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The Bureau dev diary explains the six 'Ts' of XCOM

A new developer diary for The Bureau: XCOM Declassified focuses on how the game hits the pillars of the XCOM franchise.

The six Ts of XCOM, says creative director Morgan Gray, are Team, Tactics, Technology, Tools, Terror and Tension. The player is part of a team and will fail if he or she tries to take on the aliens solo, says Gray; proper use of one's squad-mates is essential to victory. Similarly, attempts to rush the enemy squad head-on will end in a bloody death and a player must make proper use of tactics.

Technology and Tools go hand-in-hand, says Gray. XCOM is about humans fighting an alien invasion with initially subpar equipment, but are able to upgrade their forces with alien technology. The alien tech also grants special tools like hologram projectors, air strikes and invisibility fields that must be used in order to outwit and outfight the foe.

Likewise, Terror and Tension are very similar. Terror is self-explanatory; the idea of fighting grotesque alien invaders out to conquer humanity is an unsettling one, as is the sense of being outgunned. Tension, however, relies on the game's real-time nature: While the player can slow time down to give comrades orders, he or she will never have an unlimited amount of time to make the decisions in the middle of combat.

The Bureau launches on Aug. 20 in North America, and Aug. 23 in PAL regions.

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