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Customer reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
Platform: PlayStation3|Change
Price:£4.85+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

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on 29 April 2014
XCOM is a popular RTS-RPG that has recently been revived by previous generation of consoles. It started with Enemy From Within but prior to that game's release there were trailers for The Bureau. That was many years ago and a long drawn out complicated production is generally cause for concern.

However The Bureau is actually a decent game and very enjoyable. I got my copy for £5 including postage with amazon. I feel like I got my money's worth, but I'd be annoyed if I paid full price for it.

The graphics are dated or stylish depending on your stance. I found them stylish and they suited the era the game is based is. Combat is pulled right out of Mass Effect, RPG elements, a squad, cover based shooting. Even multiple choice conversations. All these elements are not as strong as Mass Effect but it does have better controls than the former.

The plot is enjoyable, it is less than standard evil Aliens want to consume the world. There are elements of mystery and intrigue and the sleepwalker npcs are enjoyably spooky! The dialogue is good and again feels correct for the era. The conversation branching is pointless at best. Mainly allowing you to learn more of a situation rather than have any major plot effects. There are some choices that do effect something but they are so superficial they aren't worth thinking over.

Gameplay pacing is good. Missions are rough 1 to 2 hours long with mini missions that take 20 or so minutes. Time back at base takes up the rest of your time and you can engage in some pointless quests for npcs in the base.

Gameplay itself is generally enjoyable but can at times be highly irritating. The AI of your squad is just not there. They are basically turrets that require constant management to be effective. When you master handling your team combat gets easier. Enemy AI isn't anything to write home about either. Combat is made fun purely by the variety of foes and the assortment of powers that friend and foe can wield alike. Powers for allies include a lift, laser turret, mortar strike and combat stims that boost damage.

Controls are tight which is a good thing and the levels are linear with a few nooks to seek extra supplies. Weapons are a mixed bag, as soon as you obtain alien weaponry you seem to stick with it and the game doesn't help you choose your weapons wisely. You have to experiment yourself.

Its a fun game if you can get used to your squads AI, theres not a lot to come back for once completed as the campaign doesnt really branch. Its not amazingly long about 10 to 12 hours. For a long production cycle there isnt enough meat to keep you chewing which is shame.
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on 10 March 2017
Great thank you
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on 17 June 2017
Bought as a present , he was happy
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I wanted to like this game, I'm a big X-Com fan so despite luke warm critic reviews I snatched up a copy recently seeing it on sale and the game does do some things well, but it has some huge issues that simply made it frustrating to play, I gave up on it after a few hours truth be told.

The game is set in 1962, you play the role of William Carter, a bit of a burned out agent who was once a hero but has spent recent years behind a desk after an accident killed his family. On a routine mission in whivch he has to deliver a briefcase, the base he is on is attacked by an alien force killing almost all personal and disrupting most world communications. Director Faulke, the man Carter was supposed to deliver the case to had suspicians of alien activity and had been secretly working in the background to get the best agents, scientists and personal he could ready, Carter is one of them, part of the Bureau.

The storline doesn't seem terrible, and actually has more meat to it then your standard X-Com game. The characters are pretty unlikable though, every one has this gritty badass attitude, they all feel terribly bland and for the most part the voice acting is completely monotone, they sound like my old physics teacher. This isn't especially helped by the character models which, despite many close up conversations in The Bureau main base with dialog options, expressions never so much as flicker, like everyone has had extreme botox, not what I expect from a Playstation 3 title.

The rest of the visuals aren't actually that bad though. The paranoid 60's theme running throughout is done very well and the clothes, hair, retro aliens and technology all blend together very well. It's not overly detailed and there are odd hiccups and slow down but artistically it's all there.

So with an interesting plot, and decent setting what is the issue? The gameplay is terrible. Where to begin? It's essentially a third person shooter where you control Carter and can take two other Bureau agents into the field to back you up. The controls for Carter are a little loose though functional, it just never feels comfortable. You can carry two weapons at a time, throw grenades etc. Your team mates are controlled by AI and it's pretty rubbish, they just get in the way of the game to me. Like you they have a health bar and can die, and they will. You can order them around using a tactics wheel but it doesn't seem to help and feels so clumsy. Ordering them around a corner to flank an enemy normally results in them moving as the crow flies so they get shot to pieces and are just calling to be healed constantly, it's just no fun. The game feels like they added the tactics after fan reaction from the initial trailer and it just doesn't work at all.

