The Bureau: XCOM Declassified (NA)

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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. 

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Customer reviews


An XCOM game, but might as well not be

MadDemon64 | Jan. 7, 2015 | See all MadDemon64's reviews »

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified is an odd game that tries to tell an XCOM story without many, if not any, of the classic XCOM mechanics. And even at that it doesn’t succeed.

The story is fairly weak when compared to standard XCOM. The characters are forgettable. This game tries to change up the XCOM formula, and fails miserably.

The Bureau is a third person shooter that will make anyone who has ever played Mass Effect at home. You need to stay in cover, just like in any other XCOM game, but you need to aim at your targets. You can use special abilities to damage your enemies or keep your allies alive, but the entire system makes combat seem too easy, especially when compared to other XCOM games.

The Bureau might have the XCOM game, but it plays more like Mass Effect than XCOM. If you enjoy Mass Effect, you will enjoy this game, but only if you don’t like or have never played another XCOM game. If you do like other XCOM games, you will probably hate this game.


An interesting and fun game

BlockAgent | Oct. 5, 2014 | See all BlockAgent's reviews »

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified is a fun game to play. There are many reasons for that. The missions are all interesting, feel special and are different enough that they don't ever feel repetitive. The graphics are very good and the voice acting is good as well. Alot of hard work went into this game and it shows. There are only a couple of complaints I have about this game. The controls can be cumbersome at times to the point where your character will jump over a wall into enemy fire when you simply pushed the duck button. Also, rarely, but enough, one of your fellow agents will get caught behind a door and it will cause him to not be able to fight with you for a while until he respawns later in the mission. Overall though, this game is fun, keeps your attention until the end and will provide you with around 15 hours of enjoyment.


Ignore the critics

Ghost_Panther | Aug. 23, 2014 | See all Ghost_Panther's reviews »

This game was fun. A lot of people don't like it because it isn't RTS. If you're a fan of third person shooters and Sci fi shooters get this game. Looks good, decent voice acting, very few bugs here and there. Also the command tactics is better than people say it is and is critical for getting past enemies.


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 is

taigatsu | 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.