Stay away from The Bureau
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 August 2013, 6:46 am
After trying to play The Bureau: XCOM Declassified for a few hours, I gave up. I do like the setting, and the idea behind the game, but the execution is so horribly bad that I just can't get any enjoyment out of the game. Most of the resources spent for this game appear to have been used to create endless cutscenes and dialogue, and then nothing was left to actually make a decent shooter. So you're wasting a lot of time just getting from one action sequence to the next, with bad movement animations and dialogues that don't appear to lead anywhere.

Unfortunately the battles aren't much fun either. In first-person view things happen very fast, and because the controls and camera aren't great, you barely register what is happening. Switch to tactical view slows down time and gives you enough overview to enable you to command your team members, but meanwhile your character can't shoot or move himself. Give decent commands to your squad, and the combat might be over within seconds, without you having done much yourself. So on the one side you have a low-quality version of a Call of Duty-like strictly linear shooter full of scripted sequences, and on the other side you have the tactical elements of squad-based XCOM combat. And while I could image a setup in which those two could mix, The Bureau hasn't found it.

In the end the cool idea of fighting aliens with 60's era FBI types in suits with hats can't make up for the constant stream of annoyances of the gameplay. The game fails to work well as a tactical combat game, while simultaneously failing to provide a good shooter experience. Unfortunately Steam hasn't followed EA Origin yet in giving you the option to return bad games within 24 hours, because otherwise I would have gone for a refund. As it is, I'll have to declare this one a total loss. It looked nice in video trailers, but failed to convince when I actually played it. I recommend staying away from The Bureau: XCOM Declassified.
Tobold's Blog



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