Brogue Agents: The Bureau: XCOM Declassified Footage

By Craig Pearson on May 13th, 2013 at 8:00 pm.

I’m really sorry about this. I’m about to ruin XCOM for you. Are you ready? To the tune of Sex Bomb, by Tom Jones:

XCOM, XCOM, you’re my XCOM
And baby you can turn me on

There, now you can all share in the pain. I’ve had that in my head for the past half-hour, after watching VG247‘s sneakily snuck video of The Bureau: XCOM Declassified. What was once simply known as XCOM and was an FPS is now a third-person cover-based shooter that looks a whole lot more like an XCOM game of yore.

They really gutted it, but in autopsying it they’ve got to the heart of what XCOM was. You’re now a leader of a three-man squad, fighting aliens in arenas. Aside from firing from cover, there’s a tactical wheel that drops the game into super-slowmo and gives you access to a suite of powers and orders: it’s here you make the decisions of where to move your squad members and what they should do when they get there, all in glorious real-time. It plays out like, well, an XCOM game: there’s a lot of flanking and drawing fire, and you can name your squad with silly names.

Do you have eyes? Prove it by watching this video.

I’m actually a bit sad the other version is now locked up in a crate in Area 51. I appreciated the aesthetics and the tone, though some of the action seemed a bit stale. I wish it was a game they could have properly got to grips with, as the alien design really sung to me. I can still hear it when I close my eyes, and it sounds like Tom Jones. What fueled those changes? IGN have some answers.

Thanks, VeeGeeTwentyFourSeven. And IGN. And Tom Jones, I guess. Wipe Tom from your mind with some Bacon Pancakes.

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163 Comments »

  1. golem09 says:

    Watching the history of the game, it felt to me that the game got worse with each iteration. I would love to have played a Silent Hill inspired alien game with real characters as sidekicks.
    Now I just shoot dudes in the head. Oh hey, they have an alien skin.

    • soundofsatellites says:

      looks pretty and all… but firaxis wins

      • dmastri says:

        I have to disagree. Xcom: EU had a great presentation and really started strong but lost my interest real quick. It was quite a hollow experience… felt very dumbed down. I almost feel like this 3rd person cover shooter might play out better, what with being in the action and all. If you are going to simplify the strategy aspects might as well throw me in the combat.

        That being said I still wait for Xenonauts with bated breath.

    • Maxheadroom says:

      I really dont get how these decisions get made.
      They started out with an FPS XCOM that no one wanted or asked for (because strategy is dead, everyone wants Call of Duty yadda yadda yadda)
      They then get their ass handed to them by a well made strategy X-Com so they…..turn theirs into a strategy game too??

      Why??

      Everyone who wanted strategy XCOM (myself included) has it now. At this point they may as well just release their FPS.

  2. pakoito says:

    What is a quarterback?

    • Jimbo says:

      The dude that chucks the egg in hand-to-egg.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      I think it’s what happends when you pay for something with a dollar, that only cost 0.75c

    • MobileAssaultDuck says:

      In American Football you have a line of scrimmage, there are players on the line and those back from the line.

      Those back from that line are universally referred to as back.

      In a standard formation, you have one quarterback, one halfback, and one fullback.

      On a standard snap, the quarterback is the one who is handed the ball from between the legs of the center, a player on the line.

      On most plays, the quarterback will then either pass the ball down field, or hand the ball off to one of the other two backs.

      Occasionally the quarterback himself will run the ball past the line, but being that he is usually the most valuable, or at least most central, player of the team he wants to avoid being hit and will only scramble (run pass the line) in dire circumstances or if there is a really big hole to run through.

      He is responsible for calling plays, along with the coach and offensive coach, and reading the field to figure out which receiver or back to give the ball to. He is the field commander basically.

      It is a wonderfully tactical game, like a combination of a traditional sport and chess.

      • Runty McTall says:

        That was actually really, really helpful and interesting. Thank you.

        • MobileAssaultDuck says:

          No problem. Never really been into watching it as a pro sport, but I used to play the shit out of Madden games when I still owned consoles.

