So this is the spiritual successor to XCOM? Missing so much

Ok, yea, I was hyped like a little boy when PP was announced.
I baked early and was looking forward to the 3rd december (release date) like to no other game this year - even not Red Dead Redemption 2 !

This is due to that I am a strategy / tactic gamer since nearly 40 years.
I played so many board and computer strategey games, I think I know all the good stuff. And one of it is the whole XCOM series, including the newer Firaxis one´s.

So this game was a must.
After playing around 20 hours I am a bit disappointed.
Why ?

  • Research is simple, too fast, too few and brings mainly only resources and no new tech
  • weapon upgrading - only exists if you ally with the factions - or steal! You can´t research from alien tech like in all other XCOMs - i miss that hard
  • base managing/building: to be honest, that´s so bad, they could have left it out at all. All base buildings are there from beginning and you just build once some new things and after that you leave the base alone
  • resources: man, you can only produce fodd and have to go to every haven and trade by clicking a hundred times ? Really ? Every thing in this game costs material and you have no choice than trade or get some from a few missions ? Bad game design
  • Soldier classes: only sniper and heavy, maybe priest are really useful! If you go with 4 sniper and 2 heavy, you have no need for other classes, since the weapons they use are the only onés, which are really useful and do enough damage
  • aliens: too few different types - after 5 hours you have see them mostly all! In addition some are much too powerful (siren, Chiron) in the start of the game until midgame
  • awful missions balancing: dude, the lair mission is a joke! I never cam across such a bad mission balancing, where the enemy throws hundreds of untis against your six man squad and have mind control and grenade laucncher across the whole map at hands plus a monster, which demoralizes your troops nearly every turn!
  • diversion: when the enemies thret level reaches around 10% you are mostly doing “saave haven” missions and fly from one point to the next. Mission variety is so low, it gets boring soon
  • tactic maps: I wondered there are mainly only 3 different art astyles of maps: mist areas, city and urban - that´s all ? Get´s broing soon to to see all the same tiles again and again
  • vehicles: what´s the point of including vehicles (which I like very much) when they are nearly useless. They use up 3 points in a transport, have very limited ammunition, can´t ram samll enemies, cost alot resources and can´t be upgraded ? Really ? A joke…
  • Air battles: you see planes from factions flying around and shooting on the global map but you can´t do anything than flying around. Where is the enemy in the air? Missed a great opportunity here and again: boring !

So to sum it up: I like the game, cause I like this kind of gam in special. But they missed so much compared to the XCOM games and one can´t believe, that Gallop is involved here! He should have known better how to make an addicting game.


I am guessing that there will be a bit more immersive play with the expansions, much like the XCOM 2: Enemy Unknown - at least I can hope so. What I am suffering from right now is that I feel a bit disconnected from my soldiers. In Enemy Unknown, I spend many hours customizing their names, faces, armor, colors, etc…and I cared about them. Now, I don’t even bother. I don’t feel like they are valuable, like I did in Enemy Unknown. There, they had depth and character and some level of attitude and personality. Here in Phoenix Point, they feel a bit hollow and empty, lacking any depth.


Yea, i feel the same with the soldiers. I think one reason could be, that you never see their faces. They always wear full gear and closed helmets. That was different in XCOM. In addition the small portraits of them are really ugly…

When I have to wait for DLCs to finish essential gameplay things and don´t have them in the basic game, then something is very wrong…


At a guess most of the production time had gone into making the tactical game-play different and interesting. I would imagine this to be the most difficult aspect to achieve. Even the mighty Firaxis give a lot of the features a miss and went basic on the tactical side. I’m sure they will go on to flesh out the rest of the game as time allows. Again I would imagine that to be the easy bit. :slight_smile:

Yeah, playing a mission in Antarctica on a green map is awesome :sweat_smile:
The original X-COM: UFO Defense is still King

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Since PP takes place in a future where global warming has raised so much that the ice caps have melted away, it even makes sense for Antarctica to now be green.

Even so, yeah, game is in dire need of map variety. Much much map variety

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I’m agree with most of your points , however, I think you missed some ver important point . There are two significant advantages that XCOM seriers dont have .

1.realiastic battle experience, some people may call it ‘tactical depth’ while others not, what I mean is, what PP delivered in the game is way more hard-core than just’s similar to Wasteland , or Battletech , damages in the game are caulculated multiple times every shot (except heavy weapon and shotguns). and you can choose what part of body you want to shoot.

