So i have access to the final mission and i sided with the disciples of anu for my first playthrough so I do not know how the other 2 factions hold up.
Feeling and story
So in general the ideas of the game are good but the execution needs work. For example music, there is no music whatsoever for when battle is joined. In the backer builds there was that creepy music that played the really made you feel “you are fighting creepy monsters”. This makes combat feel boring and stale, there is nothing to put you in the mood for a fight, take xcom 2 for example when the avenger is attacked on specific track plays the entire time but it makes you understand this could be your final stand the enemy will hit you with everything they got so you will too.
There is also no introduction to the new enemy types they are just slammed in front of you with no comment, which brings me to another point there is no mission control like Bradford. Just someone to make you feel like you actually have a team with you even if they are there just to comment on the situation and stuff it makes it feel like you are not the only person alive that has higher brain functions beyond shoot everything.
Your soldiers also feel lifeless beyond missions we see nothing of them, what do they do in their free time etc. They feel more like robots than anything else. For example in xcom enemy unknown you would spot your soldiers doing things around the base making a connection much easier like “hey my favorite assault was having a glass at the bar” and those moments turn to saddness when they get shot down. Even the death of your soldiers in phoenix point isnt particularly dramatic, no screams or slow motion fall just plop and then you have confirmation he is dead on your next turn by his portrait being greyed out. Instead of sorrow i feel more like annoyance.
Another example is the lack of personnality for special classes, for example the berserker i was expecting some raging blood thirsty psychopath yet they talk like a perfectly sane person.
In terms of weapon advancement i feel like it is far too much in the aliens favor. The assault rifles become useless late game as they cant punch through the armor of any pandorian (even if it did the pandorians have more than enough health to shrug it off) yet every single crab men has a machine gun that has good range, accuracy, damage and armor shredding. This means that at no point in the game do i feel like my guys are actually protected by their armor (event he heaviest ones). Yet the pandorians can happily charge across the field as the only weapons that are a threat to them without having to get too close is the heavy cannon and a sniper to shoot off their limbs. I mean does no one know how to make miniguns and stuff that dont shoot gauss ammo?
My biggest gripe is it feel like it is everyone against phoenix point. Whenever i defend a haven there is no one there to aid me despite the game saying there is a defense forces yet its only my guys doing something yet when i get attacked by the faction they have soldiers all of a sudden.
Speaking of haven and base defenses it is fairly boring as the enemy is always already inside. There is never an assault from a wall with turrets as the enemy charges forward in an attempt to break through. even in phoenix bases there is no automated security or barricades.
Incorrect descriptions: For example the regenerator torso is meant ot heal “all” body parts yet doesnt heal the legs. The stomp legs should give the stability stance yet it doesnt.
Poison is overpowered: The amount of times a bunch of crab men charged my guy and all spat at him giving zero chance to save him as the damage he gets on his turn far outstrips his health. Yet acid a substance that can melt through a lot of things does no damage.
No behemoth: Was really looking forward to them
I feel like the game lacks a real variety of enemy types, sure they have different components but ultimately they do the same thing. Considering lore wise the virus mixes up DNA from different species i am surprised at how little imagination it seems to have why are there no shark men, tiger, bears, spiders etc. So many dangerous creatures at its disposal and the virus makes no real use of them.
So first up the crabmen, overall they are ok but their guns need to be changed, since all of them shred armor and still have a high damage score they can cripple anyone with just a few bullets and since they come in such large numbers they just need to spray and pray and they are bound to hit something. Their melee weapon is also a bit too strong considering its damage and the fact that they can hit up to 3 times if they move a bit. Maybe make a variant that weild a two handed heavy machine gun that can shred armor and remove the armor shredding and low the damage of the “regular” guns.
Tritons, not much to say they are okay, just the fact that their late game can tank a shot from the heavy cannon is not ok. They arent some hulking mass of muscle so why the hell can they survive that kind of thing.
Sirens annoying but manageable a bit too tough for my taste but still can deal with them.
