The Bureau Xcom Declassified has received negative reviews from as low as a 4 to as high as a 6. Fans of Xcom Enemy Unknown are bashing the game saying how far from Enemy Uknown it really is and how it was ripped from Mass Effect. While some of this is true surprisingly The Bureau has some good strategy elements in it and honestly it works.
I went into this game with a very negative mindset. I saw the gameplay and said to myself that this is nothing but a Mass Effect clone. Well it is and it isn’t. While the power wheel you have access to is ripped straight from Mass Effect and the cover and fire system is as well but that’s really the only thing. You have to really think ahead a few moves in this game.
You can’t play The Bureau like you play Mass Effect. Ordering your squad to take cover is very important in this game. What I really like about this gameplay is you can give your squad more than one order at a time. You can make them move into cover then immediately after have them perform an action. You can chain up some really nice combos between your squad this way and become a very effective fighting force. Combine that with the awesome weapons you find throughout the game and you’ve got yourself one hell of a game. The strategy is there guys… especially out on the battlefield. You can’t customize your base like you can in Enemy Unknown but the same amount of thinking you’ll do on the field of battle in Enemy Unknown is present here in this game too. So that’s the gameplay side of things. How’s the story?
You play as Agent Carter a CIA agent that had a near death experience but somehow survived and escaped the onslaught from the aliens at the beginning of the game. You’re put in charge of the ground unit that goes around America fighting the aliens and trying to turn the tide of battle. Now I can’t say too much about the story without spoilers so i’ll simply say that it’s the best Xcom as a franchise has ever had but on it’s on it’s not a bad story but don’t expect a Mass Effect kind of story.
After each mission you’ll go back to base to rest up, level up your squad, assign new squad members, do various side quests, and get to know the various npcs scattered around the base. In a conversation you’ll get access to a Mass Effect like conversation wheel. The voice acting isn’t spectacular but it’s decent. Some people did a good job while others were just bad.
Another thing that’s really bad is your partners a.i. It’s god awful. You’ll have to repeatedly save their lives because they’ll run out in the middle of the street and get blown up. They’ve even shot me in the back before when I took cover in front of their cover and almost killed me. At first I thought an enemy was behind me but when I turned around I saw my own partner blasting away me.
It seems as if the “smart a.i.” applies only to the enemies that you face and not to your own squad and that gives them an unfair advantage. There’s also a point in the story that really made no sense to me and in my opinion should not have ever happened. I can’t say much more without ruining the game. The positives in this game out weigh the negatives and I don’t think this game deserves all the hate it’s been getting from everyone. I’ll admit I was one of the people saying this game sucked but after playing through it it won me over which is why i’m giving The Bureau Xcom Declassified a 7/10 and my recommendation. Give this game a chance it might just surprise you. I hope you enjoyed reading this and if you did i’ll have more for you real soon.