  1. AP system, PP 's AP is more flexible than XCOM, like Origin Sin, you can move, shoot, then move again. this is huge because it’s provides great potential in details.

I’d like to share some my experience with vehicles and soldier class:

  • As I said before, PP’s AP system allows soldiers who use light weapon (PDW,handgun,crossbow) to use Armored vehicles like ‘dragoons’, get into the vehicle to avoid heavy greneds fire, or acid, fire ,paralysed damage. next turn move to the destination and get out , shoot or deploy auto turret or use mind control then get back into vehicle in the single turn. you can use these tactic to rat your enermy in early stage with poorly equipped squads to gather resources. It’s very fun and interersting to me. PCS’s artilery fire is the most stable and effective AOE dmg dealer in early game, I really dont think they are jokes.

  • engineers(tectician) are very powerful too, the tactician who equipped arms can use ‘field medic’ skill to restore damaged body parts, and they can repair the vehicles and turtets. In the late game, tecticans can carry as many turrents as you want even more than encumbrance limit. It’s very sick when you deployed dozens of AT and hold your snipers in the back, it literaly killing everything in the single turn.
    they are very effective in Lair Missions against endless worms, sneaky ambushers and make your squads much more safety. they provide vital line of sight and can be diversions to attrack enemy fire.

So, I dont mean you are wrong, I mean you need cool down and block the way XCOM inflected in your mind. It’s just a different game. This game has a solid tactic ground, it just need time to get polished. As I recall XCOM-2 had a very bad start at first, it’s a bit of shallow and very buggy too.

I’m very agree with the part you said about maps, :grin:

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The vehicle exploit is nice, but here you forgot, that vehicles can´t be used on most maps due to their size. Especially in the mist maps they can´t even leave the starting position because there´s no space they could drive too…so forget vehicles!

I think Gollop analyzed some of the most severe critiques of both OG and NU and tried to come up with several concepts for counteracting them.

99% hit missed - ballistics ensure a sure hit will hit;

Weapons become useless as upgrades are developed - introduce sidegrades, where new weapons are not so much uber powerful, but highly situational;

Reverse difficulty, where the campaign beginnings are much tougher than its ends - star your army already in full armour and powerful weapons

Lack of proper story - introduce highly detailed Briefings and evolved event system

Of course, we all know by this (phoenix) point, the game is not living to its full potential, but new ideas and ways to develop them are always welcome.

base managing/building: to be honest, that´s so bad, they could have left it out at all. All base buildings are there from beginning and you just build once some new things and after that you leave the base alone

Fuck yeah! I loved to build my bases back in the day, even when there wasn’t much of a game mechanic there (beyond fitting as many hangars as possible and maybe optimizing base defense). Firaxis games improved this a lot with adjacencies and then worker placements on XCOM2. But mostly it felt GOOD hanging out in your base, watching folks go by! In comparsion, that’s sooo boring in Poenix Point…
UFO was such a unique intersection between a strategy game, a tatical game, a tycoon game and a building game! I feel Phoenix Point misses a big chunk of what made it so good by downplaying the base building mechanics.

And STILL i miss point blank inner circle overlap entire body part shots. How do you explain that??!!
I remember reading somewhere, it was highly advertised, “you could manually choose what to shoot, never miss”, to hell with that statement…

And STILL i miss point blank inner circle overlap entire body part shots. How do you explain that??!!

That one I know: inner circle means 50% of the shots land there. The rest lands between inner and outer circles. You need the OUTER circle to overlap the entire body part for a 100% hit chance.

There is some confusion regarding that. 100% of shots fall inside outer circle. But there’ a 50% chance they will fall inside inner circle.

In your example, for a 6 burst weapon, three shots would land in the inner circle. But more accurately, each from the six in the burst could land inside the inner circle. Or all of them outside the inner. (Granted, all of them inside the outer circle)

The problem is, that more complicated calculations don’t mean much, if they are not utilised well. There are advantages to PP system - like bullets hitting one at the time, changing how burst/single short weapons react to armor - and detailed hitboxes are neat, but from what I played I didn’t see those mechanics explored.

In spite, of having those systems, PP still relies on active skills, alla FiraXCOM, meaning the actual tactical decision making usually doesn’t take full advantage of the ballistic system, making cover to easy to bypass, and reticle to easy to fully focus on the enemy.