        • Tatourmi says:

          I had to loggin just to say that: Usually European people don’t have any interest in American football. However, due to the cultural power of the U.S we always get shoved that term down our throats, maybe more frequently than one would think. Up to then for me it meant “Big guy in armor who takes the hits because he probably is the biggest or whatever”. I now, thanks to you, have a whole new insight into one of my many cultural “blackholes”. I had no idea I would go to sleep tonight knowing the meaning of “quarterback”, I had no interest either in going deeper into the term, and bam, your diligence defied the odds. Thank you for taking the time to write that message, and to write it in such an informative way.

          This message may seem a little bit overkill, hell, it probably is, but I don’t know, it IS heartfelt.

          • Eldiran says:

            Heck, I’m an American and I had the same impression as you did until now. If you’d told me there was a halfback and a fullback in football before now I’d have thought you were joking.

            Just goes to show that total disinterest in football is not an exclusively non-American thing : p

          • Archonsod says:

            Well, to be fair the European version would be a Fly Half.

            I can see why they went with the American one …

      • welverin says:

        Of course the funny thing about the names is the guy called a fullback lines up in front of the one called the halfback, throwing off the naming convention.

        • MobileAssaultDuck says:

          Only in non-standard formations.

          In the original football formation, they go Q, H, F.

          It’s just that over the years new formations were developed that modified this.

    • SystemiK says:

      Actually, it’s what you get from a $100 bill after you fill your car up with gas…

    • Screamer says:

      Almost the same a fly half :P

    • Surlywombat says:

      In France they call him to as a Retour Royale.

  3. pupsikaso says:

    Third-person cover shooter is even further away from “an XCOM game of yore” than an FPS.

    • lordcooper says:

      In what way?

      • pupsikaso says:

        In the way that they are severly hampering themselves by trying to be XCOM while making a completely different game. If they had simply dropped the stupid name they could have dropped the manacles and had an amazing game.

        • lordcooper says:

          You still didn’t explain why a third-person cover shooter is even further away from “an XCOM game of yore” than an FPS.

          • misterT0AST says:

            …He means Third person shooters like this weren’t perfected in this format until Gears of War and therefore are a typically modern and not-old-school genre, while FPSs were popular and worked well since the age of Doom 1 and Wolfenstein.
            Therefore all the efforts to recall years past through the gameplay would go down the drain.
            Etc.

            I actually don’t have a position on the matter, I just wanted to point out why his point seemed clear to me.

      • luukdeman111 says:

        Well, in the most visible way they’ve made it more like XCOM. The alien design, the strategy UI, the strategy itself is all very XCOM like. However, the strategy is in no way going to be as good as XCOM: EU and therefor I think they should have gone in another direction.

        Yes, people wanted strategy in XCOM, but that was before XCOM: EU was a thing. Now we have that, and it’s great, it’s time to embrace a new audience or give a new experience to the existing audience. The teaser for this game looked absolutely like what I’d want from an XCOM shooter, this however does not…

        this is ofcourse my opinion and therefor it should not be taken as fact.

    • UmmonTL says:

      Not really since taking cover is vital in XCOM.

    • MobileAssaultDuck says:

      Xcom is game from the isometric angle, a 3rd person angle, in which you move squad mates from cover to cover to attack and flank enemies also in cover.

      You literally are almost never not in cover if you’re playing Xcom right.

      Hence a 3rd person cover shooter most appropriately emulates the style of the base game.

      • Tatourmi says:

        Not if your are playing the old X-coms. You HAD to break out of cover at some point in those games and cover didn’t mean anything too as lethality was way more important back then. The objective was to kill everything quickly thus minimizing the shots the aliens could take, not minimizing the impact of those shots, as they would almost always hit and kill. “Safewalking” X-com is far from x-com of yore in my experience.

        • Archonsod says:

          Which old XCom game, Enforcer or Interceptor?

        • MobileAssaultDuck says:

          But this is a game based on new Xcom, which involves cover to cover movement, so this game is an appropriate representation of Xcom in 2013.

          New Xcom was a commercial success, there is no reason for them not to continue in that vein.

  4. GunFox says:

    Yes because a football (American) analogy is totally appropriate for describing an XCOM game.

    I mean hey, if there was a part of football where you captured the opposing team members using a grenade launcher equipped with stun bombs and then drug them back to your locker room and brutally interrogated them for information on the opposing team’s tactics and weaknesses before executing your captive and performing an autopsy on the corpse to learn even more, then I would totally watch more football and it might be something approaching a remotely useful comparison.

    • darkChozo says:

      To be fair, it’s set in America, and we Americans mostly speak in football analogies, like how a coach explains a game plan to his players.

