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CONTENTS

Brieng: The Bureau The Bureaus Setting / ERA Carters Crew Battle Focus Seeing and hearing The Bureau Dossiers: The Aliens Morgan Gray: Veteran Classied: the Secret History of XCOM About 2K Marin
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1 2 5 6 8 10 13 16 17

WELCOME TO THE BUREAU


JOIN AMERICAS BEST KEPT SECRET AND THE WORLDS ONLY HOPE.
Agent, welcome to 1962. The Bureau is a secret American agency recently established by President John F. Kennedy as a bulwark against Russian inltrators while the Cold War ramped up - but the messages we were intercepting, and the agents we were tracking, were denitely not allies of Ivan. Now we have a war on our hands - a war we seem to have lost before we were even aware it had begun. These are troubling times for our great nation - if the public ever knew the truth, there would be panic in the streets. Our job is to make sure no-one ever knows - we erase the truth. As far as the world is concerned, we dont exist. - Myron Faulke, Founder of XCOM. From our base, deep underground, we watch as our civilization falls apart. Theyve cut our communications and destroyed our military strongholds. Our only hope is with guerrilla warfare, to seize assets back, to capture their technology, to study it, and them, in order to nd a weak spot, and then to turn their weapons against them and destroy them. This is not a matter of negotiation. This is not a mere skirmish. This is a battle for survival. Not just for our way of life, but for all native life on this planet. If we fail, everything we know will be gone forever. And we do not intend to let that happen.

In The Bureau: XCOM Declassied you take the role of agent William Carter, leading small squads of American agents in a guerrilla war against an invading alien force. During your missions, youll command two other agents in tactical battles against superior alien forces. Your agents will work together to defeat the alien threat, learn new skills from their experiences and acquire new equipment as they go. Eventually, with enough knowledge, you hope to reclaim your planet - but rst, you need to survive.

-xcom declassified-

THE ERA
Every other XCOM game has been set in the near future, whether that was 1999 for the original game, or sometime after 2013 for XCOM: Enemy Unknown. For our game we decided to look at the past, to tell a story that hadnt been told yet, to see what series of events could have happened to make the full-edged XCOM possible. Alyssa Finley, Vice President of Development. The Bureau is set at a crucial time in the world and US history. In 1962, the youthful president John F Kennedy was pushing the United States towards a war with the increasinglyaggressive Soviet Union. The United States was the most technologically-advanced and socially-mobile place in the world. Yet, despite that, it was still illiberal, a society where the only people who really mattered were white, male, heterosexual and wealthy. The Bureau is a more equal-opportunities employer - the product, we suspect, of Commander Faulkes need to get the best people who have been overlooked, no matter the reason. Alcoholics, homosexuals, minorities, reformed fascists and even women - all are welcome in XCOM, where they wouldnt be in the wider world of the 1960s. XCOM doesnt, of course, step completely away from the real world; its still predominantly an organisation of its era, where everyone smokes constantly, where men wear tailored suits in all but the most serious circumstances, and where punch-card computers are the size of buildings and have the capacity of calculators.

WEVE GOT THIS REAL LY RICH AND UNIQUE JUXTAPOSITION OF TH E VERSUS THE CURRENT 1960S AS WE KNOW IT, INTERPRETATION OF MODERN TECHNOLOGY IN THE ALIEN THREAT. NICO BIHARY, SENIOR PR ODUCER.

WHATS REALLY INT ESTING TO ME IS TH CAN IMAGINE THEREER YOU IS A BUREAU - AND THAT THERE WAS A BUREAU AT PERIOD THAT WAS UN OF SOME SORT IN THAT TIME R THE RADAR, NOT VISIBL TO THE PUBLIC, WITH DE E SIM WERE COMMUNICATING ILAR GOALS TO WHAT THROUGH XCOM. NICO BIHARY, SENIOR PR ODUCER.

-The bureau-

THE BUREAU: XCOM DE CLASSIFIED IS A GAME PLAYERS ARE GOING TO THAT REQUIRES SKILL. THAT THE OUTSIDERS BRBE OUTNUMBERED ON THE BATTLEFIELD . THE TECH YOUR TEAM HAS EVER ING IS GOING TO BE FAR SUPERIOR TO AN SEEN - UNTIL, OF COUR YTHING AGAINST THEM. OUR GA SE , YOU TAKE IT AND USE IT ME RE QU IRE S PL AY TWITCH, BUT THEIR TACT ERS TO BRING NOT JUST ICAL SKILL - THEIR AB THEIR USE TACTICS, TO TAKE ILITY TO PLAN FOR A TE AN AM AND THINK THATS CORE TO Y ADVANTAGE POSSIBLE ON THE BATTLE THEYVE GOT; BUT EVENXCOM - TO REQUIRE PLAYERS TO BRING EVFIELD. WE ERYTHING WHEN THEY DO, SOMETIM ES THATS NOT ENOUGH ALYSSA FINLEY, VP OF DE . VELOPMENT.

