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

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Posted by Alex (1968 posts) -
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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#1 Posted by Dberg (562 posts) -

They really want that XCOM brand in there, eh?

#2 Posted by corijo (17 posts) -

More tactics

#3 Edited by LarryDavis (862 posts) -

4 months seems like, uh... Not a long time.

I guess they gotta squeeze it out before next gen stuff. Doesn't seem promising.

#4 Edited by CaLe (3910 posts) -

Sounds just like the new XCOM but in a different era. That might be interesting.

Online
#5 Edited by year199X (60 posts) -

So I heard this was supposed to be an origin story and is connected to XCOM: EU. I don't necessarily mind but, this could easily just be a new IP.

#6 Posted by Hailinel (23850 posts) -

4 months seems like, uh... Not a long time.

I guess they gotta squeeze it out before next gen stuff. Doesn't seem promising.

They've been working on the game for years. This isn't some crazy Dragon Age II situation of shitting out a full game in a year and a half.

Online
#7 Posted by EuanDewar (4745 posts) -

There was a point a while back where I was pretty interested in this game but something about this news gives me a bad vibe. No idea why, it just does.

#8 Edited by Winternet (8002 posts) -

Does it have all of the tactics?

#9 Posted by Amikron (251 posts) -

This is looking to be a lot better than what was first showed. I will await this with interest.

#10 Edited by The_Nubster (2045 posts) -

I was pretty into it when Jeff was talking about it as a solely first-person affair, but having a game so heavily re-tooled is always worrisome. However, I'll still follow it until its released. I hope it's average, if nothing else.

#11 Edited by Hunter5024 (5534 posts) -

I am way more interested in this then I thought I would be. This makes me think that the shadow organisation in Enemy Unknown knew about the aliens for decades. Maybe this game involves a giant cover up.

#12 Edited by cikame (968 posts) -

This seems like a better thought out approach, i do like me some tactics.

#13 Posted by whatisdelicious (1195 posts) -

I enjoyed pointing my dudes around in Mass Effect and micromanaging where they were going and what they were taking cover against and who they were focusing fire on, but at the same time, that was mostly because the AI was so terrible that I had to.

If this is like Mass Effect, but with competent AI, I'm in.

#14 Edited by fartGOD666 (89 posts) -

XCOM: Survival Instinct

#15 Posted by YI_Orange (1128 posts) -

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

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#16 Posted by huser (1039 posts) -

@year199x said:

So I heard this was supposed to be an origin story and is connected to XCOM: EU. I don't necessarily mind but, this could easily just be a new IP.

Those UFO pilots in EU, the one that formed themselves out of polygons whenever you got close to crashed ships appeared to be tied into this game's enemies when it was still an FPS. Which might be interesting, but even measly Sectoids should roll almost anything 60's G-men would be bringing with them if GI JOE style super assault weapons don't even guarantee kills in early 20XX.

#17 Posted by JamesJeux007 (468 posts) -

You know, it looked like a decent 1st person shooter with a nice setting back when they first announced it. If they want to make it more like a certain game some people consider their GOTY 2012, sure. Don't have a problem with that.

#18 Edited by Yummylee (21242 posts) -

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.

#19 Posted by moffattron9000 (351 posts) -

The last time that Take Two delayed a game so it could get the work it needed, we got Spec Ops: The Line. That and the fact that I've been interested in this game, especially the setting since it was announced means i'll give it a fair look.

#20 Posted by MeatSim (10758 posts) -

If this plays anything like Freedom Fighters then I will be completely on board for this.

#21 Posted by Scrawnto (2434 posts) -

This is sounding much more interesting to me than before. Maybe it's just because I got the proper XCOM that I wanted, so I'm not as offended about them making a spin off anymore. It's nice to hear that there is a tactical aspect to it, too. I wonder if your squad-mates get goofy call signs.

#22 Posted by Funkydupe (3311 posts) -

The whole aspect involving AI team members scares the crap out of me. When can you ever rely on AI to do anything right? I think it could potentially ruin the entire game unless you can heavily babysit/micromanage them as if playing the XCOM turn-based game. All it takes is one glitch or bug involving the AI and you could lose your veteran soldiers. Good luck 2k.

#23 Posted by manbot47 (213 posts) -

after Enemy Unknown killed it last year this just seems like a middle ground retooling that'll please no one. There won't be enough shooting for those fans and not enough strategy for the the other fans. This seems too on-the-fence, safe, derivative, or in other words boring.

#24 Posted by FiendishDude (10 posts) -

The whole aspect involving AI team members scares the crap out of me. When can you ever rely on AI to do anything right? I think it could potentially ruin the entire game unless you can heavily babysit/micromanage them as if playing the XCOM turn-based game. All it takes is one glitch or bug involving the AI and you could lose your veteran soldiers. Good luck 2k.

A good point. Though I'm starting to warm to the idea of this game, that is a pretty daunting obstacle for them to overcome. Normally shooters get around their dumb AI by just making them invincible. If they're going to put an emphasis on permadeath in a 3rd person shooter, their AI needs to be really reliable. Only time will tell, but the continual delays don't do much for my optimism.

