Phoenix Point: Every Detail Of The X-COM Creator’s Return To The Genre

One of the most exciting games in Los Angeles this week won’t be featured at press conferences or on the showfloor. Phoenix Point [official site] is the new tactical-strategy hybrid from Julian Gollop, the creator of the original X-COM, and we met yesterday to discuss its procedurally generated alien threats, simulated human factions and much more. Here’s the world’s first in-depth look at the game.

This is more than a remake of X-COM, that’s clear from the start. While the turn-based tactical combat looks a great deal like Firaxis’s take on the series, with destructible terrain and entirely procedural levels, the strongest and most exciting ideas in Phoenix Point might well be in the strategic layer, which combines elements of grand strategy with the lurking horror of Stephen King’s The Mist. Before digging into all of that though, here’s how the future looks. It’s not pretty.

Phoenix Point may be humanity’s last hope. An isolated settlement of survivors in a world that has gone to hell, it’s a peak rising above a tide of horrors that are threatening to consume what remains of humankind. Your task is to lead the ragtag band of people who have made Phoenix Point their home, at first ensuring that they survive by gathering food and other resources, and later by fighting back against the threats that surround them.

The game is set in 2046 and the last pockets of the human race are hiding in havens, scattered around the world. That’s because something went terribly wrong a couple of decades ago, when the melting of the permafrost released a long-dormant alien virus into the oceans. That virus is capable of mutating any species it comes into contact with, which leads to an initial wave of horrific aquatic creatures, reminiscent of Terror From The Deep, and eventually makes its way onto land.

The virus spreads under the cloak of a mist that you’ll be able to see spreading across the map. It plays a part in tactical combat as well as on the strategic Geoscape layer, and I’ll go into more detail about that later, but right now it’s best to think of it as both a cover system and a literal fog of war. It hides creatures and protects them, and represents both the presence of the alien hordes and a form of corruption that they’re spreading across Earth.

One of the key tenets of Phoenix Point is taken from the most important word in X-COM’s title: Unknown. Gollop tells me that he wants to create a game in which the player will fear the dark and in which the enemy will intelligently react and adapt to their tactical choices. If you repel an initial wave using skillful sniper shots, the next attack might feature new monsters with chitinous shields or front-facing armour, or humanoid hybrids with guns of their own to return fire. Switch tactics to take these new creatures out with incendiary weapons or explosives, and the next batch will find ways to counter that tactic as well.

And if all else fails, the aliens can always just beat you down with their sheer size.

“Procedural generation works on two levels,” Gollop explains. “The first is interchangeable body parts. The other thing is morphing in size and shape to some extent. It might be that an alien has a vestigial element that can get larger. Or it might be a relatively small creature that is based on a large insect or bat, but that might get bigger or nastier.”

Initially, the aliens you fight will be based on combinations of sea creatures – I saw crab men but Gollop mentions squids, octopi and sharks as well – but as they force their way in-land, new hybrids will appear, based on animals from the regions in question. That means your location in the world will dictate, to an extent, whether you’re facing petrifying pachyderms or…giant penguins? I make the latter suggestion and Gollop seems enthused.

“Yes, maybe. And elephants with long legs, enormous bats and insects, or giant chameleons with wings.”

Part Dali, part Cronenberg, the aliens of Pheonix Point won’t just be unknown on each playthrough, they’ll be uncanny. And when Gollop uses the word “giant”, he’s not talking about a beefy Muton. Pointing out a skittering monstrosity that seems more claw than flesh and could probably lob a small building at your squad, he describes it as “a tiddler”. Later, when he shows me the first example of a mission in action, the sequence ends with an oil rig being assaulted by something emerging from the deep that seems almost large enough to devour the entire structure.

It’s more reminiscent of Dagon’s attack in Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth than anything I’d expect from X-COM and the Lovecraft quote that opens the presentation makes a lot more sense in the context of these gargantuan horrors. This is a game about biological horror but the virus is cosmic in origin and, I suspect, some of the late game developments will focus on that element.