HER MR CARRUT

WITH ERGMANN ING DR B R AND E T O S D E P O TOP WORK T F O S T PLEASE S O L S. HE HAS YOUR MEMO ACTED. ILY DISTR S A E O S S I AT ACCESS ND YOU TH I M E NG R O T LIKE TTED DURI ID ALSO NLY PERMI O CT S I I R T S S E E V R CHI HOULD TO THE AR HAT YOU S S. T L E D V N E A L S R E OU OP THRE T WORKING H E H T O EARCH T YOUR RES GAIN. ARN YOU A W T I WON YOURS, BENEDICT
-xcom declassified-

S,

AGENT WILLIAM CARTER


It would not be an exaggeration to call William Carter a control freak. A top-notch FBI agent, Carter is the lead eld agent of XCOM, alongside the more experienced Nico Da Silva. Carter is one of the few agents trusted to lead a team in the eld - and his key abilities make teams under him much more likely to succeed in missions than his fellow squad leaders. Despite this, in the lead-up to the game, Carter is in a terrible state. This once-ne agent was abroad on a mission when word reached him that his family had died in a house re. Distraught, he has spent the recent years looking at the world through the bottom of a bottle, which has stymied his progress in the FBI. Yet, without his knowledge, Carter was earmarked for the XCOM program - and was entrusted with bringing an artefact to Faulke, XCOMs founder and director, to prove to the military top brass that the outsider threat was real (and to prove to Faulke that Carter was up to scratch). It was the discovery of this artefact that seemed to prompt the alien invasion - as evidenced by the advent of a female military attach into Carters secure location, who turned out to be an enemy agent. Carter was shot during a struggle with the attach, triggering the artefact to heal him and seemingly burn her to crisp. You control Carter throughout the game. Carter isnt just a normal agent. His exposure to the artefact at the games start has given him a mysterious healing ability which allows him to heal himself and any squad members near to him quickly from any non-fatal wound. Like other agents he can also learn new abilities, but Carters selection is larger than his squadmates. He also has unique access to the Battle Focus mechanic, allowing him (and you) to make decisions in a split-second. As Agent Carter, youll be rising up the ranks of XCOM and taking the ght to the alien armies, wherever theyre coming from. Hes up to the job - we hope you are too.

THE COMMAND CENTRE


Once youve established yourself in the organisation, Faulke will allow you to start taking missions from the Command Centre in the XCOM base. There are four types of events taking place here, including briengs from the front, which are short radio messages updating you on how the wider battle is going. Dispatch missions are where you send your agents into the eld by themselves, to gain experience and nd new equipment or troops. You need higher level troops to undertake these missions. Be careful when sending troops on these, however, as you need to keep them back for the other two types of mission; the optional missions and story missions that require Carter to lead the squad himself. If youve sent all your high-powered agents on dispatch missions, Carter might be stuck with rookies. Under-powered squad members make the game much harder, and your team more likely to die.

-The bureau-

THE KEY AGENCY STAFF


AGENT NICO DA SILVA
Da Silva is a foil to Carters seriousness and coldness. Whereas Carters career suffered because of his depression and alcoholism, Da Silvas career in the CIA was blighted because he was having too much fun. Repeatedly promoted for exceptional bravery and then demoted for insubordination and other faults, Nico has found his calling and a certain maturity as a founding member of XCOM. Here, although he seems ippant, hes one of the best agents XCOM has remaining.

COMMANDER MYRON FAULKE


The brains behind XCOM, described by Creative Director Morgan Gray as like a Mulder and Skinner combined. Hes open to believing, but hes also pragmatic. After the surprise assault at the Groome Range military facility wipes out the militarys top brass, Faulke takes control. Given that Washington DC has fallen totally silent following the invasion, Faulke is likely to be the ranking ofcial in the US government. Given that before the attack he was seen as a crank and that XCOM was on the verge of being shut down, this is a big turnaround in his fortunes.

