2K Reveals The Bureau: XCOM Declassified

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2K Reveals The Bureau: XCOM Declassified

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified will take the "classic XCOM formula" and put it in real time.

It's 1962 and the threat of war with Russia is has all levels of government on alert. To combat the threat of a Russian invasion, various agencies have been created to safeguard the United States. When the terrestrial threat is overshadowed by an otherworldly invasion, however, The Bureau must refocus its energies on combating the alien menace. Such is the beginning of XCOM, the organization tasked with preventing the extermination and/or enslavement of the population of Earth. Nothing is ever easy, though, and to throw a spanner in the works, they must keep their activities out of the public eye. Whether this is something the player will need to keep in mind during missions, or if it's just a part of the narrative is unclear, but it is most assuredly in keeping with the XCOM mantra.

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified focuses on third person tactical squad based combat, where you play as William Carter, a hardened agent in his own right, who was recruited by The Bureau to lead other, lesser agents into battle against the alien incursion. The combat is real time, so you won't have the luxury of thinking out your battle strategy while your opponent patiently waits for their turn. It's also not a run-and-gun sort of environment where you can simply Rambo your way through combat. No, the campaign was described as "relentless" with the classic XCOM staple; agent permadeath.

It's not enough that your agents can die in a firefight and just stay dead, no, this is XCOM, which means that you'll be leveling up your agents, growing attached to them, feeling personally responsible when one of them kicks it, and possibly rethinking your involvement in the XCOM project as your dear comrades in arms start to drop like flies. Each agent will be assigned a class, like Commando or Recon, and level up courtesy of experience gained in combat. Each class will have skill tree(s) which allow you to unlock powerful abilities to aid you in combat, such as telekinesis, advanced turrets, and flash bangs. Naturally, you'll be acquiring and researching alien technology as you progress through the game, though the details are sparse, the fact remains that you'll most likely (hopefully) be blasting your way through the final chapters of the story with a Plasma Rifle in hand.

Staying true to the "classic XCOM formula," The Bureau will be a strictly single-player affair. I wasn't terribly impressed with the multiplayer component of Enemy Unknown, and XCOM has been a traditionally single player experience, so I'm not terribly distraught by the fact that the development time was spent focusing on the single player portion, rather than the requisite balancing act of multiplayer.

The term "hardcore" was even bandied about, which means you'll likely be losing a number of agents before you see the game through to its conclusion. You'll need to be able to use both "brains and bullets" to get through the origin story of XCOM and the subsequent cover up of its existence. If, like me, you're a die-hard XCOM player, then The Bureau sounds like it will have more than enough on offer to entice you to give it a shot. If you're not an XCOM person, however, but you're interested in a shooter that's not quite a shooter, then you may well find yourself entranced with the XCOM universe when all is said and done. At least that's what 2K is hoping for with this latest entry in the franchise.

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified launches for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC in the US on August 20th and internationally on August 23rd, and will retail here in the states for $59.99.

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Considering I got my strategy XCOM, I am willing to give this a shot. If they had only released this a few years back without releasing XCOM:EU, then I would have been pissed.

The music at the beginning felt a bit unnecessary otherwise a very nicely made trailer. Looking forward to this game, particularly for the atmosphere the time period its in provides. Also loving the geometrical aliens :3.

So....Same shit just different marketing? Guessing people will buy that.

mad825:
So....Same shit just different marketing? Guessing people will buy that.

Considering that most people were annoyed because it was called XCOM, yes, they now will because it isn't called XCOM anymore. It is related (as subtitle hints), but it is its own game otherwise.

Hm... sounds interesting. Need to keep an eye on this.

I'm actually looking forward to it. I like the idea of trying to reverse engineer alien tech from a period of time where computers essentially didn't exist.

I also hope you get to play in a situation where - because you didn't devote enough resources to researching - your primitive gunpowder based firearms just bounce off your opponents... in first person.

I would've liked it more if it was a new IP, buy I guess and XCOM spin-off works well too. The thing that bothered me in the trailer was "From the makers of Bioshock 2". I recently played Bioshock 2 - that's not good news. It had a poorly written story, didn't have half of the immersion of Bioshock, and it was way too buggy (PC version).

I do like the fact that there's permadeath, classes and leveling up of agents. I'm not very optimistic about it though.

