Phoenix Point - new Julian Gollop turn-based strategy game

Wowwow, there’s been a lot of change since I last played this. Vehicles are pretty powerful now, huh. Liberated a Tiamat by just packing everyone into a scarab and driving it right to the middle of the map (stopping only to throw down some hate and discontent on some cultists that bunched into an opportunity too delectable to pass). Surprised the Hel II got booted down the tech tree but it was always a weird weapon at the start. Kinda wish the new autocannon you start with was just a tad more accurate, though - not sure if I’ll use it now.

Too bad the soldier customizations are still lightyears behind XCOM2; those haircuts look terrible. Just coz it’s an apocalypse doesn’t mean we can’t be sexy (haven’t Snapshot seen a Mad Max film?).

Just where is my crabcoif?!

If anyone wants a steam key for the year one version then send me a message.

Edit: gone

All this recent talk has gotten me interested in the game again (I think I played it a while back during a free weekend). Searching for some recent(ish) coverage, I stumbled across the following video containing a fabulous little ditty which I felt compelled to share (3:51 mark):

Oh, and thanks to @Chappers for the key! Installing now… :)

It’s a little underwhelming, isn’t it?

It’s amazing what I got for backing this up front in their fund raising campaign. I think maybe I got the game and all dlc for maybe $30-$35.

I have just the base game, on GamePass. Just gave it a spin. Fun! I just played the first couple missions, which include well-made tutorials. I enjoy the Free Shoot mode a lot, but I’m not entirely sure how best to use it. I just tend to take the shot that produces the most “white” damage. I suppose I’ll keep playing to learn.

I started the game a while back and did maybe 1 or 2 intro missions, and then apparently failed to save my progress. Not a big deal, as I wanted to relearn anyway.

What you want to do here is to use it to hunt around the enemy anatomy and see if you can kill them in one action. This is denoted by a little skull and crossbones symbol appearing on the predicted damage readout at the top of the screen. Different body parts tend to have different armour values and shooting something in a body part that has little/no armour can make all the difference. Be mindful this is sometimes counter-intuitive - it can often be better to shoot something in the legs than in the head!

When it’s not possible to outright kill an enemy in one action, you want to disable important body parts to prevent them using certain abilities. Human enemies can often be completely neutralised in terms of threat just by disabling one of their arms - they will no longer be able to fire any two hand weapons they are carrying (n.b. some carry 1H weapons!).

Sometimes it’s best to move in close (so a single part can be accurately destroyed), shoot, then move back to cover… The speed stat is by far the most important thing on your soldiers and one that you have a lot of control over. Ditch the crappy leg armour you start with on your heavy soldier and make something for them to wear that doesn’t have a -1 speed penalty!

That’s the best tip you could give me.

I was so stressed watching the behemoth obliterating the settlements that the only thing I could think of was to destroy it, despite I was no match for it.

Also, my resources were almost 0 all the time (except food, thank goodness I could trade it for materials) and I was lacking equipment and tech.

But then I followed your tip and let it go. Started exploring further away with my other ship, defending heavens (hence gaining resources) and invested in more laboratories and factories.

I have 23 soldiers, about 10 max level and the others have gained experience in the training camp, and now they can do easy and medium difficulty missions and gain more exp.

So everything is fine, except the census population, which is at 60%.

But the reckoning is near, my beloved behemoth.

So thanks @tomchick to help me continue playing. I’ve had a blast these last days and played more than I should play, but wtf, for a game that gets me hooked it’s well worth it.

lol you can actually eat the aliens you capture in this game? Saw the random comment here: “Some aliens are delicious.” Reminds me of that classic - eh, maybe not so classic - episode of Get A Life with Chris Elliot where he befriends the ET-like alien (who he named “Spewy” because projectile vomiting is apparently how they communicate on his planet) and ends up eating him, with the encouragement of his gun crazy neighbor Brian Doyle-Murray.

Very glad to hear it, @Grenyes!

Right? I’m guessing a lot of players feel this way and it can be confusing, because it can feel like Phoenix Point is rubbing your nose in something you’re not high level enough to fight. The game tasks you with defending settlements, but it puts you in a situation where it’s impossible to defend most of them! The difference with the behemoth is that you’re watching him tear up settlements and feeling helpless because he’s a giant pink figure on the map! But you’re also going to lose a ton of settlements to regular mist attacks that are out of reach of your defenses, that you haven’t even discovered yet, so the behemoth is just a more visible version of what the aliens are already doing.

But it’ll be all the sweeter when you can knock him back into the ocean!

And this is what it’s all about. You were never going to save 100% or even 50%. You just have to drive the aliens away, while defending a core group of survivors who agree with the values you’ve chosen. Are you leaning towards one of the factions yet? You’ll generally end up with a Jericho playthrough, or a Synedrion playthrough, or an Anu playthrough. I’m trying a “dual-color” Anu/Synedrion game right now, but it’s hard to keep two factions happy. Especially once they start demanding you raid the other faction!