DR. ALLEN WEIR


Australian Dr. Weir and his brilliant assistant Laurence Bailey were working on the possibility of Venn gates - transdimensional portals - for years before the invasion. Weir is missing in the overrun university town of Rosemont, Georgia, as the game begins and its one of your rst tasks to nd what happened to him - and get him out of there, if hes still alive. Of course, the XCOM project has plenty of scientists - notably a key German researcher with questionable ethics - but Weir brings both morality and a love of pure research to the project.

SENIOR AGENT ANGELA WEAVER


If your pilot Barnes experience of racism or Weirs of homophobia dont remind you that the 1960s werent all rosy, much-decorated Weavers struggles with sexism will. The only female agent in XCOM is also the most capable - and because of this shes damned to a desk job as Faulkes second-in-command. Before the events of The Bureau start, shes already single-handedly uncovered more alien agents than anyone else - so when she talks, however hard-nosed she might be, it pays to listen.

T REGARDLESS. HE ST AND BRIGHTES BE E TH THE FRINGE, HE T GH OU AD , HES ALRE Y ON ND FAULKE HAS BR OU GR OUR VIEW INTO CK ES BA ID T OU RNES PROV BA SO UAL, T. DOESNT CARE AB GE N CA R IS A HOMOSEX BEST HE L AL JUST NEEDS THE INTO SEXISM AND DR. ALLEN WEI IT T EA TR E W . AN TH RACISM, ANGELA MPING OUT IN PINK FEATHER BOAS ER TH RA TTING, BUT HES NOT JUE FOR US IT IS SPICE ABOUT A SE AND TERTIARY F OR IN US M CA E BE ES , TH LY H IT SUBT W T, EN EM POSE SOME STUF A STAT TRYING TO MAKEROUGHOUT THE GAME, TO HELP EX CHARACTERS TH . THEY DIDNT KNOW . EATIVE DIRECTOR MORGAN GRAY, CR

-xcom declassified-

THE THREE PILLARS OF XCOM - TACTICS, TENSION AND CONSEQUENCES


TACTICS - THE SQUAD
Choosing your squad can be tough - you can only take two of the four archetypes with you at any one time and which ones you choose can depend on how levelled up they are, what technology you have available for them, and if any of them are unavailable, having taken Dispatch Missions. Once youre on the battleeld, you can change your squad members and load-out at specic drop spots - but only on the easier difculty levels.

TENSION - BATTLE FOCUS


The Battle Focus system buys Carter the time to react to the changing battleeld. Where at one moment you might be anking a squad of outsiders, a cover-ignoring Muton or Sectopod or Gunship might arrive, forcing you to redeploy your troops and rethink how to cope with them and their support troops. The Battle Focus system slows the combat right down, and lets you see the battleeld from the viewpoint of any of your troops. It also allows them to queue up commands to your squad; you might send your Commando out to taunt your enemies while your Engineer sets up a killing zone of mines and turrets for them to stumble into. Release the Battle Focus button and the team will carry out their queued actions, giving you the freedom to play Carters role in your master plan.
ELERIUM-115 ABSTRACT: INTEGRATION

STUDIES.

K-SUITED PE RSONNEL, WH ILE SECURE HAVE NOT IN THEORY, UNTIL RECE NTLY BEEN SAFE TO PR CONSIDERED OCEED ON EVEN MINOR ANALYSIS. ARTEFACT IN FACT, FEW RESEAR DISAGREE WI CHERS WOUL TH OUR EV D ALUATION OF 8-BIT ARCHIT COMPLEX ECTURES AS A METHOD OF AS ADVANCED ANALYSIS, AS THEY AR E. JGOLLOP, APPROACH FO OUR NEW R ENCRYPTE D METHODOL THE SOLUTION OGIES, IS TO ALL OF TH ESE CHALLENG ES. IN THIS PO SITION PAPE R, WE MAKE CONTRIBUTION TWO MAIN S. FOR STAR TERS, WE PR NEW STABLE ESENT OUR TECHNOLOGY/P ROTOCOL (J WHICH WE GOLLOP), USE TO AR GUE THAT FRAMEWORKS COMPUTERIZED AND SECLUS ION OF OPER COOPERATE ATIONS CAN TO SOLVE TH IS QUAGMIRE WE CONCENTR . FURTHER, ATE OUR EF FORTS ON SH THE MUCH-T OWING THAT OUTED FLEX IBLE ALGO THE COMPEL RITHM FOR LING UNIFIC ATION OF TH ISOTOPE RUNS E ELERIUM IN (N) TIME .
-The bureau-

CONSEQUENCES - PERMADEATH
And if the plan doesnt work? Well, a badly-injured agent might go down. In that case you only have a few seconds to stabilise them before theyre dead and gone forever. On Commander difculty, even if you rescue them, theyre merely stabilised, and you have to nish the level with just one other agent. When you introduce permadeath, it inuences everything, from the way that you design your levels, to the way that you introduce characters... you constantly have to be aware of their levelling and skill-set at that particular time. Alyssa Finley.

