Game Review: Phoenix Point

Pandora’s Box opened wide

Phoenix Point is the spiritual successor to both the original X-COM developed back in 1994 and the more modern reinterpretation of the game XCOM: Enemy Unknown. The game, much like the original X-COM tasks you, a leader of a secretive organization focused on the protection of the planet, fighting against the alien horde. The new twist is that the game has an interesting three faction dynamic and the aliens are taking more from Lovecraftian horror with the threat being tied to the encroaching mist and the hidden horrors held within. The depth of the game is surprising, given a great deal of initial funding came from a Kickstarter started by one of the key figures of both the original X-Com and Phoenix Point Julian Gollop.

The sleeper musn’t waken

The game seems to take a lot of its system from the original game given the focus on having several bases across the world, managing and focusing on individual unit equipment, etc. So while it may not have the level of cosmetic choices of XCOM 2 it does provide some, however, more would be appreciated. As always, one of the best charms I found in XCOM games, was making unique characters with their own stories and naming them only for them to fall in a glorious manner. So while Phoenix Point may not have that level of customizability it’s still fun seeing your character level up to deal with the issues at hand.

The part of the game that interest me is the dialect between the hub world, with you securing across the remnants of the world attempting to find resources to survive, and the combat system that it takes the intial XCOM: Enemy Unknown system and elevates to a greater level. With a particular focus on damage that occurs in accordance to the type of ballistic used, the game gives players the ability to level and entire map to make sure that nothing makes it out there alive. The system also gives players the ability to weaken specific limbs and parts of the body of enemy forces, allowing you to weaken or disable certain abilities of the enemy units.

Nuke it from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.

I suppose perhaps one of weaker points of the game, is that while enemies will adapt to the different tools used, after fighting most of the enemies you begin to fell you know all of them pretty well. What I may have enjoyed, is perhaps more enemy model types as I would love to have faced a threat similar to the like of Faceless or the champions from XCOM 2. However, both of these came after the initial XCOM: Enemy Unknown game launch and was likely inspired by the mod scene.

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In summary, the game was a great deal of fun to play, even though I had to try out and download the Epic Store. I would highly recommend the game those who want to try out the XCOM style games but with a unique twist to the formula.

Score: 8/10

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