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XCOM Declassified producer explains switch from first to third-person

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified's senior producer Nico Bihary has explained to VG247 the shift between first and third-person perspectives since the game's 2011 reveal and second coming as The Bureau. It's to give players a better understanding of their environment when engaging aliens in combat, he told us.

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Speaking with VG247 at a recent preview event, Sam Clay asked Bihary to comment on where the old assets from the 2011 build of XCOM had gone, given the game's long disappearance and re-emergence as The Bureau.

He replied, "I don't know what assets you're referring to. Here's the thing; there's a lot of speculation, 'Oh my god you've changed the game, you've thrown away everything, what happened to everything?' All we did was a camera transition to third person.

"If you go back and you look at the video from 2011, you will see that it's a first-person experience in terms of navigating through the terrain. It's almost like a navigation vehicle, as much as it is a tool for investigation and exploration. Having a first-person view gets you closer to things so you can explore and do that.

"When you engage enemies in a tactical way - even back in 2011 - you will see that the camera shifts to a third-person perspective. You will see a UI element that comes up that was called 'Tac Mode', which was a less-elegant version of 'Battle Focus' that we have today. Very similar mechanics right there."

Bihary added that the team at 2K Marin has done a lot to re-assess the game since it's reveal in 2011 to make it better.

He continued, "What we've done is -through the process of game design and evaluation - re-emerged as a very strong game mechanic, this third-person perspective. It gives you a solid visual understanding of the landscape. It gives you a solid tactical space of where you are in the environment as a player, so you understand when you're getting flanked.

"All we did was transition the camera, but the fundamentals of the game, what we were building, the core tenets of what is required to make The Bureau - or any XCOM game - have been constant throughout development."

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