Reviews for The Bureau: XCOM Declassified (NA)

70

A decent game, a poor XCOM.

pyjamasbox | Feb. 9, 2014 | See all pyjamasbox's reviews »

XCOM declassified is a game that went through a long, troubled development, and it's shows. While the game is far from bad, it doesn't have what it takes live up the XCOM name. If you're coming into this game expecting a chess-like action game much like XCOM: Enemy Unknown, you'll be sorely disappointed. Instead, you'll be greeted with a tactical third person shooter with sci-fi elements and not much else.

The story is utterly forgettable, but the presentation isn't half bad. The game looks decent, but not good enough to warrant the performance issues that haunt the game on even a decent gaming rig. The gameplay is nothing special, but works efficiently enough for what's going on. Don't expect to run and gun your way through this game, you'll be using special abilities and strong tactics just to get through even basic encounters.

All in all, the game does a lot of things, but none of them are done particularly well. The game sets out to achieve almost nothing spectacular, and does exactly that..nothing spectacular. I think the biggest issue with this game is that it's simply not more like XCOM.

70

Depends on what you expected.

ryucchang | Nov. 12, 2013 | See all ryucchang's reviews »

If you are expecting a game that can fulfill your imaginations and expectations for the XCOM franchise itself (like me) I consider this game as 'not worth buying.' At least for the whole price. Yes, it has a story line which is linked to the entire XCOM itself and may have some aspects that continue along to the XCOM: Enemy Unknown but, I don't know what happened, the overall taste is quite under expectation.

However, as a shooter game with tactical features, this game is worth enough playing at least once or twice. It has a decent story with above average characters and sub features to extend the game playtime.

Again, but, However, the game lacks any sort of freedom. The story is linear and the only thing you can choose is who to speak with, whether you're going to do some quests inside the base and the sequence to choose side quests.

You can't customize almost any aspect of your teammates. They are all guys, (ah the good old times ha?) no armors, no accessories, no nothing. Only thing you can do is give 'em some backpacks and weapons and choose what skill to use from the eight skills they have. The balance is crippled so not all of them are worth using anyway.

The battle and fighting itself is alright though. You can command direct orders to your teammates (who aren't really that helpful, but better than nothing) which does give you the sense of being in charge. The enemy AI is alright. They don't let you flank 'em that easily and try to concentrate fire on you to cut you out. If you played XCOM EU, you will once again be able to remember how it feels to fight a muton with an assault rifle and basic armor.

Still, the major problem this game has is that the game doesn't live up to the XCOM hype it received and that MASS EFFECT still exists on this universe.

70

A decent tactical shooter.

EnsignSmith | Oct. 17, 2013 | See all EnsignSmith's reviews »

But it would have been better had the XCom name not been thrust upon it. Were you just working against generic aliens, I'd rate this game higher, but since I've come to expect so much from the name (especially after Enemy Unknown) it's a bit of a disappointment.

That said, it's still a decent tactical shooter, with good mood and good cut-scenes.

Just not as good as it could have been, or as I hoped it would have been.

85

Ignore the negative reviews

Jonot86 | Oct. 17, 2013 | See all Jonot86's reviews »

The reviews on the internet can be sometimes right but most of the time it can be definitely wrong. This game is fantastic, I love playing every moment of it because of it's style and storyline.

The gameplay is fairly basic and almost a copy of Mass Effect but x 3 harder. Cover isn't the perfect solution as even when you're under fire your enemies can still hit you as you can hit them, it's like they have the same advantage as you do with fine tune aiming.

Conversation works the same with the conversation wheel but it's not necessarily a bad thing, it's the same gameplay but different storyline (kinda) that involves aliens.

Overall the experience in this game isn't perfect but it's definitely worth while to play!

85

Why the Hate?

Jonot86 | Oct. 15, 2013 | See all Jonot86's reviews »

I was looking forward to the game but I was surprised on the reviews it received. The "Ok" or the 60-75 rating but honestly I think it deserves to be on the upper 80!

The game story seems basic but it honestly is more compelling as you go and the gameplay is amazing! Intense action battles with great tactical features that isn't to indepth but light enough to not take you out of the action while you game!

I definitely have to rate this 85 as it's not PERFECT but man, I hope they do a series on this as I love the era, love the look, love the characters and love this style of XCOM!

