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2K Marin's XCOM Shooter Not Dead, Rebranded as The Bureau: XCOM Declassified

The once first- and third-person tactical shooter is now solely a third-person tactical shooter, emphasis on the tactics.

2K Marin's XCOM game is still headed for a release this year, believe it or not.

Rumors have been swirling of late regarding the status of 2K Marin's long-in-development XCOM shooter. After numerous old promotional materials were pulled down from various 2K sites, people began to wonder if the game had been quietly shelved. Turns out, not so much, as 2K Marin's XCOM has just been in a retooling phase, revamping several key mechanics and concepts in anticipation of a release date this year.

XCOM is now The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, a third-person, tactical squad-based shooter that is, fundamentally, pretty similar to the game originally shown to press over the last few years. However, where The Bureau once allowed for first- and third-person action, the game is now focused solely on a third-person presentation.

However, the game is still a tactics heavy affair, according to the representatives I spoke to from 2K Marin. Players will take on the role of William Carter, a lone wolf FBI agent tasked with dealing with extraterrestrial threats during the JFK years. Carter may not like working with others, but The Bureau will require him to be a "combat quarterback," as 2K's reps put it. You will be commanding all your fellow agents in battle, sending them from place to place, giving them orders and instructions on how to proceed. Similar to the other games in the XCOM series, The Bureau will put an emphasis on permadeath, meaning that squadmates you build up over time will die and stay that way if you aren't careful about your battle tactics.

2K will be allowing press to play The Bureau for the first time soon. Until then, a few new screenshots and a live-action teaser trailer have been uploaded for your perusal. According to 2K, The Bureau is scheduled for release on current-gen platforms August 20th in North America, and August 23rd in Europe. We'll bring you more on The Bureau once we get to check it out for ourselves.

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85 Comments
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Posted by Baltimore

When was the first time we saw this game? 2009 maybe? I just hope it fun. That's all I want.

Posted by DedBeet

Bummer. 0 interest in a squad based shooter. I liked the look of the previous version of this game.

Posted by Hailinel

@fisk0 said:

I know a lot of people were against the XCOM first person shooter idea, but, really. First person perspective is so much better in every single way compared to third person. I'm disappointed they decided to change that, because some kind of Rainbow Six-esque 50's XCOM alien investigation stuff sounded really, really interesting.

I'll still buy it, obviously, but I hope someone will put out a first person mod for it.

How so?

Posted by Redbullet685

@yummylee said:

Hearing about the whole squad-mate permadeath thing has me infinitely more interested in this game now. It basically sounds like XCOM: EU just with you controlling the action more directly. The 60s setting is pretty cool, too.

Yeah, this this this. I am actually super excited about this game now. I really hope they pull it off cause it sounds really interesting.

Posted by GiantAlston

Happy that they didn't cancel this. Though it may not be the true Xcom tactical, it still has me interested.

Edited by FierceDeity

@tesla said:

Sweet, I'm glad this is still alive and kicking.

I never understood the immediate dismissal of this game simply because it's not a turn based strategy. For all the overused tropes and settings in video games, I feel like there could be a lot more with that 1920 - 1950 classic Americana vibe. I can't get enough of that stuff.

No way. I'm sick of monsters like Ken Levine raping that period of classic American history for their own personal gain. And then having the hubris to call it "art"!

Posted by ptys

I hate live action trailers!

Posted by ll_Exile_ll

@fisk0 said:

I know a lot of people were against the XCOM first person shooter idea, but, really. First person perspective is so much better in every single way compared to third person. I'm disappointed they decided to change that, because some kind of Rainbow Six-esque 50's XCOM alien investigation stuff sounded really, really interesting.

I'll still buy it, obviously, but I hope someone will put out a first person mod for it.

Really, first person is better in every way? So you're saying Mario Galaxy would be better in first person? What about God of War?

If you're implying that it is only better in regards to shooters, I have to strongly disagree. A game designed around the first person perspective will always be better in first person, but games designed around aspects of the third person perspective will always be superior in that format. Gears of War would be a much lesser game if it were first person.

As for this game, yes it was originally designed as a first person game, but if they are making use of the new third person perspective in ways that couldn't be done in first person, the game could benefit from the change.

Edited by dudeglove

I'm actually real damn curious about this game. At the very least the 50s setting is pretty novel for a sci-fi game.

