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#51 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@ares42 said:

@seppli: I'd say the core problem lies in the fact that X-Com has always been a very gameplay focused game, so changing the gameplay while keeping the theme is basically like making a completely different game. The situation reminds me of Syndicate really. There was nothing wrong with that game, but calling it Syndicate didn't do it any favors. There isn't really any reason why any of the iterations they showed needed to be linked to X-Com, and basically all it has done for them is create a lot of fervor against their game.

True enough. Especially the first iteration of The Bureau could have been great, if it wasn't burdened by XCOM's heritage. I love X-Files-style secret alien invasions. Yet as it stands, I don't think The Bureau in its current iteration is necessarily unworthy of XCOM's heritage either. For one, it's way too soon to condemn it so completely, as some seem to do.

2K Marin tries hard to capture the mechanical soul of the turnbased games, and translate it into a 3rd person action experience. Yes - the resulting gameplay looks similar to Mass Effect, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I for one love Mass Effect, and plenty seem to have latched-on to Mass Effect's gameplay mechanics to the point of making ME3's coop, which is soley driven by its mechanical rather than narrative hooks, a longterm success for Bioware.

It's not that hard for me to imagine a true-to-XCOM action gameplay experience, using Mass Effect as a stepping stone. More granular and precise squad mechanics. More interesting and diverse powers. Larger squads. More interesting squadmate customization and more intricate equipment management. Perma-death. In my imagination - by adding the hooks of the turnbased game to Mass Effect-like action mechanics, I end up with a compelling and distinctly XCOM-feeling gameplay experience. At least that's how the inner eye of an optimist sees it.

Of course Bioware did a killer job with its gunplay in ME3, and is commonly quite underrated and underappreciated in that regard. It remains to be seen if 2K Marin can craft a similarly rewarding shooting experience. I sure hope so. I enjoy good games.

#52 Edited by BaconBits (58 posts) -

@jakob187 said:

I'm willing to make a bet....nay, a guarantee...that the majority of people in here saying "this just looks mediocre now" were the ones bitching about this game back in 2010 and 2011 in the first place! People can never seem to be satisfied.

I think it looked awesome then, and I still think it looks awesome. The guys were able to justify all of their reasons for the changes, and that scores huge brownie points with me. This is a day one buy for me, no ifs ands or buts.

Probably, I'm going to go a step further, all those people bitching in 2010 and 2011 going "oh, it's not XCOM! it's not like the old ones!" and then going on to describe a game that wasn't remotely similar to the original XCOM, have never played the XCOM game before.

Whatever, as a guy that bought XCOM: Enforcer at retail, i'm willing to give anything with "XCOM" a chance, still saying the 2010 version was the most interesting though.

#53 Edited by Live2bRighteous (317 posts) -

Why do people hate TPS's more then any other game genre? I've never understood that.

#54 Posted by louiedog (2335 posts) -

I do think that the new gameplay is closer to what I think of with XCOM. However, I don't think that it needs to be. It looks like something I'd like to play, maybe even more so than what they were showing a couple of years ago. I'd still like to see that version though. Maybe if this does well they could do a Blood Dragon/Case Zero type downloadable title with that original smaller, suburban horror-style FPS that they had.

#55 Posted by BaconBits (58 posts) -

@live2brighteous:

I thought people hated FPS's more than any other game genre...or maybe it's JRPG's...just different strokes for different folks.

#56 Posted by Deranged (1856 posts) -

@tonyyj said:

I seem to be in the minority here in thinking that the new revision looks a whole lot better than the original 2010 version. Surprised at the inclusion of squad recruitment, hopefully there's permadeath for your squaddies. Very much looking forward to this!

Agreed! Controls look tighter and I very much appreciate the larger focus on your squadmates rather than them simply being canon fodder.

#57 Posted by JJWeatherman (14562 posts) -

@jakob187 said:

I'm willing to make a bet....nay, a guarantee...

Serious business.

