playing it through once. I don't see this game having the replay ability of XCOM Enemy Unknown, but these are 2 fundamentally different games, so would be unfair to compare them. They share the same theme and that's where it ends.
Don't expect Battlefield 3 or Mass Effect 3 and look at this game as something unique.
Grows on you!moronicron | Aug. 25, 2013 | See all moronicron's reviews »
At first I found the game to be very "Meh" but after playing a few missions with my own custom agents everything just get more fun. The game can be challange at times and I would recomend playing on Veteran difficulty. Tactical mode can be somewhat clumsy when it comes to moving markers over gaps in the terrain but with a little fiddeling you will get your mines, grenades, artillery and turrets where you want them. Everything has a sort of Mass Effect vibe with how the gameplay is set up except this feels alittle smoother. Story is kind of okay and thats the most I can say about it. For anyone who wants a TPS with full control over your AI team then this is for you.
The altered remains of the Xcom FPS09williamsad | Aug. 25, 2013 | See all 09williamsad's reviews »
This game started out as an FPS but has been turned into a "Tactical" TPS. The game has tactical elements but that usually comes down to move soldier here and use ability X. Playing the game in a run and gun Rambo style in not easy as your health can be depleted quickly if you are not careful and do not stick to cover. Your AI squad mates usually will go to where you tell them to and stay there but after a while they will follow you or move to another piece of cover which may or may not be in the aliens arc of fire. There is no research and engineering like in the TBS XCOM games. This is a somewhat tactical shooter with the XCOM IP attached.
AmazingZache_ | Aug. 24, 2013 | See all Zache_'s reviews »
Loved XCOM: Enemy Unknown and when I first saw the trailer for this game i pre-ordered it at once. The first thing that you notice about this game are the graphics. Great looking scenes and environments, it actually feels like you're in a real secret army base, spaceship or whatever. It also really feels like you're in the 60's, the clothes, haircuts, huge computers, it's all great. Can only imagine what this would be like with the oculus rift.
The gameplay is lovely. I really enjoy the change from 'god-perspective' (as in enemy unknown) to third person where i now can shoot like in an fps-game. The story is great aswell. Can't quite say i have ever been more into a games story as in this game. I really want to listen to everything everyone has to say as it's all interesting, and the letters that people has left all over the abondoned towns.
The thing that makes my rating a 9.5/10 instead of 10 is the combat. As its now real time strategy and you have to shoot for yourself you can no longer craft the perfect strategic plan as in XCOM: EU. But it feels like a completely new sort of game which I would like to see more of. You also get alot of checkpoints after almost every fight, which makes you less careful, which I think is bad as you no longer fear that your agents might get killed, you simply just restart from checkpoint.
TL;DR: If you're looking for the same kind of strategic combat as in Enemy Unknown, do not buy this game, it is very very different. But I love it, great story and great new kind of combat.
Brilliant Old School Tactical Shooterspycid | Aug. 23, 2013 | See all spycid's reviews »
One genre which is missing from the latest games is Tactical Shooters. This game blends the modern Third Person Shooter genre with old school Tactical aspects. Old noire feeling and Cold War setting made the game look beautiful. Not only does it look beautiful, but the storyline is great. It's not a generic run and gun and press a lot of buttons game. I liked it since it's a tactical game where you have to strategize to move ahead. I hope you will like it too.
Not a typical X-Com, but still fun to playShav | Aug. 23, 2013 | See all Shav's reviews »
This game causes a lot of trouble when it comes to giving it a proper review. After all it is pretty decent shooter with a lot of tactical elements, but...
...but it is a part of an X-Com franchise, of course that everyone wants it to be completely amazing and breath-taking! Is it? Nope, just because there are a lot of minor drawbacks that makes it just an average game.
Lets start with a story - setting the game in 60's was a great idea, but a plot (no spoiles) simply is a bit...weird, and it lacks sense during most of the game. The characters are forgettable, the atmosphere isn't scary at all.
Gameplay is pretty fun, especially at the beggining. Mixing a TPP shooter with tactical elements works great during early stages of the game, but after a while it is a bit boring and repetetive. Also, there are some problems with issuing orders to your squad mates, especially on stairs and hills.
The game would seem better if there was no "XCOM" in the title. It is a solid production, but lacks emotions and innovation to be truely enjoyable not only by casuals, but also hardcore fans of XCOM franchise.
But remember, even that my review may seem pretty negative - IT IS NOT A BAD GAME!
A few issues here and there, but still a solid tactical shooterryanclive | Aug. 23, 2013 | See all ryanclive's reviews »
The following is an honest-to-goodness review, and my personal take on The Bureau. Take note, this is my first game in the XCOM series.
Prior to finally being able to play this game, I went through several articles that gave this game mediocre ratings and reviews. Instead of feeling regret for pre-purchasing the game, I actually felt more intrigued, as I often experience games and films that I end up liking - only to find out later that they have less than desirable critic ratings.
First things first, let's get the issues out of the way.
Having played all of the Mass Effect games, I quickly noticed that the combat somewhat borrows heavily from the ME series, right down to the Lift ability of Carter. Originality is a rare commodity these days, and frankly, I couldn't think of a better way to improve on the tactical shooter formula. The graphics in the cutscenes are terrible; Initially, I was under the impression that the "style" was intended to fit the noir/vintage look, but I have a strong feeling it really isn't. In the same vein, the graphics can look a bit outdated; Lip sync is off, and the textures could have used better samples.
Now that we have gotten those out of the way, let's get to the good parts.
The Bureau is actually a solid tactical shooter. I have played and absolutely completed all Mass Effect games on Insanity mode, and even here, my squad sometimes gets knocked out even on Rookie. The point being, it's a tactical shooter at heart, and will require serious micro-management on your part - which I find fun and refreshing (of course, you could also argue that it was negligence on my part, LOL).
The perks you gain vary greatly with each squad type, and from commando to engineer, there really is no weak link. All squad types are useful, and will depend greatly on your play style. Flanking and positioning is given a lot more emphasis, and the game punishes rubbish preparation on the part of the player. Weapons do not have mods, sadly, but they all do the job and there are good variants in the game, both Earth and Outsider (alien) types.
The Bureau's story is actually engaging, too, complemented by a period-accurate soundtrack. The dialogues are borderline cheese at times, but unlike the cutscenes I have mentioned, they are at least period-centric, and exudes a genuine B-movie feel. There are no collectibles or audio logs that extend the story, other than a few negligible notes scattered around.
The game does not break any new ground, but it isn't overly terrible either. I'm taking a bit of a guess here, but the complaints probably stem from the high expectations of people, expecting this to be closely related to Enemy Unknown, but Enemy Known and deep strategy and tactics this is not. Having played the likes of Mass Effect and Gears of War (both of which are somewhat close to the gameplay structure), I personally find the Bureau to be competent and fun.
As a closing note, I would recommend getting the pre-purchase version of the game (if there's still time) that comes with the free DLC, Spec Ops game, and XCOM collection; as I can hardly recommend buying the game solely at $50.
not bad but trying to mix games/genres doesnt work 100%comedychris | Aug. 23, 2013 | See all comedychris's reviews »
not bad but trying to mix games/genres doesn't work 100%, ok so the 3rd person action and shooting is fun, the class based combat, and variety of ways to win a lvl instead of simply running and gunning is a fresh take on modern games, that same strategy that wins me over also is a downfall, the detail and complexity is no where near xcom EU and because of that i feel a new game of a franchise should be better not worse.. a good game but if you can, get the previous title... unless you like gun play then this is for you. :D