Long-time X-COM fan, and I always supported this, and I'm still really looking forward to it. Pretty much anything based around the sinister side of the 50's American nuclear family culture has some weird, cool, chilling appeal to it I can't resist. I wish the setting was more frequently used.

Abomination:
I also hope you get to play in a situation where - because you didn't devote enough resources to researching - your primitive gunpowder based firearms just bounce off your opponents... in first person.

They did say it was "Hardcore" - so it's quite possible. At the same time though, we can boil it down to "cautious optimism". It might work better with the rebranding.

Not interested in the least, this is the second time they are trying to market this game, just with a new title. Keep X-COM a non 3rd person shooter IP, thanks. There aren't enough X-Com style gameply as it is.
I will skip this in favor of Xenonauts, the X-Com game currently being made by fans of the original. The game play looks to be much better then the X-Com released last year. I've already pre-purchased my copy.

I am happy to see that it will be a purely single player experience. Perhaps the well selling Bioshock Infinite and The Bureau: X-COM Declassified will show other developers and publishers that not every game needs multiplayer. I do like the idea of permadeath. Will that apply to the player character and their teammates or just their teammates?

It does sound like a pretty interesting game. I will most likely pre-order a copy in the next few days.

Good to know that this game got only delayed for a few months but wasn't shelved thanks to all that fanboy whining. I feel that the third-person perspective will also probably work better with squad tactics system they were going for.

If they just completely dropped any and all pretense of this being related to XCOM, I would likely give this a try as some of the ideas seem pretty sound. Might get it when it goes on sale perhaps, but for now I'm quite content with Enemy Unknown.

MrGalactus:
Long-time X-COM fan, and I always supported this, and I'm still really looking forward to it. Pretty much anything based around the sinister side of the 50's American nuclear family culture has some weird, cool, chilling appeal to it I can't resist. I wish the setting was more frequently used.

really creepy vibe to it isnt it. everything is so normal and perfect and you just know its all a facade.

x-com mad men edition :D actually it reminds me of an old tv show called dark skies

its got more potential than it initially did. i was expecting a bog standard shooter but with permament death for agents, research, etc im interested. but wait and see how the reviews are first

3rd-person squad-based real-time combat-sandwich? How does that... oh hell no... is this going to play like Dragon Age but with guns? I can't tell from the trailer because it's not even prerendered, thus even less useful than the sticky tissues Square Enix usually hands us... and I can't find any gameplay footage. Oh well, I guess I can wait for a while to decide if I'm going to hate the mechanics.

Btw, fighting off aliens in the 50s is about as appealing as playing as a big daddy in Rapture.

Buccura:
If they just completely dropped any and all pretense of this being related to XCOM, I would likely give this a try as some of the ideas seem pretty sound. Might get it when it goes on sale perhaps, but for now I'm quite content with Enemy Unknown.

So far, the only relation to XCOM seems to be the name "XCOM Declassified" - and potentially being an explaination why we got the option to make lasers and powerarmor in the original set in 1999...

Bindal:

Buccura:
If they just completely dropped any and all pretense of this being related to XCOM, I would likely give this a try as some of the ideas seem pretty sound. Might get it when it goes on sale perhaps, but for now I'm quite content with Enemy Unknown.

So far, the only relation to XCOM seems to be the name "XCOM Declassified" - and potentially being an explaination why we got the option to make lasers and powerarmor in the original set in 1999...

I actually got the impression that this was a prequel to the newer Enemy Unknown, rather than the original game.

Buccura:
I actually got the impression that this was a prequel to the newer Enemy Unknown, rather than the original game.

They always said that it is set in the world of the original series, not EU. Both 2K Marin and Firaxis.

Well if I fain complete ignorance at this point I would call this amazing, the trailer is bang on target and the PR blurb about story and gameplay is right up my alley, they have all the potential to make something epic.

However I'm no good at ignorance, so the fact that trailers and games are done by completely different companies shatters this dream a little, also that PR blurbs are just collections of words put together to reflect a target audience not the game, and that this game has swapped more hands then your friendly neighborhood hooker, additionally it is being redone again which just introduces more and more problems to the already problematic base which was a completely uninspired generic FPS, to top it off they still use the XCOM name just because it will make a couple extra sales.

Ya you could make an amazing game with that concept but making it from old failed scrap projects is never the way.

