The Bureau: XCOM Declassified Review - Boots on the Ground

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified Review - Boots on the Ground

At least 60% of the time, The Bureau delivers a legitimate XCOM experience.

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Looks good. Will most likely get it off Steam when I get paid this week. I heard that you can make choices that effect the story later on. Was that just a rumor and not true or are the choices not that big of a deal?

Hmmm, actually sounds decent to me. Most of the cons are "Pluses" to me because I feel that when you put too much storyline into a strategy title it serves to actually diminish your options. I think one of the things that makes X-com work has largely been the very vague premise which everyone can easily understand and get behind, and the lack of a pre-defined narrative creating the feel that your actually in control of defending earth rather than simply playing through the exciting bits of a story about someone else defending earth.

"If you're a one-man army, however, and hate to rely on your team, the experience will likely be a frustrating one"

Yeah this doesn't sound like it's for me then. I never really minded have to lead a squad, it's just that for games that require extensive team work I have yet to play one where I didn't suspect my squadmates were clinically brain dead. Rainbow Six was the worst offender of this I can remember (though Vegas alliviated this slightly by making them more durable than most armored vehicles), and Combined this with hive mind enemies with reaction times that need to be measured in planc seconds, and the improbable aiming ability to be able to consistently nail you in the head with every pellet from a shotgun from Pluto. After dealing with that you can probably understand why I've sworn off this style of gameplay.

So far this is the only review Ive read that was positive... Heck Jims review on Destructiod was quite negative.

Bevin Warren:
So far this is the only review Ive read that was positive... Heck Jims review on Destructiod was quite negative.

Its positive, but it gets the three star "decidedly average" rating. I'm guessing its a bit like Hitman Absolution or Splinter Cell convition: Not bad games, but bad entries in the franchise.

Is this actually a prequel to Enemy Unknown? It seems like that is how they are trying to spin it, but it only looks tangentially linked to said game.

Sounds like the game is a bit on the average side then. At least this review had a few good things to say about it. Still, it's $80 on Steam in this country, which is much too much for a shooter that isn't a shoe-in for GotY awards.

Oh well. Hopefully fans of the series will find something to enjoy.

Edit: And hey, this thing went through a bit of dev hell. At least it doesn't look like a serious flop a la Aliens Coloniel Marines.

The fact that this game is simply average is probably the best thing that could have happened to it. Most games do not survive development hell with their souls intact. Games like Duke Nukem Forever and Aliens Colonial Marines are prime examples. But the fact The Bureau XCOM Declassified is a good game, not a great one nor a bad one, shows the talent of the studio that created it. I hope that at least some people recognize that 2K Marin has a lot of talented people working for it and are skilled enough to make the best of a bad situation. Hopefully, 2K Games will soon let them make their own original property instead of being handed other studios games and being told to make a sequel or spin-off. I'm really interested to see what they would make on their own without the expectations of rabid fans breathing down their neck.

i find it a bit sad that the origin of the x-com program seems to of changed from the world leaders banding together to fight a overwhelming foe, to america must save the world because only Americans can save the world, everyone else just sits and waits to die, though if i'm wrong about that please tell me.

the game-play seems interesting and i like the retro look of some of the aliens, might pick it up when the price drops a bit.

PBMcNair:
Its positive, but it gets the three star "decidedly average" rating. I'm guessing its a bit like Hitman Absolution or Splinter Cell convition: Not bad games, but bad entries in the franchise.

If the other entries in the series (save for the original and the recent reboot) are any indication, then this FPS is still one of the best entries in the franchise. Historically, companies have not been too careful about quality control with X-COM, which is a major reason for the skepticism about this game's quality.

I'll probably keep my eye open on Steam sales for this game and get it around the $10-$20 mark in a few years.

Always with the talk about the player being 'the last line of defence' and yadda yadda yadda.

I want to know what it's like to be the first line of defence.

Anyway, pleh. Another TPS with meagre squad control elements. Sure, it could work if the level design was inspired and interesting, but I doubt that somehow.

Now it's a third person shooter?, wasn't it a first person shooter at first?.

Anyways, it looks decent enough, though it looks a bit too much like Mass Effect or Gears of War, so, I'll might grab it when it gets a lower price on Steam.

I like that the squad-menu (quick-menu?)is only slow-time not stop-time.

Kilo24:
If the other entries in the series (save for the original and the recent reboot) are any indication, then this FPS is still one of the best entries in the franchise. Historically, companies have not been too careful about quality control with X-COM, which is a major reason for the skepticism about this game's quality.

