Metascore
69

Mixed or average reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Aug 20, 2013
    81
    This adventurous title from 2K Marin is a very good example of a tactical shooter game. In spite of some unpolished details, the fans of the saga will not be disappointed with The Bureau.
  2. Oct 13, 2013
    80
    After everything I've written, it should be quite clear to XCOM fans that The Bureau: XCOM Declassified is an entirely different kettle of fish despite sharing a few superficial elements. If the developers hadn't tried to connect the two, I suspect that more people might be pleasantly surprised by what it offers—a fantastically detailed 60's setting, an interesting approach to squad-based shooting, and a genuinely surprising sci-fi story that's told with panache.
  3. Starts slow then builds into a time sink, and each victory feels like a monumental win. Tacticians and action fans finally have something in common to obsess over. [October 2013, p80]
  4. Aug 28, 2013
    80
    A strategical third person shooter that fits perfectly within the bigger XCOM universe. It's a shame then that the regularly stuttering framerate and the mediocre graphics put somewhat of a damper on this otherwise impressive party.
  5. Aug 19, 2013
    80
    The Bureau has occasional problems with pacing, it could do with a little more polish and it doesn’t revolutionise shooters but it does adroitly step sideways into a totally unfamiliar genre and it expands the greater fiction while doing so. Another successful XCOM mission.
  6. The Bureau is a though game to get into, not because of the difficulty but because of the unreliable Battle Focus, which you use to issue commands to your two companions. Another problem are the seemingly unending waves of enemies bearing down on you. [September p.50]
  7. Aug 20, 2013
    75
    The Bureau tries to be many things, and succeeds only moderately at most of them. Even so, I’m happy this long-in-gestation project has finally seen the light of day.
  8. Aug 20, 2013
    75
    While XCOM is a giant in the turn-based strategy genre, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified has trouble keeping up with most modern third-person shooters. It's not one of the best shooters out there, but it is one of the most tactical and challenging ones. Gamers looking for action, strategy and real consequences would do well to check out this flawed, yet very rewarding game.
  9. Sep 16, 2013
    70
    It’s a game that toggles between moments of tension and strategic gratification with others of mediocre execution, but at the end of the day, it manages to be fun.
  10. Sep 12, 2013
    70
    The Bureau is a bit of a step back for the XCOM franchise. The game lacks the identity of its Firaxis cousin and feel way too much like an uninspired derivative of other games. A fractured development history clearly left its mark.
  11. Aug 22, 2013
    70
    Although not as good as expected, The Bureau is a different kind of game with personality and some memorable moments.
  12. Aug 20, 2013
    70
    Undoubtedly a game that has been through development hell, but nonetheless a surprisingly entertaining - if flawed - Mass Effect style shooter.
  13. When the combat works it’s excellent, and the pinstripes-and-fedoras setting always appeals – as does Carter’s wonderfully overblown, “My God… the humanity” personality. Sadly, however, once you’re past the first few hours you’ve seen the best of what’s on offer. The tactical squad combat is hugely enjoyable and rewarding at times, but let down by inconsistency and repetition. Turn-based marvel Enemy Unknown’s remains the Xcom game to beat. Joel Gregory
  14. Aug 23, 2013
    67
    The Bureau: XCOM Declassified isn’t a bad game by any stretch, but it fails to live up to its predecessor. It has the aesthetic personality but it doesn’t have the gameplay personality. The control is fine, the music is a fantastic touch, and the fulfillment one feels after a properly executed mission is significant. But the story, despite glimpses of greatness, lets you down, and there’s just a general feeling of monotony that permeates the entire experience.
  15. Sep 4, 2013
    65
    The Bureau: XCOM Declassified is a lot of wasted effort. The Bureau isn't for XCOM fans, but it isn't for shooter fans, either. The basis for a fun and interesting game is there, but the XCOM name hangs like an albatross from its neck.
  16. 65
    A Frankenstein monster of gameplay sensibilities, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified is a good origin story for series fans but doesn't do third-person shooting or real-time strategy well enough to compel enthusiasts of either genre.
  17. Aug 27, 2013
    60
    The developers have crafted a competent third-person shooter in most respects, but the awkward integration of key elements from the XCOM strategy games, such as an in-depth squad system, result in a somewhat disjointed offering.
  18. 60
    The Bureau is a decent game that fails to bring anything new to gamers’ tables. With a period alien invasion having been done before in titles like Resistance, gameplay mechanics ripped straight from Mass Effect, and XCOM elements wrangled together, The Bureau feels like an unpolished conglomeration of games that have come before it.
  19. Aug 19, 2013
    60
    It delivers some enjoyable stretches of shooting action, but The Bureau: XCOM Declassified too often transforms the series' signature tension into tedium.
  20. Sep 25, 2013
    57
    Technical issues, iffy storytelling and some questionable choices make for an uneven experience that fails to capitalise on what a fantastic license XCOM is. [Issue#235, p.76]
  21. Aug 19, 2013
    55
    Hell, this prequel can’t even manage to explain where the name XCOM comes from even as it shows it being coined – it’s simply pulled out of thin air. That shoddy storytelling and poorly thought-out mechanics become the most memorable thing about it, and that’s not worth much.
  22. Sep 1, 2013
    50
    At times the narrative is incomprehensible and the characters are uninteresting and unlikeable, but it's the mismatch of borrowed gameplay mechanics that really lets The Bureau: XCOM Declassified down. Truly embodying the spirit of the phrase 'jack of all trades, master of none', this is another unfortunate victim of rampant focus testing.
User Score
6.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 57 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 11
  2. Negative: 1 out of 11
  1. 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 4-5 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
    Full Review »
  2. Aug 20, 2013
    8
    This is overall been a good game so far. Not as good as Enemy Unknown, but still awesome. If this game had been named something else, came out three years ago instead of the end of the current generation of systems or had not been associated with the original concept of an FPS, it would have scored better. Controls were solid, game play so far is good and story is decent. Full Review »
  3. Aug 21, 2013
    9
    I can't say that the overall gameplay dynamics are as clean as I would want them to be, but the background and story of this game are absolutely genius. I'm glad they are deciding to move away from strictly WWII and actually tap into more current and interesting American political struggle. Really great game. Full Review »