Mr.K.:
that this game has swapped more hands then your friendly neighborhood hooker

It has? Let's see, following teams worked on it:
2K Marin

WHOA, YOU'RE RIGHT! ONE DEVELEPOERS IS A FREAKING HUGE AMOUNT!
Also, "reworked again"? They only thing they reworked since they changed it to the Third-Person-Shooter is THE NAME!

Seems you're pretty good at ignoring things. Mostly facts.

Welp, I'm still interested. And since we already got a "real" X-com game as well, I don't see how anyone could complain about this game's existance.
That said, no gameplay shown = stay cautious.

BTW look at 1m24 on the door, thought that was a nice touch :D

Bindal:
Seems you're pretty good at ignoring things. Mostly facts.

Right and you are arguing with me based on no facts at all, look mate if you don't know the details then we really have nothing to discuss so bother someone else in the future.

Mr.K.:

Bindal:
Seems you're pretty good at ignoring things. Mostly facts.

Right and you are arguing with me based on no facts at all, look mate if you don't know the details then we really have nothing to discuss so bother someone else in the future.

If you stop hating for the sake of hating, fine. But you don't seem to be willing to do that.

Naaaah. It's lost me. Having never played an XCOM game, I wasn't one of the people who were furious to see this thing when it first emerged. Nevertheless, the more gameplay footage I've seen, the more I realise I just can't be arsed with it. I'm all for FPSs in unusual settings, but it feels like we're missing out on what could have been a cool, detective orientated, MiB game: a first person LA Noire with aliens. If we are going to completely disregard XCOM titles and have it in an entirely different genre, why have it as yet another clumsy FPS, or third person squad shooter?

I'm not against this, suprisingly. I dunno, seeing that it is now rather evident to even 2K that there's a demand for XCOM-style games, I'm thinking they might indeed end up taking a lot of pointers from the success of Enemy Unknown. Which bodes well to the prospect of getting a shooter that's actually trying to impress me, instead of trying to push lame ass marketing buttons.

Bindal:

Buccura:
I actually got the impression that this was a prequel to the newer Enemy Unknown, rather than the original game.

They always said that it is set in the world of the original series, not EU. Both 2K Marin and Firaxis.

No, they rebooted it entirely.

The ORIGINAL XCOM universe is over. It ended. XCOM had no use and disbanded.

Hell, its been said that the aliens came in the 90s, not the 60s. Its been very clear that the first invasion was in 1999, and the other in the future. The one from Terror from the deep was some weird scouting party that reawakened.

The second universe was the new one and this one.

Pebkio:
3rd-person squad-based real-time combat-sandwich? How does that... oh hell no... is this going to play like Dragon Age but with guns? I can't tell from the trailer because it's not even prerendered, thus even less useful than the sticky tissues Square Enix usually hands us... and I can't find any gameplay footage. Oh well, I guess I can wait for a while to decide if I'm going to hate the mechanics.

Btw, fighting off aliens in the 50s is about as appealing as playing as a big daddy in Rapture.

The developers said it basically Mass Effect and Bioshock 2 gameplay.

Its been in development hell for over 5 years now. They have been saying they have been taking game mechanics from popular games over the years and taping them together into one game.

The last game to do that was Duke Nukem forever, and we saw how that turned out. The developers are clueless in the interview videos. You can't just throw mechanics in the blender and expect something good to come out.

Was I the only person who noticed the goddamn pip-boy? The thing he put on before putting his hand in the fire?
Actually it reminded me of Fallout a lot. The music, the broken bike, the aforementioned pip-boy. I guess it would make sense because it's got the 50/60s theme in common.
OT: I thought this looked good before and I'm excited again. Sounds promising. I would have actually preferred it in first-person, but apparently any first-person game nowadays is a clone of CoD so what do I know?

So let's review:

1) This game came out with the XCOM name years ago.
2) Incited huge fan rage because it was clearly a product that had nothing to do with XCOM that was just using the XCOM name to get attention.
3) Game goes on hold as they try to adjust it to "meet fan demand", in the meantime Enemy Unknown is released and does superbly well.
4) Rather than using the success of Enemy Unknown to their advantage by continuing along that path and slapping this game with a new label, they instead push forward with it anyways under a new title.
5) They release a live-action trailer that, notably, has absolutely none of the aliens from the older trailers in it (most likely because their total non-resemblance to old XCOM aliens was a major point of contention with fans).