      • belgand says:

        I certainly wouldn’t say “mostly”. Some people who care about sports have an annoying tendency to want to compare everything to sports. It’s just a common frame of reference that they easily understand. I have just as much bias in assuming that nobody cares about sports because this view is reinforced by my peer group.

        At the same time it’s not a terrible analogy, but he’s reaching. Being a squad leader has a much better, simpler military analogy and since that’s what you’re doing it doesn’t need to be made.

        His D&D analogy, on the other hand, implies that he’s never actually played an RPG or even a cRPG… just MMORPGs.

      • aircool says:

        I don’t live in the US, but I understand the use of american football analogy; it makes sense in a lot of cases.

      • jpupu says:

        That was actually brilliant.

    • Foxsquirrel says:

      I wouldn’t put it past the New England Patriots…

    • MobileAssaultDuck says:

      It is a team based sport where one team attempts to complete an objective while the other team is attempting to directly and violently prevent that team from completing said objective.

      It is not the worst analogy, it’s actually not a bad one if you do not take it so literally.

    • Nick says:

      Something Ray Lewis might do.

  5. Totally heterosexual says:

    Well there you go fans, you got sectoids. Hope it was worth losing the 2010 version which actually seemed like an unique and interesting game.

    Hope everyone likes masseffectcom.

    • Hahaha says:

      To true

    • Kobest says:

      Spot on, man!

    • particlese says:

      Yep, looks like a prettier, tacticular MassEffect. Not a bad thing, considering how much I enjoyed ME1 and the simple tactics its spacebar screen allowed for, but the 2010 version of this XCOM looked so much more interesting to me (at least as someone who hasn’t played an XCOM game). I’m especially sorry to see the “too abstract” baddies get the axe.

    • Tatourmi says:

      What everybody sorta wanted back then was for them to drop the name and put it on something else. The most common thing you’d read back then was “Looks amazing. Not X-com”.

      • Lazarus_Soma says:

        I actually kinda wanted to get some sectoids and some other alien types in the original version, mostly because I could tell it would have been a slog without more variety in the enemy and thus mission types.

        But yeah reading all that made me sad as hell for what this has become and watching the video as to why just pissed me off, seriously a more phsychological thriller experience with a lot of investigation, squad and base management; on field tactics and a truly fantastically interesting looking setting and story.

        Well I might as well just pick up mass effect the comm exing when its up for a fiver just sto see if it was even interesting.

    • Bhazor says:

      That’s implying the “original” version ever actually existed beyond a single highly scripted (possibly entirely faked) gameplay video. I seriously doubt it.

      Anyone who has ever fallen for Molyneux hype knows exactly how far from the promise the finished product can end up.

    • A Boot Stomping a Human Face says:

      More proof that “old school gaming” fans are unpleasable.

    • Deadly Sinner says:

      You were never going to get the 2010 version. It was the 2011 version that was almost completed. And the 2010 version looks in no way unique.

  6. MuscleHorse says:

    Seems promising. A 1950′s (that is the era, right?) XCOM has a nice feel to it.

  7. Jorum says:

    I’m not sure what the point of this game is anymore other than “pretty much XCom but a bit more real-timey”

    I can’t see why you’d play this instead of XCom unless you have some pathological aversion to turns.

    At least the original had interestingly different aliens and a gameplay to call it’s own.

    • Xocrates says:

      It’s sad really. If they had named the original version anything else they would probably have two hit franchises now.

    • Laketown says:

      You could like both? Why do you have to have one over the other considering one of them is already out.

      • Xocrates says:

        Money and redundancy. i.e. why would you pay 50$ for this if (and we should note that at this point this is a speculative if) it provides more or less the same experience as the game already out?

        • Laketown says:

          they offer two different experiences? that’s like asking why you’d want to play both crusader kings 2 and europa universalis 4

          • Xocrates says:

            I haven’t played either of those, so I can’t comment. But I can note I never bother getting a new version of Civ until it has expansions out and it’s on sale precisely because I already own older versions of Civ.

            No-one is saying you can’t buy and enjoy both, frankly I’m undecided myself, but assuming the experiences aren’t significantly different (which, as I noted, is speculative) for most people getting this one may feel redundant.