“I don’t want to give too much of the plot away right now but there are several endings,” Gollop explains. “If you choose to, you’ll learn some interesting things about how the world came to be as it is. The virus has been on the earth for thousands of years and determining its origins is one of the important mid-game objectives that could provide a possible solution.”

We should rewind a little though because as fascinating as the creatures are, and as central to the themes and mechanics of the game as they might be, I’m surprised to find myself more excited about how Gollop is handling the other human survivors. Aliens, I expected; I didn’t expect a deep strategic simulation reminiscent of both Alpha Centauri’s factions, grand strategy and X-COM: Apocalypse’s complex diplomacy.

The loop of the original X-COM and Firaxis’ take on the series involves sequences of alien activity, both in the tactical and strategic levels, and then the player’s response. Phoenix Point adds an extra complication with the activity of other factions.

Across the world, you’ll discover havens, places where humans have managed to survive, usually because of some geographical quirk that prevents the alien mist from drowning them. Because the collapse of civilisation and the presence of the mist have isolated these havens from one another, they’ve developed radically different ways of thinking about the world, and the aliens. That means they might be friendly or hostile to you, and to one another, depending on how you choose to progress through any given playthrough.

It’s the fact that they might attack one another that I find most exciting. When it comes to strategy games, I always feel much more comfortable within a simulated world that can unfold without my influence. It’s one of the reasons I love Paradox’s grand strategy releases: they’re engines for the creation of alternate histories that you can partake in, but they don’t direct all of their attention toward the player.

Phoenix Point, like Apocalypse before it, shares some of those qualities. Factions will develop their own agendas and develop technology, and they need to gather resources to survive just as you do. They’ll make alliances and fight one another, as well as battling against the aliens, and entire conflicts and emergent stories can play out without your involvement should you choose to turn your attention elsewhere.

You might be wondering why the last remnants of humanity would be fighting one another rather than concentrating on an external threat. First of all, their isolationist nature and divergent ideologies sometimes means they just plain don’t like one another. And then there’s the scarcity of resources in the world – if you need to feed your people and the group just over yonder has a surplus of food that they won’t trade, it’s possible to organise raids.

Of course, you might believe your interests are better served by alliances. Trade and diplomacy are both supported but the distinct belief systems and goals of the factions will eventually cause tension and conflict. You can’t be friends with everyone. There are likely to be more types of human group in the finished game but Gollop has three in mind already.

Sanctuary are a highly scientific ecological group who believe that the future of the planet involves co-existence with the aliens. To that end, they’re developing biospheres in which to contain lifeforms – artificial ecosystems of a sort – and early warning systems, as well as technology that can repel the mist. Their motto, in brief, is “we stay in our space and you stay in yours”.

Taking the opposite view, the Human League are a survivalist militia who believe they can find a military solution to the menace. They don’t think co-existence is possible and want to repel the invasion through force.

Finally, there’s Advena Domine, a religious cult who sacrifice their enemies in a ritual of alien ‘communion’. Normally when a human is infected with the virus, like any other animal they lose their consciousness and become a puppet of the alien force. The cult have developed a tech that allows them to receive the alien DNA while retaining their own consciousness.

In a further twist on the game’s structure, you’ll be able to use the unique tech developed by each of the factions provided you can seize it or have a strong enough relationship to allow for shared research. When it comes to the Advena Domine technology, there’s a distinct nod to Enemy Within – altering your soldiers’ DNA may be beneficial but there is a risk of losing their humanity entirely.

There several other branches of research independent of the other factions. One is purely based on building earth-based technology to improve weapons, armour and equipment, and others are based on the X-COM staple of autopsy and study of the aliens themselves. If you meet a mutant form that is vulnerable to fire, for example, you’ll be able to set your researchers to discover ways to exploit that vulnerability, through development of flamethrowers or incendiary rounds, for example. You’ll be able to explore biogenetics even without Advena Domine influence as well, taking elements of the aliens you encounter to ‘improve’ your own soldiers.

All of that comes later though. Initially, your goal is simply to survive. In an inversion of the usual X-COM setup, you begin with technical superiority but the aliens have sheer weight of numbers in their favour, as well as their ability to mutate and adapt. The other factions will generate missions for you in the early game, providing supplies and tech if you are willing to help them when they’re attacked, but you’ll also need to repel attacks on your own havens. If the mist encroaches on your territory, there’s an immediate risk of attack.

