User Score
6.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 549 Ratings

User score distribution:

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  1. Jan 29, 2014
    10
    Critics are wrong. It has the most expensive polygons i've ever seen. It is wonderfully voiced. It's gorgeously tactical yet perfectly first ''persony''. Theres even a perk/upgrade system not unlike Mass Effects.

    If i made this game i'd have expected better reviews.

    I suspect the people reviewing this game were chosen by the editors for their expertise in reviewing tactical games.
    This game is half tactical ergo the half-hearted reviews.

    This game failed to disappoint me and im saddened it took me so long to play it because of my respect for the average metacritic review score. Lesson learned
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  2. Aug 27, 2013
    9
    Pretty much everything I wanted from the canceled XCom Alliance game that we never got. Yes, it apes Mass Effect, in more than a few ways. It has the third person cover-based shooting and pause-and-command system of Mass Effect, along with the mechanic of storyline choice steering your experience.

    While it lacks the overwhelming scope of the Mass Effect games, it does offer a deeper
    tactical system than found in Bioware's games.

    The story is fun, even if you need to stretch your 'suspension of disbelief' a bit. Honestly, considering that you had to do the same for the previous X-com games, it's not a surprise. In the second half of the game, the stakes get raised and the plot twists in some interesting and unexpected ways.

    The voice acting is pretty solid and the overall flavor of setting it in that weird time period of the space race, yet before the hippie cultural revolution was a jolting and interesting choice.

    It is 3rd best X-com game, past the first and the recent tactical remake.

    The game is not without it's flaws, of course. The lip syncing and actor motion capture lacks polish. Also, the graphics are stylized and simplistic, yet run horribly on the highest graphic settings. It's also rather brief, with very little in the way of fleshing out and side missions.

    Also, it lacks the research, production, interception and base management of the previous games, so if that is what defines an Xcom game to you, you may be disappointed.

    This game with has convinced me that this will be cult classic game, like Vampire: Bloodlines or Alpha Protocol (though not as broken as either of those) and that not everyone is meant to 'get it'.
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  3. Aug 24, 2013
    9
    Let me get this out of the way: The Bureau is not XCOM:EU or any other previous XCOM game; if you expected it to be then just leave. The Bureau is an interesting concept with some interesting mechanics, it's difficult but not overly. It feels a little clunky at times and has a HUGE learning curve: you're looking at about 2-3 hours before you even get close to the actual game. But none the less it is worth the money. Expand
  4. Aug 20, 2013
    10
    I don't understand the bad reviews

    Solid Third person shooter, not very innovative in this department but gets the job done and is very enjoyable(why take points away for that)

    The tactics are fun and different the game took a lot of risk and i applaud that rather than just being a mass effect 2 clone. I will add the tactics in battle may not be for everyone but if your not a fan of
    tactics don't rate this game badly because your not good at it

    The story is entertaining enough and made me want to finish the game what else could you ask for? i see too much complaining about what the game isn't but it does not get any credit for what it is

    reviewers rather give games like Saints Row 4 which was just a clone of saints row the third with super powers great scores because its simple minded and easy. I give a game like SR4 a 6 its the same thing as saints row the third with annoying super powers i did not even want them in the game wish they were optional.

    Thank you 2k Marin for trying something different the game is solid and fun I hope these biased reviews don't completely mess up your sales game is worth the money
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  5. Sep 7, 2013
    9
    I liked it! Very similar to the films from the old days. The game has an atmosphere that is now rare. But shuternyh part of me seemed incomplete, shooting is not happy, but tactically it feels comfortable with. Overall impressions write if passing game, and while it's pretty good.

    P.S. Finally there is a Russian voice, and I already forgot what it is, let it not a strong quality, but I
    do not care so pleasant. Expand
  6. Aug 27, 2013
    10
    I love the game so far. It is a really well done TBS, I really enjoy this mix of tactical planning with TBS, I like the scanning tactical layer, agent management and side missions(sending agents is fun too) and squaddies AI is solid as well i play on Veteran. Setting and level detailing is awesome, abilities feel diverse and fun to use.
    On the negative, the narrative is patchy, the
    beginning lacks suspense and magnitude of you know, alien invasion, aliens feel not so alien. Laser turrets on level one? yes I know it has a somewhat plausible explanation and what not, but the could at least show Carter's shock at seeing these techs? And even then, it looks really strange all these all style computers and laser turrets projecting from nothing.. Carter throwing alien blobes and no one asking questions? Wierd..