Anyway, I think this game seems bad. And I'm someone who can really appreciate a mediocre third-person cover-based shooter.

#58 Posted by EuanDewar (5094 posts) -

oh wow Morgan Gray, i remember him from the Dark Void days

#59 Edited by Cirdain (3111 posts) -

I want a new Brothers in Arms. Set in the Saints Row world.

#60 Posted by Hailinel (25203 posts) -

@jakob187 said:

I'm willing to make a bet....nay, a guarantee...that the majority of people in here saying "this just looks mediocre now" were the ones bitching about this game back in 2010 and 2011 in the first place! People can never seem to be satisfied.

I think it looked awesome then, and I still think it looks awesome. The guys were able to justify all of their reasons for the changes, and that scores huge brownie points with me. This is a day one buy for me, no ifs ands or buts.

I'm willing more to bet that the people complaining now are the ones that were excited to see an XCOM-themed FPS and chiding the long-time strategy fans for not keeping an open mind. Now it's a third-person game with strategic elements and plays nothing like an FPS, meaning that fans of the FPS concept are now the ones left out in the cold. The turn-based fans got their game in Enemy Unknown, and now people willing to accept real-time combat with some thematic XCOM strategy elements get to try something new.

But I guess the FPS crowd can always play Syndicate.

Online
#61 Posted by BeachThunder (12295 posts) -

Fuck this, hurry up with Terror From The Deep already.

Yesyesyesyesyesyesyes.

#62 Edited by Jimbo (9935 posts) -

@seppli said:

@jimbo said:

@seppli said:

@jimbo said:

@seppli said:

I admire their commitment to *getting XCOM right*. The prior versions of the game sure look like they were *good enough* games, but just not true enough to the turnbased tactical core of XCOM. It seems to me like they finally found the middle ground between direct realtime player interaction, narrative, and tactical control/player agency.

Don't quite get the backlash for it seemingly playing like a latter day Mass Effect game, just with a whole lot more of player agency (especially with perma-death factoring into it all). This iteration seems to shoot awfully close to the scope and scale of the turnbased core XCOM experience gameplay-wise. How's that a bad thing.

True, the prior iterations were arguably a lot more moody and atmospheric, but gameplay-wise they certainly weren't XCOM. The Bureau actually looks like it'll play like an XCOM game, and if it controls well and offers player-agency akin to the turnbased experience, it will be a baller game.

In literally no ways does it look like it'll play like an XCOM game. It's real-time, funnel-level, whac-a-mole TPS. It's about as close to XCOM as God of War is to Baldur's Gate.

  • What I saw is a chock-full tactics/powers-quickselect-wheel that's slowing down time when opened, allowing me to order around squadmates, and employ powers with pin-point accuracy.
  • It's hard to say how linear of a corridor the leveldesign will be, from what little we've seen. People complained about the same thing with Firaxis' game, and it turned out fine. As long as the corridor is wide and varied enough to allow for rich tactics, who gives a hoot?

The core premise for this project is to make a XCOM action game, so I don't see where your confusion comes from. It sure looks like a XCOM action game to me. Rather than just going for the alien invasion setting of the initial FPS iteration, they've changed their focus to making the game more mechanically true to XCOM.

  • Recruit and level and equip your squad of XCOM soldiers. With perma-death looming threateningly overhead of these stalwarts of your campaign against the invaders - like the proverbial sword of Damocles - we ideally do care deeply for their lifes.
  • Order your fellow comrades-in-arms from cover to cover. Decide tactically when to use your powers and equipment to best eliminate the threat at hand.

Mechanically, these elements are both in The Bureau, as well as in the turnbased original XCOM, so no, I don't see your point. It's as close as a 3rd person action game can be to the turnbased original. I know - pessimists are always right, but I'd rather be an optimist, on the off chance that it'll actually come together nicely.

What's really bugging me is that I don't see any destructibility. High density interactivity (aka tactically destructible environments) is a key-element for the fascination I have with XCOM eversince its inception over a decade ago - from the footage we've seen here, that seems to be missing. Here's me hoping tactically destructible environments are in. The graphics are sure modest enough to make me believe it's in the realm of possiblity.

