Phoenix Point - new Julian Gollop turn-based strategy game

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.

Makin’ crabcakes!

Stuff like this makes me appreciate the freeaim sooooo much. Even if, uhm, they were all bleeding so heavily they’d likely have all died on their turn anyway. But it was cool, damn it.

Harry Shum Jr. and Racaccoonie would be proud of your shellfish dicing skills!

-Tom

Overwatchin’

Overwatchin’ agai…aaarrRRRGGGHHH NOPE NOPE (Seriously! I don’t remember Scyllas doing this?!)

Perhaps Michael Myers will be proud of my bandit dicing skills! (Cyborg melee build is a tad powerful)

Holy shit! It wasn’t until fairly late on that I got Jericho onside so I was mostly fancy pants tech and mutants. That’s amazingly OP though.

Anyway, stop it, you’ll make me reinstall and start again.

I’m new to the game, but I guess I see the wisdom of this advice. After finishing the first three tutorial missions, I repaired my aircraft and was encouraged to explore a site. That turned out to be a scavenger mission.

It seemed impossible to scavenge anything! I landed and found myself immediately besieged by a half-dozen mutants. The nearest crate was a couple buildings away. After 3-4 turns of combat, the tutorial popups started encouraging me to stop looting and head for the exit zone. Well, I hadn’t done any looting at all!

Is there ever a reason to do a scavenger mission?

Scavenger missions are essential on the tougher difficulties where you get a lot less resources. Vehicles make them much easier though - they have lots of movement, can carry a lot of resource boxes (without slowing down) and your team can ride in 'em, pop out, shoot (or loot), then go back inside - 2APs to leave but going back in is free!

This is part of the latest Humble Bundle, the Year One Edition.

Yeah, what Rich suggested over two years ago definitely doesn’t apply to the game now. Scavenger missions are a big part of your early economy. I even suspect they exist as a way to push players into using vehicles, because as @fox.ferro noted, they’re the ideal mission type to show off how vehicles are helpful.

If you’re having trouble with a scavenger mission, remember that it’s not going anywhere! You don’t have to play them as soon as you discover them! You can wait to heal up your soldiers, or make sure they’re rested, or even just wait for specific time of day (nighttime if you want to try to stealth it, otherwise probably daytime for increased visibility and cover fire). You can even just leave them for a rainy day. But I wouldn’t recommend skipping them, since they’re one of the game’s ways of making sure you can buy the stuff you need.

-Tom

Ah okay, I’m glad I asked! I’m glad to know that scavenger missions don’t poof. And I didn’t realize they were important for the early-game economy. The mission I just did was exciting — I just didn’t do any scavenging.

Actually, this whole game is exciting. The mutants are scary and challenging opponents, at least for me, playing on the normal difficulty level. I love the free-aim mode, coupled with the disabling mechanic. I use it for every shot. Also, so far there haven’t been any timed missions. I’m sure they’re coming, and I don’t mind them in principle, but I need time to improve my gameplay first.