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Building (Critical) Consensus: XCOM: Enemy Within

xcom-enemy-within-korean-box-artHow often do games get proper full-on expansion packs nowadays. Sure, DLC is practically a dime a dozen, though publishers sure don’t price them like that. Lengthy expansion packs that eat up hours upon hours of your time rather than hour (singular) of your time seem few and far between, especially outside of the strategy genre. So when one of last year’s best games based on an old-school cult favourite gets an old-school expansion pack, it’s hard not to take notice.

Whether you will like XCOM: Enemy Within and think that it’s worth the $30 asking price will be largely dependent on how much you liked last year’s XCOM: Enemy Unknown. If you loved it, there’ll be more here for you to love. If you weren’t a fan of EU, well, it doesn’t sound like there’s much here to change your mind.

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The Bureau: XCOM Declassified Review: Please Reclassify

the-bureau-xcom-declassified-cover-artI recall hearing a games critic say that playing bad games is much more fun than playing good games because there’s so much more to write or talk about when you play a bad game. I have to disagree. There’s nothing fun about playing a bad game. Playing through a bad game is a painful and frustrating experience. Once you move beyond the frustration, it gets funny but you have to get to that point. At least writing the review can be somewhat cathartic.

And that brings us to The Bureau: XCOM Declassified. This game started life back in 2006 as just XCOM, a first-person survival horror about an alien invasion. The idea of an XCOM shooter terrified fans of the classic 1990s PC strategy game and the shooter was seemingly put to the side to make way for the rebooting of X-COM as a strategy game franchise with 2012’s XCOM: Enemy Unknown.

However, the XCOM shooter didn’t go away. The game from the seventh circle of XCOM fan hell was pulled from the seventh circle of development hell by 2K Games and 2K Marin. It was almost completely reimagined during a seven-year development cycle from being a first-person horror to a third-person squad-based tactical shooter. Unfortunately, it should have remained in development hell, never to see the light of day.
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Building (Critical) Consensus: The Bureau: XCOM Declassified

the-bureau-xcom-declassified-box-artXCOM has had a rather interesting path from when it was first conceived in 2006 to its release yesterday. It started as a first-person survival horror shooter before being redesigned as a third-person tactical squad-based shooter. XCOM was originally an Irrational Games project before getting moved to 2K Marin. And it was delayed from its original release date of 2011 to the same day on 2013 that Saints Row IV and Splinter Cell: Blacklist were released. Not exactly what one would call a promising history.

Well, Jim Sterling’s leaked review on Destructoid wasn’t exactly a harbinger of reviews to come for The Bureau. It might be the lowest review but nobody’s given this game higher than 80% either which is kind of low by today’s gaming critic standards. The critics all seem to agree that the game’s tactical squad-based combat is in need of some polish but it’s executed well enough to be different from the other myriad of third-person shooters. We’re supposed to be getting our own review copy from 2K so I’ll let you know what I think soon.

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First The Bureau: XCOM Declassified Review Leaks and It’s Not Pretty

Why does it seem that every game that I have even the slightest of hopes for gets mixed to poor reviews from the critics. For the last few months, I’ve been keeping tabs on the rechristened XCOM shooter now called The Bureau: XCOM Declassified.

Well, the review embargo is reportedly 9:00 PM tonight but that doesn’t mean that we haven’t had a review leak as is befitting of a game whose premise involves classified US government documents.

Destructoid’s Jim Sterling’s review of the game was the first to leak and it’s not looking good for XCOM fans.

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XCOM: Enemy Within Rated by Korean Ratings Board

xcom-enemy-within-korean-ratingWell, we knew that the classic style of XCOM games would continue after the success of last year’s XCOM: Enemy Unknown but we didn’t know that a sequel was so far along in development.

Yesterday, the Korean Games Ratings Board posted a rating for a PC, PS3 and 360 game called XCOM: Enemy Within.

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Building (Critical) Consensus: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (iOS)

xcom-enemy-unknown-ios-iconI thought that I wouldn’t have to do a review roundup for the iOS port of 2012 hit XCOM: Enemy Unknown but it turns out that it was pretty spectacular, especially when compared to the standard iOS gaming fare. Maybe, just maybe, there’s a chance that iOS devices can be used for serious gaming rather than just endless runners and Angry Birds.

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The XCOM Shooter relaunched as “The Bureau: XCOM Declassified”

the-bureau-xcom-declassified-box-artAfter many delays and much controversy, the XCOM shooter is finally on track for a retail release. After being announced as a first-person shooter reboot to the cult hit X-COM series, it’s now a third-person shooter spin-off set in the XCOM universe called “The Bureau: XCOM Declassified.”

In The Bureau, you play as Special Agent William Carter at the height of the Cold War in 1962. At first, working for The Bureau was about investigating possible Soviet activity. It quickly gave way to finding extra-terrestrial activity, dealing with the alien threat and covering it up to keep from inciting a nationwide panic.

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2K Marin Confirms the Existence of the XCOM Shooter, Relaunching Soon

We’ve been digging into every piece of news that we can get on the three-year old XCOM shooter and now we have our first official confirmation that the XCOM shooter isn’t dead.

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The XCOM Shooter has a Viral Video Ad

YouTube user Veritas MCMLXII has one video. It’s a video that claims that March’s Russian meteor strike wasn’t actually a meteor but a cover story. He says that they used to erase the data but the truth doesn’t stay covered up forever.

So what does this have to do with the XCOM shooter? Well, in English, the username translates Truth 1962. That would coincide with the recent report that 2K Games has registered domains along the lines of The Bureau and What Happened in ’62. It’s probably not a coincidence that this username is called Truth 1962 and 2K registered

What do you think?

The XCOM Shooter’s Web Presence Disappears Which Means…?

On Friday, Digital Trends noticed that the official web presence for the much delayed XCOM shooter has disappeared. The former website for the game now has a 404 error message. 2K Games also has appeared to have pulled all the trailers and gameplay footage from their official YouTube channel.

This development comes on the heels of a report from a couple of weeks ago that said that 2K Games had registered some new web domains for the game. Rumours now suggest that the XCOM shooter has been re-branded The Bureau but will keep the same premise as the originally planned game.

The Bureau/XCOM is said to be a third-person shooter after originally being designed as a first-person shooter. The last we heard, 2K plans to distribute this digitally sometime during their 2014 fiscal year which runs from April 1, 2013, to March 31, 2014.

Source: Digital Trends

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