The Bureau: XCOM Declassified PC

Metascore
66

Mixed or average reviews - based on 45 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 45
  2. Negative: 2 out of 45
Buy On
  1. Aug 28, 2013
    63
    The storytelling keeps you interested but neither the shooter nor the tactical elements live up to their potential.
  2. Aug 23, 2013
    50
    Overall, TBXD makes a reasonable shooter with some quite clever tactical stuff thrown in. The interface for Combat Focus is great; the combat itself grows stale quickly and the squad never feels as cohesive and essential as it did previously. It’s almost as if the game was scrapped halfway through and then rushed through production.
  3. Aug 20, 2013
    60
    It’s a slick slice of B-movie alien blasting, in short, but we’re glad it’s standing alongside a more authentic take on XCOM rather than wearing its visage but not quite acting the same.
  4. Aug 21, 2013
    60
    All in all, it's just the shadow of a bigger, more ambitious game and proof that it's not always sensible to listen to that angry mob on the internet. Sometimes you just have to stay the course, weather the storm and trust that your vision was right all along. Otherwise you end with something that – solid as it may be – is missing consistency, direction and identity. It's just a shame that it had to happen to this one.
  5. Sep 10, 2013
    50
    The Bureau: XCOM Declassified aptly illustrates my view of the XCOM series, as a whole. All of it sounds fun on paper (Mass Effect-style combat in a 1960s setting) but the execution falls flat. Whereas Enemy Unknown was simply overrated, but still solid for a single playthrough, The Bureau was a struggle to even finish. Every conversation was painful, every trip through the home base felt pointless and every combat mission left me screaming at my teammates’ incapacitated bodies.
  6. Aug 26, 2013
    65
    A mediocre cover-based shooter combined with a mediocre turn-based tactics experience that is peppered with RPG seasoning, and the whole is lesser than the sum of its parts.
  7. Aug 27, 2013
    70
    Not your average XCOM, but more of an "XCOM take on the Mass Effect recipe". Still, it's an enjoyable game with a nicely written story.
  8. Aug 23, 2013
    60
    The horrible voice acting, the bad controls and the mediocre level design prevents The Bureau: Xcom Declassified from reaching full potential.
  9. games(TM)
    Sep 23, 2013
    60
    Wasted potential. [Issue#139, p.98]
  10. Sep 9, 2013
    70
    XCOM is like a BioShock wannabe. However, its great ambitions have led to its heart attack, and its tedious resuscitation leaves a mark. In the end, it woke up as a totally different game with the entirely new title. Well, the most important thing is that the game works, it entertains, it's looking good, and it runs like a wind. In short, the well-made tactical shooter.
  11. Aug 19, 2013
    60
    The Bureau: XCOM Declassified mirrors but never masters. When it gets down to the shallow shooting, it fares well, equipping you with some fun futuristic weapons and letting you go to town on nasty intergalactic intruders. But the game gets in its own way, stumbling when it seeks to siphon strategy mechanics into a formula that doesn't support them.
  12. Aug 19, 2013
    60
    Most of the pieces for an interesting, compelling experience are there, but they simply never come together to create a memorable affair.
  13. Sep 6, 2013
    70
    All in all I believe if you pick up The Bureau I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Unless you still think it’s an investigative ‘50s-set FPS. Or a proper strategy game. Then you might be.
  14. Aug 23, 2013
    60
    Maybe if it had scaled back the scope of its X-Files-meets-the era of Mad Men concept, focusing on the earliest incursions of the massive conflict brought to bear in Enemy Unknown, it might have helped rein in some of the crazier, stupider, and more aggressively junky portions of the game.
  15. Sep 12, 2013
    73
    OK, so The Bureau is different to what XCOM fans would be used to, but does that make it a bad game? As a squad based shooter, The Bureau is reasonably good.
  16. Aug 19, 2013
    55
    Don't call this XCOM. While its tactical combat works well enough to prevent The Bureau: XCOM Declassified from being straight-up bad, everything else is fumbled so often and so bizarrely that I can’t recommend it.
  17. Sep 1, 2013
    60
    Like the redacted CIA documents featured so heavily in the game’s marketing, The Bureau comes across as disjointed, baffling and inconsistent. But moments of clarity may well keep you interested in what lies beneath that faltering surface.
  18. Aug 29, 2013
    70
    With better polish and an add genius touch, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified could have been a great game. But for now, it's old technique, it's bugs and numerous incoherencies don't let this game into the hall of fame of videogames. Happily, the worthy gameplay, the 60's ambiance and the XCOM universe are here to salvage the game. The mix between action and strategy works well, and the choice in dialogues brings a cool RPG touch. In the end we go through missions with quite an enjoyment in spite of all this, and we don't leave the bureau that easily.
  19. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Sep 9, 2013
    60
    A solid tactical action game of the third person perspective that lacks miscellaneous content and sturdy narrative along with its mission design. The beginning and the end are excellent, but the in-between part is lame. [Issue#233]
  20. Aug 19, 2013
    70
    2K Marin has done their best with the almost impossible task to create a narrative rich, tactic driven TPS that justifies the name of "XCOM". The result is a decent and professional effort from a team that could have done better without being tied to that name.
  21. Aug 28, 2013
    62
    The Bureau: XCOM Declassified feels confused and half-finished, a hollow but beautiful slog through XCOM’s early years.
  22. PC PowerPlay
    Sep 25, 2013
    70
    A competent tactical shooter that doesn't push any boundaries and is only peripherally related to XCOM. [Oct 2013, p.96]
  23. Nov 6, 2013
    60
    For all that The Bureau get’s wrong, it is at least a passable tactical shooter with a novel, well-realised setting. If you love the golden age of science-fiction, there’s something here for you. Just don’t expect it to ever get truly interesting, because XCOM Declassified never captures what XCOM is all about.
  24. Pelit (Finland)
    Oct 5, 2013
    73
    The Bureau: XCOM Declassified does not deliver. It is not bad, but rather depressingly average. [Sept 2013]
  25. Aug 19, 2013
    70
    The underutilized XCOM base is an appropriate metaphor for The Bureau itself. Limitless possibilities for intrigue, tactics, mystery and terror appear to be on offer. But The Bureau keeps most of it to itself, leaving only scraps and the grunt work of killing aliens.
  26. Aug 26, 2013
    61
    It’s a pity that this once high-concept project devolved into a mindless imitation of Mass Effect.
  27. Aug 31, 2013
    50
    There’s a good game here and it’s certainly the contemporary title 2K was looking for, but it’s Firaxis’ “outdated” effort that comes out on top if you want a modern taste of XCOM.
  28. Sep 9, 2013
    70
    The Bureau isn’t nearly as good as Enemy Unknown. Muddle through that initial disappointment though, and you’ll discover a fun third-person shooter/strategy hybrid that, while flawed, refreshingly taxes the brain cells and trigger finger in equal measure.
  29. Sep 1, 2013
    68
    Third-person shooter fans will find some fun, and XCOM fans that don’t mind some real-time action can get their fill as well. Just don’t expect anything revolutionary or mind blowing when playing it.
User Score
6.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 624 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 170
  2. Negative: 40 out of 170
  1. Aug 20, 2013
    10
    I REAALLYY thought this would just be another shooter but they implemented X-COM's style of strategy so well it actually feels like 3rd personI REAALLYY thought this would just be another shooter but they implemented X-COM's style of strategy so well it actually feels like 3rd person RTS xcom, I dont care about the unsatisfied destructoid review I don't see why in the world he would like how it isnt a shooter or a strategy or an xcom game BECAUSE ITS ALL OF THOSE COMBINED, and that's much more awesome than it sounds

