The Bureau: XCOM Declassified

Director Henry Hobson And Dominic Monaghan On The Burn Room Series
by Mike Futter on Aug 09, 2013 at 02:02 AM
Platform PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC
Publisher 2K Games
Developer 2K Marin
Rating Mature

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."

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The Bureau: XCOM Declassified

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