75

Not game of the year, but worth playing

umirza85 | Aug. 26, 2013 | See all umirza85's reviews »

This game is definitely not another game of the year by 2K, but it is an amazing squad based tactical shooter. I've havent played through the entire game yet but the action and gameplay mechanics are great. The story line is a little so-so and the characters are pretty boring, I didnt feel the loss of a character as hard as it was in Enemy Unknown. I really like the balance is the combat abilities between characters which really makes you miss certain characters during missions (I wish you could bring them all :) ). As far as graphics they are great, with the exception that they are pretty bland and boring. Im also loving the UI its very simple, and definitely more fun to play with my xbox controller than a KB/Mouse.

All in all its a great game, I'm not sure I would pay the full $50 (got it on pre-order sale, along with lots of extras) but hopefully they buff it up with some (not insanely priced) DLC in the near future. Hopefully the next game is more like Enemy Unknown.

60

Nearly half what it could have been.

Augilicious | Aug. 26, 2013 | See all Augilicious's reviews »

A game said to be like the X-files but with more action. Where you take the role of an operative, with support, working to deal with alien threats and destroy any indication of their presence on Earth. This game was to be the XCOM tactical shooter that draws people into the series with fun game play and an interest story, unfortunately it doesn't quite deliver.

I'll get to the story first. It has holes, lots of them. Some aspects are explained, some you can figure out with critical thinking. However, there's plenty that will leave you sitting there scratching your head. Being a hodgepodge of futuristic sci-fi tech with a 60's setting doesn't help things either. Otherwise the good aspects of the story isn't anything groundbreaking either.

Now there's the gameplay itself. If you liked Mass Effect, but wanted a bit more control over companions, then this is probably the kind of game you'll like. It's easy to place your men and see how protective cover is for them, even in relation to enemy positioning. Generally fun, a person may (or may not, depending on their play style) spend more time commanding the companions than actually shooting at enemies. The only real complaint about gameplay is the controls, it will take time getting used to.

The visuals and audio does the job. There's a few glitches with the sound but that will hopefully be patched. Graphics are decent enough but there will be the occasional fps stuttering.

In the end, it might be better to just compare this to the last XCOM game, Enemy Unknown. A version of that game where many of the best aspects were stripped out, or just lessened, and turned into a tactical shooter. While not a bad game in itself, it doesn't live up to the hype built around it or the XCOM standard.

80

This isn't a Mindless shooting game

MeatheadMilitia | Aug. 25, 2013 | See all MeatheadMilitia's reviews »

I would give the game an 8/10

I am currently playing on veteran with 2 hours of game time played.

The games story starts off kind of slow but began to pick up. I enjoy the dialogue between characters. It plays more like a gaming Noire, which I enjoy. For you to fully enjoy the game you have to read all the little notes and listen to all the recordings you find around. Its giving you a story. This isn't just a mindless run around and shootem up video game.

Combat is pretty good though my squad gets downed a lot, even in full cover, that is probably one of my only major gripes. Other than that, their AI system is pretty decent, they fall back and try to relocate based on the enemies position if you neglect them. You really have to take control of their every move, which I also enjoy.

I can see why a lot of gamers would find this game annoying and thats because you need to use your brain to play it.

Music is good.

Cut scenes are good.

Only other gripes I had were the initial tutorial; which seemed to drag on and that sometimes my squad members will avoid the danger of a grenade only to go back to where the grenade was and get hit by its explosion. Doesn't happen all the time, but it does happen.

Like I said, other than those couple gripes, I would easily give this game a 8/10 so far.

58

Could have been so much better.

GeneJacket | Aug. 25, 2013 | See all GeneJacket's reviews »

It's fairly evident early on in The Bureau: XCOM Declassified that, at some point, 2K Marin had a very different game on their hands. The core ideas, the setting, the weaponry and all the early demo footage showed a game that was very much XCOM in spirit.

Unfortunately, the game they delivered is nothing but a hodgepodge of well-worn cliches and horrendous AI. It's essentially Mass Effect, with that series' branching conversation trees, squad tactics and cover system, only none of it works anywhere near as well. The mechanics here work well, in theory, but they're so slapdash-edly executed with poor controls that nothing works as it should. Squad members will dash in-and-out of cover, in spite of what they're told to do, leading to many frequent, infuriating deaths.

Otherwise, the story seems fine, if a little underwhelming. At times it's downright gorgeous, with extensively detailed environments and dynamic lighting. Other times, like when characters are conversing, animation and lip-synch are stiff and jagged, looking nearly last-gen.