    GamePlay: 9/10
    Story: 8/10
    visuals: 7/10
    Replayabilty: 10/10

    P.S: anyone going into this expecting a carbon copy of XCOM enemy unknown or UFO defense's gameplay is an idiot
    Full Review »
  2. Aug 20, 2013
    2
    This shooter is in no way related to the XCOM series. It's extremely uninspired, devoid of substance or meaning. The trailers tried to sellThis shooter is in no way related to the XCOM series. It's extremely uninspired, devoid of substance or meaning. The trailers tried to sell something that seemed history-driven but the final product is, from start to finish, just a series of over-the-top explosions, random shooting and NPC babysitting.
    Avoid it like the plague if you don't love bland shooters; buy it if you love CoD or BF.

    (and yes: this game would get a 7 from me if not for the XCOM "bait" on the title.)
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 20, 2013
    8
    I'm seeing a lot of moaning that this isn't XCOM, and maybe the dev's should have just dropped the name because it seems more like fanboyI'm seeing a lot of moaning that this isn't XCOM, and maybe the dev's should have just dropped the name because it seems more like fanboy rage, then actual constructive criticism of essential a pretty good 3rd person shooter.

    The development has been marred with problems, mainly I believe to fanboy outrage to initial screens of the game. I was actually looking forward to a First person, investigation game. Then the game went dark, but eventually came back to life, in what seemed to be a mash up between Mass Effect and some XCOM elements.

    I love the XCOM series, do I care that this game has XCOM in the title? No. I take games on face value, and not what I expect the game should be. In fact, I don't go into any games with expectations why would you? Why not be surprised, which I am about this game.

    It didn't take long before I started getting the knack for the controls and ordering my men around it all seemed to work well, and I was killing aliens left, right and centre. The AI, seems intuitive enough to get the job done on both sides.

    I love the setting, and the story isn't as convoluted as some have suggested. The game isn't perfect by any means. There have been some hiccups with stuttering, and slow downs but the steam community is on the ball. Hopefully updated video drivers and possible game tweaking will solve most of these issues which we should all be reminded happens even to the best of games.

    I do feel the game is a little barron in respects to environments and ambient objects within the world. It kinda feels like a lost opportunity, but I also wonder whether it was a design decision to have more of a clean sterile look to most environments?

    Overall this is a solid title, not great, but definitely not worth the scores that it's getting. This game is easily a low mid 8. I paid $36.00 for this game through a site, with some discounts, if you can't get 36 dollars worth of value from this game, then you are doing something VERY wrong.
    Full Review »