Theres no I in XCOM. Your squad matters, according to James Clarendon, Principal Systems Designer.

COMMANDO
The most important squad member. The head-on ghter, the commando has the most weapons at his disposal.

RECON
Arguably the most important squad member. He has diversion tactics, such as distract or cloak, so the squad can get into an area that the enemy isnt paying attention to. Youll often see him getting up on higher ground, as he has good accuracy at long range.

SUPPORT
Quite probably the most important squad member. Has combat stims and shield spheres, so hes good at bufng the squad and debufng the enemy; he allows you to take risks.

ENGINEER
Almost certainly the most important squad member. Hes going to deploy traps and turrets; hes very good at ushing enemies out of an area and into the turret re or other ways for focusing re on a place.
GELA WEAVER FROM THE DESK OF AN COLE MEMO: AGENT ENNIS INVOLVED THE THE PIMA INCIDENT E, AR AW T EN AR O FOR THOSE WH S ALSO PERSONALLY LES FAMILY. HE WA CO S NI Y EN T EN AG LOSS OF RTS OF HIS COMMUNIT IDATION OF THOSE PA QU LI TS E GH TH OU TH IN R ED OU LV N. INVO INFECTIO BY THE SLEEPWALKER THAT WERE AFFECTED ME. TI IS TH AT M WITH HI AND SYMPATHIES ARE WEAVER

-xcom declassified-

THE AESTHETICS
ART
Jeff Weir, Art Director, explains the inspirations behind the games look and feel.

HOW DID THE CHANGE OF ERA AFFECT THE ART?


It didnt change the towns and so on, but it did affect the base. It let us go to the NASA vibe, the Mercury-era space control. It was the rst time that things really felt cutting edge in America, the space war machine. Also it keys into the James Bond spy stuff, the awesome volcano base from You Only Live Twice. It really allowed us to play into the Space Race which was great for futurism, with minor notes of McCarthyism.

HOW HAVE YOU CHANGED THE ALIEN DESIGNS FROM 2010 TO NOW?
That rst game in 2010 was all about investigation and it made sense to have the enemies more abstract, inscrutable and unknowable because the game was not really about combat. The Titan still appears, hes survived all these years, as he has a key role defending the enemy citadels. He was very clean before, but we added small details to him. We changed the silicoids as well, making them more like ferro-metal and lava.

THE SECTOPODS HAVE CHANGED SUBSTANTIALLY FROM XCOM AS WELL.


They couldnt be incredibly massive, because they had to work with our spaces, so theyre kind of like a stunted AT-ST from the Star Wars movies. We liked the idea of them being tall enough to walk over cover, and the idea of the pilots plugged in like the BaseStar pilots in Battlestar Galactica. We also had to have them match the style of the Outsiders, as they would have built the early Sectopods.

WE DID END UP WITH AT LEAST A PERSONS YEARS WORTH OF WORK CARLOS CUELLO, TECH ON PC ALONE. TALKING ABOUT THE FRNICAL DIRECTOR, BEAUTIFUL PC VERSIONANKLY .

-The bureau-

THE SECTOIDS HAVENT CHANGED MUCH SINCE XCOM, BUT THE ZUJARI ARE VERY DIFFERENT.
Theyre wearing slave collars which have little tubes going into their esh, to control them on a molecular level. The Zujari arent a very subtle race. I always liken them to the Harkonnens of Dune, all bestial and nasty. And of course, they only appear as drones in Enemy Unknown. Theyre the classic consumptive, destroy everything and move on race. Theyre militant and not about creature comforts at all.

AND DO THE GROWING TOWERS TIE INTO THE ZUJARI DESIGN?


Yes, theyre all blades and harshness too. The way that theyre built is these projectiles we call seeds that grow metal tendrils out, converting our substances into theirs, like metal trees.

