Appalled by Steam (Reviews)

offtopic (fantasy with an ambition to predict)

Purposely didnt read or get involved in the negativity or anything until it came to Steam. I figured the Epic store was an extended incubation period. Playing it now and am in love with it.
Am a bit worried that the anger a lot of people hold from their disappointment and their scathing reviews will hurt the future of this new IP.


This conversation has already happened many times. This game (game type: TBS, 40+ hours) only opens with time and after many playthroughs. Many of the shortcomings discussed on the forum become apparent only to veterans, but this does not mean that they are less destructive from this (a “lag bomb” is more dangerous).

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I am sure over time, more positive reviews will prevail. Less and less of criticized remains true, just for the beginning. I will soon buy Steam and leave Epic to my friend, adding a quite positive, yet rational review including some current downsides. Most importantly is to stress continuous work on improvement. Thus, it will be only game ever I owned twice :slight_smile:

Disabling user (or buyer) reviews is always a bad marketing decision, no matter what the root causes, real reasons, or fears might be, as it might risk to be seen as a deception move from a company which had something to hide.

Indeed, savvy prospective buyers should always be able to sift through all the products reviews, discarding the haters or unmeaningful ones and considering the really objective ones only

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I don’t think I quite agree. I think PP has a lot going for it, and some really great mechanics (like ballistic) but I don’t think it manages to take full advantage of those strength. Many of PP aspects are at: “they could be so much better then FiraXCOM” but don’t think they actually are.

FiraXCOMs lack depth, and tend to be too predictable after first playthrough, but I don’t think PP manages to do many interesting things with its grand concepts and individual great mechanics. OP skills negating ballistic systems was one such problem. They are constantly moving forward in a right direction, thought.

And yes, while graphics are easy to dismiss as unnecessary fluff, “game feel” is rather important, and PP feel rather unsatisfying to play - no matter if you more, shoot or manage the organisation.

All that comes of course from someone who didn’t have a chance to play PP is some weeks, if not months.


I think I understand what you’re saying, but have you played Chimera Squad?

When I said that “PP tops XCOM2 easily in basic mechanics” was because, after playing PP… I had fun with Chimera Squad, but man… I couldn’t stand the “chance to hit” anymore. It’s not that PP takes full advantage of its strengths, it sure does not, you’re right about that. It’s just that, for me, even with their flaws, these systems are still much better than firaxcom’s.

However in the end firaxcoms give you more FUN while PP still misses the right balance between fun and… chores. Which gives me pause to think about things like base management. I see a lot of new Steam players complaining about the global inventory. I hated that firaxcoms simply limited us to one base, but that one base part is fun. PP has multiple bases but they’re so bland and unimaginative that managing them is not fun. And people want to make it more of a chore?? I thank the devs for the global inventory, a lot of people would drop PP if it were not for it. In my head I feel that I want to manage multiple bases, but if none of them are fun… it still loses to firaxcoms in that aspect. I hope they can evolve it to be one more aspect where PP wins.

So there’s that, and in other areas too. I hated firaxcoms limiting us to 6-man squads. Then PP promised to go to 16 I think, but ended up in 8. However with the kind of superman skills we have, it’s really impossible to have more soldiers, else we would have to have much more enemies on missions and the game would become a drag as well as need a high-end machine to even play a mission.

I could go on but the point is, I agree with you about PP’s strengths, it’s just that in some aspects they’re still great nonetheless.


Yes, but that’s a $10 DLCs. It’s not taking advantage of FiraXCOM design either. Long War1 is still IMO the best modern XCOM game, regardless of %toHit. Firaxcom simplified CalculationToHit, and designed around that by creating classes and abilities - that adds adds it’s own depth to what would be basic system, which is satisfying in its own way. None of decision making of XCOM1&2 is present in Chimera as: 1) move order is pre-determined, 2) abilities have little to no cool down, resulting in mostly same actions every time 3) there is no exploration. That kills a lot of gameplay FiraXCOM decision making revolves around.

I am first in line to criticise XCOM1&2 designs, but overall, I think they achieve more of what they aim for, then PP does. While I like aspects of PP more, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend XCOM2:WotC, but I would very much hesitate recommending PP.

As one of people wishing for removing global inventory system - no, the point is not to give player more chores to make. The point is to give some, any depth to strategic layer - same with request for base personnel.

FiraXCOMs treat base management as a shop in-between actual game. Original UFO was about this synergy between Strategic and Tactical layer. I think PP could be a far engaging game, if we had better strategic layers - long term goals, dynamic threats to react to, tangible and exciting rewards for successful missions. As it is base building, inventory management, diplomacy are just that: chores. I don’t ask for more chores - I ask for base building, inventory management and diplomacy to be made into engaging game system - with feel of progression, reward for engagement, and ability to form clear long term goals. In LongWar mission present clear opportunities or threats. Each research is a valuable step forward. Plane management allows to create valuable opportunities, protect funding but also is a money sink. Even FiraXCOMs have this very rewarding loop of “the next thing” being right behind the corner - be it new enemy, new upgrade, new ammo type, new weapon. Damn, I would give XCOM2 another whirl if my computer worked.

Empire of Sin looked like a game that could finally do the genre justice, with what seems like a decent integration and interaction between strategic/tactical layer. I hear it was quite a mess however (tactical layer also seems rather “meh”). I will keep my eyes on it, and maybe give it a go once it is patched up.

I felt 6 man limit in FiraXCOM1, not at all in FiraXCOM2. I think that amount of active abilities gave enough choice-per-turn to keep it interesting.

