Video game permadeath is not a concept unique to XCOM but it has, perhaps, its most visceral application in that series. Like its predecessors, if one of your men die in The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, that is it. He is gone for good. This can be a tragedy. Or, in the case of this video, a comedy.
After a brooding and morose live-action series that wrapped up this week, The Bureau takes a lighter-hearted approach to repelling an alien invasion with 1960s technology and apparel. Thanks to this video, I now know what the hell a proximity mine looks like in the game and not to go run up to it. Mutons also look twice as dreadful as they do in Enemy Unknown. (I assume that is a muton auctioning off an agent’s remains from the courthouse steps.)
I’m looking forward to The Bureau but I confess, the game’s got me a little panicky. When you’re sending a squaddie charging, undefended, on an enemy from an isometric view in XCOM: Enemy Unknown, where you yourself are not assumed to be a participant in the engagement, it all looks a little chess-like and antiseptic. Personalizing the order — and the stupidity of its outcome — makes me even more risk averse and neurotic, if possible.
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified arrives on August 20.