All in all the gameplay just killed this game quickly for me. I went in with low expectations yet still feel disappointed.

Not recommended.

+ The plot seems decent enough.
+ 60's setting is great.

- Voice acting is flat.
- Botox faces.
- AI is terrible.
- Tactics feel clumsy and forced in.
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on 27 August 2013
Right, let me explain. Firstly it is a naff cheesy game, with graphics that are not that good considering how far some games have come in the twilight of the ps3. The controls are, ok, the frame rate, is ok. The order wheel has been done before, band of brothers hells highway is similar.

So that is the basic stuff, and your wondering why I have it a 3 and said it was still good. I am an ancient gamer, i have been playing since c64's and love games, after smashing through bioshock infinite 1999 mode and loving it. I honestly enjoyed the bureau Xoom declassified. It is cheesy, the cut scenes, dialogue, and voice acting are nice and thunderbird esq. with naff in game lines that make you giggle. The graphics are not great, but who cares, the story line is nice and 60's paranoia fun. The controls are a tad clunky which is a bit of a bummer, but its really no big deal.

So i would say its worth a laugh, its nothing new, but its certainly not dreadful or disappointing, its a ood punt for a weekend rental if your bored and want a smile. I would say that it is also worth it when it comes down a bit in price, maybe £20 ish.

Just one important thing to mention, if you want it like xcom that came out a while back, then you will be gutted, its not like that at all.

It's a squad based shooter, with orders, average graphics, naff voice acting that is hilarious and will give you a giggle if you let it.

So dont get stressed, dont expect miracles, and you will be happy.
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on 11 October 2016
I've never played the xcom series before but I still haven't upgraded to a ps4 and saw this for 3 quid!

I was lucky to have played Mass Effect 2 and 3 before this so the combat controls and weren't too difficult. Although Mass Effect has by far the better and fluid controls in my opinion I gave this a shot and enjoyed it's 60s cheese.

The voice acting is terrible but I think in a funny way as couldn't stop smiling to my self when William Carter (main character) starts doing his 'gravelly voiced-sexist-cheesey-oneliners through the whole damn game haha.

Graphics are OK, the frame rate does suffer a smidge when it gets to the later levels. It's a decent game I think but try not to take it too seriously and you'll enjoy it.

The only down side to this game is the s****y awful AI. You need to be very patient and babysit your squad (on commander difficulty) as they will just get slaughtered even on an easy setting even though you can revive them they just make things fustrating as hell.

Update: Just got the platinum trophy. It was fustrating but still a great game.
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on 7 July 2014
Very enjoyable and challenging on the highest level. Particularly liked the way the graphic made the game feel like a 60s scifi movie. ai was effective.

The only downside was that you had a feeling the game was rushed though production. There were a number of multiple choice dialogues at the base and in some of the cut scene however you always get to choose all the options and they have no effect on game play. This gives the impression they were planning on different story line options but changed their mind or run out of time/budget.

As much as I enjoyed the combat missions I had the feeling that this game could have been so much better, there were very limited mission choices and none of the R&D or base design you'd expect from an xcom game. Overall the game was a very linear real time squad shoot'em up with limited strategy.

Bottom line - enjoyable game, some good ideas, nice graphics but could have been so much more. Definitely worth playing
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on 2 August 2016
A unique game that takes some getting used to, but has some truly insane action coupled with on the fly strategy. It's a stylised and sophisticated sci-fi story set in the sixties, that's more a re-imagining of - rather than a prequel to - the X-Com games.

There were moments in this game when it felt like I was involved in the best thing ever, but I stress these were just moments and possibly produced by the sheer relief of coming out some of extremely high-octane combat successfully. Still, there's nothing else like it that I've seen and with multiple endings and a significant amount to learn - you may well get many, many hours of playing from this game. It was during my third run through it, that I really felt comfortable.

Nothing else like it and not much of anything at this price.
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on 17 January 2014
I'll be honest, I stopped playing it after a few missions. It is not as fun as it could have been. Controlling the other characters is difficult and tiresome, and it has little if anything to do with X-Com. Buy it at deep discount only.
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on 3 March 2014
Played this game through, i usually like X com games. This has a new angle on how to play the games as it is more action based. I felt that the missions got quite repetitive after a while.
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