Unevenness seems to be the overriding factor throughout, at times exciting and fresh, but mostly just boring and bland. Another few months development could have done The Bureau a lot of good but, as it stands I can't recommend it unless you've simply got to play anything XCOM branded.

70

Mixed feelings

skellin | Aug. 25, 2013 | See all skellin's reviews »

This is a new take on the XCOM franchise. The original was a turn-based action/strategy game, and its recent iteration, XCOM: Enemy Unknown was a well-received revival to the franchise. This game, however, takes the franchise in another direction and different genre. Where you were a modern times in Enemy Unknown, here you are in the 1960s and XCOM has yet to even been formed. You play a character named William Carter from the CIA. The game starts as the aliens begin a full scale invasion of Earth or just United States, it’s never fully explained. You were tasked to carry a case that holds an alien artifact to Myron Faulke, the future leader of XCOM organization. And this is where I lost interest to be honest; the storyline of the game just isn’t as engaging as it should be. Considering that the original XCOM didn’t really have a story either, I feel that this iteration needed something to keep ahold of you and to keep you playing. The main tweak to this game from the original is that it is a third-person shooter; think more Gears of War or Mass Effect, where you and your squad of two have powers to unleash upon the aliens. That said, the combat gets dull just as quick as the storyline, your powers aren’t very interesting neither are your squad-mates powers, the different alien types are lackluster and don’t really instill fear in you, it’s a more “Oh, these guys again, OK.” sort of deal. I played on the second hardest setting and I blew through the combat and only died twice, so it is much more forgiving than it should be since you do not wear armor and you’re getting shot by lasers, you are wearing turtlenecks or suits the entire time how is that possible. To keep this short a quick recap, it has a boring storyline, repetitive combat and non-fill-you-with-dread aliens. Now the reason I did give it a 70 was due to the fact that I still had a bit of fun with it, with all the bad things I said about it I did have a couple tense moments, so play on the hardest settings if you play games regularly and you may have a good time.

70

An enjoyable, but flawed game.

phantomspiker | Aug. 25, 2013 | See all phantomspiker's reviews »

The Bureau is a third person cover based shooter with some tactical elements. You directly control William Carter and command two other AI agents. Carter takes more of a support role, most of his skills center around healing or incapacitating enemies. Each AI agent is given the designation of recon, engineer, commando or support and operate as you would expect. The weapons you start off with are typical of the era (m14, 1911, etc) but get more exotic as you progress (laser and plasma weapons). You can also equip Carter and each agent with different types of backpacks that enhance each character's performance on the battlefield.

The story fails to live up to the game's interesting combat. It's filled the unexplained plotholes and bland characters. However, I did enjoy reading and listening to the notes and audio logs found through the missions and the XCOM facility.

I enjoyed my time with it overall.

66

Mass Effect+XCom

AznChristian | Aug. 23, 2013 | See all AznChristian's reviews »

Like Mass Effect, this is a rpg squad based tactical shooter. However, it lacks the character development and attachment in both Mass Effect and XCOM. A member of your squad dying is more of a tactical hindrance, usually resulting in a restart, than an emotional attachment. Also, squadie permadeath doesn't work well when the character you control has to stay alive. The story is decent, but nothing outstanding. Furthermore, your choices don't seem to actually matter much in the ending. It also does not have the tension of the older XCOM games. It does a good job of capturing the 1960s atmosphere. In addition, the squad management combat is fun, until it gets frustrating since your squad's AI is not very smart. This causes you to have to micro everyone, at least on Veteran and above.

91

This IS what I wanted

HajisQuikVanish | Aug. 21, 2013 | See all HajisQuikVanish's reviews »

First off, let me say I am running this game on Med to Low settings without dx11. The first day I seemed to be able to run Dx11 on high and while there was a recurring stutter I just lowered everything for now. As for game play, I'm only on my first mission after the creation of XCOM. I'm not one to get caught up in whether this games' story meshes with another game. So any "lore" conflicts don't bother me. The game is very much a mashup of Mass Effect 1 gameplay with XCOM style stats. I have found that I spend allot of time in the menu directing my squad, more so then while playing ME1. the game doesn't pause while in the command screen, it only slows down. So far, having to drop graphic quality to get smooth frames is my only problem with this game. Will I spend more time playing the Bureau over XCOM EU. thats yet to be seen, and will be determined by the randomness of the missions. ( I currently have more hours on EU then any other game in my library)