    Overall, I'd give this game a solid 8 for uniqueness and gameplay.

    To elaborate a bit more on my impression:

    Things I Love:

    1. The setting is just awesome. Authentic 60s feel, all the decorations and dialogues are just full of 60's feel
    2. The graphics are very nice to look at, like someone else have said, well done on those alien animations, every enemy is really different and unique. Some environments look fantastic. Artstyle is unique
    3. Music is awesome, really spooky and thought-provoking.
    4. Mostly decent voiceovers.
    5. Gameplay is a blast. tactical mode is awesome. How do you use your valuable time in battle focus? Give orders straight away or firstly analyze the environment and enemies via scanning? Mix of different abilities really open up strategies and tactics. The gameplay is really awesome.
    6. I love the narrative overall. The storyline is solid so far with some twists, all little voice recording and notes found on the mission add to the experience, as do investigations in between the missions.
    7. Agent disposal missions add some depth to the game.

    Things I don't really like:

    1. Lack of build up and anticipation opening missions are lackluster.
    2. Technologies are not properly explained.
    3. Bonuses from backpacks are not properly explained.
    4. Usage of new weapons in mission straight after picking them up.
    5. Lack of real desicions early and in mid game.
    6. Classes are not clearly defined: why do commandos give protective shields to others?
    7. Narrative is somewhat patchy: some illogical decisions and dialogues in the game.
    8. Outsiders feel not alien enough.
    9. Sound effects are disappointing.
    10. Level designs are too linear, ME3-esque.

    Overall, the game is solid 8. However I gave it '10' here due to too negative unfair reviews here.
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  7. Dec 13, 2013
    10
    highly underrated. nice graphics, good voice acting and an intriguing story is what you get in this little gem. it is definetely not XCOM though, more like a parallel universe.
  8. Aug 24, 2013
    9
    This game is amazing. I have been having a blast playing it. Think of a mix of Xcom and Mass Effect. These 2 awesome games are brought to you in a single package. This was totally worth every penny I spent.
  9. Jun 30, 2014
    10
    This game is under rated. I have played for about 5 hours now and the combat is a blast, story seems interesting, good graphics, and good character development. IMO the combat is better than turn based. You can directly instruct your men as to what weapon to use and what target to hit, yet they will act on their own, somewhat effectively, in between commands. As your commands are being followed your player acts as a third person shooter with access to both conventional, alien weapons and some cool alien powers - a total alien annihilator, As for the to cool for anything 'cept XCOM crowd, get over yourself - TBXCOMD is as good a game, and better in aspects, vs. XCOM, If you like TPS and Turn Based (less focused Turn based) with an old time si-fi twist, you'll like the game-it's a lot of fun. Expand
  10. Aug 27, 2013
    10
    If the developers had not called XCOM then critics had been benevolent. Maybe they expected a common shooter like BF or COD, but They were surprised because it was a tactical action game. The AI is high quality, because the enemies react as they should, although sometimes surprising reactions from teammates.

    I totally recommend it.
  11. Aug 20, 2013
    10
    Not sure why others don't see this as an XCOM game. XCOM have tried different game types in the past. Some more successful than others. For a third person shooter it feels right. And I get to actually shoot the aliens this time myself instead of just targeting and hoping. Fun.

    This is a game I've enjoyed playing, that's why I give it a 10/10.
  12. 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 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
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  13. Aug 28, 2013
    10
    Its like a mass effect+xcom with a good story. I dont understand why review sites give 5-6 score to this game,
    Its a tactical shooter game with a lot of strategy, you must lead your teammates to battle, give orders to use their skills or make them move another location.
  14. Aug 24, 2013
    9
    As many others I don't get all the negative reviews.
    I'm an old fan of XCOM, I had my objections to latest XCOM Enemy Unknown, but Bureau is what I think it was supposed to be.
    Graphics look good, missions play nice, story is ok and basically it's what I expected, a TPP game in XCOM universe, that is something more than a shooter.
    So yeah, thanks 2K Marin, I hope you'll keep working on
    this branch of XCOM games. Expand
  15. Jan 24, 2014
    10
    I picked this up on a Steam sale and all I can say is that the critics really got it wrong on this one when it first came out. It plays very much like Brothers in Arms, but with aliens and sic-fi tech. The look and feel of the game is really great, they nailed the early 60's esthetic. The main character is kind of cool, a WW2 vet, turned CIA agent whose seen a lot of **** and no he's got to take on aliens.