      • belgand says:

        If you listen to how they frame it the intent was to make a real-time action game because they suspected that a turn-based tactical game wouldn’t appeal to players. Having been thankfully proven very, very wrong they’re now trying to make something that’s actually much more like X-COM.

        I think there’s room for both. The original idea of a survival horror alien invasion game set in the 50s could have been really cool. But it wouldn’t have had a damn thing to do with X-COM. If it had come out, however, we likely wouldn’t have ever gotten a turn-based game. If it sold poorly we probably wouldn’t see another X-COM game of any sort for quite a long while based on the erroneous conclusion that it just wasn’t appealing to players.

        • HadToLogin says:

          There’s only one question: did it appeal to players? Unlike other 2k games, they doesn’t go around throwing big numbers about big sales, there aren’t tons of DLCs nor Season Passes, it’s awfully quiet about that turn-based version.
          Is it only to not confuse poor minds about two different games with similar titles and themes, or just turn-based Xcom wasn’t a success…

    • Gap Gen says:

      As long as it tickles the same part of my brain as Rainbow Six, I’m cool with it.

  8. Penguin_Factory says:

    This looks perfectly decent, but I thought the original version was way more interesting.

  9. Christo4 says:

    Looks so much like ME 2 and 3, just with more team-mates… Even the crosshair is the same i think.

  10. SAeN says:

    I remember when they first revealed the XCOM reboot. They showed us a game about investigation. And it sounded like a genuinely interesting adaptation of XCOM. And everyone, especially here on RPS, whined incessantly that it wasn’t the turn-based resurrection they craved. And yet it was far more interesting than what it’s become. They then turned it into an unconvincing Mass Effect clone which they showed at E3 2011, and it seems that The Bureau is the same mess that that was.

    Shame, there was a cool game here at first, but apparently gamers do want more of the same after all.

    • GunFox says:

      Well there was also the problem where they retconned the whole XCOM back story and involved a aliens that shared nothing in common with the XCOM aliens. They just generally fucked it up. The overwhelming majority of the game mechanics would no longer function.

      Now instead of actually fixing the problems, they seem to have instead removed the interesting gameplay elements that people weren’t largely complaining about, and mostly kept the shit that was grating on people.

    • Bhazor says:

      There’s also the part where the 2K president came out and said they had no interest in making strategy games because no one played them because strategy is like so old fashioned dude.

      This at a time when 2K’s best selling game was Civilisation Revolution.

  11. Cytrom says:

    Looks more interesting than Enemy Unknown to me, but then again I was never really into strategy games besides total war and warcraft.. before it turned into that abomination.

    Although the 2010 version was way more… alien, and fresh. This looks pretty generic.

  12. ZIGS says:

    So, it’s the XCOM remake but now you can play as one of your squad mates in 3rd-person and in real-time. I’m… kind of ok with it, actually

  13. AshEnke says:

    The gameplay feels bland, the command wheel and interface feels clunky as hell (mostly on a controller I guess).
    I don’t see the point in recreating a dumbed-down version of XCOM with bland and uninsiring TPS gunfights.

    I second the feeling that the comparison video is a really bad idea : it highlights how generic and unimpressive the current game is compared to the more crazy and fun ideas they had before.

  14. lordcooper says:

    At least you’ve played X-COM.

  15. Dariune says:

    This kinda looks like their recent strategic version of XCom but even more dumbed down (And lets face it, their latest one was really lacking in options as it was) and even less interesting.

    With Civ 5, The last XCom and this I am really going off them.

  16. antoniodamala says:

    This has big chances to be the best xcom so far, simple because it relies on player skill & strategy instead of dice pools.

    Also it seems nobody here nows the difference between dumbing down and just changing a genre.

    • JFS says:

      Sooo… the original XCOM and 2012′s XCOM didn’t rely on strategy? I’d even go as far as to say the relied on player skill, since “player skill” is not the same as “twitch talent”. You can be skilled in a non-realtime system as well.

    • JackShandy says:

      In a game with random chance, the player skill revolves around negating random chance. XCOM lets you do this through line-of-sight mechanics: If an alien cannot see you, you have a 100% chance of not getting hit.

  17. SamC says:

    I’m getting some Brothers in Arms vibes. Although it looks a little heavy on the micromanagement for a shooter, just going from the videos. I prefer autonomous AI partners or broad commands if I’m also having to worry about keeping myself alive, but that’s more of a personal taste thing.
    Also, their waist high cover is a little too obvious in those screens. It’s certainly readable as cover, but looks really artificial.

