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HTP The Bureau: XCom Declassified by jollyjack HTP The Bureau: XCom Declassified by jollyjack
I first caught sight of The Bureau a couple of years back, and from the off: I thought it looked and sounded like a great game.
It had a retro setting, it had aliens that LOOKED alien and the gameplay sounded like it focused as much on investigation as it did gunplay.

Fast forward to today: we still have the retro setting, but the cool looking aliens are replaced by the generic pap we've seen again and again and the gameplay is cover-based shooting with squad elements that becomes very repetetive.
The whole thing feels like it was a new IP that was shoe-horned into the XCom franchise.

What a waste.

Watch the video charting the evolution (though I feel "devolution" is more apt) of the game to see what once was, and what could have been:…
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baloghtibi Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
so true it is
Afalstein Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2015
Steam or Youtube has a breakdown of the creative process, how they went from the "paranormal investigator" idea to the "1960's Mass Effect" idea.  I don't recall the details... I think they were mostly worried that just taking pictures and fighting blobs wouldn't be quite as interesting for a +8 hour game.  Or no... maybe it was... they wanted you to have more of a connection to your team, so as to give more weight to the perma-death thing that was such a major point of XCOM Enemy Unknown.  But that was hard to really get in a game where you were mostly taking pictures.  So they added more combat, and pretty quickly they ended up with a Bioshock/Half Life copy.
kato42 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2015
I haz a hat again!
House-Lyrander Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I watched an LP of this over on SomethingAwful where the co-comentator was an actual designer and playtester for the game, and he pretty much confirmed that it was the backlash from the X-Com Old Guard and gross mismanagement by executives that did this puppy in.
Toonwatcher Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014
Do I want to know what panel 6 is about?
krikr2 Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2015
let's just say they found a justification for the third person perspecive
baloghtibi Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
expecting it, i was not
sarielv Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2014
Devs have an ability to come up with awesome ideas to design games with no fucking clue on how to deliver them.. so we keep getting the usual crap.
Lord-Luca-the-Third Featured By Owner May 17, 2014

And all at once, I'm glad I didn't buy The Bureau: XCOM Declassified today.
BreannaHGardner Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
You are right on with this comic. I actually laughed a lot while reading it. I love the hat part the most. :D
prettyprincess45 Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014  Student Photographer
I have the xbox version and it was alright. They could have made the game longer though.
Dosrev Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014
I couldn't agree with this comic more.  I was terribly let down by the game.  Don't know about the XBox version but the PC also suffers from quite a few bugs, some of which are pretty game breaking and force you to reload to the last checkpoint after restarting the computer.  (yes, it's that bad)
XxSplatterPlosionxX Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
WHAT WERE UR DESTANY hmm going to the bathroom lol or just standing here like i am lol well if if wants to know whats the things destany is thats what it is cause thats all it proubaly dose all of the time1 lol good one right!
Madpredator Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2013
Can you do critics for Bioshock?
jollyjack Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2013
I did BioShock back in 2008 :)
Madpredator Featured By Owner May 12, 2014
Link please?
starshinecruzer Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013
That one was probably my favorite. Well, second favorite next to your skewering of Halo... :)
sharkdragon96 Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013
The game may have not been that great, but hey! At least you got a hat! :happybounce: 
GEWB2105 Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2013
Have you done one of these for the Borderlands games yet?
gatewayev910 Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2013
go here and check to see what he has done .... and no.

mandomasta Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2013
yep, that's pretty much how I feel.
Doommkiller10 Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013
They should have announced Enemy unknown FIRST... Then The FPS X-com game
starshinecruzer Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2013
I just finished it this weekend. This is my first foray into an X-Com title, but from what I've heard it's a departure from the main franchise.

As far as I'm concerned the idea of a 1960's-based organization taking on aliens turned out to be a great game, especially with the M-14 rifles being used, a nuclear bomb shelter for a base, and the way they used Mercury-era pressure suits when fighting on the alien space-station. 

But after seeing the Evolution video I wish there had been more of what they removed: aliens hiding behind the patina of suburbia. And even though the insectoid "greys" are stereotypical aliens the oil-black blobs were much more interesting visually.
Rikmach Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2013
The irony of it all is that it's not a particularly good or interesting X-COM game, either.

Both the franchise and the game itself would have benefited vastly from having nothing to do with each other.
MasterPerryMartin Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2013
I believe the Bureau started out as a First Person Shooter. Massive fan hate directed it towards this...and they still hate it. They might as well thrown the design documents into the bin for all the good it did.
Jon-Wood Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
The answer to 7 is that X-Com fans kvetched that it wasn't X-Com enough, so they redid it to try and make it more X-Com. Then they reworked it again to make it more XCOM as well as X-Com. And in trying to serve three masters (trying to have its own identity as well), they spoiled the broth, so to speak.

It does bug me how gamers demand innovation, but start complaining when they think sequels and spinoffs change things too much. Heck, even XCOM 2012 got some stick for that at first. And did even after it came out, come to think.
EotenHazel Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Student Traditional Artist

It's like when they "remake" a game, and what they mean is "we changed the graphics and added like one or two bits of nonsense". I mean, notice that the most notoriously remade game ever has never actually had a remake.

What they're saying is "we want to revive the X-Com franchise, because it was cool". What they mean is "we want to revive the X-Com brand-name, because old people buy video games when we do stuff like that".