60s

Posted by ripelivejam

*loads story/content, looks at a good chunk of the terrible comments, weeps, lather, rinse, repeat*

that said, now that we have the "proper" xcom i'm more interested in seeing what they do with this. really dig the aesthetic. i guess the backlash when it was originally announced was unfair, but that seemed to be a time where we were all experiencing shooter fatigue and a lack of diversity in game genres.

Edited by Nethlem

I don't get what 2K is trying to do with this...

If they would care about the IP and wanted to put it into the "FPS Genre" than why didn't they just try to revive X-Com Alliance?

Alliance looked very promising, as an FPS game, while still staying true to it's roots. Many fans of the franchise looked forward to that game (and are still looking forward to it). If 2K would have gone with Alliance, people would at least have given them some credit for actually caring about the franchise.

Instead they ended up giving people something that looked like a cash-in, backpedaled, presented something slightly different just to backpedal again. At this point i don't have much hope for this game, simply because of how they trying to sell it. It all sounds like a very linear, story-driven experience, in short: The complete opposite of what X-Com actually is and what people want out of their X-Com games.

Imho X-Com could work very well as an FPS or an TPS as long as the core basics of the X-Com gameplay are still present (Management, Strategy, Randomness and all the other fun things). Trying to turn X-Com into an interactive rollercoasterride is bound to fail, no matter what.

Edited by Psychohead

I got the X-Com I actually wanted. This one is free to be whatever it wants, now, as far as I care. If it's good, that'd be a fun bonus.

Edited by TheHT

i gotta say, besides the not-so-great cg alien ship, that live-action trailer was great.

Posted by JohnLocke

If this is going to be like Ghost Recon in how you can order additional units (maybe other things like vehicles as well) with a Sci-Fi 1950's style setting, I could see this being really good. I enjoyed what I have played so far of the tactical turn based game so I would be interested to see this as well.

Posted by fisk0

@fisk0 said:

I know a lot of people were against the XCOM first person shooter idea, but, really. First person perspective is so much better in every single way compared to third person. I'm disappointed they decided to change that, because some kind of Rainbow Six-esque 50's XCOM alien investigation stuff sounded really, really interesting.

I'll still buy it, obviously, but I hope someone will put out a first person mod for it.

Really, first person is better in every way? So you're saying Mario Galaxy would be better in first person? What about God of War?

If you're implying that it is only better in regards to shooters, I have to strongly disagree. A game designed around the first person perspective will always be better in first person, but games designed around aspects of the third person perspective will always be superior in that format. Gears of War would be a much lesser game if it were first person.

As for this game, yes it was originally designed as a first person game, but if they are making use of the new third person perspective in ways that couldn't be done in first person, the game could benefit from the change.

A case could maybe be made that Mario should stick 3rd person or 2D, but I don't know if it would be essential for it to work. As for GOW and every single third person shooter I've played, I wished there was first person view the entire time. Vanquish had it in cutscenes, Lost Planet added it as an option, and both felt much better without the clumsy camera, a character obscuring half the screen and with the added sense of playing as someone instead of watching someone react to your input.

Edited by MormonWarrior

Going from a hybrid third/first-person shooter to solely third person? Sweet. They're always better that way.

Edited by MormonWarrior

@fisk0 said:

I know a lot of people were against the XCOM first person shooter idea, but, really. First person perspective is so much better in every single way compared to third person. I'm disappointed they decided to change that, because some kind of Rainbow Six-esque 50's XCOM alien investigation stuff sounded really, really interesting.

I'll still buy it, obviously, but I hope someone will put out a first person mod for it.

Funny, I'd argue the exact opposite all the time. I'd love Halo if it was always third-person. My favorite parts of all those games are the vehicle sequences and carrying around a turret. Gears of War is the best shooter series on the market to date in my mind. I always find first person to be jarring and disorienting and I've played a lot of FPS games and the like.

Edited by fisk0

@fisk0 said:

I know a lot of people were against the XCOM first person shooter idea, but, really. First person perspective is so much better in every single way compared to third person. I'm disappointed they decided to change that, because some kind of Rainbow Six-esque 50's XCOM alien investigation stuff sounded really, really interesting.

I'll still buy it, obviously, but I hope someone will put out a first person mod for it.

