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Julian Gollop, a veteran developer famous for creating the original X-COM games, and his studio, Snapshot Games have announced their next project – Phoenix Point. It features turn based tactics and world based strategy in a fight against a terrifying, alien menace.
The game is being funded through Fig, and seeks a modest, by today's standards, $500,000.
There is an introductory video:
And a feature list:
The Phoenix Point
The Phoenix Project is a worldwide organisation designed to be activated when the world is in peril. You control one cell of the organisation, gathering some of the world’s best scientists, engineers and soldiers. After your cell is activated, you realise that you have no contact with any other cells. You need to find out what happened to them.
A mutating alien threat
The Pandoravirus can mutate living forms, and it can incorporate DNA from multiple species and clone them rapidly. You will face an alien threat that mutates and evolves new forms in response to your tactics. Our procedural generation system for the aliens can generate a huge variety of challenges and surprises for you on the battlefield.
You will also face intense boss fights against large monsters. Monsters may have multiple abilities for attack, defence, generating mist and spawning larvae. You will need to use body-part targeting to progressively disable their abilities.
Turn based, squad based battles
Each mission will require you to deploy a squad of four or more soldiers, sometimes accompanied by aerial or ground based drones. Battles are turn based, with overwatch and return fire providing a great level of interaction. Soldiers have a willpower stat as well as endurance. Will points are used to spend on special abilities and strenuous physical or mental exertion.
Your soldiers gain experience through battles and training in specialised facilities. There are extensive skill trees for each class of soldier. Skill knowledge is developed from research and interaction with other human factions through trading, alliances or conflict.
Weapons and equipment
There is a large variety of weapons and equipment based on various technologies - some old, some new, and some quite alien. Each human faction has their own tech which you can acquire through trade or conflict. Through your own research you will be able to combine and develop unique technologies.
Procedural, destructible environments
The many different battle locations include havens with faction specific facilities and architecture, and scavenging sites, such as abandoned military bases and factories. Our mission system generates battle layouts based on the facilities and structures located at havens, phoenix bases and alien bases. Everything is potentially destructible.
The geoscape gives you a strategic view of the world situation. From here you plan all your operations, construction, research and missions. Exploration is an important initial objective. You must attempt to make contact with havens, discover scavenging sites and locate special Phoenix Project sites. You can monitor the thick microbial mist rolling in from the sea which represents an increased threat of alien activity.
There are a great many types of missions and objectives, often based on interactions with the other human factions. Havens will frequently request assistance fighting off alien incursions, but sometimes you will be asked to intervene in a conflict between the human factions. You will get involved in kidnaps, rescues, assassinations, sabotage, infiltration, haven takeovers and base defence missions. You will need to find out what happened to the Phoenix organisation, which involves remote locations and some missions with an archaeological aspect. Then there are the assaults on alien bases and the giant alien land walkers.
The world of Phoenix Point is divided into several large factions dominated by charismatic leaders or powerful ideologies. They each harbour secrets which may provide clues for solving the problem of the alien menace.
Seems quite good, doesn't it? A triumphant return of the X-COM formula, spruced up a bit by the modern innovations. And in case you're worried that the game is going to be overly simplified, the FAQ alleviates some of those worries:
Will the game use time units or have a 2-action system?
Our tactical system is currently using something of a hybrid. Generally a character has potentially two actions per turn - movement and use of equipment. However, if an enemy is spotted while moving then the movement is halted and the player can react, either by moving or firing. This could happen multiple times per character movement. Additionally, Will Points are a very important factor. These can be used to extend movement, firing or add other actions to a soldier’s turn, depending on the abilities of the character or equipment in use.
Will there be a pod system?
When you said 4+ squads, that means the starting lineup is 4?
Four is the lower limit for deploying a squad, not a starting limit. Squad Sizes can be as high as 16, depending on the transport available and the type of mission. A more limiting factor on squad size would be the scarcity of recruits and ongoing injuries (or mental traumas) of soldiers.
Honestly, I would have much preferred Time Units, or at least Fallout-style Action Points. On all the other fronts, though, things are looking mighty fine.
The Fig campaign will be active until June 8, 2017.