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Port Report: The Bureau: XCOM Declassified


Pharnaces
  • Port Reports are a series of quick first impressions of the technical aspects of a PC game. For an up to date account of The Bureau: XCOM Declassified’s fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article.

     

    The Bureau: XCOM Declassified is a port, this is very apparent from the moment you arrive on the menu only to be warned about the game using autosave (a fact that you will be reminded about every time you launch the game) and to see the mouse cursor stuttering along across the screen. The issues, unfortunately, do not end there. The game was tested on an Intel i5-3570K and an AMD 7870 XT GPU.

    https://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/

System requirements

Minimum

  • OS: Windows Vista Service Pack 2 32-bit
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 DUO 2.4 GHz / AMD Athlon X2 2.7 GHz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: DirectX9 Compatible ATI Radeon HD 3870 / NVIDIA 8800 GT
  • Hard Drive: 12 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible
  • Additional Notes: Incompatible with Intel HD 3000 Integrated Graphics

Recommended:

  • OS: Windows 7 Service Pack 1 64-bit
  • Processor: Quad Core Processor
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: DirectX11 Compatible, AMD Radeon HD 6950 / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560
  • Hard Drive: 12 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible

Graphics settings

2

 

The Bureau starts off on the right foot, featuring many graphics settings. Settings for vertical sync, field of view (65-100 degrees), max smoothed framerate (30, 60, 120), film grain, and windowed mode (unfortunately no option for borderless) are all available. There is plenty of screen tearing, so vertical sync is an especially nice sight to see, but unfortunately due to massive, random framerate drops it is impossible to use if you want around 60 frames per second.

 

3

 

Settings for texture, world, shadow, and effect quality are all available. Post-processing anti-aliasing, anisotropic filtering, decal persistence, and ambient occlusion are all present as well. Screen space reflections and PhysX are also available, though PhysX is not usable with an AMD GPU and screen space reflections tanks the framerate well into the 30s.

 

5

 

Quality Presets

[compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_5/med_gallery_1_5_273895.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_5/med_gallery_1_5_151645.jpg|960|560|Preset: Low|Prest: High[/compimg]

 

There are two major differences between the "high" preset and the "low" preset in The Bureau. First, texture quality, especially on far away objects, is much lower on low. Second, the framerate drops into the 30s, which is made worse by massive amounts of microstuttering. Anyone who wants to play The Bureau should customize their video options and disable screen space reflections if they want a playable experience.

 

Texture detail

[compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_5/med_gallery_1_5_233554.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_5/med_gallery_1_5_200051.jpg|960|560|Texture detail: Low|Texture detail: High[/compimg]

The texture detail option does just that, adjust texture detail. The lowest setting has blurry, but still decent quality textures, while high offers much clearer higher resolution textures. The high res textures aren't particularly good and there are many blurry textures to be found throughout the world as skybox.

 

Shadow detail

[compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_5/med_gallery_1_5_84874.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_5/med_gallery_1_5_32455.jpg|960|560|Shadow detail: Low|Shadow detail: High[/compimg]

The shadow detail options seems to affect the general lighting of the game much more than what shadows are in the game, becoming much darker as the quality is dropped. Shadows become a bit blockier on the low settings, but not significantly more so than they are on the highest settings.

 

[compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_5/med_gallery_1_5_32574.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_5/med_gallery_1_5_430590.jpg|960|560|Shadow detail: Low|Shadow detail: High[/compimg]

 

[compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_5/med_gallery_1_5_277638.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_5/med_gallery_1_5_175623.jpg|960|560|Shadow detail: Low|Shadow detail: High[/compimg]

The real issue with shadows in TB:XD is the shadow draw distance, it is simply abysmal. As you can see from the comparisons, moving forward just a few feet caused two major shadows to draw in, significantly changing the appearance of part of the image. This is a regular occurance in the game and is incredibly distracting.

 

Anti-aliasing

[compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_5/med_gallery_1_5_297576.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_5/med_gallery_1_5_335337.jpg|960|560|Anti-aliasing: Off|Anti-aliasing: On[/compimg]

The Bureau uses a standard form of post-processing anti-aliasing to reduce aliasing. This works fairly well and does not appear to blur the image much, if at all, and it is very effective at reducing the amount of aliasing. The performance impact of this setting is negligible.

 

Field of view

[compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_5/med_gallery_1_5_209547.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_5/med_gallery_1_5_36385.jpg|960|560|Field of view: 60|Field of view: 100[/compimg]

 

20

Field of view whilst aiming

 

Although The Bureau is a fairly bog-standard console port with somewhat limited options it does come with a field of view setting, which is quite rare for a third person game and is definitely appreciated. This setting lets you define a horizontal field of view between 65 and 100. Unfortunately this setting only affects the camera when you are not aiming, so while you can play with a FOV of 100 you will spend a significant amount of time in the aiming FOV, which appears to be around 60. This oversight is just annoying for me, but it may be a deal-breaker for many others.

 

Audio settings

21

The audio settings for TB:XD are fairly standard. There are subtitles, a master volume control, and then three specific volume controls (sound effects, music, and "voice over"). The game lets you easily switch between the available languages (English, Spanish, French, German, Korean, Russian, Italian, and Japanese) from the menu, and that is definitely a nice feature.

 

Control options

23

24

Some of the default keybinds in The Bureau are absolutely bizarre and hard to reach (O opens the level-up menu, F1 and F2 are quick team movement controls), so it is very nice that the developers included almost full key rebinding. As many reviewers have brought up, though, some functions, such as picking up a new weapon, are *presses*, not holds, and this cannot be easily fixed from within the game. This is much worse when playing with a controller, though, as the keyboard does not share a bind for reloading and interaction.

 

Gameplay settings

24

 

Fairly standard gameplay options are available. Hints can be turned down, but not off, the camera can have its Y-axis inverted. Vibration can be disabled, and since your controller will vibrate if it is plugged in, regardless of what input method you are using, you may want to disable it. Aim snapping and target following can both be enabled or disabled, which another major 2K game, Bioshock Infinite, forgot to include in its settings.

 

Conclusion

Overall The Bureau is as much a mixed quality port as it is a mixed quality game. There is a lot of good to be found in its options, but a few glaring oversights like aiming FOV, shadow draw distance, and the ability to fully disable hints have the potential to hurt the experience gamiing on a PC. Issues with the mouse cursor skipping over the screen and microstuttering do not help, either. However, when compared to most ports The Bureau shines and it's definitely preferable to the incredibly barebones ports that we often see.

 

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified released on Tuesday, August 20th in North America and will release on Friday, August 23rd in the PAL region.

 

Port Reports are a series of quick first impressions of the technical aspects of a PC game. For an up to date account of The Bureau: XCOM Declassified’s fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article.

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Some issues I've run into:

 

- key binds are in encrypted file that can be found withing steam cloud offline storage (game ID 65930)

- I can't locate configuration files. I've even listed all .ini files on my C: drive but with no succsess.

- Mouse sensitivity for aiming is very fast, but when I lower it to usable level, pointer in menu and tactical part of the game is super slow

- I'm getting only 5.1 surround sound on 7.1 setup

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You know, you may be able to fix the shadow draw distances through .ini config files if they aren't encrypted. The game runs on UE3.


Also the 5.1 limitation probably may be because of Wwise

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