The Bureau: XCOM Declassified


Digital FoundryXCOM Xbox 360 vs. PlayStation 3 Face-Off Video

Console versions of the revived strategy title compared head-to-head.

Video20 minutes of XCOM gameplay

Extraterrestrials invade 1960s USA.

Key events

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified DLC detailed and dated

Hangar 6 prequel expansion is Xbox exclusive.

The Bureau, 2K's third-person tactical shooter prequel to the XCOM strategy series, wasn't a great game but it was better than expected and seems to have sold well enough to warrant a spot of DLC.

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified review

"Strategy games are just not contemporary." So said 2K Games boss Christoph Hartmann back in 2011, when discussing the push to reboot the beloved X-COM series.

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified is born of this lack of confidence in the past. It has all the things modern gamers are supposed to want. A growling hero with a dark past! Moral choices! Conversation wheels! Cover-based shooting! Let the geeks have their turn-based strategy, it seems to say, and we'll get busy with the sticky grenades over here in the big boy pool.

Except, despite being "just not contemporary", last year's turn-based XCOM game, Enemy Unknown, was both brilliant and popular - which leaves this spin-off feeling surplus to requirements. Reconfigured late in development from a first-person shooter to a more tactical third-person squad game, The Bureau is an almost effective hybrid of modern blockbuster tropes and more interesting ideas hastily reintroduced from its supposedly outdated predecessor.

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XCOM Bureau trailer is reassuringly XCOM

XCOM Bureau trailer is reassuringly XCOM

Looks hard, tactical, good.

After a wobbly gestation, 2K Marin's reworked shootery stab at the XCOM licence - The Bureau: XCOM Declassified - is finally in convincing form.

A trailer released today sets the scene and shows gameplay - and that gameplay looks reassuringly hard and reassuringly tactical.

Radial menus of powers, a la Mass Effect, are in full effect as the squad tackles aliens ranging from the stereotypical X-Files kind to armour-clad super soldiers. Make the wrong call and your agents will wind up dead, a big "deceased" stamped across their personal file - presumably meaning they're out of action for good.

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Xbox 360 nets exclusive The Bureau: XCOM Declassified DLC

Xbox 360 nets exclusive The Bureau: XCOM Declassified DLC

UPDATE: Oh it's just timed exclusivity, 2K confirms.

Update: 2K has clarified to Eurogamer that the first lump of Bureau DLC is in fact a timed, 30-day, Xbox 360 exclusive, so it will also head to PC and PS3.

Original story: The first lump of DLC for third-person tactical shooter The Bureau: XCOM Declassified will be exclusively released on Xbox 360, 2K has announced.

Other DLC will be released on PC and PS3 as well, but not, apparently, that first bit.

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This week on Outside Xbox

The next Xbox, the next XCOM and movie games that ruined the canon.

Outside Xbox awaits next week's unveiling of a new Xbox with mingled excitement and trepidation, as if Tuesday 21 May were Christmas and Judgment Day rolled into one giant green Microsoft presentation. With the PlayStation 4 already out in the open, it's Microsoft's turn to impress - or to trip on the first hurdle in the next-gen race.

XCOM's new perspective: how The Bureau stays true to the original's strategic heart

2K Marin's shift from first to third person allows for a refocus on XCOM's core appeal.

For the last three years, 2K Marin's take on the XCOM universe has been surrounded by all the mystery, fear and excitement of a UFO sighting. We last saw it back in 2010, coming back wide-eyed with wonder rather than filled with dread that the strategy of the '90s original was being lost in the first-person reboot. Despite the worries of the hardcore, and despite some of the skepticism from fans of the original, there's always been a spine running through 2K Marin's game that's indebted to X-Com creator Julian Gollop's original vision.

Third-person tactical shooter The Bureau: XCOM Declassified announced

The XCOM first-person shooter is, officially, no more. It is now, officially, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, a third-person shooter.

The 2K Marin-developed game is out on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on 20th August 2013 internationally and 23rd August in the UK.

Below is a live action video, called The Burn Room, which sets the scene for the long in development 1960s alien-themed shooter.

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XCOM shooter has

XCOM shooter has "evolved", 2K confirms

"The time is right to deliver a new experience within the world of XCOM."

The XCOM shooter announced three years ago has "evolved", 2K Games has confirmed.

The publisher will re-reveal the game in the coming days, 2K wrote on its site.

2K Marin's XCOM shooter, which has been re-branded to The Bureau, is a squad-based tactical shooter that has "undergone an evolution" since we last saw it at E3 in 2011.

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Hello Eurogamer readers, I hope you're enjoying the website you're currently staring at and don't mind Outside Xbox interloping with another weekly update about what we've been up to out in the colonies.

2K's XCOM delayed a year

Max Payne 3 PC dated, DLC detailed in Take-Two financials.

2K's new XCOM FPS has been delayed yet again. The game will now launch some time between 1st April 2013 and March 31st 2014, according to publisher Take-Two's quarterly financial report.

XCOM release delayed

Take-Two dodges Mass Effect 3 launch.

The XCOM reboot will not make its planned March release date, publisher Take-Two has announced.

XCOM release date announced

XCOM release date announced

PS3 version confirmed.

First-person shooter XCOM launches on 9th March 2012, 2K Games has announced.

It launches on 6th March in the US.

The game is no longer a PC and Xbox 360 exclusive. 2K Games today confirmed plans to launch a PlayStation 3 version.

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2K narrows XCOM, Spec Ops release dates

2K narrows XCOM, Spec Ops release dates

Both before April 2012.

The 2K Australia revamp of XCOM will be released sometime between April 2011 and the end of March 2012, Take-Two's money report has spewed.

Does that mean an early 2012 launch?

If XCOM was coming this autumn, why wouldn't 2K have said? The Darkness II has a confirmed autumn 2011 date and that game was only announced yesterday.

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Alien resurrection.

PC gamers: XCOM is a very different prospect to X-COM, the revered strategy game. You'll probably dig it anyway.

First XCOM details make contact

First XCOM details make contact

Weird weaponry, eerie missions.

The new first-person shooter interpretation of XCOM is built around a series of eerie and tense missions embarked on from an underground FBI base hub.

Developer 2K Australia presents hero Carter (who has a "chequered past") with a US wall-map of choice, according to the June issue of Official Xbox Magazine (read by NeoGAF).

Missions are broken into locations and highlighted either because of extra terrestrial activity or for containing Elerium, a valuable resource. Missions are quasi-real-time and their outcome "uncertain". Other missions may expire by the time you're finished with one, and leads given at locations may also disappear over time.

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2K Australia developing XCOM game

Or rather, 2K Marin's Australian division.

2K Games has revealed that it's actually 2K Australia working on the newly unveiled XCOM reboot, and not its team in Marin near San Francisco.