Please get it right - 2K Marin!

Yes, which -contrary to your first post- still isn't close at all. That's my point. To suggest that it "looks like it'll play like an XCOM game" because you can order ~3 guys around, drop powers and it has perma-death is tenuous at best. And it shows a pretty shallow appreciation of gameplay - games can have things in common and still not have remotely similar gameplay. A real-time TPS is, by definition, not going to play anything like a turn-based strategy game, regardless of whether both involve men hiding behind cover shooting at aliens.

They aren't necessarily wrong to be trying to action up XCOM. You're wrong for claiming it'll somehow play like the turn-based strategy original despite fundamentally not being that. The trailer makes it plenty clear that they've taken Mass Effect -not XCOM- as the main inspiration for their gameplay. It's Mass Effect's combat with a vaguely XCOMish coat of paint.

I'm saying that it looks like 2K Marin tried to *translate* what makes the turnbased game special into an action game. 2010's iteration focused on the narrative-aspect of a secret invasion and an atmosphere of unease, which alone didn't please the fanbase. The cries for a more mechanically familiar product were deafening. Over the long years in production - development hell I believe is the colloquial term - it has become a more mechanically-familiar experience, as demanded by consumers the world over.

Of course the action game-take on XCOM doesn't play like the classic turnbased XCOM - however it doesn't have to. We already got a XCOM-ass XCOM-game from Firaxis. However, it's much more clearly familiar and in-line with what XCOM is supposed to be, rather than some kind of alternate universe XCOM. It's much more conforming with Firaxis' reboot of the franchise - mechanically and stylistically and narratively. From what I can tell (being an optimist), this XCOM game will inded play like an XCOM game, if it was translated into a 3rd person action experience. I don't understand your need to put a negative spin on that circumstance. Way to judge a book by its cover.

If you want a *real* XCOM game, I'm sure Firaxis will get to iterate on what many decided to be their game of the year in 2012. As far as an XCOM-themed action game goes, The Bureau seems to be much more mechanically-familiar to the turnbased game than anybody expected. In my book, that's a positive. We'll see how it all turns out. I doubt 2K is going to delay and retool this game yet again. What we see, is what we'll get, and I don't see any reason why what've seen seems so condemnable to so many.

I knew you'd come around.

I agree it doesn't have to play like XCOM, which is just as well because it certainly doesn't look like it's going to. They might be taking a few more ingredients from XCOM now, but gameplay is the meal you make out of those ingredients, and that meal still isn't going to be XCOM, it looks like it's going to be Mass Effect (the weaker part of Mass Effect at that). I have no idea how they interpreted the response to their first iteration as 'make it play like Mass Effect' but here we are.

I think most of the people who had a problem with the first iteration (which was mostly related to misuse of the XCOM name, rather than what they actually showed) have now been sated by getting a 'proper' XCOM game and probably don't care passionately about this one way or the other. Personally I think they'd have been better off sticking with their first version and fleshing that out. It may not have had any business being called XCOM, but at least it looked like it had some kind of identity of its own. The management/strategy side of things is gonna have to be pretty impressive here if they don't want people to dismiss it as just another by-the-numbers cover shooter.

#63 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@jimbo said:

@seppli said:

@jimbo said:

@seppli said:

@jimbo said:

@seppli said:

I admire their commitment to *getting XCOM right*. The prior versions of the game sure look like they were *good enough* games, but just not true enough to the turnbased tactical core of XCOM. It seems to me like they finally found the middle ground between direct realtime player interaction, narrative, and tactical control/player agency.

Don't quite get the backlash for it seemingly playing like a latter day Mass Effect game, just with a whole lot more of player agency (especially with perma-death factoring into it all). This iteration seems to shoot awfully close to the scope and scale of the turnbased core XCOM experience gameplay-wise. How's that a bad thing.

