The Bureau: XCOM Declassified puts permadeath on display in new video

A new video from The Bureau: XCOM Declassified puts a goofy spin on self-sacrifice and permadeath in the upcoming third-person shooter. It's obvious that when you're repelling an alien invasion—and with Cold-War era technology, no less—you may have to make some tough decisions. Bu no matter how unhinged you are as a squad leader, the new trailer gently reminds us, "you only live once."

In a new blog post published Tuesday, James Clarendon, lead systems designer on The Bureau, informs us that a reckless strategy might cost you later in the game.

"Losing an agent can be tough; this is one of the biggest consequences of combat in The Bureau," writes Clarendon. "As the agents increase in rank, you'll be able to customize them by making choices as to which abilities and perks they gain. As you get deeper into the campaign, having a high-ranking agent in your squad can be the difference between life and death, so you'll want to keep them safe! You can have up to eight agents in reserve on your Agent Roster but make sure to rotate them regularly as each class has unique abilities that are critical for survival."

It looks like a healthy respect for death and good understanding of what I would call risk management will take a player far in the cover-base shooter. As we saw in some preview-build footage of The Bureau, a little over-aggressive, existential paranoia fits right into the classic, Cold War mythology the game is hinting at.

For more on The Bureau, check out our recent hands-on preview . The Bureau releases August 20 in the US and August 23 in the UK.