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The Bureau: XCOM Declassified is a tactical shooter video game played in third person. It was developed by 2K Marin and published by 2K Games. As the eighth title in the turn-based strategy series X-COM and a narrative prequel to XCOM: Enemy Unknown, the game was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in August 2013. Set in late 1962 at the height of the Cold War, the game's premise mainly revolves around The Bureau, the predecessor of the Extraterrestrial Combat Unit (XCOM), as they attempt to repel an alien invasion. As a tactical shooter, players can use the battle focus mode to issue commands to two other agents accompanying the protagonist, William Carter. Players can permanently lose their squad members so they must make good tactical decisions.
The game's development was protracted and troubled. Development began in 2006 after Irrational Games was acquired by Take-Two Interactive. The title then became a collaboration between 2K Marin and 2K Australia, which was later removed from the project due to communication issues between the two studios. The team initially wanted to create a mysterious first-person shooter with fearful alien life forms. The player would be tasked to take photographs of them and research them in a secret government organization. Ultimately, the team decided to focus more on teamwork and tactical elements, which are staples of the X-COM series, and rebranded the game as The Bureau: XCOM Declassified. The Day The Earth Stood Still and X-Files inspired the game's artistic style while The Right Stuff inspired the game's narrative.
Revealed as XCOM in April 2010, the game was meant to be a reboot of the series; the idea was met with mixed reactions from critics and players. It missed several target release windows before release. The Bureau: XCOM Declassified received mixed reviews upon release, with critics praising the game's tactical elements and art style but criticizing the game's artificial intelligence, permadeath system, narrative, and gameplay. Most critics considered the game a disappointing entry into the series. The game debuted as the tenth best-selling retail game in its first week of release in the UK.
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The Bureau: XCOM Declassified System Requirements
- Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP / Vista / 7
- Processor: 2,4 GHz
- RAM: 2 GB
- Video Card: NVIDIA Geforce 8800GTS or ATI Radeon HD 3870
- Hard disk space: 12 GB