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
    Pretty bad. I loved Enemy Unknown, but this is just completely terrible. The combat is okay, and is arguably the best thing about the game. However, the story is completely nonsensical and the graphics are dated at best. Probably the most disappointing game of the year for me.
  2. Aug 23, 2013
    As an XCOM fan I feel cheated. I really wish I'd read up on the game more before I bought it. I bought it because it's XCOM, but it's not...
    People have said it's tactical, well not like any other XCOM is. In the time it takes you to issue a few orders out the enemy is on the move and has been shooting you (albeit in slow mo) while you have been doing so. During the course of my first
    mission I had killed 70+ with my character, while my AI controlled counterparts had gotten 15 between them (and ok I had a few fights before they joined me but still).

    Maybe it's me, maybe I just wanted another Enemy Unknown or Apocolypse game. Maybe I don't like change. But still, this is not for me, past XCOM games have been games I enjoyed while watching the tele in the background, games I can relax to, this is just frustrating.

    - Story did seem interesting
    - Lots of enemies

    - Real time combat
    - Slow mo squad order system
    - AI or lack of
    - Lack of 'checkpoints' or save feature
    - Awful squad mechanic
    - Awful shooting mechanic
  3. 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.
  4. Aug 21, 2013
    bought and played this just recently... Now as a fan of x-com games i have to honestly say the bureau fails miserably to recapture anything more then some run and gun alien killing...

    Theres NO base building or even upgrading your base its just a hub to create new recruits of which theres no female versions. its one big sausage fest here. theres no real threat looming you can do any
    mission in any order as you see fit..

    The voice acting is not terrible but its lacking considerably theres little to no life to the characters. lots of graphical clipping, mouths don't move very well and sometimes not at all while the "actors" are speaking.

    This game from my point of view seems incredibly dumbed down for an x-com game. every time you get a new ability it gos in to lengthy detail via a cinematic movie about how the ability works. which is helpful but should be a side thing not a requirement. it really detracts from the story which is'nt really all that great, with out going in to great detail, aliens invade "skins look ripped right out of the previous x-com game for the 360." you fight them blah blah blah boring...ZzzzzzZZzz

    you dont get to capture alien tech and research it, you just find it in the field and equip it once you've found one aliens just drop there guns which you couldn't get that way before hand because they would there every where...

    Nothing to do with an xcom game other then the title and aliens..
    No base building this is a big big NO NO imo.
    No tech capturing and research, you just find them and use them in the environment. once found you can equip them.
    No real looming threat, fills like no reason to continue playing, theres no real bad guy just a bunch of aliens to kill.
    No character creation, just minor customization.

    Doesn't fill like an x-com game at all really needs base building and character creation. In this day and age theres no excuse not to include a character creation with both male and female versions doesn't even have to be super in depth. Its just laziness to omit such things.

    You just don't make a new game and complexly leave out the major things that made up a big enjoyable part of previous incarnations. I have half a mind to go back to walmart and get a refund. they always take them back.
  5. 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.
  6. Aug 21, 2013
    First off, after reading many of the 'meta' scores from ''''critics''''' I decided to give the game a 10 instead of an 8. I've begun to believe that entire column here is pure and the user score should be advertised instead. This game is a solid 3rd person shooter. I greatly enjoyed the team tactics which succeeded in a way which the Mass Effect series could have improved. Some parts of the game needed more polishing, for sure. Someone's hair was too shiny or the mechanic of telling a squad mate to move could be improved when passing over a staircase or a balcony but the game was an and great. It could use a solid patch but I enjoyed the story and I enjoyed the fighting. This game is a great time and the so called critics. Expand
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Aug 23, 2013
    Just plain bad in about every way imaginable, choices are pointless, graphics are subpar, A.I. is suicidal or just plain slap ass retarded, and has really nothing to do with xcom.
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. Aug 23, 2013
    Not a bad as feared, but clearly another game ruined by the catering to the console people. Good Overall game mechanic is acceptable (combat) graphic ok Voice acting ok Bad Story holes the size of the moon RPG element is junk You max your chars to fast Everything is linear. if you open the wrong door, you cant go back, one of the worst things the console people have ever brought to the PC world.
    Running around the base gets pretty tedious very fast
    The whole backpack upgrade part should have been changed to something else entirely.
    The main char is a bit of a dick, he is just not likeable, you want a tough guy template, look to Jack Bauer or Guerrero.

