The Bureau: XCOM Declassified Hands-On Preview

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified Hands-On Preview

Hands on with the first four hours of the game, including first glimpses at story and gameplay.

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The gameplay looks like a person trying to have sex with an elephant.

So in short, in essence, this is XCOM: Enemy Unknown in First person? I still think this is unnecessary and betrayal, XCOM: Enemy Unknown did quite well, it is quite a good game. All it needs is the AAA budget so that it can add more filler to it's original instalment.

The characters are bad? Same with XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Bad plot? Check. Bad voice acting? Check.

So no more geometrical enemies D: ? That's cool too ;_;

I'll be keeping an eye out for this one, glad to hear at least the aesthetics hold up.

I've got to say that I'm looking forward to this game. I really like the setting and aesthetic.
Since the gameplay holds up too, I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this game. More XCOM is never a bad thing and it seems as if the developers are really trying to craft a unique game.

Are people still moaning that its not like the original. Boo hoo. If you look at the original, that was a great game. The sequel where you fought under the ocean that was good also. The next two sequels sucked. You have your new xcom last year so stop whining and give the new one a try. If it fails, then it fails. But atleast they tried something different. If you are hating this just cos its a fps version, then shut up and go and play the original, other people will play this with an open mind. Also, this is an opportunity for people that loved this game, will play the original one and thus enable a sequel to be made. Granted, the Syndicate fps game sucked. But The Bureau game could be good, and if it wasnt originally called Xcom, no one would be moaning.

mad825:
The gameplay looks like a person trying to have sex with an elephant.

So in short, in essence, this is XCOM: Enemy Unknown in First person? I still think this is unnecessary and betrayal, XCOM: Enemy Unknown did quite well, it is quite a good game. All it needs is the AAA budget so that it can add more filler to it's original instalment.

The characters are bad? Same with XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Bad plot? Check. Bad voice acting? Check.

So, having loved Enemy Unknown, this didn't feel like a betrayal. It felt like a natural extension of XCOM. This is bringing a slightly different audience to an awesome franchise. This game looks like it might be a 4/5 or a 4.5/5 - it's hard to say until someone gets their hands on a final copy for review. The game we played was a version that was a few months older than the release, and still contained bugs.

Trailers and screens make this game look awful - the experience I had was that it was a lot smoother in play. Animations sometimes felt weird, but it wasn't quite "having sex with an elephant" level of awkward. You can't quite grok the battle focus system for commanding your allies until you use it. There's essentially no lag between giving orders and fighting.

If anyone else has questions I'll try to answer them within my ability to do so! Of course, you know, still gotta do my job today. So I can't answer unlimited questions.

Is anyone else having problems with the video ?

Huh, so they changed it around a whole bunch even more then.
No longer first person but now third person. No more research, but scavenging and combining parts.
Is the base mechanic gone they had planned? No mention of it in the video and I'm a lazy jerk who needs to rest his eyes a bit.
See, I was never as invested in XCOM as others were, so I never considered this game to be such a betrayal or whatever else it was called from the get go. I just hope the backlash hasn't forced their hand in an attempt to add in features of the main series half-heartedly. Better to have something completely new than something new that had to be saddled with old for oldness' sake.

Skeleon:

Is the base mechanic gone they had planned? No mention of it in the video and I'm a lazy jerk who needs to rest his eyes a bit.

Base building is not in, but you do have a base you return to after each mission. It's like an RPG town - you can affect it a bit, and there are sub-plots and missions to unlock through base dialogs. You manage your inventory and chat with your soldiers there, too.

As much as I like the XCOM games I think the thing that has annoyed me the most out of everything is the "flip a coin" gameplay. Everything is decided by odds, which means that somehow you could miss an alien despite being at point blank range, as well as having an alien being half a mile away from a soldier and at full cover and somehow have that alien kill the guy in one shot. I've never cared much for when game have victory and defeat determined by random chance, and XCOM is no exception. I prefer games where skill is what matters, so I'll probably like The Bureau pretty well.

This is one of those games where I love the concept and the setting, and the more I hear about it, I more eager I am to play it.

Has a demo been released to public yet?

Guess I could go look...

