Phoenix Point. The ‘spiritual successor’ of the original X-COM directed by Julian Gollop.
Snapshot Games led by the English game designer who kicked off this memorable series of turn-based strategists comes back with his new game who takes the X-COM formula and make it better.
With Phoenix Point we will talk about non-linear progression, dynamically destructible environments, soldiers customizations, procedurally generated world and enemies, different factions and much more.
The Phoenix Point project & Pandoravirus
Phoenix Point tells about the discovery of a virus with only 1% of the known genes, called Pandoravirus. This virus can merge the DNA of several species and clone them with a disarming speed.
In 2022 something goes wrong: the oceans, in fact, start to turn into a pulsating alien mass and the mutants invade the earth in the form of a deadly fog. Mankind is literally decimated and finds shelter in various platforms scattered around the world.
The game starts in 2057, with the survivors now divided into factions of often conflicting ideologies, struggling to control the few resources available.
We take control of the Phoenix Project, a world organization created to defend the earth. Our task is bringing together the best scientists, engineers and soldiers and investigate who and what caused the virus to spread.
We begin our adventure in command of a solitary base, the Phoenix Point, and face a series of strategic and tactical challenges in an effort to save us and the rest of humanity from annihilation by the alien threat.
In the course of the adventure, we must take a series of decisions that will lead to alternative endings.
In the world of Phoenix Point we will meet 3 different factions:
- The new Jericho – A militaristic faction who tries to reclaim the earth from the alien threat.
- Disciples of Anu – A religious order who thinks that the Pandoravirus was sent by a God to punish humanity’s crime.
- Synedrion – A faction who tries to build a new society and rebuild the earth.
Each faction has their agenda that differs from each campaign. You can learn more about Phoenix Point factions here.
The strategic layer (Geoscape)
As in the best X-com style tradition, there is the strategic phase (with the world map at our hand), where we will have to plan our moves, carry out research, manage soldiers and choose our objectives.
Each campaign will be different from the previous one thanks to the procedurally generated system that modify every time the world, enemies and factions choices. This guarantees a high replayability rate.
We have to expand to gain the necessary resources to improve the army and to do so will have to establish diplomatic relations with other human factions.
We will use the Geoscape to deploy squads of soldiers in tactical combat missions in different parts of the world. Our missions will lead us to abandoned military or civilian infrastructure, alien encampments, and Phoenix project facilities.
In some missions our soldiers will have to move without being seen by the huge aliens walkers.
The mutating enemies
Everything focuses on creatures, able to evolve through a procedural system and, based on our choices, new species will be created, thus assuming characteristics that are always different and surprising depending on the fused DNA.
So we will have a very high variety of enemies, with always different challenges and therefore with the need to know how to adapt to our enemies.
To make it clear, for example, two creatures will be similar but at the same time will have very different characteristics depending on the various fusions.
Our soldiers and their will
In every X-com style game, one aspect we love is managing our soldiers, customize them, let them gain experience until they become war machines.
All these aspects are present in Phoenix Point with lots of interesting additions.
The skills and the “Willpower” further differentiate Phoenix Point from the recent X-COM, because they allow our soldier to perform special actions on the battlefield, very often fundamental to overthrow the fate of the battle.
A soldier whose willpower fall below zero can suffer a panic attack or lose sanity. The combat system, in fact, can involve physical or psychological injuries, but it will hardly cause the permanent death of an agent.
What soldiers suffer in battle, however, can lead to addictions to drugs, permanent physical disabilities and even madness.
In case of serious injuries, our soldiers could not exploit the full potential of the equipment or some weapons.
The assault teams can consist of a minimum of four to a maximum of sixteen soldiers.
The VATS pointing system.
When we target an enemy, we can choose which part of the body to hit, with a Fallout VATS similar system.
This allows us to make more tactical choices as we can choose the body part of the enemies to hit so we can slow down enemies, negate their attacks and so on.
Phoenix Point release date
The development of Phoenix Point proceeds after a crowdfunding campaign on FIG. To all the backers were given the chance to download a playable demo and those who have tried the first versions of Phoenix Point have released enthusiastic comments. The game seems more unpredictable and brutal than the recent XCOM of Firaxis Games.
At first, the game had to be released towards the end of 2018. In May Julian Gallop announced that he had postponed the released to mid-2019 in order to complete the game better.
Below you will find a narrated demo gameplay and some screenshots.
In the meanwhile check all our overview for the best turn-based games and then we invite you to share information about Phoenix Point with us and to join our STEAM community.