Julian Gollop first released XCOM: UFO Defense in 1994 under Mythos Games. 18 years later, XCOM: Enemy Unknown came out as a successful reboot to Gollop’s original tactical title. Now, the father behind the tactical alien invasion game has released a gameplay video for his new tactical game, Phoenix Point. Although very similar in many ways to XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Phoenix Point adds extra layers of tactics that make for extra twists for when it releases.
Although in terms of style, subject matter, mechanics and some UI, Phoenix Point takes many cues from the XCOM reboots. The similarities are real: Overwatch is seeing a return; basic soldier classes like Sniper, Assault are back, two move-system is back, fear and panic systems are back, armor system from XCOM 2 is here, the ‘Geoscape’ etc.
Some cool differences to note between them are that it seems Gollop is taking some cues from Fallout 4 and its V.A.T.S. system, wherein the video above demonstrated the sniper class being able to target specific limbs on an enemy. Overwatch is also seeing a return, but with some differences. It appears that basic abilities like Overwatch and special abilities like ‘run & gun’ (move with both turns, but also able to fire after), use a specifically limited resource called Will.
Ooo, boss battles! Yes please!
The demo only lasted 15 minutes or so, but what it didn’t show is what secured the XCOM reboots as a mainstay in the tactical genre: The difficulty. In XCOM: Enemy Unknown and XCOM 2, the game allows you to customize the hair, body, armor, color, tint, backstory, nickname and allows you to rank up, level up, give medals, and train your soldiers. All in the name of eventually you made a wrong move and that 98% chance to hit turned into a situation where your beloved soldier you spent so many hours on, dies. This is the kind of beautiful difficulty that hopefully, Phoenix Point capitalizes on in order to meet its match in the tactical space.
V.A.T.S. in a tactical game. Yep.
Still, the XCOM reboots were absolutely amazing, and I would love another installment in the tactical genre, even though the website indicates there are zero plans for multiplayer. Especially since Gollop is taking cues from his predecessors’ reboots, I’m definitely keeping an eye on this one. Phoenix Point is set to release sometime in Q4 2018 on PC, Linux, and Mac.
Well geeks, are you looking forward to Phoenix Point as much as I am? Sound off in the comments!