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The Bureau: XCOM Declassified Steam Page

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I have just recently noticed that The Bureau is now on Steam. Currently it's $44.99 (WOW! a 10% discount ;)) and is doing the prepurchase unlocks.

1. Codebreaker pack

2. Spec Ops: The Line (Never heard of it)

3. The XCOM collection (a $60 value)

Also release with this is the official trailer showing some new leader(?) alien that looks like a cross between a tall sectoid wearing battle armor and a ethereal wearing battle armor. Also, the Titan is still in. That puts some hope back in me that this has kept some of the older enemies that it originally had.

What's you guys thoughts?

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Visually it looks really nice

from gameradar

If Carter dies it's game over. Or it's permadeath for everyone except Carter. Ah, the FPS world. You'd have thought you'd just carry on as one of the others really in the deadly world of X-Com.

We do want to tell a story that has a feeling of immediacy and time," Gray says, "so we want to push you through as well, and make you feel every op matters, nothing is ever just grinding forward.

something that Xenonauts is doing, judging by the idea behind the ticker and the escalation.

advancement through gear and abilities encountered in the field is managed with an experience points system.

Not sure about that at all, although I'll admit X-Com economies are odd anyway.

I do like the ideas behind covering up the evidence, but disappointed by the lack of base management.

I will undoubtedly pick it up in a sale. By the time I got round to EU2012 the price had halved, so not doing that again.

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Actually kinda looks interesting...though slightly like Mass Effect in Xcom AU though...

That being said, I'm still not probably going to pick it up unless there's a sale (being a poor university student and all...).

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thanks for that Max. I'm only part way through it - work calleth- but I'm struck with the cold war tropes that the dev said they are tapping into. The space race, the arms race, the conspiracies. You also have nods to invasion of the body snatchers and the andromeda strain.

So, it's kicking Xenonauts butt in all of those respects :) a cold war setting that might actually delve into it. Even the mission to retrieve a scientist is good stuff. Alas, there's nothing like that here.

visually still great, but how much does that thing on Carter's wrist weigh?

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From having read the previews and watched the preview vids on youtube (there's actually quite a bit of variety in the preview vids - you get viewpoints from several of the dev team) The Bureau is strategy-lite. The effort and the energy have gone into making an exciting and interesting real-time 3rd person tactical game. Research, for example, is mostly story-locked. Growth comes entirely from managing the individual agents you work with who develop abilities that would otherwise have been things you get from research (such as things like holgraphic decoys, or plasma mines etc.). It's unsurprising that the Commissar mentioned Mass Effect - the game follows RPG tropes, such as a primary storyline with sidequests branching off from it, the focus on characters levelling up AND there's the mass effect discussion trees. Unlike other RPGs, agents can suffer permadeath depending on the difficulty setting instead of dying when the story demands it. There is no emergent gameplay as far as I can see. I would say the way agents are handled in the game is the best implementation I have seen yet of this style of game. There's a lot of control over where agents go and positioning is much more important than in games like Mass Effect.

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Here's an interesting article I found on pcgamer. Here's a quote:

I loved fighting Shield Commanders–when one of these bipedal Outsiders (a new alien race in The Bureau) enters the battlefield, they operate like quarterbacks, bouncing behind the offensive line of their troops, buffing themselves or allies with an overshield. Muton and Sectopod fights were terrific, too. One secondary operation sent me to a derailed train, culminating in a Muton miniboss. These aren’t the Mutons we met in Enemy Unknown–here, they’re nine feet tall, extremely durable, and they continuously, slowly stomp toward you while firing their laser cannon. They don’t utilize cover–they don’t do anything to avoid your shots, and to kill one you have to focus on eroding one or two pieces of its modular armor as soon as possible in order to get at its flesh. It feels like squaring off against an iron bulldozer.

I underlined the part I found most interesting. I just wonder if he was really talking about Sectopods or did he mix up their name with Sectoids. An easy mistake I'm sure.

Full article can be found here: http://www.pcgamer.com/previews/the-bureau-xcom-declassified-hands-on-preview-what-i-liked-and-didnt/?ns_campaign=article-feed&ns_mchannel=ref&ns_source=steam&ns_linkname=0&ns_fee=0

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Well at first I said "XCOM FPS - couldn't care less" but hey, it looks interesting. Just not feeling ready to pay > EUR40 for it.