I do think that with its excellent ballistic system, PP would benefit of bigger maps, bigger weapon variety, less active skills and more soldiers - like UFO or Xenonauts: make choices with positioning, item usage, and team grouping, rather then will point or cool down exonomy. Alas, that I think we can hope what Phoenix Point 2 can be. While active skills make FiraXCOM basic system more interesting, in PP they actively suppress its interesting bits. Still, the patch that changed enemy progression did wonders, already.

This is a great sentence, it sums up the difference perfectly. I still recommend it though to UFO and XCOM fans, as with all of its flaws, it’s a game that for years now has got AND kept me totally hyped up. I didn’t have this feeling in more than a decade.

You used some examples about Long War; unfortunately I’ve never played it, so I’m ill prepared to discuss in the same level as you. I’ve very little time to play nowadays. In my more simplistic view, PP’s strategic layer is very “chore-y” indeed, but I still feel like managing local inventories would just add more chore, maybe because the game is too fast-paced.

Totally agree here!

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You should try the Long War. If you are going to try one, I’d recommend LW2. It’s Friaxis XCOM done right and was essentially the only XCOM I played until PP came out.

For me, despite its flaws - and despite the fact that I didn’t feel I could buy PP for my best mate till this Christmas - PP has so many improvements over XCOM’s systems that I can forgive it for those flaws and work to persuade the devs to make them better.


I think regarding geoscape/Strategic Layer, the proper comparison to Phoenix Point is not Firaxis XComs (and the Long War mods), and not even the original X-Com, but X-Com Apocalypse, because that’s what it aims for, and falls very much short of.

The idea is that you have a world that operates independently of the player, that the player is just one more participant in it. And I think PP does achieve this to an extent, just not enough.


X-Com Apocalypse was a great game, even if it was somewhat unfinished.
The feeleing of a living world around you was absolutely fantastic!

Morever it introduced Active Pause Realtime system, which was later used in UFO:Afterlight/Aftermath/Aftershock series. And what’s more it actually had a Turn Based system as an alternative - something that I’ve never seen in any other game! (I mean, both system and freedom to choose before each mission).

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I disliked how this was implemented (the RTS element).
What I however highly regard was MODDABLE VEHICLES depending on tech researched. and needs *more speed, more firepower And MARSEC Corp. being back :slight_smile: This could be somewhat re-used.
It also had level generator and multiplayer.

Apocalypse was great, it just had to tiny graphics at time.

See OpenApoc

Also other fractions and relations with them, that “living world” is surely advancement there, and here in PP

Tried it, and having no bases, no geoscape … felt like melting down the gengre, not leveling it up,even graphics is great and some of skills are innovative. Tactical layer needs to be good, but its grand strategy Civ-like game vs unknown threat that you play :slight_smile:

Saying that I loved how long war made Faxis XCom way more complex. And would love to see more such options in PP - Custom difficulty!

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The problem for me with Long War is, well, it seems… long. :stuck_out_tongue:
I have a huge backlog of games to play and very little time to play them, so I must choose. I played XCOM once, XCOM:EW once, XCOM2 once, and XCOM2:WotC once. Comparatively, I played hundreds or thousands of hours of each of the 3 original X-Coms.

I’m already at the hundreds of hours with PP, when I don’t devote this much time to any game like this in years. I still want to play more. But I want to play an unbugged version of it. I would also like to play a better version, but I’m sure that as soon as I finish it once, I’ll only play it again after all the DLC has been released.

About X-Com apoc… it was my favorite game of the genre in all time, and that’s why the PP fig campaign was an immediate “shut up and take my money!!” moment.


In Firaxis, they understand, that good strategy game is about interesting/meaningful options, not quantity of options or micromanagement

They developed it in Civilization, and worked with that concept in their XCOM, as I read in interview

In PP You control many bases, but do not have “interesting options” with them

And My two cents about Steam reviews, the PP has 70% positive reviews, what is perfect result in my opinion

I was looking for steam release for long time, did not play PP before, only saw videos and read, that the game is bugged as hell, but now, I am bit “surprised” from the state of the game

The Phoenix Point is not “Holy Church, which is not allowed to be criticized” or “Misunderstand Masterpiece” - it has mess

Probably, because of a money from Epic Store, there was not need to make game profitable
I would say that now, finally released on steam, with the proper criticism and proper feedback, PP can make step forward

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As I said in my original post the initial reviews on Steam contained a large amount of so called reviews that didn’t even mention gameplay but the same old crap about the Epic deal. Things are changing with the reviews but I still find Steam a very toxic enviroment.


Just got hands on Steam release, too (eliminating Epic launcher … forever) and left a decent review

Coming from days of playing at Epic, I must say its great at both grand strategy and mission tactical level. Takes alien invasion story to a Lovecraftian-virus mutation level … and takes way more thinking and planning than Firaxis Xcom. Survival world along side 3 factions is well concieved, only remaining obstacle are certain in game unbalances and small bugs, but game progresses steadily over patches! Worth of try and days of gaming! Game has multiple endings and many variable factors which make it worth of replay!


Ehhh, I’m not sure you can truly say PP is great at grand strategy… passable extension for the tactics-focused gameplay, sure, but as a “grand strategy”… don’t think it’s at a “great” level, it feels more like a mobile strategy game level.

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Goeoscape, bases, trading and diplomacy are that level, and feel like more of then a mobile phone game.
But it depends who do you compare it. IT cannot reach Civ advanced levels for sure, and on other side, it is way more then Fireaxis offered, and deeper then original Xcom 1994.

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