SOUND
Michael Kamper, Audio Director, explains how the games dynamic music works.

WHOS WRITING THE MUSIC?


Our composer is Gary Schyman, who scored the music for all three BioShock games. Why change? Hes really fun, and he gets what you need. Hes done a lot of games.

WHAT WAS THE ORIGINAL MUSIC LIKE?


The original 1950s game, the gumshoe investigative game where you were going to places and trying to nd evidence, had almost a 40s cop feel, like L.A. Condential (which had a brilliant score by Jerry Goldsmith). It had the mood and the tension I wanted. I also liked Goldsmiths score for Planet of the Apes, from the 60s, which had interesting instrumentation. We did cues, we did the music, recorded it all with an orchestra, and it was done.

AND THEN THE GAME CHANGES.


Then the game changes. But not that far beyond our scope. It has evolved and it has changed - but every time you iterate, you just get better. Everything we recorded back then is in the game now. But we did record a bunch of new stuff, for the cinematics and things like that. Jerry was great, in that he gave me all the instruments separately as stems, and apply them separately, to have themes build and fade with the combat cues. So if I had ghts that went through different waves of enemies, Id just start out with the drums, then Id bring the brass in, then the strings, until it ends with the full thing.

-xcom declassified-

ENEMY TYPES
MUTONS
As the old saying goes, there is nothing subtle about a Muton. Nine feet tall in their socks, theyre genetically-modied lumps of muscle and bone with a killer instinct. On top of their usual armour, the Zujari have grafted extra ablative armour, slowing them down, but extremely increasing their durability. Unlike their compatriots, the Mutons have chosen to be a part of this ght - theyre a mercenary race, simply working for the highest bidder.

SECTOPODS
Distinct from either the gleaming Sectopods of Enemy Unknown or the cartoony battle suits of UFO, the Zujaris Sectopod is a much more primitive construction. Hurled from the sky like a drop-pod, the rst horror of this creation is the clearlyvisible husk of a Sectoid at its helm, implanted permanently in the suit. In combat, the four-logged Sectopod endlessly roams the battleeld, stepping over low cover to make a mockery of your battle plans, while its cannon chews up your team. Aim for the front or back of the pilots canopy to do serious damage.

SECTOIDS
The old familiar aliens of Area 51 fame return in this prequel, four feet of gangly limbs and bulbous heads perfect for sniping. Unlike the brainwashing sectoids of XCOM: Enemy Unknown though, its quite obvious that these ubiquitous aliens want no part of this combat - theyve been forced into this ght, as the crude slave collars around their necks testify. If only there was some way of removing them..?

10

-The bureau-

ZUJARI (OUTSIDERS)
The main opponents of the game, the Zujari come in a variety of types, mirroring humanitys own military organisation. The basic seven foot grunts arent much more threatening than a Sectoid, save for their use of grenades, but the shielded Elites and the various Commander classes are progressively more dangerous and skilled. All of the Zujarii themselves are here willingly - this is their invasion, having overexploited their homeworld of Zujar Prime - and have a networked consciousness, Mosaic, led by something called Origin. Remove them from its inuence and their certainty of purpose fades.

SILICOIDS
Familiar to the players of the original UFO: Enemy Unknown, the silicoids are strange ferro-metallic living blobs with the mentality of attack dogs. They serve to change the rules of the combat, heading straight for their foes, but being low enough to the ground to take you by surprise. As Gray puts it, They dont use tactics, they dont use cover, they co-ordinate with other enemies; they simply come and try to eat your face. Why they dont attack their Zujari handlers is currently unknown.

TITANS
When The Bureau: XCOM Declassied was an investigation-heavy game, developer 2K Marin came up with an array of unusual alien types - including the fogger and the ghost which disappeared with the move to a more traditional shooter. The Titan, though, was too iconic to lose. You wont encounter this 15 foot etched-monolith until far into the game, but youll immediately know youre up against something powerful. As the construct attacks, it disintegrates cover and goes through a multi-stage attack, meaning your team will be endlessly shifting position, racing against time to take it down before theyre completely exposed...

-xcom declassified-

11

12

-The bureau-

INTERVIEW WITH MORGAN GRAY


Morgan Gray is the Creative Director of 2K Marin, with over 30 games to his credit. He started his career as QA tester at LucasArts and Totally Games on Outlaws and Curse of Monkey Island before moving up the ranks as a designer on titles including X-Wing vs Tie-Fighter, Star Trek: Bridge Commander and Secret Weapons Over Normandy, before moving to Crystal Dynamics to work on Tomb Raider games such as Legend, Anniversary and Underworld. He then worked at Capcom, where he worked on Bionic Commando and Dark Void, amongst many other games. He joined 2K Marin just after the release of BioShock 2.

