User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 108 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 68 out of 108
  2. Negative: 26 out of 108

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  1. Aug 20, 2013
    The Bureau is very good game. It has a strong tactical component, good plot, and nice graphic, battles is very tense and hard. AI of enemies is pretty smart, they may surround you, attack you from behind. In my opinion: one of the best shooters of last five years.
  2. Aug 20, 2013
    I doesn't played XCOM games before but this tactical TPS is amazing.The story is beautiful, eventful and interesting.The graphics are not the best and i meet some bugs.This game is one of the biggest surprise in 2013.
  3. Aug 21, 2013
    As a fan who's played since when the game was called X-Com I know this may be a bitter pill to swallow for purists. There was an extensive "Development hell" that the game went through (see the article over at Polygon) and while I think that comes through in some of the game's fractured design ideas this is very much a case of the whole being "more than the sum of it's parts". It's not a perfect game but it reminds me of Mass Effect (the first game). Flawed but with promise, the setting is intriguing and it serves as an interesting setup to Enemy Unknown. This is for sure something that can be built and improved but the design aesthetics and the story alone are worth playing.

    Now when it comes to game play it's very much a child of Mass Effect, this is not a bad thing. Issuing commands to your squad can be frantic especially since time slows down but doesn't stop you need to be very careful. The pacing can be quite clunky at times with stretches of nothing then kill boxes but still it's enjoyable.

    I admit my score is at least partially tainted by nostalgia but at least I can be honest about that, for many it may be a case of getting the game on sale and I understand that but everyone should give this game a go even if it's on Steam Sale.
  4. Aug 20, 2013
    I finished the game less than 30 minutes ago. I didn't know what to expect when i popped it in my xbox but i loved the original XCOM so I was excited. I started playing at about 6PM yesterday and didn't stop until 6AM this morning.

    The Good: The combat is amazingly fun. Some of the commentary will make you laugh. The enemy AI are smart and will give you a great sense of accomplishment
    when you outsmart them. The voice work was excellent. The characters were decently engaging. The storyline was outstanding for the first 75% of the game.

    The Bad: The main character maxes out at level 10, gaining new abilities and perks every level. This would be great except i did every side mission and every main mission and didnt reach level 10 until 20 minutes before the game was over. (No Spoilers) The story had me interested and invested up until the last couple hours of gameplay. I felt like the writers could have done better. Almost as if they were behind schedule and had to just put something together. It got really confusing in the end. I ran into a couple of bugs. My AI teammates were buggy as well. If you tell them to move to a certain spot, they will move there but it doesn't take much for them to abandon your orders and move somewhere else. They enjoy following me in the middle of heavy combat which could be annoying for strategic purposes. Sometimes i would tell them to get behind cover and they would simply ignore me(bug). Or i would tell them to revive me and they would get snagged on another teammate while i bleed all over the place. I find that my team stumbled over each other a lot. The game adds decisions that the player has to make but its hard to tell how any of the decisions effected anything. Yea i know thats a lot of bad BUUUT...

    Overall, i'm giving this game a 9/10 because I enjoyed it. 90% of your time is spent in combat and thats where the game shines. I can overlook the shortcomings.
  5. Aug 20, 2013
    Excellent Hybrid of Strategy and Third Person Shooter and an interesting setting. Also the game presents a workable Alternative History. Some glitchy graphics but the bugs seem to only occur during the more RPG aspect of the work, between missions. I do not understand the low Critic reviews and can only imagine they have some agenda. I can understand a guarded score of 80 but below that is inconceivable.

    My bias is that I like the Politically Correct version of the time period.
  6. Aug 20, 2013
    Amazing game mixes 3rd person shooter with strategy. It has a very good story with lots of little notes all over the game. It keeps the x com story but adds a few new enemies. I would recommend it to many people and the graphics are very cool with some talking moments like Mass Effect.
  7. Aug 21, 2013
    I played the game for several hours yesterday and come to the conclusion that the game is a good game. I never played any other XCOM games so I don't have an opinion on it like others. If it doesn't truly follow other XCOM game design does that really make it a bad game for trying something new? If game makers always stuck to the same old stuff the game world wouldn't have made it past 2D games like Pong or Pac Man. I can sense some similarities to Mass Effect 2 in this game. Overall I say the game is worth a shot and not to go off of pre-conceived ideas from what the other games were like. Expand
  8. Aug 26, 2013
    Fabulous. This is really good game. The Bureau: XCOM Declassified is tactical 3rd person shooter. So nothing for Call of Duty fans, but for everyone else who loves to use his head, and loves good games this game is for you.
  9. Sep 15, 2013
    Right people if your in two minds about this game don't be it is very very good. On release day like most people i bought blacklist over this. I actually started getting bored of blacklist and got this. It's really grabbed me i love it. It got the 1960 thing about it and plays like mass effect/ghostbusters. Your squad is crucial in this game, running and gunning wont work. So if you like your games a bit smart with so challenge this is the game for you. Give it a blast. Expand
  10. Jan 29, 2014
    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
  11. Sep 17, 2013
    I loved X-Com Enemy Unknown. It was fresh, challenging and made you think. Nothing about Enemy Unknown should detract from the successes of The Bureau, which is also fresh, challenging and makes you think. It's such a shame that some reviewers award far lower scores than it actually deserve because it's compared against an expectation that nothing should be changed from the original formula. In other words fan-boys and fan-girls who presumably must have exactly one slice of toast, with 2.2g of butter, 1.5 dollops of Robinson's shredded orange marmalade, one hard boiled egg (7.7cm circumference) and 353 ml of milk for their breakfast EVERY day, because change wouldn't be good.