    While the bad list is much longer than the good, the game is not horrible, just not very good, you play it through once, and forget about it.
  15. 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
  16. Sep 16, 2013
    Great atmosphere. The 60s feeling is authentic. Good battles. Nicely implemented real time strategy. Good balance on the shooting/strategy. More complex than Brothers in Arms or Spec Ops. Nice art and the VO contribute to the atmosphere.

    - Mediocre graphx, boring characters, the pacing is uneven and the decisions you make through the dialogue have no consequences at all. The end
    mission(s) are kinda nice. It borrows many elements from the Mass Effect series without the heart of it. Expand
  17. Oct 16, 2013
    The Bureau: XCOM Declassified aims at combining Mass Effect’s combat with the trappings of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, but it fails to live up to either. The action is capable of offering some thrills, but The Bureau is a poorly put together game with a list of problems that prevent it from rising above mediocre. Disappointing.
  18. Aug 25, 2013
    The Bureau is an interesting fusion of Tom Clancy tactics and Mass Effect-style squad building. Add in a 1960's setting and a story that becoming quite intriguing over time, and you've got an interesting package that's worth playing, regardless of your past experiences with the XCOM name.
  19. Oct 20, 2013
    Concept: Create a story that serves as a prequel to the modern XCOM gaming exploits that we know and are familiar with, while creating some new takes on certain elements and the gameplay itself, as well as presenting entirely new options and characters.

    Graphics: It has a similar art style to that of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and yet colors in The Bureau are slightly less colorful, and
    contrast more with their environment- presenting some interestingly vivid and muted combinations here and there throughout the alien battlefield.

    Sound: What would surely be a tense and suspenseful musical score is undermined at nearly every turn by the sounds of reloading, healing, and taking out enemies. Sure, these sounds are all well and fine, in moderation anyways.

    Playability: It truly gets better as you go, as you'll later feel naked without your learned abilities and powers in the first few battles, should you choose to play the game over again. As you progress and learn new tricks and upgrade some older ones, the gameplay also gets a bit easier to handle and becomes more fun. As it is at the beginning however, it could serve as a major turnoff to many players unwilling to give the game a second shot later.

    Entertainment: 2K manages to craft an entertaining and exciting gameplay experience, even with the myriad of issues that often tags along with it in terms of story and combat. Beyond that all however, it is an excellent tactical concoction.

    Replay Value: Moderate.

    Overall Score: 8.0
  20. Sep 18, 2013
    Quite a disappointment and it forever be a stain on Xcom and is proof that pretty graphics can't save a game from disappointment I mean they could have made an excellent third person shooter.
  21. Mar 8, 2014
    Those suggesting the tactical interface and commands don't work in this game I would suggest simply don't know how to play a game like this, the command system and combat works remarkably well you just have to stay on top of it and constantly issue new orders to your NPCs.
    Decent graphics, pretty much what you expect out of the story line, average music and sound but overall a very
    enjoyable experience, I would say unlike Enemy Unknown, which is undoubtedly the better game, Declassified has little to no replay value, but you should enjoy your first romp through. Expand
  22. 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
  23. Aug 29, 2013
    Fun sci-fi game. Not as tactical as a Tom Clancy game but still tactical enough to make it challenging and fun, it is on the same tactical level as the first Mass Effect game. The graphics are good and I liked the voice casting. Sure the gameplay is repetitive but not more than Enemy Unknown. Likewise you can't blame this game for having a generic storyline when the entire XCom series is built around a generic storyline. However a better word than 'generic' is 'classic'. That's how I see the storyline and concept of this game, a classic sci-fi. So if you truly enjoy sci-fi and you liked the tactical gameplay in the first Mass Effect game you might enjoy XCom Declassified. Expand
  24. Aug 25, 2013
    Remember years ago when the devs of this game had announced a first person XCOM that was like a detective game in some ways? I was interested it sounded fresh and had the potential to be amazing but instead we got a third person tactical shooter with A.I that usually has to be baby sited constantly, don't get me wrong this game will appeal to a lot of people but if you think this is another RTS XCOM you're gonna be disappointed.
    Want a 3rd person cover based tactical shooter with the XCOM theme? buy this game
    Want a RTS XCOM? wait for XCOM: Enemy Within
  25. 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.