Director Henry Hobson And Dominic Monaghan On The Burn Room Series - The Bureau: XCOM Declassified - Xbox 360 -
Switch Lights

The lights are on

What's Happening

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified

Director Henry Hobson And Dominic Monaghan On The Burn Room Series

In a media-only webcast yesterday, 2K Games gave us a chance to hear from actor Dominic Monaghan and director Henry Hobson, the two minds behind The Bureau: XCOM Declassified's Burn Room live action series. There is more depth in these shorts than anyone could have imagined.

We also got a look at the "gun" ending from the Ennis Cole "The Decision" trailer. 2K Games suspects that people didn't choose the gun for fear of an on-screen suicide. It turns out that the ending is one of determination and revenge, as Cole promises to live on and avenge his son. 

The bottle ending was one of desperation and despair. Fans chose "the bottle" by less than 1 percent, with over 20,000 people voting. 

The entirety of that short was filmed in an hour and a half, which was no doubt facilitated by Monaghan's role in crafting the narrative. He was responsible for writing much of the dialog and script. "We tried to put as much depth and interesting stuff in as short an amount of time as possible," Monaghan said.

We also learned that the name "Ennis Cole" was chosen for a number of meetings. "Cole is a very North American name," Monaghan said. "It has an enigma base to it. Is he a good guy? Is he a bad guy?" The first name was chosen because of Monaghan's childhood crush, but also because he feels that North Americans often have first names that could be last names and vice versa.

Monaghan also discussed how he shaped the character through subtlety. "He's not a good typist," he explained. "He's not a big drinker, and this is out of character for him."

For Hobson, creating the series was about giving players a brief glimpse into a much bigger story. In fact, he would like to see The Bureau become a larger project. "I can't think of anything that I'd like to work on more," he told us. Both he and Monaghan identified the changing landscape of dramatic television as Netflix and Amazon have entered the production business that might make this possible.

The Burn Room saga concludes today with The Aftermath. Here are all of the live action shorts:

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified is less than two weeks away. It arrives on August 20 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Is this the last we've seen of Henry Hobson's vision for the XCOM universe? With any luck, the answer to that is "no."

Email the author , or follow on , , and .

  • Very cool. This web series was fantastic and a great way to lead into the game.

  • "Cole is a very North American name, it has an enigma base to it. Is he a good guy? Is he a bad guy?" I wonder if this is a reference to Infamous 1/2 and the name Cole left him with that impression.
  • Well damn, we should have went with the gun, but when they show you a liquor bottle and a gun, it did look like an option of drink back the sorrow or eat a bullet.

  • Dominic Monaghan is a awesome actor.

  • Very interesting series,I enjoyed it a lot.

  • Very good team they got there. Hope they get their chance to do a ful Xcom production of some sort.

  • For the love of God Netflix, turn this into a series. It would AMAZING.

    I voted but I chose the bottle because I didn't want Cole to die. If I would have known it was for revenge. Would have chosen differently. /:

    Otherwise this has been the best live action series I've ever seen & it has persuaded me to buy this game day 1!