"Hey guys, did you hear? They're making a new Quest for Glory!"

pharmmajor Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2013
Another great one. I wish we could get these more frequently, but every time a new one is written, I'm happy.
cavalier-renegade Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh, look. More waist-high cover. I wonder what this could mean
niekitty Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2013
well, lets see...
it was originally going to have EVERY feature a normal xcom game would have, only with a 3rd person squad command style in missions... and then the last company to latch onto it removed all that and a bag of chips.
my faith in major gaming devs is gone.

Lancer933 Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2013
My Hat R.I.P 
MonkeyDMaida Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2013
poor hat LOL
Jester-Mazoku Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I think game companies are dumbing down games for "more beginner players" and purposely make the real games look like crap but promote them to have better graphics for the sake of getting more money for less work. 
Worgak Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2013
Yahtzee is that you?
LaCabezaDelCastor Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Quite enjoyable!
Amana07 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
"The whole thing feels like it was a new IP that was shoe-horned into the XCom franchise.

What a waste."

Pretty much why I'm going to take the money I would pay for games, pocket it, and just put in in my mattress for safe keeping.  Games just feel like a let down anymore as they rehash things over and over and over and over... and over and over again.  Have my eye on two games right now, Fallout 4 and War For The Overworld.  Still say this, if I had the money to do it, I would wrestle the Dungeon Keeper license from EA's greedy hands and tell those people making WFTO to have at it.  Keep the title if they want or rename it to Dungeon Keeper and use the names of the older monsters.  With game licenses being in the hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars however, and me having 2 pennies to my name, that's not gonna happen any time soon.
DLSGorm Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2013  Professional Filmographer
"Watch the video charting the evolution (though I feel "devolution" is more apt) of the game to see what once was, and what could have been:"

F-I-N-A-L-L-Y someone who adopts this opinion. I for one was much more hyped (and terrified) by the unusual alien design in the First Person Rendition of the game, and totally wanted a more exploratory vibe than - as you mention yourself - the same tried and tested squad-base, low-cover third person shooter (with some pretty terrible dialogue, if you ask me.). The Bureau completely lost my interest in its current rendition.
tigerstorms Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
damn companies making games cookie cutter
Doomertron Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
the title killed the originality. Dont get me wrong, i so love Xcom, the strategy and the fate of your soldiers, just when it all started, it could have been a good game but the error is to call it Xcom and then the internet went Rage. It's similar with the first animation movie «FinalFantasy; spirit within».. it would have helped its cause by not calling it FF. 

Overall it is a good action/strategy game and the points you showed up make sense to me :) now im waiting for november for the Xcom extension :p lol
Yu-2 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
They didn't need to change the game. They just needed to change the title to something other than XCom.
Afrodisium Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013
Haha, panel two makes me think of the Jaeger Monsters from Phil and Kaja Folio's Girl Genius. "Any plan where you lose your hat is a BAD plan!" :D
skyrere Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013
I love you.
Omnivault Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013
I was afraid you'd stopped making these! glad to see you're still at it!
GreyOfPTA Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Word of the day.
PeterBeck Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013
So I've been confused, is Bureau supposed to be that X-com prequel game they were going on about years ago? If so, then I dunno what the big loss is.
I know, I know, I'm a big, whiny, classic X-Com wanker. But considering how influential it was on my childhood (in making friends, getting into tactical games for PC and tabletop, etc.), I think I have some mild right to voice my disinterest. Doesn't hurt that I was there for the days when the X-Com franchise took a steady decline and this was shaping up to be a prettier attempt at X-Com Enforcer (in concept, not setting, natch).

But you know, I didn't really dig their peace offering of XCOM: Enemy Unknown all that much either. I had some fun with it, but there was still that realization that it was rebooting the game I loved as a kid, but with them cutting out so much of the charm. No mission to Mars. No Snakemen (though I get that the Thin Men are supposed to be a slight nod to them). And of course the maps were these cramp, linear things that didn't match the tense randomness of the original, where you honestly had no clue where that last alien was until he started murdering your men in the Hidden Phase.

Last thought, I do find some curious amusement about how you mention that the alien designs went from original to generic, which I get, Sectoids are very important to X-Com, but are also just your run-of-the-mill 1990 grey aliens. But when they started putting out images of the original presentation, all I could think was "oily black goo aliens? What is this, The X Files? And those multi-form machines? Bayformers much?" The last laugh was on me though, since they made the Cyberdiscs in Enemy Unknown into very similar transformer-esque machines.

Ah well, I've come to the understanding that I'll only be really happy with the first two games, and they're easily available on Steam, so I'm just going to sit down with those and let the kids on my lawn play with the new ones.
Davesknd Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013
Fun fact: I originally subscribed to you only for these. 
After clicking away several Gigabytes of scantly clad women with huge... ears, I don't care about, I was about to end my subscription today. 
And now I can't because I love these HTP. 
Asura-Shudo Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013  Student General Artist
Just goes to show how much influence the publishers have on the developers. With Shooters still being mainstreamed, they try to monopolize on it and try and get into that market.
12BarBlues Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
You know... half the time I dont know what the hell it is your talking about as I'm not a gamer but I do have to say this... I totally love these. Brilliantly written, well paced, funny as all hell... bottom line... I dont need to know what the hell it is your talking about because you still make me smile. Good stuff. 
gatewayev910 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013
the original was a great idea ... it just shouldn't have had XCOM on it. They should have used a different name. 

I was psyched for this game when i heard this game was coming out. Then i saw what happened to it and i lost all interest. 

it's so very darn sad.
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August 29, 2013
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