#25 Edited by xfuturesx (29 posts) -

I'm down to try this. If nothing out of morbid curiosity at this point. What is now, iteration 5 or 6? What something like Fez was to IGF, this game is to E3.

#26 Edited by Undeadpool (4908 posts) -

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

#27 Edited by AmatureIdiot (1075 posts) -

As a fan on Bioshock 2 and shooters of a tactical bent I am interested how this turns out. I don't think it will leave development hell totally unscathed but hopefully it will be solid addition in a sub-genre we don't see too many games in. Though I will echo the concerns about permadeath in a world where you can be screwed by AI and other glitches.

#28 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3782 posts) -

Sweet I've been interested in this game since it was announced. Little worried considering what's gone on with it's development, I wouldn't be shocked if it ended up not being great but I'm hoping it turns out well.

#29 Posted by Gildermershina (260 posts) -

I think there's some value in keeping the XCOM brand because they get to play with that mythology in a new setting, and if their statements are to believed, that gameplay from a new perspective. I'm not sure how you do tactics in this setting, unless it's Mass Effect style, pause and command, but a solid refinement of that system could be really awesome.

#30 Posted by Treadstone87 (2 posts) -

I don't need this game to be a masterpiece. If these guys can create an interesting romp through the lore behind XCOM, I'm more than willing to give it a fair shot. I just hope the A.I. is adequate.

#31 Posted by SupeRaven (25 posts) -

It was funny to notice the neighborhood in the bicycle portion as an area in LA's San Fernando Valley. I never saw any flying black obelisk in that neighborhood though.

#32 Posted by Vinny_Says (5685 posts) -

Freedom Fighters but with aliens.

Boom! million dollars right there!

#33 Edited by Raven10 (1721 posts) -

You know, Take Two has always been willing to delay and retool games that weren't working out. And it has almost always worked out for them. Outside of their baseball games, I can't really think of any truly bad 2K or Rockstar game this generation, and there are quite a few really masterful ones. I'm sure investors really hate this company, but as a gamer it is good to see that at least one publisher cares enough about quality to ruin quarterly results in an effort to make a better game. Here's to hoping that this game turns out as good as all of 2K's other delayed and retooled games this generation. They better get their marketing ramped up quickly, though. August is only a couple months away.

#34 Posted by Krystal_Sackful (808 posts) -

This is how to do it. Don't call it Xcom. Don't imply this is what xcom is from now on. Make it clear that this is a side story.

#35 Edited by President_Barackbar (3432 posts) -

I like XCOM. I like the 60's. I think I might like this

EDIT: I should probably read people's responses all the way before responding.

#36 Posted by Dagbiker (6939 posts) -

"Oh shit, people still play games that aren't FPS's, perhaps we should take another look at that other game we were making."

I think its fitting that Dave Lang was on just last night talking about how sometimes you have to take projects that people give you, that are ultimately made to fail and make them into winners.

Xcom: Eu is a good example of that. They were given a type of game that no one really plays, and made it int a great game. It has bugs, and is not perfect but it 2k is rethinking the Xcom brand because they did such a great job.

#37 Edited by gbrading (1991 posts) -

I think the idea of "XCOM in the 1960s" sounds really interesting. The key will be whether they can actually make that idea fun and engaging.

#38 Edited by Mezmero (1789 posts) -

I need more alien invasions in my games. I'd give it a shot.

#39 Posted by LackingSaint (1770 posts) -

I loved Bioshock 2 and this sounds awesome.

#40 Posted by dr_mantas (1789 posts) -

Could be good. I think first person might have been more my groove, but this could totally rock.

#41 Posted by StarvingGamer (7985 posts) -

The last time that Take Two delayed a game so it could get the work it needed, we got Spec Ops: The Line.

That's a sentence that can be read two very different ways.

#42 Edited by Hangnail (192 posts) -

@lackingsaint: Indeed, BioShock 2 showed a tremendous amount of promise from 2K Marin in terms of combat engineering.

#43 Posted by leebmx (2215 posts) -

The constant retooling and changing of this game could either be really promising or really bad. My bet is somewhere in the middle ;)

#44 Posted by Murdoc_ (302 posts) -
#45 Posted by Tesla (1905 posts) -

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.

#46 Edited by SomeJerk (3138 posts) -

If it's going to be third person it better be well-done and not yet another third person shooter, so my regards to those who will end up looking for new employment.

#47 Edited by mtcantor (947 posts) -

Don't hold out a lot of hope for this one people.

#48 Edited by fisk0 (3849 posts) -

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.

#49 Posted by GERALTITUDE (2903 posts) -

This is a pretty big deal.. don't understand peeps missing the significance of a mass market TPS being routed to make it more tactical. Did XCOM just turn the game trends car around?

#50 Edited by Lind_L_Taylor (3962 posts) -

I like 3rd Person, but Console only? I'm hesitant about buying any Console games until I find out what the backwards compatibility systems will be capable of. I basically haven't bought an Xbox game since 2011 (though I got Halo 4 for Xmas, other games Dishonored and & the new XCOM, I got on Steam instead...since I'm slow to start a new game).

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