True, the prior iterations were arguably a lot more moody and atmospheric, but gameplay-wise they certainly weren't XCOM. The Bureau actually looks like it'll play like an XCOM game, and if it controls well and offers player-agency akin to the turnbased experience, it will be a baller game.

In literally no ways does it look like it'll play like an XCOM game. It's real-time, funnel-level, whac-a-mole TPS. It's about as close to XCOM as God of War is to Baldur's Gate.

  • What I saw is a chock-full tactics/powers-quickselect-wheel that's slowing down time when opened, allowing me to order around squadmates, and employ powers with pin-point accuracy.
  • It's hard to say how linear of a corridor the leveldesign will be, from what little we've seen. People complained about the same thing with Firaxis' game, and it turned out fine. As long as the corridor is wide and varied enough to allow for rich tactics, who gives a hoot?

The core premise for this project is to make a XCOM action game, so I don't see where your confusion comes from. It sure looks like a XCOM action game to me. Rather than just going for the alien invasion setting of the initial FPS iteration, they've changed their focus to making the game more mechanically true to XCOM.

  • Recruit and level and equip your squad of XCOM soldiers. With perma-death looming threateningly overhead of these stalwarts of your campaign against the invaders - like the proverbial sword of Damocles - we ideally do care deeply for their lifes.
  • Order your fellow comrades-in-arms from cover to cover. Decide tactically when to use your powers and equipment to best eliminate the threat at hand.

Mechanically, these elements are both in The Bureau, as well as in the turnbased original XCOM, so no, I don't see your point. It's as close as a 3rd person action game can be to the turnbased original. I know - pessimists are always right, but I'd rather be an optimist, on the off chance that it'll actually come together nicely.

What's really bugging me is that I don't see any destructibility. High density interactivity (aka tactically destructible environments) is a key-element for the fascination I have with XCOM eversince its inception over a decade ago - from the footage we've seen here, that seems to be missing. Here's me hoping tactically destructible environments are in. The graphics are sure modest enough to make me believe it's in the realm of possiblity.

Please get it right - 2K Marin!

Yes, which -contrary to your first post- still isn't close at all. That's my point. To suggest that it "looks like it'll play like an XCOM game" because you can order ~3 guys around, drop powers and it has perma-death is tenuous at best. And it shows a pretty shallow appreciation of gameplay - games can have things in common and still not have remotely similar gameplay. A real-time TPS is, by definition, not going to play anything like a turn-based strategy game, regardless of whether both involve men hiding behind cover shooting at aliens.

They aren't necessarily wrong to be trying to action up XCOM. You're wrong for claiming it'll somehow play like the turn-based strategy original despite fundamentally not being that. The trailer makes it plenty clear that they've taken Mass Effect -not XCOM- as the main inspiration for their gameplay. It's Mass Effect's combat with a vaguely XCOMish coat of paint.

I'm saying that it looks like 2K Marin tried to *translate* what makes the turnbased game special into an action game. 2010's iteration focused on the narrative-aspect of a secret invasion and an atmosphere of unease, which alone didn't please the fanbase. The cries for a more mechanically familiar product were deafening. Over the long years in production - development hell I believe is the colloquial term - it has become a more mechanically-familiar experience, as demanded by consumers the world over.

Of course the action game-take on XCOM doesn't play like the classic turnbased XCOM - however it doesn't have to. We already got a XCOM-ass XCOM-game from Firaxis. However, it's much more clearly familiar and in-line with what XCOM is supposed to be, rather than some kind of alternate universe XCOM. It's much more conforming with Firaxis' reboot of the franchise - mechanically and stylistically and narratively. From what I can tell (being an optimist), this XCOM game will inded play like an XCOM game, if it was translated into a 3rd person action experience. I don't understand your need to put a negative spin on that circumstance. Way to judge a book by its cover.