They've basically described this thing as a developmental blender of several games. A third-person shooter in the vein of all the other shooters out there, but with tacked on "squad-based combat" that occurs in real-time. It honestly sounds awful.

I'm not expecting much from this game.

Bindal:

Buccura:
I actually got the impression that this was a prequel to the newer Enemy Unknown, rather than the original game.

They always said that it is set in the world of the original series, not EU. Both 2K Marin and Firaxis.

Except the game manual for the original X-COM: UFO Defense clearly states that the organization was founded on December 11, 1998.

http://www.xcomufo.com/x1manual.pdf

(Jump down to page 12)

The way I see it, The Bureau takes place in a "what if" or "elseworlds" alternate reality. If it's related to any other X-COM game, it will most likely be with Enemy Unknown, especially considering how that game was a reboot of UFO Defense.

Having calmed down a bit now that a proper X-COM strategy game has seen the light of day, I've adopted more of a "wait and see" attitude instead of, well, you know...

Sounds good, its a single player shooter... that is pretty rare :P so kinda of excited, can hope for a game like good old 'Black' but I won't hold my breath.

This is probably the best way they could have done this. XCom fans are happy because the main series is still a tactical, turn-based affair, and the spin offs get to explore the world and broaden the lore with different gameplay styles. Everybody wins. Who knows? Maybe we'll see an XCom RTS spin-off where the invasion has become all out war. Suits me fine.

Ultratwinkie:

The developers said it basically Mass Effect and Bioshock 2 gameplay.

Its been in development hell for over 5 years now. They have been saying they have been taking game mechanics from popular games over the years and taping them together into one game.

The last game to do that was Duke Nukem forever, and we saw how that turned out. The developers are clueless in the interview videos. You can't just throw mechanics in the blender and expect something good to come out.

Plenty of developers do this. We just dont talk about it because it usually works out. Bioware made Mass Effect into more of a shooter in 2 when they saw how well received Gears of War was.

Mcoffey:
This is probably the best way they could have done this. XCom fans are happy because the main series is still a tactical, turn-based affair, and the spin offs get to explore the world and broaden the lore with different gameplay styles. Everybody wins. Who knows? Maybe we'll see an XCom RTS spin-off where the invasion has become all out war. Suits me fine.

Ultratwinkie:

The developers said it basically Mass Effect and Bioshock 2 gameplay.

Its been in development hell for over 5 years now. They have been saying they have been taking game mechanics from popular games over the years and taping them together into one game.

The last game to do that was Duke Nukem forever, and we saw how that turned out. The developers are clueless in the interview videos. You can't just throw mechanics in the blender and expect something good to come out.

Plenty of developers do this. We just dont talk about it because it usually works out. Bioware made Mass Effect into more of a shooter in 2 when they saw how well received Gears of War was.

Yes, that influenced ME2. But it retained its soul in 2.

But this game is pretty much copying everything on the market now, and does nothing special. The developers put no thought into the mechanics the game has, and has said so in interviews.

If they see something "cool" they immediately take it and slap it into the game regardless of how well it will mesh with other games. Because the game has been in development hell and they still have no idea what to do with it.

They scrapped it and restarted it from scratch 3 times, and that's just the ones we KNOW of.

A game is something that is PLANNED and FOCUSED. Throwing random mechanics into a blender is NOT good game design. That is NOT how you make a return on a product when you copy whats already been done.

Plenty of games have fallen into this hole, and development hell means that this game will fail harder than Aliens Colonial Marines, and for the same reason.

There is no light of hope for this game. The development history is pure horror. Its just something they put out to fill a balance sheet. Even then the imaginable costs dumped into this game means they should cut their losses at this point.

Mcoffey:
This is probably the best way they could have done this. XCom fans are happy because the main series is still a tactical, turn-based affair, and the spin offs get to explore the world and broaden the lore with different gameplay styles. Everybody wins. Who knows? Maybe we'll see an XCom RTS spin-off where the invasion has become all out war. Suits me fine.

Erm, excuse me. Have you played the game already? If so, where may we see actual gameplay footage?

Too many games in the past have tried to appeal everyone which turned into a bloody mess with one audience being favoured over the other. DNF was a Frankenstein monster theme wise in more ways than one.

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