IMMERSION: The Bureau: XCOM, declassified attempts to immerse players in combat by forcing the player to think about it. Movements and shots are intended to be planned. Much like real battles though the best trap often falls apart and combat becomes desperate defense rather than aggressive assault. This relies on the player being open to the concept, something all players might not be. The Bureau offers impressive and authentic seeming levels to explore. Thus, it is graphically immersive. The story of "The Bureau" is seemingly typical, and will be familiar to fans of science-fiction films. For that reason it will be easily ignored by those players, as they try to get back into combat missions. Sound design in The Bureau is standard issue, the radio broadcasts seem to have the most impact, but things like weapon sounds and voice acting does not impress itself on the memory. Had weapon sounds been more impactful, or maybe that can be adjusted, the game would be more aurally immersive. Players receive some measure of agency over their recruits, allowing them to change names, and other minor aspects of the characters. (7/15)
DIFFICULTY: Not terrible, the game explains what different settings do, and apart from some awkwardness with the control setup, they don't interfere with enjoyment substantially. Where there is an issue is with the combat. The game spawns a "mini - boss" which ups the difficulty substantially which may be a vehicle or an armoured fighting vehicle. (7/15)
LASTING APPEAL: Limited. If a game was asking for a horde mode, this would be the game for it. Without DLC the only available mode of play is the campaign. So, what about the campaign mode? Campaign enjoyment falls off quickly if there is a substantial break in play sessions. It is likely only the name X-COM that will get players returning to it. (5/15)
OVERALL: (6.7/15) Below average. I'll admit that I wanted this game to be good. X-COM for people who don't like or aren't lucky in turn based strategy games. Unfortunately the software doesn't live up to the promise or premise. It begs to be compared to the turn based strategy game, but doesn't borrow the elements players might desire to see.