I'm addicted to The Bureau: XCOM Declassified
As for the complaints about gameplay, it’s fair to say that The Bureau: XCOM Declassified isn’t for everyone. If you want a polished third-person shooter or hardcore RTS, you should probably look elsewhere. But if, like me, you enjoyed Star Wars: Republic Commando, The Bureau is very much a spiritual successor to that game. The historical irony is, Star Wars games are so varied that Republic Commando was evaluated on its own merits, not held up in comparison to other Star Wars games. Consequently, that game was considered groundbreaking rather than genre breaking.
But there’s a second, more important reason why I love The Bureau: XCOM Declassified: it’s accessible. As a gamer with a fine motor disability, I have trouble with twitch-based shooters like Call of Duty and Halo. Even third person shooters like Star Wars: Battlefront can be taxing if they require too much precision. Hence, it’s nice to see a third-person shooter that lets players slow the action way down and queue up orders for individual agents. This means that players don’t have to constantly mash buttons and triggers to stay alive. And because I can make my agents lock-on to enemies, I don’t have to worry about tracking moving targets, which can be difficult since my reflexes are somewhat slow. This mechanic also alleviates any concerns about precision. Because of this, even the limited amount of control customization doesn’t hinder the game’s accessibility. So many games out there pose serious problems to disabled gamers that when one comes along which is not only accessible for players like me with fine motor disabilities, but also for those with hearing and sight disabilities, I think it deserves a little slack—even if it isn’t as polished as it could have been.
Josh Straub is a PSU contributor and editor-in-chief for DAGERS, a site that evaluates video games based on their physical accessibility for the disabled. On a weekly basis, he writes reviews, previews, and editorials on topics related to game accessibility. For more information, please visit dagersystem.com.