Feedback from playthrough

Just finished my game on hero difficulty, ODI reaching 100 before I could deal with the alien entity, unfortunately. I am a big xcom fan and I hope some of my feedback can reach the devs and improve this game, as I think it has much potential for growth. Played released version from Epic games store.

Was waiting for this game for a long time, and overall I am satisfied. Some aspects exceeded my expectations while others came a bit short due to being somewhat unrefined.

Firstly, I have to address the audio aspect of the game, which, in my opinion, is the weakest point. The music is extremely monotonous and oppressive, which reflects the spirit of the world of Phoenix Point, but still hard to deal with after dozens of hours of gameplay. While action hero-style music from xcom2 wouldn’t fit here at all, I think more compromise is in order.
I kinda liked how other languages were available for your soldiers in xcom/xcom2, so I naturally missed that here, only 7 male and 7 female voice packs is sorta limited, I think.
Not sure whether I like voices of monsters, though I do feel they sound TOO human for being a product of some intergalactical space horror. Don’t like Scylla sounds at all though.
Archangel missile launcher seems to have some of its audio files missing altogether.

Overall balance of the game is quite decent, but there are some aspects of it I find annoying, most of all, the balance between aliens themselves. The most dangerous aliens were the basic tritons and arthons, as they had plenty of deadly and straightforward weapon systems to use. Triton with a sniper rifle and mist cover ability was the perfect sniper and arthron are overall superior infantry force with a clear advantage over my soldiers in every respect (more dps from machine gun, better explosives, more hp, more armor). Fighting them en masse was the biggest challenge this game could throw at me. On the other hand, chirons and scyllas were extremely underwhelming. One would expect the sight of a giant monster to be frightening, but it was everything but that. Seeing a scylla meant that this mission was a cakewalk, as a huge target that rushes into your crosshairs and gives a huge will penalty to every alien upon its demise was a a real treat instead. Not to mention, unlike arthrons, which had 3 DEADLY immediately ready to use ranged weapons, scylla has none. By the time it charges its blasters its gonna be long dead. In a game where line of sight is everything being huge is a major disadvantage. A waste of biomass, overall. Scylla needs a major buff while arthrons and tritons need at least some nerfs, their overall durability combined with multiple deadly weapon systems and overwhelming numbers lategame is a bit too much. Organic grenade launcher in particular has to have its HP reduced from 100 to something more manageable, and maybe produce a harmful reaction upon its destruction.
Return fire snipers seem to be too powerful, gauss machine gun and flamethrower seem to be almost completely useless. Vehicles taking 3 slots in transports seem to be too much, 2 would make more sense, imo. Without reload in the field being possible for them, they really do not bring much to the table.

Some generic stuff I noticed:

  1. names and gender from auto-generated soldiers do not match often
  2. antarctic mission took place in a green forest environment (lolwut?)
  3. many special missions seem to have mismatched factions (I needed to rescue a geneticist from synedrion from my debriefing, but was actually matched against new jericho) (merlin asked me to investigate some old world lab, but suddenly I had to fight an army of synedrion troops, despite being friendly with them)
  4. haven defense missions too repetitive, add some more modes to it, perhaps, like “hold the line” or ways to deal with them from geoscape itself.
  5. ODI is very well implemented overall, much more engaging than the boring doomtimer in xcom2, but maybe there could be some extra ways to slow it down? With one time special research options or special events maybe?
  6. Cover system with free aiming system could use some more refining, to be sure.
  7. Not sure I like that disabled body parts still fully contribute to overall health when struck. Killing a scylla by exclusively shooting it in one of its legs was kinda lame.
  8. Fire weaponry is too weak, considering most things in the game are flesh and blood biological organisms. Almost every alien can completely shrug off direct flamethrower attacks and just wade through the fire without much harm.
  9. some more soldier customization would be nice, I think, only 11 heads and 10 colours seem to be a bit too restrictive.

Overall, I had far more good experience than the bad from my playthrough and I hope this game will keep growing. All the best.