On Challenge and Permadeath in The Bureau: XCOM Declassified

Dying is kind of a big deal in The Bureau: XCOM Declassified (read our preview here). When one of your troops dies, they’re gone for good.

Today, 2K Marin’s Lead Systems Designer James Clarendon posted a lengthy blog post titled “Embracing Challenge in The Bureau: XCOM Declassified”, where he talks about how in staying true to the XCOM franchise, The Bureau will continuously challenge even the most seasoned of players.

“First and foremost, anyone in your squad that takes enough damage will be incapacitated and begin to bleed out,” writes Clarendon “And just like in the classic XCOM games, if an agent ends up bleeding out, he will die and be gone permanently! If you go down – let’s just say you’ll be seeing the Game Over screen if an agent on your squad doesn’t get to you in time.

“Luckily, it’s not over until it’s over. As the leader of your squad, you can command your agents to give medical attention to an agent that has gone down and is bleeding out, which does not exclude yourself. You’ll have to act fast and you’ll be able to tell how much time you have by looking at their HUD meter. Smart ways to help get you to the incapacitated agent in time are creating a diversion for the enemies or using an ability to protect the would-be rescuer. Last, if you or another agent is able to reach the fallen agent in time, then they can be revived and re-join the action.”

The game itself comes with four difficulty levels ranging from the easiest mode, “Rookie”, to the hardest, “Commander.” Although permadeath is an aspect of every mode, it’s much easier to deal with and you don’t have to worry about bleeding out as often in the easier modes.

You can find out the details of each of those modes in the blog post.

The blog post was published alongside the release of an amusing gameplay video called “#YOLO”, which highlights the consequences of permadeath, albeit in an amusing manner.

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