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Phoenix Point, the new Snapshot Games strategy game, is now available and has many features in common with the original Xcom delivery and the modern restoration made by Firaxis. In fact, if you pay attention to the capture of this analysis you would think that we write about Xcom 3 given the similarities between both frameworks. Recently, many strategy games inspired by this fantasy series are popping up, but none of them are in a curriculum like Phoenix Point. We spent a long time trying it when it was in development and finally with the final product in our hands, so we'll have to see if it can compete with Xcom 2, the rival that has set the bar high.
It has some problems, but it also has some good features. The first thing we will find is the style of the Lovesters style that sets it apart from the rest of the games in its category. Here they are not like aliens from outer space, but they will have to fight a virus that was frozen in the snow, but thanks to a global warming that has been able to resume. Pandoravirus – that's what they call it – turns people into disgusting monsters with columns like those rocks and certain macabre powers. We will take action right now when mankind is about to surrender after a few years under this threat.
Thaw also contributes to the distribution of land, as the sea level has risen and has taken over part of the surface. This has impacted the planning we know, because humanity is no longer divided by countries. We will now meet three groups; one would like its members to be pure people, one would like technology and the third would have no problems with this revolutionary attack. We are able to work together as the heads of the Phoenix project, a bizarre organization that seeks to rebuild the Earth in the face of existential threats.
The game is divided into two halves. We will spend part of our time fighting the tactics of the soldiers we employ, training and equipping us with tactics that we immerse at the level of the fly. Many times we will experience the complexity of an emerging strategy, but we believe that part of the strategy was the most exciting of the two, at least for us.
It will all start with the foundation and flight we are going to be marked on the map of the world – or the geoscape, as they call it here -, to explore everything we go and talk to the people we meet. Once we have researched a region, fought in a few parts – which we will talk about later – and resolved something related to a building, we can identify the boundaries of where we find ourselves in order to reveal new goals that we may be looking at later. This will be a way of moving the world forward, recruiting new soldiers into the communities we visit and overcoming them with that or anything that crosses our path.
We found the three-part program to be quite interesting, but our experience has been amazing. We didn't want to clash with any of them, but the game seemed to force us to do so. We enjoyed meeting new characters as we explored the world, and the introduction of new material was done differently, gradually reflecting the game's art. However, the descriptions sometimes leave us interesting and in order to understand the whole plot we will have to investigate the game's internal wiki.
Our progress depends not only on the forward movement, but also on the state of our operations. Developing a base or investigating will be key activities in our apocalyptic shopping list. We can also build our own strategic use options, and thanks to good engineering we can build our own weapons. Each soldier will be able to develop his skills according to the tree based on classes, but they will be able to gain a second rank when the other levels go up. This would greatly help our military forces to agree on different scenarios from the outset rather than provide this benefit to the final ratings of the title.
Once all this is done, it will only fight. All maps are subdivided into cells by the amount of cover available for cover and properties we can explore. Maps contain procedural material, which, though, reveals a great deal of variability, also brings back the feeling that everything is not cooked like it is done by hand. Most of the tasks are clear and complete at the time the goal is achieved. However, some AI decisions end up leading the authenticity of the fight. We have seen how our enemies sometimes did impossible things like go straight to the enemy and prove that it was an easy thing to get rid of. However, this doesn't always happen, but the few times it happens it breaks the spirit of the game.
Phoenix Point may have been rooting for some crab mutants – using a system like VATS for our favorite Flout – but this week we spent time looking for problems, and that doesn't mean we get into trouble with bugs. In one case a creature born of Pandora's influence was able to turn the enemy into an eternal object, so we had to restart. In one case the tactics were broken and did not allow us to send our energy anywhere we should, so we have to go back to the last point, something that has taken hours to progress. We also got busy on small mistakes that didn't break the game – most of the time it was a struggle – but eventually many beans made it to the mountain and ended up breaking the pool which is very difficult to keep the building on its own.
The AI is very simple, often the enemies work directly and thoughtlessly, and the battles end sooner rather than later, especially if we use the flexibility that gives us the best. In other games of this type, there are usually two stages in each character's action, but here a different strategy is chosen. Players can move their units on board using action points, allowing for more flexibility. There is also a fitness program that works just like the previous one that allows us to perform extra actions and skills.
The soldiers will also be damaged in certain areas of their body, so if they get a bullet in their arm they may not be able to use that hand to turn off the next opportunity. This will force us to keep our inventory under control, since the developer is paying close attention to this part. We can collect items in boxes or corpses that we fall for, whether they are enemies or friends. In fact, the maps are so interactive that it's amazing, and the fact that we find ourselves with some flaws hasn't stopped us from enjoying breaking the covers, something that adds more variety to the clever section and looks like gloves in the game.
Enemies can be many different types, because each party has a variety of variables, each with different abilities that will force us to re-execute our tactics when we find them. There are some enemies that look like weapons with legs and not mutants, so a couple of pairs won't be enough. But often we have found a sufficient number of units, something of a fresh breath with a few soporific levels. The recording phase meets expectations, but the audio may be shorter than expected. The soundtrack can eliminate repetition, and the auxiliary voiceover has been somewhat overlooked.
We have been waiting a long time to see the rival Xcom 2 game, and Snapshot has managed to create the right observer for him with a fun structure and an intriguing plot layer. But all of this is not enough to hold him back, because Phoenix Point has an enemy at home; bugs We can justify some drops as in the audio section. But for a limited budget there is no reason to market a product that requires a few updates to make it shine as it should. AI is useless, because its lack of common sense throws some fun situations into the ground. After all, Phoenix Point is still a viable option if you want to worry something and love tactical games.