Video Game Review: Phoenix PointA dystopian future where the majority of humanity has either been mutated or wiped out by an alien virus known as the Pandoravirus.
“Phoenix Point” is a turn-based global strategy game developed by Snapshot Games, a studio headed by the legendary Julian Gollop. It’s set in a dystopian future where the majority of humanity has either been mutated or wiped out by an alien virus known as the Pandoravirus. Players are tasked with leading and revitalizing the titular “Phoenix Project,” a nearly defunct organization dedicated to fighting the alien threat and ensuring humanity’s survival.
As players progress through the story, they meet three other surviving human factions, each with their own view on the best way to answer the alien threat. “New Jericho” is a heavily-armed militia led by a charismatic man bent on destroying all aliens. “Synedrion” is a conflicted utopian society seeking harmony with the world around them. Finally, “The Disciples of Anu” are a bizarre cult that worships the alien Pandoravirus and is attempting to create alien-human hybrids.
These competing factions and their incompatible ideologies create a series of difficult choices as players decide who their allies should be, or if they should ally with anyone at all. Although this creates an interesting conflict for the player, the plot moves too slow, making the story tedious and frustrating.
Players can switch between a zoomed-out view of the entire globe to explore base-building and a close-up view of individual battles. While the exploration is exciting at first, the gameplay loop between battles and base-building quickly becomes repetitive. The battles are overly similar and begin to feel monotonous. At the same time, the battle’s difficulty curve is wildly inconsistent, and there is little progression or achievement.
To be fair, my disappointment is likely amplified by my level of initial excitement and anticipation. As a big fan of the “X-COM” series, I pre-ordered “Phoenix Point” as soon as it was available and spent quite a bit of time playing in the Beta build of the game. I had very high expectations based on the development team’s incredible history of science-fiction strategy games. Unfortunately, “Phoenix Point” did not match up to this phenomenal legacy.
I have a hard time recommending “Phoenix Point” to anyone, except the most hardcore strategy fans. While the story concepts are deep and interesting, the execution of the gameplay leaves much to be desired.
Peer Rating: 2/5