    • Bhazor says:

      Have to agree, the reason games like BiA or Freedom Fighters worked so well was that your allies were highly autonomous. Able to pick out their own cover, able to plan their own flanking paths and being able to give any order to them with a single button. In a shooter this hands off approach works infinitely better as otherwise you’re constantly being taken out of the action to enter bullet time and order finnicky little orders to your brain dead team mates.

  18. Zenicetus says:

    I want to like this, but that sure didn’t leave a good first impression. Drat.

    First off… is it just me, or is that interface really ugly? Seems unnecessarily large and obtrusive (console-itis?), but maybe it can be re-sized in the game, or modded.

    The combat seems awfully generic, like you could replace the aliens with WW2 soldiers and it would play out the same. Maybe that’s just the early phase of the game before the more advanced stuff kicks in.

    Also, these aliens are acting awfully dumb, letting themselves get flanked and staying out in the open when under fire. I hope the AI is better than it looks from this demo.

  19. Malawi Frontier Guard says:

    I see a lot of Outsiders in this video. They were fleshed out suspicously little in EU and maybe this game is the reason.

    Also man you people are bitter.

  20. Jimbo says:

    Marauder Shields strikes back at ~3:48.

  21. tarasis says:

    Fascinating to see the evolution of the game. Its a shame they couldn’t release each version of the game as they went along.

    I liked a little of each of the games, mostly the style of the 50′s & 60′s, though I’d prefer to play the 2010 version I think, certainly over the 2011 version. Unsure about the 2013 one. I do like the wheel affect and slowly doing real time a little as if your thinking.

  22. DXN says:

    … and suddenly my interest completely evaporates. Now there’s even less to set it apart from the other new XCOM or any generic cover-shooter, filled with a bunch of shouty jocks and flashing icons and blah blah blah. It had me going for a bit there: I thought it might have a sense of class, cinema, period..ness, tension and claustrophobia.

    Guess I should have learned not to fall for that bait-and-switch after the Dead Island trailer.

  23. Michael Fogg says:

    Hex-coum, hex-coum, you mah’ex coum

  24. Jesse L says:

    Commentors you don’t make any sense!

    No game in the history of this site was hated on more, and as relentlessly, as the old version of this game. Are you parodying yourselves? Now you miss it? I know you don’t remember, so let me remember for you – you didn’t think a damn thing about this game was interesting or innovative before. No you didn’t. You didn’t expect ANYTHING interesting from the last version of the game so don’t pretend your day is completely RUINED now because the dev team took out the black goo.

    Separate point: so this is like Mass Effect. You’ve got squad mates in an FPS, and you can actually order them to do a bunch of stuff, not just (a) shoot that guy and (b) wait here. There have been precisely what, 0 other games like this? We all have room in our lives for more than one shooter series where you command teammates in an interesting and detailed fashion! Just because you’ve done it in Mass Effect doesn’t mean it’s not a viable GENRE!

    • subedii says:

      Um, you do realise that different people visit this site… and hold different opinions to each other?

      Sorry to be snide, but I always see this kind of hand-wringing comment to make out as if “The Community” is acting against what it was previously, when in fact it’s just made up of individuals with preferences.

      And as previous, the most upset are also the most likely to post.

      • Dariune says:

        Very much this.

        In the same way that the majority of people like the last XCom I thought it was a bit crap. And yet when I say that I get accused of going against what “the community” said when it came out.

        Different people say different things. Even in the same community

      • derbefrier says:

        I think the main thing is people tend to copy each other. someone says the game sucks or the previous version looked better tons of people latch on to it and parrot each other for a big circle jerk. This is how the internet works. I wouldn’t be surprised to go back to the same articles and see some of the names here praising the previous version mindlessly hating on it before just because other people were. If you pay attention you see this shit all the time.

    • Xocrates says:

      Most of the backlash against the old one was because it was called XCOM despite not being XCOM in any recognizable way.

      Now that there is a “proper” XCOM out which has proven to be successful, there is no longer any particular worry about a spin-off game.

    • Strangerator says:

      You might want to check out this cool game that came out last year called XCOM:EU.