    I feel kind of bad for the Devs of this game, to me it's obvious they put a ton of effort in here, and got nailed by critics because it happened to have XCOM in the title and didn't strictly stick to formula. But trust me this is a strategy game at it's heart.

    The Bureau: XCOM Declassified is the most underrated game of 2013
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  16. Aug 21, 2013
    9
    Coming into The Bureau, I was expecting a mediocre experience at best. In my 8 hours spent with it I've learned I was wrong. So far the combat has been incredibly satisfying. Lifting a Sectoid into the air and ordering a Sniper to use a critical strike to blow its head clean off its shoulders feels incredibly fantastic. I don't know how they did it, but it feels (to me at least) like an XCOM game. Graphically, the game looks good. Not great, just good. I must admit, I had no idea that there was PhysX suport and I haven't used it yet. The story so far has been alright. Nothing truly spectacular, although it does keep me on the edge of my seat trying to figure out who you can trust. Squad customization is not nearly as deep as it is in XCOM: Enemy Unknown, but it's there. So in short, I'm enjoying my time with the game a great deal. If you enjoy XCOM and are looking for a diversion until XCOM: Enemy Within comes out, then I highly recommend this game. If you've never played XCOM before, then I suggest starting with Enemy Unknown, not The Bureau, because c'mon, Enemy Unknown was awesome. Expand
  17. Aug 22, 2013
    10
    This. Is. Excellent! I beg of you not to listen to the other reviewers (most of them seem to complain that it isn't like the other XCOM games?!) and try this game for yourself. I was playing this on my low(-ish) spec laptop (only an i3 processor and Intel HD 3000 Graphics card) before and it runs super smoothly. Even the low settings on this game looks incredible. The characters, gameplay and storyline seems pretty good so far. Controls are easy to use and quite intuitive... The people criticising this game for not being like the others should have known that, as it was made extremely clear that it's a 3rd person shooter. Buy it, try it, and I'm sure you'll like it! Expand
  18. Sep 6, 2013
    10
    Hey, guys, you say that the game is very different from the series XCOM, but I can tell you that we should not be so conservative in this world is changing, and if you leave the same series of games, it all quickly get bored. But what about the game, the game I very much liked the first held on the second, then the third and last. All the complexity of the game is revealed at the last level of complexity. This difficulty I have not seen in any game. In general, ten points an excellent game. Expand
  19. Dec 8, 2013
    9
    I was so excited when i first heard about this game. Then after the release and the first diassapointing reviews i refused to play it. When i finished playing XCOM Enemy Within i needed more so i decided to try it out. And i was suprised! It's an excellent game, state of the art graphics, sound, music. Great XCOM atmoshpere combined with the depressing era of 60's. A very good story explaining the origin of XCOM and the saga in general. Gameplay is basically a more tactical copy of Mass Effect but who cares.It fits pretty nicely.
    I enjoyed the game for every minute. Truly listen to your instict when it comes to games. Don't rely on the reviewers only. Terrific game.
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  20. Aug 20, 2013
    10
    10/10 Well done a good job storyline wise the controls are TOP It has the same strategy as all the other
    x-com's but with a much better story it also added the hole 3d person thing witch at first I was disliking and now I love it Just give this game a chance and it will work its love on you!
  21. Aug 23, 2013
    10
    I enjoy this game very much. I like the grafic-style, the details in the xcom-base, the ironman-gamemode while in action/battle and i like the mix of shooter and tactic (tactic-shooter). The only thing which annoys me a little bit is the console-port-hotkey-stuff. A suitable interface for the PC-version would be much better.
  22. Aug 23, 2013
    9
    Very nice! Traced connection with XCOM Enemy Unknown. And explain WHAT happened on Earth from the beginning. Cool! Graphics, styling, interface overall outstanding! Thank you SO MUCH, 2K Marin and 2K Games! Well DONE! Just keep going!
  23. Aug 20, 2013
    9
    The game feels fresh and is fun to play. I like the spacebar command prompt. Looks proper tidy on the eyes. I got this after playing EU and liking that. So far I'm not disappointed with this purchase.
  24. Aug 20, 2013
    10
    First off, if you're looking for the sequel to Enemy Unknown, you're looking in the wrong place. This is a 3rd person squad based tactical shooter and it's a lot of fun. The story is excellent and I feel really immersed. The character models are amazing and it truly feels like the 1960's.

