I’m gon’ take you for an easy ride (The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, 2013; Mafia II, 2010)

Familiar with XCOM turn-based tactical games series? If not, it’s worth checking out, provided you fancy this kind of games. I could even write more about them, along with Shadowrun Returns.

Today, it’s The Bureau: XCOM Declassified that get my attention, an exception among these XCOM games: while it retains a bit of the tactical game spirit, it mixes it in into a third-person player. Not surprisingly, the game got lot of cold or bad reviews. So I did not even tried it until it got very cheap, despite having enjoyed XCOM: Enemy Unknown and it’s expansion XCOM: Enemy Within.

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Let say first that for a game released in 2013, graphics are not bad but neither smashing. The elephant in the room: being a realtime third-person shooter, this XCOM cannot have the chessplay gameplay of the other turn-based XCOMs. It’s something else. And it’s actually kind of fun, enjoyable -very Mass Effect 2-ish- with well-thought level design. The gameplay could prove boring/redundant over time but the game is short, finished in less than 14 hours, including minor missions. There are 2 DLC to extend the game lenght but, according to comments, the first in 10 minutes long -I don’t even understand how you put a price on that (0,05 €?)- while the second is ok but not making much sense in the whole story.


Anyway, the main story is set in the 60’s and it feels like it. It properly complement the rest of the series, it’s worth it, provided you get it on sale.

Another third-person shooter, set almost in the same period, easily found on sale these days is Mafia II.

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Likewise, the main game is a bit short: less than 17 hours in hard difficulty. By comparison to GTA-series, it’s damned short. But graphics are very nice, still decent even though the game was released 4 years ago. The only reminder that the game is actually that old are the few cutscenes that are pre-rendered videos clips: on my box and screen they are damned ugly (pixelated) by comparison the clean real-time rendered cutscenes.

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Not only graphics are nice but the environment (including the radio) is consistent. Add to that a good story that follows the codes of mob-related movies and you have this Mafia 2 experience.

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Boys, I am feelin’ mean.

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