      Strangely, as soon as this game came out, everyone was quite ok with the previously maligned first person XCOM. It’s almost as if the people got what they wanted, and so now didn’t mind if an FPS came out based in the same universe. And in fact, the idea of having investigation, odd-looking fractal aliens, and being set in the 60′s started looking like a refreshing take on things. Given even a little more time, people began to get pretty excited because it looked so very different.

      Then we got this reboot to a third person Mass of Gears Effect totally out of left field. It doesn’t look as interesting as the original FPS. It’s really all very understandable.

    • darkChozo says:

      The tendency is that people who dislike a thing tend to post disproportionally, particularly on early previews and in retrospective pieces. Something about how it’s easier to criticize than to praise (not that that makes the criticism invalid or anything, it’s just easier to point out perceived individual flaws than to describe how a game works as a whole, particularly when information is limited).

      I’m also continuously amazed at how people are able to discern the overall quality of a game from less than five minutes of prerelease gameplay.

      • darkChozo says:

        Yup, because video game trailers are renowned for their complete and accurate portrayal of the final game, dev walkthroughs are never scripted and are never played on hilariously-easy difficulty, games that are similar to other games are always complete clones and can’t bring a new perspective to a genre, and pre-release builds always look exactly like the final release.

        I mean, don’t get me wrong, I would be utterly unsurprised if this ended up being a mediocre cover-based TPS plagued with console-enforced technical restrictions and the like. But it’s way too early to make a judgement like that, at least an informed judgement.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I think squad-based shooter is a valid and interesting genre. I just don’t think what they’re showing here looks like a particularly good example. Especially with the aliens acting dumb as a bag of hammers, allowing themselves to get killed in ways that wouldn’t happen in either the original X-COM or XCOM:EU.

      Do the aliens feel scary in this demo? Aren’t they supposed to be scary and tough in an X-COM game, especially in the early stages? I’m not seeing it here. It’s just a hectic frontal military assault with your FBI guys being way too confident and capable.

      And yeah, it’s pre-release footage, but the release date isn’t very far away.

    • DXN says:

      Nah, I liked it before. Not having played the original X-COM, and knowing a fan remake of that was being made anyway, I liked that these guys were taking a (literal and figurative) different perspective on what looked like it could be turned into a pretty interesting mythology. The aliens looked neat, not just the standard greys and strogs and so forth. The emphasis on the 50s setting seemed to suggest a lower-key, smaller-picture, more ‘sensible’ approach to the presentation. Plus, I just tend to prefer first-person games. So yes, I liked it before. Now none of those expectations really look to be met (outside cutscenes), it could be any other recent combat game. Like, say XCOM.

      Of course we still only have limited information, so maybe I’ll change my mind again. I mean, that cinematic trailer was really cool.

  25. Dowr says:

    Pause features in real-time combat systems can suck it.

  26. abandonhope says:

    I tend to hate cover shooters, but this doesn’t look completely awful. It sort of feels like XCOM lite from another perspective. If the tone isn’t limited to asplosions and football grunting, I don’t see why I couldn’t (maybe) enjoy it.

  27. Strangerator says:

    Sad to have read the IGN article, which mentions there is no base building or technology research. Your agents can level-up and gain Mass Effect bio-powers, but they can also be killed permanently.

    The sad thing is, they put all that work into investigation missions and funky aliens just to throw it all out. Really they could have done a lot with a slow buildup and a lot more open-endedness. They built all these cool retro 60′s environments, but nobody is going to be looking at them given the constant cover-crawling shootfests. Having early game “investigation missions” wouldn’t need any firefights at all, you’d have a chance to soak up the scenery as you interviewed witnesses to strange events and found evidence. Hell, Carter could even smoke a cigarrette INDOORS (the scandal!) as he snapped disturbing photos of black goo and stuff.

    There’s so much that could have been done here, it’s a shame that what we’re getting is a game whose sole assertion seems to be “people love the combat in Mass Effect.” Maybe they’ll be able to pull off some kind of brilliant tactical game, but so far it looks to me like a case of chest-high-wall syndrome. Yet again, they really could have made some tense and exciting firefights if they made you use more natural terrain instead of making battle “arenas” peppered with perfect cover and flank points (and I had this problem with XCOM:EU as well). It’s just plain baffling how every game insists on doing this. It’s one of those things that a lot of people THINK they want, simply because they fear the alternative (i.e. “it would be unfair NOT to give players all the cover they need all the time”). The same people will then turn around and bag on a game’s repetitive gameplay, despite having advocated for the same stale formula.

