Phoenix Point Released, Reviews

Following over three years of development and a successful Fig campaign, Snapshot Games' Phoenix Point is now available for purchase on the Epic Games Store. The standard edition of Julian Gollop's latest X-Com style project will set you back $39.99 or your regional equivalent and offer you a chance to fight back a mutating alien threat using squad-based tactics and the power of diplomacy.

Check out the official launch trailer:

And the game's description:

Phoenix Point puts players in the midst of a desperate fight to take back the Earth from a mutating, alien menace. Featuring turn-based tactical combat on procedurally generated maps, and resource management on a global scale, Phoenix Point offers endless replayability and a brutal challenge.

Following a global environmental disaster, the Pandoravirus appeared and began reshaping creatures, including humans, into hideous mutants. Unable to stop the progress of the virus, much of human civilization was wiped out -- only small enclaves remain, separated by their principles and the vast landscape. The Phoenix Project, an ancient failsafe against global catastrophe is the only hope to unite mankind and take back the planet.

Lead the Phoenix Project from its base at Phoenix Point. Research and develop new technologies and techniques, plan operations, build alliances to unite the planet-- or simply destroy your rivals. It's up to you to save the planet and rebuild civilization, but there may be much more to the alien threat than meets the eye.
  • Mutating Alien Menace: Face down an ever-changing alien threat that adapts to your tactics and offers no respite even as your team becomes more powerful and technologically advanced.
  • Uncover the Secrets of the Pandoravirus: Phoenix Point features a complex narrative, with multiple endings that the player can only uncover via multiple playthroughs. Discover a secret history, as you learn about the origins of the mutants, the Pandoravirus, and Phoenix Point itself through exploration, diplomacy, and research.
  • Manage Diplomatic Relations: The Phoenix Project is not the only organization trying to reclaim the Earth. The militaristic New Jericho, the mystical Disciples of Anu, and the technophiles of Synedrion all offer unique rewards for co-operation and threats for opposition. It is up to you to decide how, or even if, to deal with them.
  • Take Aim on the Battlefield: In addition to equipping and commanding units, Phoenix Point lets you take direct control of your soldier's shots in combat, with a unique free-aiming system. Target enemy weakspots, weapons, or valuables, or just go for center mass.
  • Next-Gen Tech with Classic Pedigree: Phoenix Point was designed by Julian Gollop, the creator of the X-COM series in the 1990s. Keeping the core ethos of X-COM while updating the visuals, technology, and systems to modern standards has made Phoenix Point best-in-class.

And if you'd like to know what the critics think about this game, you should check out the reviews below:

PC Gamer 77/100:

Despite shortcomings, Phoenix Point won me over. In that way, it's just like the X-COM: UFO Defense that I fell in love with years ago. It's a bit of a mess, but it's a mess filled with clever ideas and idiosyncratic gameplay you won't find anywhere else. Mush X-COM: Apocalypse and XCOM: Enemy Unknown together and you get Phoenix Point. Unfortunately, someone's put a cup of roaches into the batter too.

Eurogamer Scoreless:

Playing Phoenix Point has been a powerful propulsion back through my past, pinballing me through 25 years of alien-fighting nostalgia. And if I still find myself returning to it again, keen to blow the floor out from under another tentacled terror the moment I finish this review, then you know it's got much more right than wrong. Even if I never reach the end, I will still have enjoyed the journey, and the friends (soldiers) I met (renamed as my friends) along the way.

PCGamesN 8/10:

Certainly, if you’re genre devotee, a fan of Gollop’s back catalogue, or just want to see your board gaming tastes represented in digital form, Phoenix Point is well worth considering. Its many strengths outweigh a scattering of rather abstract weaknesses, and those shortcomings only warrant scrutiny because of its tremendous legacy. Because if you call your project a ‘spiritual successor to X-Com’, you inevitably face comparison to not just a genre great, but one of the most celebrated games there is.

Rock Paper Shotgun Scoreless:

There’s slow-burn greatness in Phoenix Point. It’s a game where you might be exploring a site, bracing for ambush, but instead find an abandoned theme park dedicated to a novelty boy band of hedge fund managers called the Lucrative Lads. Where you dread the thud of a parasitic worm dropping from a roof to the ground at your feet. Where the cold utilitarianism trained by XCOM slowly melts, and ideology begins to influence your diplomacy. It’s warmer, stranger, than its genremates. But it’s harder work to enjoy. Like its most outlandish guns and powerful armours, it takes a few hours’ research to get there.

Strategy Gamer 4/5:

Phoenix Point works, and is overall pretty good - the strategic layer puts you in charge of multiple squads, vehicles and bases while at the same time conducting diplomacy, research and managing logistics. Truth be told, I almost wish that I could play Phoenix Point without the tactical battles, as at the moment the tactical layer feels sterile, and can be a bit obtuse. For all its highs, it also boasts some serious lows, and the end result is equal parts interesting and slightly off-putting.

VG247 3/5:

Like XCOM, then, Phoenix Point is a gripping tactical strategy game. Like XCOM, it’s frequently lovely to look at, wonderfully tense, and there’s a lot of depth and customisation to be found in its almost endlessly replayable combat scenarios. I like most of its unique ideas – the more freeform overworld and faction setup – but that overwhelming sense of deja vu is inescapable in much of its design. Regardless of whether this game is borrowing, stealing or reclaiming ideas from the series that inspired it, it sort of doesn’t matter: Phoenix Point is all a little too like XCOM to move the genre forward in any huge way.

God is a Geek 9/10:

While Snapshot did themselves no favours making this an Epic Store exclusive, it would be a shame for people to miss out due to the platform it’s available on. Mild performance issues aren’t enough to put a dampener on proceedings, although the difficulty spikes might be. Only go into this if you’re prepared to swear and sweat as much as cheer. Die hard fans of XCOM will likely fall in love with Phoenix Point, a hard-as-nails challenge that offers procedurally-generated replayability and a suite of tactics to help you thrive on and off the battlefield. It’s sometimes frustrating, sure, and doesn’t always feel as atmospheric as XCOM, but there’s no denying that Phoenix Point brings something new and exciting to the table.

Trusted Reviews 4.5/5:

If you like XCOM then you’ll love Phoenix Point. For the first few hours it feels very much like a re-skinned XCOM rather than a “spiritual successor”. But as you play it the wealth of small tweaks and improvements Snapshot Studios has made begin to shine through. This plus the ridiculous amount of attention to detail the writers have given the game’s plot, which at first glance is fairly by the numbers Sci-Fi, make it one of the most compelling turn-based strategy games on the market and a thoroughly fun play, if you can put up with the bugs.

Finally, you may also be interested in this recent developer blog post that shares some release information along with the winner of the official writing competition.