XCOM FPS re-revealed as The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, a third-person shooter from BioShock 2 team
Been wondering what happened to the XCOM first-person shooter that quietly faded into the background while Firaxis' turn-based strategy game started getting press attention? It appears the game has been re-tooled and recrafted into a third-person tactical shooter, developed by the same team that brought us BioShock 2. It's now called The Bureau: XCOM Declassified. You can view the announcement trailer below:
2K Games president Christoph Hartmann said in a press release that the company was “thrilled” about this “more refined” vision for the title. “The game has evolved through a creative and iterative development process, and the result is a narrative-driven experience that is smart, engaging, and challenges players to think tactically,” Hartmann is quoted as saying.
The 2K Marin development team were also quoted in the press release, saying that they're embracing the idea of permanent consequences. ““The team has been working hard to leverage core XCOM elements like tactical decision-making and permanent death of squad mates in a purposeful way that makes this a unique tactical shooter,” creative director Morgin Gray said.
The press release also notes that “paramount to repelling the outside threat is The Bureau’s ability to cover-up the enemy’s existence in order to prevent worldwide panic,” which sounds similar to managing a region's panic levels in XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Lastly, the protagonist, special agent William Carter, will have what's called a “Battle Focus” ability, that players can transition in and out of. Unfortunately, no further details were given on what Battle Focus is or does - a camera change to that of a turn-based strategy game, perhaps?
While we're not sure how these, or any of The Bureau's ideas will merge into game play, 2K at least seems to be developing something that will feel more like a true XCOM game, and less like an FPS with XCOM window dressing. Somehow, I don't think many people will be too disappointed in that shift.
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified will be available August 20, 2013 on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. We're curious about your thoughts.