    • Jimbo says:

      “Sad to have read the IGN article, which mentions there is no base building or technology research.”

      Seriously? Oh dear.

  28. Giftmacher says:

    I hope you all are pleased with yourselves now that they’ve scrapped what might have been an interesting version of the game because it didn’t line up exactly with your childhood. And now that they’ve redesigned it you’re still not happy.

    • Metalfish says:

      They announced this first, did they not? That was their mistake. The world wanted a new XCOM game. It has since had it and been (reasonably) happy.

      If the old, interesting-looking version was announced the femtosecond the turn based one was revealed, I doubt we’d be seeing this unfortunate vision-destroying audience chase-induced dive into (apparent) dullness.

      • Strangerator says:

        Well said. It’s too bad this looks to me like someone walked in to development and said, “Alright guys, this has gone on long enough. Just release SOMETHING and slap XCOM on it so that we can sell some copies and move on with our lives.”

  29. ahmedaak88 says:

    It look more like “Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway” which in my opinion is a good thing, unfortunately the enemy are more bullet spongy, hope some feedback to them can fix that.

  30. buzzmong says:

    So that’s the new version eh? Disappointing.

    It looks as if they’ve taken all the assets from Enemy Unknown, and simply used them in replacement of the assets they had in their 2011 (and 2012 which seems to be omitted) version.

    The 2010 version looks more interesting, and tbh, I was digging the investigation vibe. The only real thing I thought that was wrong was it was just called XCOM, no subtitle or anything.
    Come on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHGvNW4fhhI
    That looks fun.

  31. jonahcutter says:

    This looks like Mass Effect. Not a necessarily a bad thing. A third-person, real-time, squad-based-powers version of XCOM could be fun.

    And very easily completely forgettable. The old investigation-based version sounded very cool. It’s a real shame they gave up on anything innovative to go route that’s already been done (and done well) many times. Cowards!

    But, if they add in plenty of destructible terrain and cover, it could at least be a decent explody-fest that you probably forget about as soon as you’re finished. Now if you throw alien-tech based explosives and it leaves cars and benches completely untouched beyond a few scorch-mark decals, I’m gonna go reinstall Red Faction: Guerilla again.

    And there’s locked-out content at release… I mean a pre-order “bonus”.

  32. Arglebargle says:

    Interesting to see how they totally hosed this game by going for the old school name. If they’d just given it its own world space, it might have amounted to something (and would probably have already been out). It coulda been a contenda! Instead, they’ve refolded it so many times that the paper’s torn and wrinkled, and no longer looks like that cool origami alien. Conceptual failure.

  33. BreadBitten says:

    IMPORTANT NEWS: Walt Williams, the bloke who scribbled words for ‘Spec Ops: The Line’ is scribbling some more words for this game! Eurogamer’s own Martin Robinson told me so!

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-05-13-xcoms-new-perspective-how-the-bureau-stays-true-to-the-originals-strategic-heart?utm_source=feedly

  34. Continuity says:

    “To the tune of Sex Bomb”

    You bastard.

  35. fezmonkey says:

    I also think the original “Outsider” aliens were way more interesting and unique. You may have thought the old gameplay looked uninteresting, but you have to admit the old aliens were way cooler.

    They said in the video that they wanted to change the aliens so that they would have squad tactics that paralleled the player and I suppose that makes sense. However, that also makes the aliens less, well, alien. I would be way more interested in fighting amorphous blobs and spiny aliens that pull people through walls and shard-like guys who can impersonate people. And that giant monolith that turned into a laser? Awesome.

    The video isn’t a lot to go on and surely there is a lot we haven’t seen, but what it does show is small little gun guys who are really just cannon fodder and huge brutes who like to charge straight at you and can take a lot of hits. And that sounds like the aliens in any number of games.

    • Kadayi says:

      Yeah I actually dug the outsider alien ideas they had (truly alien aliens) however I can appreciate the difficulties they had in making a ostensibly combat driven game out of them (an investigative game with a bit of combat however….). The pretty candid evolution of the game video was pretty interesting for sure. Shame really that the Norman Rockwell stuff got dropped, but I can understand the move towards the 60s and the Mad Man stylings.

