Welcome to Xcom, a newly formed branch of the American government to battle the Alien invasion.

Set in the 60’s, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified portrays life if we were to be invaded in a time without satellite tracking and smart phones. It’s a third person shooter, your character Agent Carter, an operative that has been relegated to desk work due to past indiscretions. A team of two other operatives, utilise a range of different abilities and tactical manoeuvres to take out enemy strong points. Sounds pretty generic, huh? Probably because it is. The developers used the standard copy paste formula for a third person shooter and added a new skin. There wasn’t anything in the game that hasn’t been seen in another title.

I felt the game to be very two dimensional. Apart from the missions themselves there wasn’t much to do. The headquarters were bland and boring with nothing of interest past the occasional conversation with one of the doctors or analysts. The side missions were repetitive and the main story line stumbled and stuttered so much that it ended up as an incoherent mess that lacked key points which the developers obviously expected you to assume.

I think the main problem was that the game lacked depth. It was all show and no action. Yes, you get to blow things up and shoot aliens in the head, but what do you do during your off time? What little secrets are there for you to find whilst exploring?

Another problem to add to the growing list was the inconsistency of the combat difficulty. For the most part the game was extremely easy, but ever so often there would be a level or fight that would be damn near impossible.

I think it boils down to this: the game wasn’t a fully rounded package, which it should have been given the time the developers took to release it.
There were a couple redeeming points though, such as the visuals and AI system. I found the enemy to be quite intelligent, for the most part, and the two other operatives under your control did a fairly good job on their own.

On the side of the visuals the developers did a pretty good job. They created a world that really allowed you to immerse yourself in that era, Cadillac’s and all.

I’ve never played any of the other Xcom games so I’m not sure if it would appeal to anyone that’s a fan of the series, but I’m not sure I would recommend it to them in any case. It wasn’t entirely horrible, but it wasn’t good either. If you can borrow the game from a friend then knock yourself out, give it a play. Otherwise, don’t waste your money.

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified Rating: 4/10

Check out the The Bureau: XCOM Declassified website: The Bureau

Xavier Bezuidenhoudt – Our resident Frenchman; we discovered Xavier in the back streets of Paris selling bootleg Mighty Mouse action figures. His Parisian occupation paired with his checkered past as a mime in the Moulin Rouge gave him the necessary skill required to become an excelent PC games reviewer. We immediately offered him a job. Take away from the fast paced world of action figure bootlegging, Xavier settled in Johannesburg, living on a diet of Merlot, Foie Gras and your tears when he owns you at Starcraft
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