I've yet to meet anyone who was skeptical about this game because of some poor sequels to the original X-Com. The skepticism came from the fact that this is an FPS set in a different time period and with seemingly very little to connect it to the actual XCom games.

It sounds interesting but I'd only pick this up as a rent.

(2000 posts! Yay!)

Pink Gregory:
I want to know what it's like to be the first line of defence.

The experience typically doesn't last long enough to make a story out of it. :)

Pink Gregory:
Always with the talk about the player being 'the last line of defence' and yadda yadda yadda.

I want to know what it's like to be the first line of defence.

Anyway, pleh. Another TPS with meagre squad control elements. Sure, it could work if the level design was inspired and interesting, but I doubt that somehow.

From what I read, its corridor shooting leading to an arena where you fight the same aliens again and again.

Not exactly inspiring.

Pink Gregory:
I want to know what it's like to be the first line of defense.

If it's made it to the last line, that's usually because the first lines have failed, so you'd probably be dead quick in a game like that.

Considering it has some decent rewards on Steam (I haven't got Xcom: EU on PC and my Xbox is having disc reading issues) seems to be average overall, some praise here and there, some nays thereabouts as well, I think I might preorder it before it releases in this country. Green Man Gaming has a good preorder price considering it's almost $80 here at stores to preorder, the $45 deal as well as getting several other games seems to be good enough for me.

I like third person shooters with a little something else to offer, so the tactics bit sounds good to me. Considering an Xcom game has yet to have what I would call a good story, I wasn't expecting much on that front. So yeah, am getting it methinks.

If it was actually intended to be a back-story and assumed that X-Com had existed in the 1960s, my primary question would have to be: How is it that X-Com managed to successfully drive back an alien incursion back in the 60s, but still needs to figure out how to re-invent the plasma rifle in the present day?!

Callate:
If it was actually intended to be a back-story and assumed that X-Com had existed in the 1960s, my primary question would have to be: How is it that X-Com managed to successfully drive back an alien incursion back in the 60s, but still needs to figure out how to re-invent the plasma rifle in the present day?!

They didn't.

They also didn't explain why the Ethereals didn't just murder us whole sale or mind control the president into killing the project. They threw in a shitty twist with an ethereal.

Yeah, they brought in the big daddy into a 1950s prequel. The unstoppable race of aliens even the future had an issue defeating with fusion powered laser rifles is suddenly stopped by American 1950s technology.

No amount of hand waving makes that okay.

It was made very clear in every XCOM game, the aliens have way more tech and bodies than we do. We will lose in a straight up fight, so we needed to find a weak point in the alien war machine to make it grind to a halt by throwing bodies into the war machine's weak point and hope it chokes on all the bodies.

You can't rambo that. Even though the game lets you rambo through it. No one man can fight an entire XCOM invasion. There is a reason you are a commander in the base and the soldiers are in the field.

Callate:
If it was actually intended to be a back-story and assumed that X-Com had existed in the 1960s, my primary question would have to be: How is it that X-Com managed to successfully drive back an alien incursion back in the 60s, but still needs to figure out how to re-invent the plasma rifle in the present day?!

My question is: If in this game XCom started as an anti-soviet unit, what's the X supposed to stand for? It can't be eXtraterrestial anymore.

But I'm nitpicky like that.

Callate:
If it was actually intended to be a back-story and assumed that X-Com had existed in the 1960s, my primary question would have to be: How is it that X-Com managed to successfully drive back an alien incursion back in the 60s, but still needs to figure out how to re-invent the plasma rifle in the present day?!

My question is: If in this game XCom started as an anti-soviet unit, what's the X supposed to stand for? It can't be eXtraterrestial anymore.

But I'm nitpicky like that.

bificommander:

Callate:
If it was actually intended to be a back-story and assumed that X-Com had existed in the 1960s, my primary question would have to be: How is it that X-Com managed to successfully drive back an alien incursion back in the 60s, but still needs to figure out how to re-invent the plasma rifle in the present day?!

My question is: If in this game XCom started as an anti-soviet unit, what's the X supposed to stand for? It can't be eXtraterrestial anymore.

But I'm nitpicky like that.

Only an hour into the game, but they haven't used the term XCOM, only the Bureau so far. So they may make the name in regard to the alien thing.

As for the game itself, really liking it so far.

An X-Com shooter? So not really an X-Com game at all then. Just like the atrocious remake of Syndicate they really seem to have missed the point, I don't expect this will sell very well. Oh well, at least there's still Enemy Unknown.

 

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