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The Bureau: XCOM Declassified

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Genre: Action
Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: 2K Marin
Release Date: Aug. 20, 2013 (US), Aug. 23, 2013 (EU)

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'The Bureau: XCOM Declassified' (ALL) Hangar 6 R&D DLC Details - Screens

by Rainier on Oct. 2, 2013 @ 3:59 p.m. PDT

Set in 1962 at the height of the Cold War, The Bureau tells the origin story of the clandestine XCOM organisation’s first encounter with a mysterious and devastating enemy.

Originally established as America’s covert defense against the Soviet Union, The Bureau must adapt and overcome a threat unlike anything the world has faced before. As special agent William Carter, players will call the shots and pull the trigger, leading their squad of agents in the high-stakes secret war for humanity’s survival. Paramount to repelling the outside threat is The Bureau’s ability to cover-up the enemy’s existence in order to prevent worldwide panic.

In the spirit of the XCOM franchise, The Bureau’s calculated combat design requires players to think and act tactically. The game’s third-person perspective gives the player a sense of spatial awareness and grants them the freedom to transition in and out Carter’s unique Battle Focus ability seamlessly – heightening the tactical shooter action. The Bureau also fully embraces the concept of permanent consequence. As our last line of defense, every command can mean the difference between life and death for Carter, his squad and mankind.

Hangar 6 R&D takes place shortly before Agent Carter’s adventures in the main game, right before the large-scale alien invasion begins. Players will learn that during this time, Agent DaSilva had volunteered for a series of psychic experiments at an undisclosed location known by The Bureau as simply “Hangar 6.” In this DLC, players will take control of Agent DaSilva, and his squad, as they are treated with an elerium-based compound gas in order to visualize and combat the mental defenses of another agent infected with the “Sleepwalker” pathogen.

Hangar 6 R&D is an opportunity for players to immerse themselves in new characters and stories set in the same iconic 1960s period as The Bureau. The development team at 2K Marin wanted to explore what it was like to be part of The Bureau before and during the initial invasion, and so this DLC is set before Agent Carter’s recruitment into the organization.  Because of that, we needed a new protagonist, someone who was around before the invasion that the player could relate to, and our thoughts immediately went to Nico DaSilva. What was he doing during the invasion? Why does he talk about having lost so many friends? We wanted to explore these questions, and we wanted to up-rez his mustache.

2K Games took this opportunity to create an entirely different kind of player character from Carter, but focused on keeping that same cool 60s vibe – albeit, the slightly altered vibe of 60s psycho-dynamic experimentation. The developers did a lot of research on psychic and psychotropic military experiments of the 60s, watched lots of videos of soldiers giggling in trees, read up on Remote Viewing (a series of government experiments wherein trained soldiers were supposedly able to know things about a subject using only Extra-Sensory Perception – that is, psychically). In short, the devs generally had a wonderful time gassing DaSilva, and his squad mate Ennis Cole, and putting them through their paces in great big hangars full of military-type "combat sets."

From a gameplay perspective, 2K Games wanted to maximize the fun of the core squad-based tactical combat of The Bureau, and its unique Battle Focus feature. You know, big, hard fights, with experienced, high level agents and perks giving you the sense that when you have that perfect situational awareness, you get in the zone.

Delivering a tactical, tense, and rewarding experience meant cranking up the difficulty. Yes, it's even more difficult than The Bureau, and equally as rewarding!  DaSilva’s got a new series of powers and perks based on his “plant and trigger” bomb abilities in the level "Signal from Beyond." You can choose between those and some of Carter's old standbys in your upgrade path. There's enough experience to level up a couple of agents of every class, so you can mix and match and see what combo is really your style. Ammo and weapons are plentiful – including a new AK-47 and a prototype Microwave Gun that cooks enemies from the inside out. The developers wanted you to be able to maximize your mastery of third-person tactical XCOM combat while having the opportunity to try something new.

Hangar 6 R&D DLC will be available worldwide exclusively on the Xbox 360 for $4.99 starting October 8, 2013.

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