If you want a *real* XCOM game, I'm sure Firaxis will get to iterate on what many decided to be their game of the year in 2012. As far as an XCOM-themed action game goes, The Bureau seems to be much more mechanically-familiar to the turnbased game than anybody expected. In my book, that's a positive. We'll see how it all turns out. I doubt 2K is going to delay and retool this game yet again. What we see, is what we'll get, and I don't see any reason why what've seen seems so condemnable to so many.

I knew you'd come around.

I agree it doesn't have to play like XCOM, which is just as well because it certainly doesn't look like it's going to. They might be taking a few more ingredients from XCOM now, but gameplay is the meal you make out of those ingredients, and that meal still isn't going to be XCOM, it looks like it's going to be Mass Effect (the weaker part of Mass Effect at that). I have no idea how they interpreted the response to their first iteration as 'make it play like Mass Effect' but here we are.

I think most of the people who had a problem with the first iteration (which was mostly related to misuse of the XCOM name, rather than what they actually showed) have now been sated by getting a 'proper' XCOM game and probably don't care passionately about this one way or the other. Personally I think they'd have been better off sticking with their first version and fleshing that out. It may not have had any business being called XCOM, but at least it looked like it had some kind of identity of its own. The management/strategy side of things is gonna have to be pretty impressive here if they don't want people to dismiss it as just another by-the-numbers cover shooter.

The player directly controls the action of his character. Time, for the most parts, keeps flowing naturally. That's the extent of the differences between the turnbased and the action-oriented iterations of the modern XCOM games on the surface level. The player still sends his squadmates from cover to cover. Still decides on what special abilities and equipment are to be used. Still manages customization. Still suffers agonizing perma death in the case of misjudgment and failure.

I maintain that the latest The Bureau footage looks like it will play like an XCOM game. It will be the action-oriented take on the formula. It is playing like XCOM as an action-game. It's not playing like a classic turnbased XCOM tactical game, for the aforementioned reasons. Inherently an action game cannot play exactly like a turnbased game. However, you allege that it doesn't play like a XCOM game at all. I do disagree with that notion. I think it can play like a XCOM game, just not a turnbased one. On a surface level, it certainly seems like 2K Marine has the player ponder the same actions as in Firaxis' turnbased iteration - just through the lense of an action game.

Therefor The Bureau can play like a XCOM game without actually playing like a XCOM game - because one XCOM game is action-oriented, whilst the other is turnbased. It's just two different takes on the same game. Both aspire to be a XCOM game. The turnbased one succeeded for the most parts, whilst 2K Marine's take still has to prove its mettle. I merely fight the predominant prejudice of The Bureau inherently being incapable of being a XCOM game. From what I've seen, such a failure cannot be decisively concluded. It's still very much up in the air.

#64 Posted by Jimbo (9935 posts) -

Why do people hate TPS's more then any other game genre? I've never understood that.

Because there was like one good one (Gears) and then it seemed like every other game for the next 5 years had to be a shit copy of it until everybody was sick of it. For every Gears there were a hundred Dark Sectors. Then they started ruining perfectly good existing franchises by turning them into shitty cover-shooters as well.

Unless there is some other significant dimension to add flavour to a game, cover-based shooting (against AI at least) is super mind-numbing after a few minutes. 'Hide behind cover, be in ~no danger, shoot enemies in the head' just isn't an interesting enough mechanic to carry a whole game by itself, but it seemed to take the industry forever to actually appreciate that.

It can still work as one mechanic in a more complex game, I just don't think you really want to be asking the player to do it for more than 15-20 minutes at a stretch.

#65 Edited by Quarters (1813 posts) -

I really like Mass Effect, so I think this looks pretty rad. I like the way it seems now much more than the earlier demos. I've never gotten around to Enemy Unknown, so this seems like a perfect introduction.

#66 Posted by Jimbo (9935 posts) -

@seppli: "Inherently an action game cannot play exactly like a turnbased game. However, you allege that it doesn't play like a XCOM game. I do disagree with that notion. I think it can play like a XCOM game, just not a turnbased one."