    Fans of the series should definitely give it a shot.
  25. Aug 21, 2013
    10
    10/10 it's not a pure xcom okay deal with it but it's a good game not a bad game 10/10 because so many want this game so bad so i just want to equilibrate the score sorry for my english
  26. Aug 23, 2013
    10
    The Bureau IS worth the 50$! I have been an avid x-com fan since day one and have owned it on every system. The controls could use a little fine tuning however, the story and flow of the game are both great!

    If you haven't played the game. Imagine a typical action adventure game except with a twist whenever you encounter the enemy you can press space bar and slow the combat down
    extremely and issue orders to your guys just like a typical battle in x-com. Okay, so it's not exactly like that but it feels similar. This game is unique! Anyone who says otherwise is more than likely quick to judge or a pubescent little girl! Remember a 9 nine year old can post on Metacritic! Judge for yourself! Expand
  27. Aug 25, 2013
    10
    Played the game to near completion and I must say this game does not deserve those low scores. Story is interesting, the shooter mechanic is fun and the premise of the game is amazing. Don't let the reviewers discourage you from getting this game. If you enjoy Mass Effect you'll enjoy this game tremendously.

    AI is dumb at the beginning and needs a lot of micro management but as you go
    up in level they grow smarter as well, as it should be. Fiddle with the customizable control if you find the PC settings to be a bit challenging. It will grow on you after awhile. If you are used to playing ME then you'd know how to play this game, you have to keep using your Battle Focus to be effective, always go for the recon NPC as they have the critical strike which is a very powerful attack.

    PC is still the way to go I guess. Turn off the PhysX and Screen Decal settings if you experience slowdown, just some tip for PC users who finds this game to be a resource hog. This is my first time in metacritic but I really have to write because of all those negative reviews out there have to put in something positive. There are tons of good game releases this week but I find it that this is the game I'm putting my time on. Love this game!
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  28. Aug 27, 2013
    10
    Great game! XCOM meets Mass Effect, with an above average story. It isn´t XCOM: Enemy Unknown, but it´s also very good on its own. It´s fun, intelligent, albeit not so long, and not really hard.
  29. Aug 29, 2013
    10
    I feel the critics have been overly harsh with this game. I just finished it, having put approximately 20 hours into the game. Granted that was doing every side mission, and taking my time to listen to conversations. Its definitely not Enemy Unknown, but I enjoyed it non the less.

    The story was compelling, if a bit rushed in parts, and I wish they had incorporated some more of the
    research and building aspects of Unknown but in the end I was completely happy with my purchase. The end of the game feels very rushed, and I would have liked a bit more diversity among my squad as I tended to use the same two for every mission.

    Definitely worth a buy though, as long as your expectations are right
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  30. Oct 26, 2013
    9
    An enjoyable mix of 3rd person shooter and alternate history. Just like Resistance Fall of Man wrapped in the mystery of the world of X-Com.

    Combat takes a little bit to get used to if you've played other x-com games or other similar 3rd person squad games like KOTOR as there is no actual pause, time is just slowed down rather than stopped so you have to be careful where your characters
    before issuing commands during combat as you coiuld be killed by shots or grenades Expand
  31. Dec 28, 2013
    10
    Fantastic game. Just finished it.
    This is *NOT* a strategy game, but a spin-off loosely based on the classic X-Com series.
    Most close definition would be a squad-based shooter.

    This game was tremendous fun to play. The graphics are great. The gameplay was great. I loved the atmosphere, as well as the story.
    This game is highly underrated. Don't miss this one!
  32. Jun 18, 2014
    10
    I have actually created a Metacritic account, simply to point out that this game has been criminally underrated! i'm not saying its going to win GOTY, but its a superbly build game, with excellent voice acting, creative gameplay elements, and a cool storyline to boot!

    Its the thinking mans FPS :-) do yourself a favour and give it a try. i promise, you don't be disappointed!
  33. Sep 6, 2014
    9
    XCOM + Mass Effect = Bureau. XCOM Spin-off. Yep, not a classical XCOM Game. Is a XCOM revisited. There`s a lot of Mass Effect here too. Good narrative, good gameplay, nice graphics.
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
  1. 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.
  2. Oct 5, 2013
    73
    The Bureau: XCOM Declassified does not deliver. It is not bad, but rather depressingly average. [Sept 2013]
  3. 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]