Those sharply dressed sleuths from The Bureau: XCOM Declassified are back at it again, this time taking down E.T. and his comrades with tandem precision. In the latest gameplay video from developer 2K Marin, players are given an insight into the dynamic teamwork at the heart of the now-third-person-squad-based shooter.
Entitled ‘Call the Shots,’ the footage shows just how heavily The Bureau has been re-designed (or should we say ‘evolved’) since being delayed, now resembling a direct third-person adaptation of XCOM: Enemy Unknown. If anyone thinks that’s a bad idea, we’d recommend watching the video before passing judgement.
The 4-minute video begins with a small-scale encounter between earth-bound agents of XCOM and a trio of sinister-looking aliens. With the player character safely hunkered down behind cover, a radial menu allows the commander to provide specific instructions for each member of the team.
Switching between a standard third-person shooter display and a much more involved tactical screen, the player pauses the action at will, setting waypoints, issuing commands and so forth. Cleverly merging XCOM: Enemy Unknown’s tactical encounters with a more Mass Effect-like approach to combat, the game even allows players to dole out powerful telepathic-style augmentations. In one instance, a friendly turret – taking a pounding from approaching enemies – is affected by a soldier’s ‘Lift’ command, raising the automated unit skyward and taking the opposition by surprise.
The move was just one unique spin on Enemy Unknown‘s gameplay, but the newest screenshots prove that The Bureau is about much more than combat:
Faced with a dynamic and intelligent foe, the player is quick to adjust his squad’s position to account for the ebb and flow of the unfolding skirmish. Like the Brothers In Arms series of games, flanking and laying down cover fire appear to be just as important as nailing tricky enemies yourself. In a single moment, the enemies’ flank becomes too hot to hold, bottling up a batch of aliens that are easily dispatched by the Engineer’s explosive mine.
It’s all well conceived stuff: not pristine enough to suggest a specially crafted tech demo, but rather a more typically encountered in-game event. After the lengthy period of delays and uncertainty that the game endured – before being re-branded as The Bureau – few expected this story to have a happy ending. That being said, the developers seem to be making the most of the 1962 setting, and the gameplay footage shows they’ve adopted some of the best components of Enemy Unknown.
Are you excited for the release of The Bureau? Think it will scratch the same itch as its turn-based counterpart? Head to the comments below to have your say.
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified emerges on August 20th for the PS3, Xbox 360 & PC. Pre-order incentives include the ‘Codebreakers Mission’ pack and ‘Light Plasma Pistol’ with GameStop.
Follow Sam on Twitter @GamingGoo.