Reviews for The Bureau: XCOM Declassified (ANZ)

75

Not XCOM the way you're used to, but still a solid game.

PrimalHunter779 | July 26, 2014 | See all PrimalHunter779's reviews »

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified is a third-person tactical shooter set in the 1960's and allows the player to take control of Agent William Carter, a washed up agent with a haunted past. This game is different to the other entries in the XCOM series in that the game does not play like an RTS game or feature an isometric view, and is instead played as a standard cover shooter with an over the shoulder view. Does this make it a good game? Yes. While hardcore fans will of XCOM will find this change of formula jarring, I personally found this formula to be a unique technique and a fresh flavour specific to the XCOM series. While the game plays a bit more like Mass Effect this time around (you can pause the game and command your team mates via a command screen, such as ordering them to move or use special abilities, etc) , it still feels like XCOM, as you still have to take strategic care in how you enter combat situations. I liked how you had to be strategic in how you placed your team mates, and how you must constantly adapt to combat as enemies flank you and draw you out of cover. This made for a tense and enjoyable gameplay experience, and is definitely a must on the harder difficulties. Unfortunately, the AI of your squadmates leaves a lot to be desired, and you will definitely get frustrated by their lack of competence. You will also get frustrated by the generic and often boring characters as well as the lacklustre plotline; this is standard alien-invasion fare, and anyone else looking for a riveting science fiction story will need to look elsewhere. I rarely find moments of the plot interesting, except for the rare dialogue encounters with the aliens themselves, which were a joy to behold. However, none of the other characters offered much in the way of development and voice acting, and I found them bland and uninteresting. The graphics are quite nice, and lots of love and care have been dedicated to the lighting and detailed environments in the game. Many of the details in this game are quite nice, and this game looks extremely good when cranked up to max settings whilst running on DX11. In short? The Bureau: XCOM Declassified is a unique yet unusual entry in the XCOM franchise, and is a reward to fans of tactical shooters in general. Despite the occassional stumble in gameplay, incompetent team-mate AI and a lacklustre story, The Bureau is a solid game and I recommend it highly despite its flaws. I give this game a 7.5 / 10.

60

Average shooter

thehumandignity | Nov. 4, 2013 | See all thehumandignity's reviews »

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.

70

It's Good but..

MushyPear | Sept. 7, 2013 | See all MushyPear's reviews »

This is quite a fun game for the most part with some very good looking areas, however the game-play is very mediocre and the story fairly linear. Pretty average game.