I am an addict. I’ve been clean for about 12 hours, but I don’t plan on staying clean. I am addicted to a game that respectable gamers might not touch. Many people who are familiar with this title have decried it for being an abomination—a game not worthy of the noble franchise name it bears. But I’m not ashamed. I love this game, and I will continue to be addicted to it for as long as I’m a gamer.
What knock-off or low-budget one-off could possibly have such a hold over an otherwise perfectly reasonable gamer? It's actually no such title. I’m addicted to The Bureau: XCOM Declassified.
It’s strange—the game’s far from perfect, but, for some reason, I absolutely love it. For some two reasons, actually.
It's not like I don't know what people are saying: The Bureau is glitchy, the story is bad, the voice acting is corny, and the hybridization of RTS and third-person shooting takes two vastly different genres and weaves them together in a way that alienates both shooter fans and real-time strategists. But I still love it.
In fact, the first reason I love it is because of these “flaws.” I’ve only run into a couple of glitches that actually affect the gameplay, and the cheesy storyline and voice acting make me feel like I’m playing through an old ‘70s-era B-movie. In reviews, PSU's own Kyle Prahl and other critics have complained that the main character, Agent William Carter, is unnecessarily gruff and that the story and soundtrack are underwhelming. That is absolutely correct, and I think that is what the developers at 2K Marin were going for. When you are able to immerse yourself in such quaint anachronism, the overall effect is rather charming. Let’s face it, XCOM has never been the most believable franchise, and I think the developers at 2K are embracing the more fantastical elements of the concept.