Electronic Theatre Preview: The Bureau: XCOM Declassified – A Day in the Life

Agent Da Silva has gone missing while inspecting a recently invaded small town. A newly erected tower in the centre of the Pima County is nothing short of suspicious, and the seemingly zombified townsfolk aren’t exactly culpable allies. I’ve been sent in to locate Da […]
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Electronic Theatre ImageAgent Da Silva has gone missing while inspecting a recently invaded small town. A newly erected tower in the centre of the Pima County is nothing short of suspicious, and the seemingly zombified townsfolk aren’t exactly culpable allies. I’ve been sent in to locate Da Silva and gather intel on the tower. This isn’t going to be an easy assignment, but that’s not why I signed up for The Bureau in the first place.

Touching down my first action is to try and communicate with Da Silva. The lack of a response leaves me slowly moving down the debris strewn road: abandoned cars and signposts litter the streets, providing clues and – should the worst Electronic Theatre Imagehappen – makeshift cover. There’s evidence here that Da Silva didn’t go down without a fight, and as such the alarm is raised: if he didn’t make it through, there’s likely to be forces still waiting to take my team and I on, too.

A few metres further down the street and I meet the locals: a bunch of ‘greys’ currently unaware of your presence. This agent doesn’t believe in taking risks however, and so charging into cover sights are placed firmly on the nearest enemy head. Target down, but there’s plenty more where that came from. Snipers, brutes, nimble greys and dumb troops all fall under the might of a Laser SMG, and not a moment too soon. A larger foe equipped with a shield doesn’t look like he’s going to lie down quite so easily, and so a swift decision is made to be even swifter with a grenade. Boom goes the grenade, boom goes the shield. The rest, as they say, is alien mulch on the floor.

Making my way into the nearby diner I discover that it’s not just a few civilians that have been infected, but the whole damn town. I do my best to creep through unnoticed and arrive at a mechanic’s garage to find some new equipment – a pack to replace my own that will increase the range of my artificial abilities Electronic Theatre Imageand reduce damage from enemy fire. This isn’t looting; this is a tactical decision to make the best of your surroundings. My crew and I re-supply before moving to a factory forecourt, where we receive a communication from Da Silva.

He’s alarmed, unsurprisingly so, and believes that the aliens are fully aware of our every move. He wants us to come to him, and so this becomes our number one priority. Locating Da Silva was key to our mission, after all. I spark a cigarette in this moment of respite as we make our way through one of the smaller factories, exit out the rear and head to the main street. Greys scatter about ahead of us, but as a car explodes two are caught in the blast. It’s a boobytrap from Da Silva, I assume, as we engage the few remaining enemies.

Da Silva is pinned down at the rear, but he has plenty of surprises for the greys. We take down their numbers with ease, and as we meet I discover our ally isn’t in too great a shape. He was right however, the enemy knew exactly what I was doing, and used me to find him. A dropship appears as if from nowhere,Electronic Theatre Image and suddenly the small unit we eliminated on the way here is looking like nothing more than bait. The trap has been sprung, and we’re caught right in the middle of it.

They quickly erect a powerful turret, bombarding our position with endless strings of bullets. I command a flanking attack, dividing our numbers across the area while Da Silva uses what’s left of his defences to pick off the stragglers. Wave after wave are coming at us, but we’re keeping them in check as we push forward. I see an opening to break the turret’s defences and I take it, only to find that I’d left my blindspot open. A hail of fire takes me down, but luckily one of my men was circling back round at that moment. He removes my adversary from play, and uses a healing spray to revive me. This alien technology has become something more than just an enemy: in The Bureau, it’s become an essential tool.

This isn’t over, however, as we take out the last few enemies a heavily armoured Muton lands in the centre of our little battlefield. It’s going to take everything we’ve got to cut this one down to size, and so immediately I order my team to erect a small portable turret and create a defensive line. Electronic Theatre ImageA hail of alien firepower proves that we’re just as smart as they are, taking down their forces with their own technology as we chip away at the Muton’s armour. Victory is soon ours, and meeting with Da Silva I try and get to the bottom of ten infection. It starts at that tower, it seems, and so this is our next target.

Da Silva’s team failed to break through the alarm system at the tower, and so we’ve got to be cautious. Da Silva’s willing to make a last stand, and I’m not about to discourage him. A hero’s death is what any agent deserves. The enemy is waiting outside for us however, they already know our plan, and so this, just like any other day in The Bureau, isn’t going to be easy.

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