This is like arguing that if all you change about Chess is to make it real-time instead of turn-based, then as long as you're still using the same board and pieces it can still 'play like Chess'. I guarantee you that whatever you're playing in real-time with that chess board and chess pieces it won't play anything like Chess. Changing the fundamental structure of a game from turn-based to real-time is kind of a huge deal in terms of the effect that will have on gameplay.

What you're really saying is 'it has stuff an XCOM game has'.

#67 Posted by audioBusting (1642 posts) -

This looks really cool, though I hope they make good of it. The required walking scene and corridor-shaped levels give a bad sign. It'll be even better if they have co-op like Mass Effect 3 did too!

#68 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11449 posts) -

Still seems interesting to me. But I say that as someone who has little interest in playing turn based XCOM, and likes Mass Effect a lot.

Online
#69 Edited by Live2bRighteous (317 posts) -

@jimbo: Isn't that exactly what you do in a FPS though... just without the dynamic cover?

#70 Posted by Live2bRighteous (317 posts) -

@jimbo: Isn't that exactly what you do in a FPS though... just without the dynamic cover?

#71 Posted by dudeglove (8153 posts) -
@jakob187 said:

People can never seem to be satisfied.

Because it looks like shit. I'm more interested if anyone in this thread has actually played UFO: Enemy Unknown. You, for instance.

@jakob187 said:

This is a day one buy for me, no ifs ands or buts.

Good luck with that.

Folks, you know what UFO: Enemy Unknown had? Wicked destructible environments.

Yes that shit is on fire, and that was nearly 20 years ago. If only they had a chest high wall to cower under.

#72 Posted by McTangle (157 posts) -

It looks like a nice middle-ground between XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Mass Effect games.

I wanted to play Enemy Unknown but I SUCK at strategy games. Maybe this is my way in.

#73 Posted by Jimbo (9935 posts) -

@live2brighteous: There's usually a greater sense of danger for the player in FPS. You typically have to make yourself vulnerable to engage the enemy or even just to see what's going on. Cover TPS is often guilty of making the whole thing very safe for the player.

#74 Posted by BaconBits (58 posts) -

More new info:

So it seems that a bunch of other sites got some hands-on time with it and most folks seem pretty positive. Wonder if GB went...was anyone inexplicably missing recently?

#75 Edited by MiniPato (2747 posts) -

I never heard of XCOM until people started bitching about how XCOM wasn't XCOM. I was actually looking forward to the XCOM fps because everything about it looked cool, maybe not XCOM, but cool. I played Enemy Unknown and loved it, but I liked the way the original 2010 version of the FPS looked too. I don't see why there can't be room for both aesthetics and gameplay styles in the same franchise. I'm really bummed to hear them say "We scrapped investigation in favor of more kicking ass." Also bummed that they took out the abstract aliens and shit.

But don't get me wrong. I think The Bureau looks sweet as well. As much as I liked the aesthetic of the 2010 version, the combat didn't look too special once all out fights broke out. I think The Bureau looks more interesting in that respect.

#76 Edited by BeachThunder (12295 posts) -

@baconbits said:
was anyone inexplicably missing recently?

Dave?

:(

#77 Posted by BaconBits (58 posts) -

@baconbits said:
was anyone inexplicably missing recently?

Dave?

:(

Dave's not missing, he's exactly where he needs to be at any given moment in time, like Gordon Freeman

#78 Edited by Tennmuerti (8172 posts) -

Huh, so i'm kind of late to this party. Saw the new footage only just now. Sorry.

One thing I have to say is I am surprised at how blatantly they steered the game into trying to ape the new X-com. Not only the icons and UI elements such as grenades for both arc and area, cover shields and types. But also enemies, where before they had their own completely separate and different aliens now we see straight up sectoids and outsiders from the turn based game. The environments likewise changed to be closer to the recent X-com release, going with a slightly more cartoon/exaggerated/colorful style.

I expect that a meeting happened after the new X-com game was so successful and it went something like this: "Change your game to be more like that."

Not saying it's a bad or a good thing, just super obvious that that's what happened.