YOUVE WORKED AT A LOT OF PLACES; WHAT KIND OF GAME DO YOU ENJOY MAKING?
I like games that let players come up with different ways to play, do something meaningful with the narrative, and try to push the industry forward, one way or another. The kind of games I want to make focus on varied tool-chests of gameplay. And I like them wrapped up in storylines that are not just droll; Id rather make a game with no story, like Battleeld, than a game with a simplistic story. Obviously, in The Bureau, were going with a strong narrative. And I like novel. Even in X-Wing: Alliance, I made a character who owned a space casino and I made him Caribbean, as we hadnt heard that in Star Wars. Little did I know Jarjar was lurking in the wings... I hope I didnt inspire him! I want to leave my mark, without being egotistical.

WHY HAS THE CONCEPT OF THE GAME CHANGED SO MUCH SINCE THE FIRST REVEAL?
We originally wanted to nd a way to leverage the strengths of XCOM, not a literal translation of the rst games, but to have a new perspective. That was the concept we started showing in 2010, a rst-person, tension-terror investigation slant on the game. Although the concept was interesting, it wasnt one to build a game on - especially not one that had the aspects of the XCOM franchise and without a touchstone that two teams could create in unison without a lot of creative waste. It was a cool concept, but it wasnt 100% in-keeping with the franchise pillars. It was also a little too BioShock 2 - too repetitious of what wed done before. From 2011, we focused on the team-based tactical game and moved from rst person to third person, with the Battle Focus system, which we showed at that years E3 - small battles, squad focused, XCOM agents and aliens, which we then started to wrap a narrative around.

DO YOU THINK YOU ACHIEVED WHAT YOU HOPED TO?


It feels good. It credibly succeeds on the start-up criteria we were given - to tell a narrative XCOM world and give a unique perspective. This is an interesting game. With Enemy Unknowns success, there are new fans, perhaps more than the old guard. We are a unique experiment; in many ways this is an indie release - its modest in what we tried to do and has interesting narrative and gameplay elements.

WHY DID YOU FOCUS ON AMERICA FOR THIS VERSION OF XCOM?


Ironically, the American setting came from our Australian team. The thought is that there are other efforts happening internationally, but theyre not co-ordinated yet. Aspects of that story get told - were slowly building towards the XCOM the world knows.

-xcom declassified-

13

AND WHY THE MOVE FROM THE 1950S TO 1962?


The 1950s gives us the WWII generation, a bunch of guys who were 18 or 20 who went and fought evil. They came back, they wanted good lives, and they knew how to use guns. All nations involved and a bunch of people who had a perspective the rest of the country didnt. Hit the 50s, theyre married, theyre in business and prosperous. The birth of the middle class as we know it today. We also had German scientists we stole, so we harnessed the power of the atom, we had our eyes on space and we had the passive arms race with the Soviets. It was a great place to tell a story about alien invasion, to go to the literal cultural roots as to where that started. As we started doing that narrative and telling that story, we realised that we were at the intro and that actually Act 2 of that narrative was more fun - at the height of the Cold War, weve mastered the atom, weve mastered the rocket, and were reaching out to space. We had this concept of this ideal of America thats going to come under attack, not just its population but literally itself - the Cold War and McCarthyism, that was its analogue. Were going to attack every aspect of the United States, its people, its buildings. We do analogues on who you can trust, on the arms race, on what we do if we start using this technology against the Russians, and for us, we wanted a setting where we can talk, not about the idealised America, but a viewpoint on the real America, land of the free, home of the brave at least if youre a thirty-something white male.

YOU DONT SEEM AFRAID TO TACKLE THE DIFFICULT CULTURAL ASPECTS OF THE TIME RACISM, SEXISM, SOCIAL CLASS, HOMOPHOBIA.
I wouldnt have the job I have now if this was the 60s, and we wouldnt have the president we have now. It was only very recently that the US passed a bill to have women under combat arms and allowed same sex marriage. We try not to be preachy about those aspects and we didnt want to be subversive in that aspect - our goal is to tell a story about the aliens attacking the United States and William Carter rising up - but we wanted to tell enough subtext that we could tell a bunch of more interesting stories, all tied into this master story.