Chirons broken mother fuckers. So chirons are by far the most unbalance pandorian in the game, they tend to be on the other side of the map and you have no way of knowing before hand they are there. You could be fighting a group of crabmen like usual only for you to get bombarded by 6 shots from the other side of the map with great accuracy destroying all your equipement and crippling your guys.
I feel like how they shoot varies from the firing distance, for example if its super far they need a turn to aim but with great accuracy leaving you the choice of moving or stay. If its medium range he can fire straight away with an accuracy debuff and finally if the target is in close then he should be able to fire at all.
Scylla/crab queen: Fairly ok some variants are able to move way too far while still retaining damage and armor
They feel like a crappy game of hide and go seek unless its a citadel. I spend more time searching for the damn hatchery than anything only to find it in some weird corner of the map. Make it a long corridor that splits up with the hatchery at the end but garaunteed to meet heavy resistance. The citadel was actually a joke, the scylla was visible right from the start i literally just staye in the starting area and killed her before she got in range.
Disciples of Anu specifics
Ideas are really cool, always loved bio technology and they fight the spot nicely. However there are some big things that are disappointing about them.
Why can i only have 2 mutations while the NPCs from anu when i am fighting them can have three. Seriously its like saying her is your uniform but you can have the trousers my guys look stupid and i feel cheated
Mutating my guys just removes their voice lines and i dont like the fact that mutating the head makes them lose the ability to talk properly (the exalted can talk fine). Just give them a raspy deformed voice.
Why are the mutations instantaneous? The disciples of anu always seem to be a “over time effect” kind of faction. It reflect in their weapons too. Yet mutating your guys in instant which is weird considering it takes time to manufacture regular armor. It feel more like ordinary armor with a few special properties.
Some mutations are clearly not worth it, those like the poison spit, electric tentacle and kick are not worth it considering how all crabs have return fire and you need to get within melee range to use those abilities earning you a faceful of bullets.
Why no evolving mutation? Like why not make it so that the mutations can “level up” like a person. As the guy spends time with it the mutation gets settled in once that is done you could spend mutagen to make the mutation even stronger. (three stages would be good for me). In general i feel like the disciple of anu mutations should outperform other factions armor but only in their respective area and require more investiment and cannot simply be given to someone else. For example the regenarator torso it would give the highest survivability but you would be slow as a turtle, while the agility would give you the most manouverability but it would be as protective as a wet napkin.
For example the regenerator torso, first level provides good armor and the 10 health recovery (10 health aint worth anything in this game). Second level provides 30 health recovery, more armor and an ability called stasis where your guy curls up and spends his turn focusing on healing his body etc.
The agility legs could give you the leap ability, while the stomping legs could give you a charge attack where each step causes a stunning shockwave.
Weapons, acid cannon is a joke as poison is actually way more dangerous than it is and the virus guns do far too little damage. Also why are there no weapon mutations? Like the virus can do it why no us. Maybe give your guys claws or a hammer first, a bio gun that shoots special ammo and such.
Too many explosive barrels in the anu haven defense missions in the slums its impossible to drive a vehicle in there without something exploding in its face.
Lastly the mutog, compared to other vehicles it is utterly useless. No damage, little movement and easily crippled. At first i thought maybe its an evolving monster that gets stronger over time unlike mechanical vehicles but no it stays as weak as in the beginning.
Honestly I feel like it should start out as a blank slate just a big reptile dog. You could spend mutagen to modify each of its body parts like legs, head, torso and tail. It would follow the three mutation stages rule but would have access to much more impactful mutations like the chirons bombardement abilities. You could engineer your mutog to fit the role you want, do you want a berserker that thrives in the thick of combat, a tank that covers your soldiers, a support creature that bombards and buffs your soldiers (maybe a healing lick seriously dogs do that and you instantly feel better).
I also feel they should have a desginated “handler” for the mission, the person has to be a priest and if that person dies or is in mortal danger the mutog goes nuts and brutally tries to kill the aggressor. Maybe if you have no other priest in the team you lose the mutog at the end of the mission (it goes feral) but if you have one the remaining priest retakes control.
These are all the points i can currently think of probably can find some other ones but these are my current gripes with the game. Would love to hear what other people think.