    The Bureau is a great game in its own right. Graphically the game creates a wonderful world full of tasteful pastel colour, great environments and detail that deserves recognition for what it does and how it makes the player feel drawn into the game. The game does a fantastic job of inviting you into a well thought out and portrayed sic-fi adventure that would be fitting of many a AAA movie, and is not too dissimilar in storyline to Independence Day. The vistas are lovely to look at and the 60's setting offers a welcome change to the humdrum of other game designs. The creativity behind the overall theme and the atmosphere it creates is as good as any Bio-shock or Mass Effect game. Later in the game the alien-ship architecture and technology together with glimpses of a stunning galaxy are on a par with, and often better than, many of the AAA movie titles you could think of.

    The interaction between characters is very much like Mass Effect and once you've chosen a certain line of dialogue you want to pursue, I love the slight twist on how your character delivers the message in the same way that the lead characters in Mass Effect did. Yes it's a simple development trick but one which captures your attention and satisfies if you are even slightly interested in video games telling a story rather than just knocking on a 2ft thick plank of wood.

    Controls are tight and the method of selecting skills, attributes and weapons is very simple and intuitive and never interfere with gameplay.

    Yes, as some reviewers have pointed out, the selection of skills mid-fight does pause the 'action' but this is not an action game in the same genre as COD, it's a tactical shooter and one in which tactics need to be considered, actioned and then reconsidered and re-actioned to keep on top of the enemy onslaught. The enemy will try to flank you, then they introduce ones that can fly, so overhead becomes a problem too. If you accept that issuing orders and actually leading your team is a key focus on this game, you will automatically realise that the selection of skills mid-fight is not a hinderance but actually the core skill in the game. Where will you direct your team to take cover, what weapons should they deploy against who, which enemy needs to be taken out first, can you afford to ignore part of the battlefield in favour of tasking everyone to concentrate fire-power on just one foe, who needs medical attention, who is about to die, do you provide that medical attention yourself or direct a team member to do so? It's all down to you and you can approach a fight in any way you please.

    Before you begin a mission you will choose which squad members to take with you. That choice will have a bearing on how easy or how successful you are in completing the mission. Each squad member can be levelled up through experience and you can choose which attributes and weapons they should carry with them.

    You cant upgrade weapons as such, but you can choose from rapid fire weapons with lots of ammo to heavier plasma weapons with more limited ammo. You can upgrade certain elements of the squad's attributes. Generally that focuses on a choice of harder-hitting weapons, an ability to distract enemies or offer squad-healing abilities according to what you think would be most useful.

    The Bureau can be challenging and on harder difficulty levels it demands real focus on your team and constant reassessment of risk and tactics. It can all become quite frantic at times. Once a mission is complete you'll return to base where a few discussions with other characters will take place. Again I found those visits to the base very interesting in developing the story and I spent a little time just soaking in the atmosphere of the very believable (in a sci-fi world) bunker and the people who work there. I do not agree with those who suggest the visits to base are long and drawn out and completely unnecessary.

    Overall I rate this game very highly and would recommend it to those who love tactical shooters, Mass Effect style games and who love the XCom theme but who are open minded enough to accept that a new take on a theme can be hugely enjoyable without being a carbon copy with a new front cover?

    A new adventure anyone? Or would you prefer a lemon-curd sandwich the same as yesterday?

Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 30
  2. Negative: 1 out of 30
  1. Oct 3, 2013
    Better than it has any right to be, but still deeply flawed. [Nov 2013, p.68]
  2. Sep 17, 2013
    It's not ready yet. [Issue#102, p.78]
  3. Sep 15, 2013
    Interesting gameplay mechanics and a suspense-rich plot make it a game worth to be tried, even if it could have been much better.