      • sinister agent says:

        I agree, but it seems like a waste to (apparently) drop them completely. It would seem to make sense to carry them over as one-off encounters in between bouts of generic shooty aliens. It’d break things up, make use of those designs, and you wouldn’t necessarily need to add tactical stuff to them if they were ‘specialist’ aliens rather than foot soldiers.

  36. darkChozo says:

    *comment system fail*

  37. Allenomura says:

    This looks terrible, and I almost can’t believe what’s taken place here. Generic. I couldn’t come up with a more appropriate description.
    Gutted.

  38. Rugeon says:

    I 100% super agree with the paragraph regarding the other version. It was certainly nice to find out in more detail what the hell was going on all this time.

  39. Allenomura says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHGvNW4fhhI They gave up (on) that, for…well, this? REALLY? Again, cannot believe this is happening.

  40. junsumoney says:

    Looks boring. XCOM Enemy Unknown was turn-based squad tactics RPG game hooked me with its indepth gameplay and RNG drama, but this seems to be “go hide behind a chest high wall, come out of wall and shoot enemy fodder.”

  41. gmale9000 says:

    At about 2:29 it looks like your moron follower jumps *over* cover and straight into fire. And gets shot. And kind of shittily jumps back.

  42. sinister agent says:

    ATTENTION BLUES! THIS IS THE OVERBLUE! KILL THE ORANGES! OVER AND OUT!

  43. dE says:

    Can anyone explain to me, why I had a Republic Commando Vibe from this? It makes no sense to me, apart from Squadbased Shooter Thingie, but somehow, somewhere, my brain triggered Republic Commando.

  44. Didden says:

    The mistake for the whole of this design process, was having XCOM in the name. Should have gone its own way.

    • Continuity says:

      Come on, you know how afraid publishers are of new IP, and to be honest, if the game is ok I don’t mind them using the xcom IP, and I say that as a big fan of the original xcom. Lets face it its not as though the IP isn’t already tainted with some shitty spin off games.

      • Milky1985 says:

        True but its just been relaunched with a good game that reviewed well and was well liked by most people.

        Your not meant to have the crappy genre busting spinoff until after the 2nd or 3rd game of any relaunch!

        Am hoping it’ll be good, but at the same time if it sells well they will focus on this “branch” of xcom rather than the EU branch :(

  45. Continuity says:

    Meh.. it actually looks interesting. I’d certainly rather see this game than what they were cooking originally.

  46. Bhazor says:

    “To use a D&D analogy you have the tank class the buffer class and the dps class”

    /eye twitch

    • Tatourmi says:

      Oh, nice to see I wasn’t the only one to twitch on this one. “DPS”, in D&D? “Yeah, he rolls his dice faster than any other player, we call him nick lightning”.

      • JackShandy says:

        “That guy? Yeah, that’s Devil-fingered Jones. I’ve seen him take three turns per turn.”

      • Wroth says:

        But DnD did have DPS classes

        3.5 Had the various “Sorcerer, Wizard, Cleric, Druid” Who did everything under the sun and could kill deities.

        and 4E had Strikers, which were better damaging classes.

  47. Kez says:

    I think it looks good. I’m fine with a different slant on XCOM.

  48. TwwIX says:

    As much as i like cover based shooters, this doesn’t look particularly exciting to me. I’d rather just load up Mass Effect 3′s co-op and play that instead. They should have gone full turn based with a similar combat presentation like the one featured in Enemy Unknown and put a lot more emphasis on tactics.

  49. OfficerMeatbeef says:

    As I’m sure it’s been said before, regardless of how this third iteration ends up the great tragedy here (assuming that cool original concept was at all achievable or ever anything more than a few mockup screenshots and demos) is that said original concept seems to have been completely torpedoed purely by inconceivably, terrifically misguided PR/marketing work. Keeping the existence of the Firaxis XCOM dark while they revealed and started to hype that new first-person one was the exact opposite way they should have run things if they wanted to provoke positive buzz for the series.

    Again, assuming they didn’t just go “oh shit, there’s no way we can pull off what we’re trying to do with this thing!”, I’m betting if they had either simply used a different name (easiest), or we had heard of the turn-based XCOM people actually wanted before this other thing that could have been an interesting alternate take on the core concept but wasn’t really that XCOM in any way whatsoever (and indeed seemed likely to kill any chance of getting it), we’d probably be getting that original concept now. I honestly can’t think of a much more foolish way to completely botch building buzz for something primarily based on use of a known brand than what happened here.

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