Realised something obvious after the fact…
You get picked up in an AI controled Scarab… BUT YOU DO NOT START WITH A SCARAB!
That in itself adds to the lacking feeling of the introduction.
So, first of all…
Who are YOU…?
As the player, who are you?
In the tutorial, it comes of as you are a random stranger on the road when this vehicle rolls up to you and go;
“I can give you weapons and armor if you get into my van…!”
Compare it to the Xcom initiative, you are already briefed that it is a thing already assembled, already exist and up and runing, and you have been charged with commanding it and expanding it.
Not really much more of an identity neccesary - you know what you are, you know what you must do, you know that you were chosen to do it.
Here, a LOT is different.
Phoenix Point has been dead for seemingly decades, and suddenly you get a message from this dead orginization? Not only message, an AI controled APC specificaly to pick you up… what?
Were you a Phoenix Point operative? Why were you not at base? Why did you need to be introduced to the basic knowledge of who the founders/leader is?
I believe that the introduction could have been handled much better with seemingly small alterations!
If I were to write the player introduction, here is how I would portray it:
Suggested alternative orgin story:
You, as the player, are a part of a small band of Haevenless survivors. You cross roads with an expedition of a minor faction, calling themselves Phoenix Point. The last known unit left of a once grand international orginization conducting research into the Pandora virus.
A Pandoran attack ensues, slaughtering the camp, the soldiers and the scientist.
Your group of Haevenless survivors, and a handfull of soldiers and their commander are desperatly staging a holdout against the mutant horde.
The AI controled Manticore (not scarab) finaly arrives, and with it, the hope of escape. Your group are ordered to board the Scarab, and as you do, the Pandorans are breaknig through.
In a last ditch effort Commander Randolph Symes commands the Scarab to close and send it to base, while he and his last remaining tropps buying every second they can.
And thus, the Phoenix Point has fallen…
Arriving with the Manticore at the base, you marvel at the underground bunker, eventually stumbeling upon it’s computers with a pre-recorded message:
“I am Randolph Symes, and if you are hearing this, I am probably dead…”
Having traveled the wastes your entire lives, you decide that this can now be your new home, and with it, a chance to repay the people that saved your life - Phoenix Point will rise again!
This gives a reason why there are so few of you left, this gives a reason why you are a random nobody, this gives a reason as to why you have little to no knowledge about the Pandora virus - even a little reason as to why you know so little about the actual factions. It explains why you need to learn more about Phoenix Point itself.
And it would give you a worthwile introduction tutorial mission where you have this group of soldiers on the frontline, trying to tacticaly retreat, and ending up not reaching the Evac in time - which would also teach you about the fact of losing troops.
It may not be a perfect solition, but I feel this woul be more servicable than the current introduction and tutorial.