HOW CAN XCOM COVER UP SUCH A SEEMINGLY-GLOBAL CONFLICT?


All the conict takes place away from the major population centres. We did that, one, because we wanted some fresh locales and, two, because the foe is smart enough to know that the total mass of American strength will protect Manhattan - but maybe not Pima, New Mexico. Youre not actively covering these things up, but youre racing against the clock to keep incidents isolated, before you have to defeat this foe. The technology difference between us and the aliens cant be that huge, not like between ironclads and galleons - because we have to be able to catch up. Its not that far, no - we still understand atomics and have guns. Their tech is more advanced than ours - we are effectively playing a counterinsurgency where our tenacity and guerrilla tactics outdoes their technology - and then we steal their technology and subsume it into our own, like the NASA and DARPA programmes that are running, and they give us a jump-start so we can catch up. We dont quite exceed them by the end of the game, but we do match them.

14

-The bureau-

WITH THE TECHNOLOGY THEY HAVE AT THE START, WHY DONT THEY WIN STRAIGHT AWAY?
They lack the capability to have an invading army - they dont have the hundreds of millions of bodies to throw at this effort. Knowing that, theyve actually corrupted our population before the game has started with the Sleepwalker virus, the black goo which is our homage to the X-Files. This turns people into a catatonic state at best, where theyre caught at the moment where the virus took hold of their brain, and they repeat that moment over and over, or they can turn into a fth column, with the aliens taking control of them through their Mosaic system. Its not like they can conquer our world, not directly, because they dont have the manpower.

YOU HAVE MOST OF THE ENEMIES OF XCOM - BUT THE BIG BADS ARE MISSING...
Obviously, in XCOM games, the brains behind everything are Ethereals. I wont say how they play into our game, but they play a signicant and unique role. One of the biggest narrative statements were making in terms of the XCOM universe is what we do with Ethereals.

IF YOU GET A CHANCE TO DO A SEQUEL, WOULD YOU WANT TO?


We leave it open enough to do another XCOM. I have had the unfortunate thing in where I dont get to do sequels. Early in my career, I was able to but since been a string of unique games. I would like to be able to follow through a the seeds planted in one game and the lessons learned. We have amazing ideas the scope of the game, to capitalise on things were doing well. my career then its line with to expand

MYRO SK OF E D E H R FROM T GELA WEAVE AN AGENT , ANGELA

KE N FAUL

ATTN:

IS COLE ENT G N A E OM T, THAT THE M LD T ARE A W A T IM E FIE TRAUGH IN TH T THOUGH NDABLY DIS . ID N E S HIM A E AG A T R S A R D P E E S D C THAN UN EN ERY EXPERI E, ACTIVE, ED EV E S N HE A E E R T W ON HE R A T ALLY OUT T ITER O URBONR W E ESPECI HAVE HIM P Y BO HIS T F NOUGH RATHER N FRONT OF ONE O HAVE E Y E R W E I V E G N E T I L O P T N O T M O OF A B N HERE AND TER. I BOTTOM CAR S E S A C YE VE AS LOSE E SOAKED AS EFFECTI EP A C GER TO S E I K M O E T TH AN KE YOU S A D TO ID LI ED AGENT I DEED, N , I D I , A D S N R N E A T K F A A M H E T W HI FIT O M - A HOSE AROUND F HE ISNT . S R E D ON HI R I TO T NG O ON. I I , D T F N A L A Z E T I S HIM HE S RGAN KNOW T TIRE O THE EN ER ALL, YOU ANDS. FT YOUR H DUTY A N I R MATTE E THIS I LEAV MYRON

