The Bureau: XCOM Declassified Developer Blog - Hangar 6 R&D DLC
- By 2K Games
- 2K Games
- Wed Oct 02, 2013
My name is Harley White-Wiedow and I’m the lead designer on the brand new Hangar 6 R&D downloadable content for The Bureau: XCOM Declassified. 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.
We took this opportunity to create an entirely different kind of player character from Carter, but we focused on keeping that same cool 60s vibe – albeit, the slightly altered vibe of 60s psycho-dynamic experimentation. We did a lot of research on psychic and psychotropic military experiments of the 60s. We watched lots of videos of soldiers giggling in trees. We 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). We stared really, really hard at goats. In short, we 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, we 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. We took those elements, those skin-of-your-teeth moments, and serve them up on a platter in Hangar 6 R&D.
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! But don't despair - we gave you lots of goodies to play with. 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. We wanted you to be able to maximize your mastery of third-person tactical XCOM combat while having the opportunity to try something new.
The best part is you won’t have to wait long! Hangar 6 R&D downloadable content for The Bureau: XCOM Declassified is available worldwide exclusively on the Xbox 360 for $4.99 starting October 8, 2013. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it.
- Harley and the Hangar 6 team at 2K Marin