The Bureau: XCOM Declassified (NA)
Third party DRM: SteamThis game requires a free Steam account to play.
The year is 1962. JFK is President and the Cold War has the nation gripped by fear – but a far more powerful and insidious enemy than communism is threatening America. Known only to a select few, a top-secret government unit called The Bureau begins investigating and concealing a series of mysterious attacks by an otherworldly enemy. As special agent William Carter, call the shots, pull the trigger and lead your squad in a gripping third-person tactical shooter set within a high-stakes, covert war to defend humanity. The Bureau’s mission is clear – survive, adapt and overcome the enemy threat to protect the citizens from the truth.
Better than expected.Jericho417 | July 25, 2014 | See all Jericho417's reviews »
I heard a lot of negative comments about this game, but I just don't see it. Perhaps it's because it doesn't come close to Firaxis' X-com game, people might struggle to see it as its own thing. It's a squad based action third person shooter with the ability to issue strings of commands to your squad mates. You can tell your engineer to take cover, move along the wall to get behind the enemy, throw a turret down, and finally toss a land mind to finish them off when they try to find new cover. Not too complex, though. I would have preferred setting up combination attacks more. The best you usually get is lifting an enemy in to the air and everyone shooting them. The standard x-com guns are present, however, you pick them up during missions. There is absolutely no research and once a piece of equipment is unlocked, you suddenly have an infinite supply of them. Graphically, the game is fine, nothing really noteworthy either way. The story felt a bit forced at points. I think that pressure from Enemy Unknowns success ultimately hurt this game.
Not bad for what it istaigatsu | July 17, 2014 | See all taigatsu's reviews »
It's a shame that this game got shackled with the XCOM name. More than anything, that has acted as a burden around its neck, inviting comparisons to one of contemporary gaming's most respected IPs, when in reality, it is a solid, enjoyable third person shooter that requires a greater amount of tactical consideration than twitch reflexes. The Bureau pays minor homage to its progenitor during the game through its use of common enemies and equipment, but makes radical departures in most other regards. Actual gameplay largely consists of using a radial menu to give your squadmates commands, ordering them into flanking positions, making good use of each class' unique abilities and contributing a healthy amount of gunfire yourself. Your squadmates are fairly un-autonomous, and require constant supervision, which can be frustrating, but is actually beneficial, as they are also your greatest asset and should be utilized constantly.
Enemies are intelligent and aggressive, and will work to outmaneuver you and your men. There is a healthy variety of foes to face, some of whom have unique abilities and traits that have to be taken into consideration. The developers did a fantastic job nailing the retro, Cold War aesthetic in many locations. From banks of computer monitors lighting up, men in horn rimmed glasses chain smoking, a small town homecoming parade complete with straw bales and a burnt out school bus - every detail seems pitch perfect. Unfortunately, over half the game seems to consist of alien structures which are utterly uninspiring. It's too bad, since it is a setting has so much to offer. And that fantastic G-Man outfit you see in all the promotional material? Enjoy it while it lasts, since you'll be trading it in after the first mission. It should also be noted that the plot is barely passable. The voice acting is listless and the story full of cliches. Fortunately you can skip through almost all of the dialogue.
Don't just write off The Bureau as a cash-in or a spin-off. There's quite a bit to appreciate hiding behind that big name in the subtitle, and is a lot less brainless than you might think. It's more than just another cover based third person shooter, and does a lot more right than it does wrong.
Here is the deal.Perception1987 | June 19, 2014 | See all Perception1987's reviews »
This isn't a bad game. It's not a great game, but it is fun to play. What you need to know is that this isn't your traditional XCOM game. You have to understand that going in to really enjoy this game. XCOM has always been about emergent gameplay. It is part of what makes it so wonderful. With The Bureau we get a crafted story. Not only that, but we get to see the beginning of XCOM. We get to see it's birth. That alone makes this game worth playing. Aside from that the whole shooting Sectoids in the face myself instead of commanding a soldier to do it was a pleasant surprise.
If you are a fan of XCOM I recommend this game. Just know what you are getting into. Commit to it and you will enjoy yourself. However if you are not a fan of the series I would recommend a different third person tactical shooter. This one is not without it's problems. But for fans of the series wanting to experience something new in the world of XCOM this is the game for you.
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.
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.