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I might be in the minority but I think it looks like a pretty sweet game.

Anyways, for those who were considering pre-ordering. I'd suggest getting it from GreenManGaming.com

You'll get a steam key and the same pre-order rewards but it is a bit cheaper (even cheaper if you were subscribing to their newsletter, but too late for that now.)

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Game should be unlocking in about an hour. I've got it pre-ordered and pre-downloaded. I'll mention something here about my initial thoughts on it in a while. For those of you on the fence.

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I may well end up buying it but I'm not convinced enough to do so at full price.

Looks like an XCOM-ified Brothers in Arms with a bit more emphasis on individual skills like in XCOM:EU. Interesting mix.

Some say it cannot be "true" X-COM if it isn't placed in a future setting. I say that's BS. =)

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So far it's pretty good. There's plenty of soldier customization, the command mode is pretty awesome, and it interacts w/ XCOM2012's story in a lot of ways.

HOWEVER.... my biggest beef is that the character's faces just look... wrong. Especially the information's chief's, Her face is just horrifying. They're mostly too stiff. Also, the game has been very very linear up till now. I've been told that I will be able to choose my missions soon, so hopefully I'll get rid of the strategic linearity, but the missions themselves have also been incredibly linear. The game tells me to find ways to flank my enemy but consistently puts me in situations where flanks are basically nonexistent, being long thin combat zones with impassable paths on each side. Maybe that'll get better too in a few missions, since I'm still on the first "real" mission now.

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The game tells me to find ways to flank my enemy but consistently puts me in situations where flanks are basically nonexistent, being long thin combat zones with impassable paths on each side.

Brothers in Arms was 100% linear like that.

You could move your flankers into the position that was designed for them to be flanking the next-up enemy position from... or you could choose to lose.

Basically a puzzle game where you had to move your pieces in exactly the predetermined order.

Dishonored is also 100% scripted and static but at least you really have multiple approaches to get through those tubular levels. It's anything but open world but there is some tactical diversity.

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(My first post in forever!)

I purchased this game, and regret it. Should've waited for a sale. I'm not that mad since I only paid 45 USD and got spec ops AND all the other x-com games which i gifted to my friends. But damn, this game is so far from x-com and so far from being a strategy game that it's just sad. I think I died a little inside at how disappointed I was. Whoever decided to slap x-coms name to this obviously non-xcom game is just a jerk.

I wish more games could be like xenonauts. I've been playing the experimental versions and it's turning out to be what it was promised to be and everything that I'd hoped it would be. Maybe this is the final nail in the x-com coffin, and soon new games will take it's place, succeeding in the new age where the old game couldn't.

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It was but it wasn't falsely advertised. I knew it was going to be a shooter, but they tried highlighting the 'strategy' part of it, and it's barely strategy at all. It's just gears of war with 'advanced' squad tactics, to me anyway.

From Chris' fantastic article I'd like to highlight this line:

"the original X-COM meets The X-Files, set in the 1950s to 1960s."

This would've been an amazing concept. It still is an amazing concept. Imagine if the game starts out all slow and missions consist of driving to talk to witnesses of 'strange events,' or investigating 'unknown sightings.' If you find some odd technology you take it back to the base, the research department takes months to just barely figure out what it does, all the while you're managing men in black all over the America trying to figure out this new alien threat.

But big studios don't think people have time for that. People just want lots of guns and explosions.

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I think it was the old shooter (when it was called just XCOM) that was supposed to have more "strategy". It changed a lot since then. But yeah, it's a shame. If I really wanted an x-com shooter I would've preferred the original concept.

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I agree that the research aspect was still what drew my attention to it just recently. But after the last X-Com it's one from the sale bin for me for the Bureau.

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Surprisingly good game. All you shooter haters dont know what youre talking about (or more likely, bought it just to hate on it. Yes, I said it.)

Personally much prefer first person games to third person ones though, but I can see the team command stuff would have been pretty awkward like that.

Edit: also I should mention that I call bullshit on the developers claims of this being a prequel to xcom 2012. The story wouldnt really fit at all with it.

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