The only worry I have is that this game seems to have been changed so much, it's gone through a bit of dev hell that it may not turn out great. Which would be a shame, because as an Xcom fan, I wasn't mad that they wanted to do something a bit different.

immortalfrieza:
As much as I like the XCOM games I think the thing that has annoyed me the most out of everything is the "flip a coin" gameplay. Everything is decided by odds, which means that somehow you could miss an alien despite being at point blank range, as well as having an alien being half a mile away from a soldier and at full cover and somehow have that alien kill the guy in one shot. I've never cared much for when game have victory and defeat determined by random chance, and XCOM is no exception. I prefer games where skill is what matters, so I'll probably like The Bureau pretty well.

Skill can be considered: placement, what you bring in with your squad as in equipment etc and how you move them up do matter, it's not just a rolling the dice kind of game. There are many ways to stack odds in your soldier favor if you set things up right. And yes, occasionally you would lose someone to a random alien shot, but that's how something like that goes down. Combat situations are never fully controlled, they wouldn't be a challenge if they were.

chozo_hybrid:
The only worry I have is that this game seems to have been changed so much, it's gone through a bit of dev hell that it may not turn out great. Which would be a shame, because as an Xcom fan, I wasn't mad that they wanted to do something a bit different.

immortalfrieza:
As much as I like the XCOM games I think the thing that has annoyed me the most out of everything is the "flip a coin" gameplay. Everything is decided by odds, which means that somehow you could miss an alien despite being at point blank range, as well as having an alien being half a mile away from a soldier and at full cover and somehow have that alien kill the guy in one shot. I've never cared much for when game have victory and defeat determined by random chance, and XCOM is no exception. I prefer games where skill is what matters, so I'll probably like The Bureau pretty well.

Skill can be considered: placement, what you bring in with your squad as in equipment etc and how you move them up do matter, it's not just a rolling the dice kind of game. There are many ways to stack odds in your soldier favor if you set things up right. And yes, occasionally you would lose someone to a random alien shot, but that's how something like that goes down. Combat situations are never fully controlled, they wouldn't be a challenge if they were.

That said, you can easily gain 100% accuracy over certain parameters in the latest game. Shotguns, high-ground snipers, moving from cover to cover as an assault class, etc. If you really want to play the game of absolutes, you can move toward that point. It's not 100% across all boards, but it's still an option.

And yes, as you said, stacking the odds in your favor is still the way to go yo.

OT:
It's looking interesting. I'm not an XCOM fan from the get-go, but nonetheless, it has my eye. I've played the most recent one and had a blast, so hoping for good things from this.

I'm glad this game wasn't canceled. They might have messed up to put the XCOM name on it when it was really more like Mass Effect, but it nonetheless looks like a fantastic game. I'll probably snap it up for full price, something I don't do for a whole lot of games these days.

Well written preview, cohesive, cogent and informative. I greatly appreciate that. While I'm a bit wary of this title I think it's possible that with polish it could be a good title.

I'm warming up to this but really hope they polish up the story elements if it's still obvious its a mish mash of different scripts pulling in different directions, an unlikeable protagonist doesn't sound good either.

Not too sad to hear research being removed, should allow them more control over pacing.

Frankster:
I'm warming up to this but really hope they polish up the story elements if it's still obvious its a mish mash of different scripts pulling in different directions, an unlikeable protagonist doesn't sound good either.

I felt that shades of earlier scripts showed through - I wouldn't quite call it a mish mash. I spoke with the narrative designer/writer and he had very clearly put order to the thing. Just don't expect it to win any story awards.

I was thinking of giving this one a pass but now that I watched the preview and know of the dialogue choices. multiple endings, and difficult choices I think I will pre-order it. The gameplay looks really fun and trying to keep my squad alive will be both exciting and a challenge.

JonB:
Base building is not in, but you do have a base you return to after each mission. It's like an RPG town - you can affect it a bit, and there are sub-plots and missions to unlock through base dialogs. You manage your inventory and chat with your soldiers there, too.

Hm, I see.
Not necessarily a bad thing in itself, but probably something else that fans of the original series would be annoyed by.
Even so I'd expect to see a base defense mission at some point, even if you don't get to design your own base. They just have to throw something token like that in.
I'll keep an eye out for this game. Maybe they'll be able to polish it a little more. As I said, I'm not going to condemn this game just for trying something outside of the series formula.

 

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