Funny, I'd argue the exact opposite all the time. I'd love Halo if it was always third-person. My favorite parts of all those games are the vehicle sequences and carrying around a turret. Gears of War is the best shooter series on the market to date in my mind. I always find first person to be jarring and disorienting and I've played a lot of FPS games and the like.

Weird, I always find third person cameras pretty disorienting, especially since they all have some quirk of their own, some have fully camera relative movement, which feels kinda like an FPS still, some (like Uncharted and if I recall correctly, SOCOM) do weird stuff where strafing and some other movement is character relative, but your only character turning control still is the same as for the camera. I guess the full on Gears of War clone stuff isn't quite as jarring to play, but I find nothing in them that I feel third person view added to the gameplay, so for me there's no reason for them not to be in first person perspective.

Edited by konig_kei

I bet by third person tactics they mean gears of war clone.

Posted by MiniPato

@fisk0 said:

I know a lot of people were against the XCOM first person shooter idea, but, really. First person perspective is so much better in every single way compared to third person. I'm disappointed they decided to change that, because some kind of Rainbow Six-esque 50's XCOM alien investigation stuff sounded really, really interesting.

I'll still buy it, obviously, but I hope someone will put out a first person mod for it.

Funny, I'd argue the exact opposite all the time. I'd love Halo if it was always third-person. My favorite parts of all those games are the vehicle sequences and carrying around a turret. Gears of War is the best shooter series on the market to date in my mind. I always find first person to be jarring and disorienting and I've played a lot of FPS games and the like.

I think first person has a great advantage with indoor environments. Like, Fallout 3 has a third person perspective and even if they made combat in 3rd person fun and made the moving animations not look shitty, you wouldn't play Fallout 3 in 3rd person because exploring every nook and cranny of an indoor area (and maybe even outdoors) would be nigh impossible. They wouldn't be able to add as many details and hidden objects like safes and bottlecaps under beds or behind shelves. I mean they still could for 3rd person, but they'd have to make it extremely obvious and as a result, exploring would be less satisfying. I think first person is the winner when it comes to games like that.

I think Deus Ex Human Revolution is a great blend because it has first person for exploring and looting environments while the third person perspective really helps with the stealth aspect of it.

Posted by Mars_Cleric

I'm all for more shooters with fedoras

Posted by briangodsoe

Poor 2K Marin, they make the games that nobody wants to have to make. This will probably be good but the brand puts it right into the shadow of "the good one" and therefore it will inevitably get shit on regardless of quality. Bioshock 2 all over again.

Or it will suck and I will have a huge slice of fucking crow to eat.

Posted by BatmanBatman

Lets-a-see...

Posted by Xpgamer7

I'm still hopeful. Since the first announcement I have been wholly excited about this.

Posted by avidwriter

I'm guessing with the success of the new XCOM tactital squad game they had to redo a lot of the game to make it so their's wouldn't flop?

Posted by wiggle987

You know what, this got me thinking, a Full Spectrum Warrior style strategyish game would've fit well for X-com.

Posted by DoctorDunno

I think one of the main reasons that this game got such a negative reception was people being afraid that this was what X-Com was gonna be from then on. Now that Enemy Unknown has been released, I feel like this game has a much better chance of being accepted, since people know there's still an ongoing X-Com franchise in the style of the original games.

Posted by RenegadeSaint

I thought the original FPS they presented a couple years ago looked really unique and intriguing. I'm a little bummed out that they were pressured into changing it, but I'm still excited to see how this turns out.

Edited by backsattack

The thought of a Brothers In Arms set in the XCOM universes has my interest. Don't just crap it out to beat the next console cycle and put it on my PC and you have my money.

Posted by DG991

I saw the trailer on youtube today and was like "didn't ryan say this shit was dead?"

Edited by robin_smith

While I miss the visual style of the previous incarnations of the game (I felt they were striking and visually strong) I'm glad to see its not shelved completely. Also I think a cold war era XCOM has a very strong concept

Posted by LikeaSsur
Posted by ThomasG666

The videos looked cool. Hope it'll turn out to be a good game.

Posted by InfamousBIG

Sounds like XCOM meets Freedom Fighters. Please let that be an accurate way to describe it.

Yuss

Edited by N968771

Yeah, I too usually do most of my gaming on PC. The only reason I play on console is because I love Sony and a lot of my friends own a PS3.