And it is lacking in so many other aspects.



cover system really doesn’t matter much when you think about it, only 2 enemies are significantly affected by it…tritons using weapons and machinegun arthrons. meaning that if an enemy is in range that he could attack you only have 2 viable options, CC it or kill it…and at the moment killing it is by far the easiest option.

other then that the poorly balanced (capstone) skill system allows for map sweepers and “boss eliminator” skill combinations. relying on a combination of rage burst, adrenaline rush, rapid clearance and/or sneak attack to clean out the map or clear the objective instantly. ignoring nuclear mind crush for now. using any of these combinations trivializes large chunks of the game.

for me at least the game performs best during the early middle game, you have enough fun skills to play with and already have acces to its cross class system. but you can’t just instantly remove any obstacle with impunity. and the enemy is still mostly on reasonably tough…but not tank level tritons and arthrons with the occasional siren thrown in, rather then huge volumes of them and having to deal with mortar chirons…and having acces to abilities that can wipe out the biggest mutant or whole scores of lesser ones on a single trooper.

My initial reaction was the same, but after playing for some time (after almost deleting the game btw) I cam to conclusion that it IS SPIRITUAL successor. No just the successor, the game is completely different, but it has same spirit.
Spent hours on missions without getting bored.
The biggest problem is bugs , especially endless enemy turn after killing enemy by return fire - makes game almost unplayable further in story.

I mean, sure there’s no sense expecting Phoenix Point to just be another X-Com game, but even so, the issue I think a lot of people have is that the changes from the more traditional formula just don’t work out well from a gameplay perspective (though everyone’s going to have a different opinion on how fun the gameplay is, of course)
So, take the example of not really getting upgraded gear throughout the game other than the faction tech ‘side-grades.’ Now, that’s a design that could work, but the way it’s implemented results in very shallow gameplay (in my opinion).
Because you don’t get a mix of weapons that are actively viable throughout the game, you basically have to learn one of the hilariously broken skill combinations that let you plow through the strongest Pandorans.
Honestly, that’s what finally resulted in my uninstalling the game a few days ago- realizing that once you have a team of rageburst heavy/snipers assembled (which you do by abusing training centres in your base because it’s faster than actual missions for leveling)… well, that’s the game. You’re basically going to be abusing rageburst and sniper abilities for every mission for the rest of the game.
Tactical depth? Lol, just sniper-rageburst everything from across the map. Balanced squads? Fuck that, rageburst everything. Actually trying to use assault rifles as part of our squad loadout? Don’t bother, trying to use anything but sniper rifles and cannons is a waste of time due to the Pandorans’ armour. Basically, there are a handful of hilariously broken abilities that let you cope with the more powerful Pandorans, and you learning to abuse the broken combinations is basically the ideal way to get through the game. It’s fun for a mission or two- then you realize that’s all you’re going to do in every mission.


100% agree


It’s true, of course, that it is its own game. The problem for me is that this was pitched as being something along the lines of Xcom Apocalypse but built using tools, money, and time that weren’t available when Apoc was made and compromised that game. Instead we have something that began life as a skeleton of OG xcom, which was then pushed down the same path that firaxcom took (which worked well and was a brilliant choice at the time - Firaxis figured out a way to make an xcom that had the flavor of the original while making it able to appeal to new players and people who would never have considered a tbt game). In the course of which, it has sacrificed just about everything that made OG xcom special, sacrificed what made firaxcom special, and has fallen far short of an apocalypse for the modern Era.

I like Phoenix point, but it needs a lot more work to really be a viable alternative to either. As it stands, I’d much rather go replay OG xcom, tftd, Apoc, xenonauts, or firaxcom 1&2 than get very involved in PP as it stands. And that is heartbreaking considering this came down from THE Gollop. I really hope future updates and dlcs manage to build this up into something truly special. Firax managed to take a good game in xcom 2 and turn in it into a truly great game with wotc… I don’t believe for a second thar Gollop cannot do the same in time, if he puts his mind to it.


I’m so with you on this topic. For me PP feels like a BAD example of an indie game. You know that one with little balance, not that good writing, dull characters, dull upgrades, bad design choices, things that are useless/not working as intended and so on. I just don’t know what were all this people with betas doing. And this protect containers mission, grrr… Too many rookie mistakes. And yes, was waiting for this game since it had been announced. Didn’t know that all i saw in beta testing videos was the whole game. Well, the team has time now to improve the game. I hope that it was the problem with time(release date) and not with persons abilities behind this game.