I think there’s a tech you have to research to unlock this (maybe it’s just the tech to actually capture them), but you bet! There are only three main resources in Phoenix Point, but Snapshot does a great job of making them feel distinct. Food is the easiest one because you have so many potential sources, including dining on your captives. If they’re gonna treat us like livestock, turnabout is fair play! :)

-Tom

Well, hopefully it’s only the arthropods you can eat because I would not eat anything with a face… unless it’s unusually delicious ;) I have been intrigued by this game since seeing you describe it as a fun open-world conquest game. Might be up my alley though right now I’ve become obsessed with testing my recently acquired RTX card and seeing what all the fuss is about with this ray-tracing thing so it might be a while before i get around to PP. So far, only tried Quake II RTX and Ghostwire Tokyo. Quake II brought back memories… Ghostwire Tokyo brought the feeling: “Sure, it’s as pretty as a wet beautiful woman walking in the rain, but what else is there?” You hear me?

My last game this felt easier than intended by ignoring the faction specific missions(and anything else that has huge negative relation impacts) and prioritizing any Pandoran bases that popped up since those make all three factions like you more.

To put a more precise spin on that, it’s not a conquest game so much as a defense game! You’re not taking over a map, although there is a sense of spreading your (too thin) presence around the globe. Instead, you’re holding out against difficult odds, waiting for the technological shift that will let you win, hopefully before humanity is wiped out. So while I would stand by my assessment that it’s got the feel of an open-world with its evolving factions and economy and war, the overall conceit is a desperate last stand instead of a conquest.

As a sidebar, I understand this exactly, right down to Ghostwire Tokyo fizzling out with a wet neon sputter. :)

And I’ve finally decided ray-tracing is nothing more than a way to lower framerates so videocard makers can sell us on a whole new round of upgrades. It helps that I’m such a graphics philistine I still couldn’t tell you what ray tracing does. Something about lighting and scatter and reflective surfaces and maybe even volumetric anisotropic Gonad shading, but mainly it just lowers your frame rate. :)

Ah, that’s an interesting approach, @abrandt. I can help but make a beeline for those 25, 50, and 75 relationship thresholds by doing faction missions. My thinking is that the sooner you can get their advanced techs, the sooner you can push back against a greater number of settlement attacks. But I’ve never tried relying instead on a democratic approach of trying to defend everyone.

Part of the issue is how they build the globe now. Snapshot has dramatically changed how the factions appear on the map. They used to just be scattershot, but now they clump into clusters of settlements belonging to the same faction. You’ll find certain Phoenix Point bases are positioned to help specific factions by virtue of the fact that they’re smack dab in the middle of that faction’s “territory”, but you might not realize that until you’ve revealed the settlements, either through exploration or through improving your relationship with a faction. But even then, your starting base is probably squarely in one faction’s territory, so you’ll end up defending them more than the other factions. I’ve always taken this as my “starting faction”, but maybe I’ll resist the temptation to throw in with whomever’s on my front doorstep. :)

Also, I’m guessing the democratic “defend everyone” approach wouldn’t work on harder difficulty levels? But I’m not there yet, so definitely worth trying on a later playthrough.

-Tom

Well, luckily I needed to upgrade my 8 year old GTX 1070 video anyway so I at least don’t have buyer’s remorse (though I did spend $600 for the damn thing). Re: ray-tracing; it’s astonishing that primitive, software-based game engines in the early 90s like Duke3D could do reflections in mirrors but it took 30 years for DirectX/3D API to do the same. I remember playing the first Medal of Honor game in DirectX and noticing that all the mirrors in the game were broken or boarded over so never got a chance to peer into one and say, “Looking goooood!” Damn technical limitations :D

It sounds suspiciously like you’ve been reading my diary. That was my exact same upgrade path, right down to the specific videocard and the age of the computer! Which is probably on its last legs, and that’s only thanks to the application of thermal paste. But my overpriced videocard is doing enough of the heavy lifting for the time being.

-Tom

That may very well be true. I could certainly see the need being to focus on good relations with one or two and then raid the rest.

I’d like to upgrade my stuff, but maybe at the end of the year :).

My current stuff is not obsolete or bad, just mid range, and I am being greedy lol.

But following this thread, I think I shall have another go at PP.

Of course, it’s was all (good) smoke and mirrors in how reflections worked on a 2.5d game. From a reddit thread
"@DOOMReboot
The room is literally duplicated behind the mirror. A duplicate Duke is also inserted into the mirrored room with his direction mirrored to that of the player."

Also reflections in 3d games weren’t hard – old 3d games just had limited polygons and couldn’t render you very well, or didn’t even bother creating a model for your avatar. This isn’t what Ray Tracing is about. Ray Tracing is about a new model of lighting that is far more natural than what we’ve had so far. The old rasterization model approximates lighting and then adds shaders to make it look realistic. Ray tracing is basically the same process that lights up real objects in the real world.