The Bureau: XCOM Declassified Review
publisher: 2K Games
developer: 2K Marin
|ESRB rating: M
release date: Aug 20, 13
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Having gone through a rather turbulent development process, the XCOM spin-off, The Bureau: Declassified, is something I’ve invested 8 solid hours of my life into. So, without further ado, I’d like to explain to you folks why there’s a good chance none of you will do the same.
Let's cut to the chase: the game has broken combat mechanics. This is the issue I will focus on because, as far as I'm concerned, if the gameplay causes pain and anger, the story, graphics and music don't really matter anymore. Not that they're anything to write home about anyway.
I played on veteran difficulty, expecting my superior human intellect to help me dispatch aliens (called Outsiders) without effort. Little did I know that I'd be dealing with not only Outsiders, but the game itself. This is supposed to be a 3rd-person, tactical, squad-based shooter. You shoot stuff in real-time and pause the action whenever you want to issue orders to your two squad members. Great. Fantastic. Let's see how a skirmish plays out:
All geared up. Now, where are the fucking aliens?
Yeah, try tweeting me, I can't hear shit on this phone.
You send your squad to take cover behind a low wall. The Outsiders see you and this is what happens.
1st attempt: your mates are destroyed by a shower of grenades;
2nd attempt: your mates get shot to pieces while fleeing the shower of grenades;
3rd attempt: you get shot to pieces on your way to revive your mates;
4th attempt: your mates get shot to pieces while shooting from behind cover (no, they aren't flanked);
5th attempt: you get shot to pieces while running around, desperately looking for ammo (you can only carry two weapons and very little ammunition);
6th attempt: you die of anger when you spot one of your mates somewhere behind enemy lines, going mano-a-mano with an Outsider;
7th attempt: one of you mates bleeds out and goes to Hell because you fucking let him, the useless piece of shit;
8th attempt: a drop pod full of Outsiders falls right behind you while you're busy shooting the Outsiders in front of you. Insta-defeat;
9th attempt: (my absolute favorite) squadmates leave cover to follow you on your quest for ammo across the battlefield. They don't need ammo but they're 'redeploying' because they love you. At least one Outsider dies of laughter.
You can see some beautiful classic automobiles here and there and men wear hats in this game;
Combat is anything but fun, the rest of the experience is a dull, joyless affair (sounds rather like my last marriage - Ed. Vader)