Phoenix Point with the v1.6 Cthulhu update (Cthulhu not included)

It’s Cthulhu Day!

-Tom

Could be worth a replay now that they rejigged the whole winning/losing tracking clock. Now based on human population so you need to defend those havens instead some mysterious calculation based on the Pandorans technology and mist coverage.

What is it about this game that makes me want to root for it so much? It was manifestly awkward and unpolished, objectively probably the weakest out of the trio of tactics games released around the same time (Gears of War, Chimera Squad). However it has lasted on my hard drive longer than the other two and I’m perplexed as to why. It’s not like I’m actually playing it (I actually finished it at release), more just… hoping that it will eventually satisfy once it’s properly ‘done’.

It’s not the first time I’ve been left unfulfilled by a game, of course, I just usually… move on.

Not sure if I should take the plunge again with this patch or hold off for the other DLCs to come available. And keep hope in its box a little longer.

As I still haven’t played it, I don’t know how meaningful the changes are, but reading the notes, they seem meaningful.

It seems to totally change how expansion to other bases worked? and how exploration was? and how the enemy evolves? and how the game determined the overall game over condition?
So yeah, they are doing a do-over of the strategic map part of the game.

Looks quite impressive to me. I’ll replay if I find the time.

Perhaps because they’re honestly trying to improve it - more so than the competition usually does - even if ultimately it has seemed thus far like they aren’t very good at it.

Well, the overworld certainly plays like a whole new game and I quite like it so far. Finding bases to expand coverage is a lot less fiddly than dropping sonar pings around the map. And it makes it much easier to get a sense of manually unfogging the map as you go, especially because it seems that one you make nice with a faction, they show you where all the bases are! Now it’s just a matter of getting to the abandoned bases, which is its own kind of puzzle*. Base coverage also determines whether you can find the Pandoran outposts launching attacks on settlements, so there’s an incentive to collect 'em all!

Speaking of attacks on settlements, I don’t miss the “oneric dream index” thing in practice. I mean, who knew what was going on with that? But in theory, it was cool having this idea that the Pandoran virus was slowly driving the world mad with nigthmares. Now the new population counter is just a matter of the Pandorans killing everyone by attacking settlements, which feeds directly into base defense missions. That means I have more of a sense of agency when it comes to that progression bar in the upper right of the screen.

I don’t recall having friendly soldiers and civilians during settlement defense missions. Is that new, or am I just misremembering? If it’s new, very cool. I’ve seen them put up quite a fight. And a neutral soldier ran over and healed my sniper. Thanks, bud! I can also take over neutral soldiers and use them as cannon fodder. I mean, direct them to defend the settlement while minimizing risk to themselves.

Also, I like the new monster progression. It reminds me a bit of how Metal Gear Solid V had enemies that got tougher to specifically counter your actions. If you kept headshotting them, for instance, they’d start wearing helmets. I think it was a bit of gimmick, and the enemies just slowly got tougher anyway, but it was a cool idea. That’s what seems to be going on with the new monster evolution. At the start, they’re just crabs and bugs with pincers and claws. But you start getting messages as they develop weapons, armor, and abilities. Basically, the game warns you as it folds in new gameplay elements for the enemies. It feels like they’re progressing up their own tech tree. Which might have been the case before, but it wasn’t made explicit.

-Tom

* Actually, it looks like you can activate any base you’ve found remotely. No need to actually fly over to it. Although I’m guessing if it’s infested, your remote activation is wasted until you fly over to clear it out.

I see this update seems very interesting - now, I also notice that in August the next DLC lands… So - play now or wait is the eternal question I have every single time I boot up a game!

Haha I was so close to asking the exact same thing… :)

I guess normal people should be able to finish a new game before end of August, then start another with the new DLC!

Yeah that was patched in. Sounds like a good thing.

They’ve always evolved specific defenses to your preferred tactics, the game just wasn’t explicit about that happening. The only reason I know it was a thing was because previews always made a big deal of it.

I think it was happening before but it was. . . very weird and very obscure. Enemies didn’t seem to evolve based on anything noticeable. Just new parts would show up from time to time.

I am hoping this update smoothes out the “oh, you progressed too far in the story and don’t have many good anti armor options Hahaha fuck you” aspect.

Have to give them credit for being willing & able to re-work major parts of the game like this. The manual scanning was super unnecessary for sure & i’m not sad to see it replaced & the expansion and evolution mechanisms changed…

I’m not sure the changes will succeed (yet), but my first game with the patch has been more fun so far. About 5 missions in & have done a mix of some defense, some offense against lair, and some scavenging missions. Think the desperate endless-wave of enemies change to scavenge and lair attacks (especially the second) might get tired kind of quickly, but we’ll see as the game develops. DO very much like that friendly soldiers appear & are controllable in some missions. But also wonder if using them as fodder effects the amount of experience that your own soldiers will / won’t get as a result of combat. If it does then it’s incentive not to use them so much.

Hope this has legs over time & becomes an example of great post-launch support for a game that had a shaky start (Hello Games & No Man’s Sky being the best example).

Diego

So, this is the same shit it was when I first tried it what, almost a year ago? What kind of idiot soldier goes into battle with 4 shots?!?! After the first two rounds I have ZERO ammonition on any of my soldiers, in the tutorial scavenging mission, where I had no prompts about my soldiers, or arming them or anything.

Jeez…that is bad…really really bad first impression this gives, the second time around. The tutorial itself is more or less quiet as well - no music, and only the occasional extremely loud shout from one of my soldiers.

So weird!