-xcom declassified-

15

CLASSIFIED: A HISTORY OF THE XCOM GAMES


The game known as X-COM: UFO Defense in the USA, and UFO: Enemy Unknown in the UK, was originally developed by a small studio called Mythos Games for the publisher Microprose. The studio, led by the brothers Julian and Nick Gollop, had a long history of making tactical battle games - from Wizards of Chaos to Laser Squad - and for the Gollops this was just another step along the path. However, Pete Moreland, Microproses Head of Development, wanted a game that tuned in with the current popularity of the X-Files and had the strategic world of Civilization, another huge-selling game of the era, also published by Microprose. He worked with the Gollops, proposing an alien invasion and defence on a world view which eventually became the Geoscape, and importing the research tree from Civilization too. Microprose also utilised concept artists like John Reike who created the infamous Chryssalids, Sectoids, Mutons and many unused aliens, and sound designers including John Broomhall to create the games haunting soundtrack. Hence, X-Com was conceived. The rst game was undoubtedly the most popular - selling 600,000 copies on PC alone - but the series didnt stop there, moving to battle underwater aliens in Terror From The Deep and progressing to a real time future city-defence game with the Gollops own sequel XCOM: Apocalypse. After Julian Gollop left the company to pursue his own projects, the series took an experimental turn, with spin-offs ranging from the shooter (Enforcer) to space combat (Interceptor), before ceasing production completely around 2001. Microprose eventually sold the license - rst to Hasbro where it transferred to Infogrames and hence to Atari, before nally settling with 2K in 2005. During this time, many other companies produced clones of the game, so large was its popularity indeed, clones of the original game are still being developed as we speak... Although The Bureau was announced in 2010, the rst X-COM game in ten years came with XCOM: Enemy Unknown, a action-strategy game developed by Firaxis Games. XCOM was a tremendous success, receiving nearly 90% average scores across all versions. (The team managed another astounding technical feat recently, converting it to work on iPhone).

AND NOW THE BUREAU HAS ARRIVED.


RAN IT O DISC AND M E L, D R E M E A CG D TH M ALC ER ON A 1994 P - IVE PLAYE R E M O O M F C A N X E G E W M A IK O S L C LIKE, ERY X V T I FIRST E N D O E D V S E O A L L P W E O I V H MOST PE INTERCEPTOR WHEN ON A 386. I AMES WHIC EN PLAYEDER. V EVEN THE G E I PTOR. E C R . E IGHT T IN D AN ING VS TIE-FECTOR ON THE BUREAU -W X N O G IN IR D E IV WORK T A AY, CRE MORGAN GR

16

-The bureau-

ABOUT 2K MARIN
Northwards of San Francisco, the land grows into bare hills with wide at valleys between them, occasionally inundated by the sea. In each large valley, a city has sprung up - Oakland, Sausalito, Novato and more. In Novato, a quiet town dotted with bare hills and Native American burial grounds, an airforce base was built on at land reclaimed from the sea. The hangars of this abandoned base, from which B17s once ew, is the home to both 2Ks head ofce and 2K Marin, the developer of The Bureau: XCOM Declassied. 2K Marins history started as the end of development on BioShock approached in 2006. Developer Irrational Games sent a small team across country to start work on a sequel to their underwater adventure while the original team focused on the then-secret BioShock Innite. This pocket-sized team was the seed for the studio. The team worked on a PS3 port of BioShock, originally an Xbox and PC exclusive. Then they produced BioShock 2 in 2010, to much critical acclaim. Meanwhile, in late 2009, they started collaborating on The Bureau, which had originally been started at 2K Australia. The team now consists of around 100 staff, working with 2K Australia and 2K China produce their games. to

2K MARINS GAMEOGRAPHY
BIOSHOCK PS3
BioShock takes place in the ctional underwater city of Rapture, which has descended into chaos, due to powerful mutagens and a power struggle. Your character stumbles into the ruined city years later and nds himself the pawn of both sides. (The eight core members of the BioShock team who founded 2K Marin were charged with converting the game for PS3.)

BIOSHOCK 2
Following the events of the rst game, 2K Marins rst game returned us to Rapture, this time in the guise of an iconic Big Daddy exploring the city in the hope of nding his lost proteg.

BIOSHOCK 2: MINERVAS DEN


A single player expansion for BioShock 2, Minervas Den is a self-contained narrative where you take the role of another Big Daddy exploring a sealed-off area of Rapture.

BIOSHOCK INFINITE
Ken Levines masterpiece, BioShock Innite takes place in the oating city of Columbia and is a violent parody of American exceptionalism and isolationism. Staff from 2K Marin helped with the development.

THE BUREAU: XCOM DECLASSIFIED


The latest in the venerable XCOM series has you heading small squads in guerrilla warfare with an overpowering alien army. (Read the rest of the magazine!) This project started at 2K Australia, but was transferred to 2K Marin in 2010.

#erasethetruth

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2008-2013 Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. Developed by 2K Marin. XCOM, The Bureau: XCOM Declassied, 2K Marin, 2K Games, Take-Two Interactive Software and their respective logos are all trademarks of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. KINECT, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies and are used under license from Microsoft. 2, PlayStation, PS3 , and are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. All other marks are property of their respective owners.