As well as defending what you own, you’ll also need to concentrate on expanding your territory, however, in order to make contact with other factions and to increase the flow of supplies by discovering new scavenging zones. All of this takes place on a Geoscape that looks remarkably like a directly updated version of X-COM’s original globe. There, you can see the advance of the mist and key strategic points, such as scavenging locations and havens.

The majority of your time will be spent in tactical combat, however. Levels are procedurally generated, just as the creatures are, and the visual style is similar to Firaxis’ XCOM. There are changes, however, most notably in the ability to target specific body parts, primarily on larger creatures. You can take out the arm that wields (or IS) a gun, or damage legs to reduce or disable mobility. In the mission I was shown, a creature with a growth on its back that emitted mist, providing cover, shrouded itself in darkness, reducing the accuracy of attacks against it and entirely hiding it from view.

Mist plays a key part in battles, providing a more literal fog of war. Monsters within the mist are a mystery – you can fire on them but they’re indistinct shapes and you won’t have any idea what their abilities are until they emerge or you find a way to evaporate the mist and reveal them. In the example I saw, a sniper with a height advantage managed to take a shot that ruptured the growth from above, infuriating the creature but destroying its ability to hide itself and its allies.

The procedural levels will have their own in-built mini objectives in the form of strategic points scattered throughout. These might be elevated structures or vantages, control rooms, or alien installations. Taking control of them will allow you to play tactical cards, brought into combat from a deck built in the strategic layer, that provide buffs to individual soldiers or entire squads.

Soldiers themselves are fully customisable and there’s an air of XCOM 2’s ragtag bands about them. Post-apocalyptic fighters, without uniforms or regulation haircuts. As well as cosmetic alterations, you’ll be able to give them equipment including spotter drones, various armour types and other enhancements, as well as the weapons you’ve researched. Gollop says class delineations won’t be as strictly defined as in XCOM and its sequel, but it’ll be advantageous to build diverse squads.

All of the changes to the core X-COM idea – whether it be the addition of diplomacy and simulated human factions or the adaptive mutations of the aliens themselves – appear to serve a single purpose. Gollop wants to create an open world strategy game and he wants to create a game that forces the player to alter strategies and tactics on the fly. A successful tactic won’t be effective forever because the enemy will literally morph in order to counter it, and the very weapons you decide to use will determine the kind of aliens you meet.

It’s a tremendously exciting proposition, combining the fears and anxieties of the original X-COM with the polish of Firaxis’ remake. Add that dash of grand strategy and the memories of Apocalypse’s strongest ideas and Phoenix Point becomes something unique. When I arranged to meet Gollop I was half-expecting the game to rely much more on the legacy of its creator and his most famous game. I knew about the adaptive nature of the aliens and the ability to target individual body parts but that seemed like a wrinkle added to the tactical combat rather than a dramatic change.

We won’t be able to play a finished version for a while though. It’s due out in 2018 and it’ll probably be the second half of the year. Gollop is in town to talk to publishers as well as press, and already has a working prototype of the strategic game. Tactical combat is almost ready as well, in pre-alpha form.

With its inter-faction diplomacy and strategic simulation, Phoenix Point excites me far more than a more direct attempt to tap into the memory of X-COM would have done. It’s a bold game which has taken lessons from every strategy game in the series, including Firaxis’ remakes (which Gollop repeatedly enthuses about), but also looks at the wider field of grand strategy and survival horror. For a strategy fan, it’s hard to think of a more exciting reveal in a week that doesn’t normally make a great deal of space for the genre.

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  1. njury says:

    Had not heard about this, sounds very exciting – and ambitious!
    Is he the kind of guy who can pull of a game like this?

    Also how does travel work on the globe map? Is it a jet or something? How big a territory does the player Haven act in to begin with?

    • klops says:

      I’d say Gollop is exactly that kind of guy. Hopefully this succeeds. The only thing I wasn’t that entousiastic about was the colour scheme: dull, dark and grey.

      • UncleLou says:

        I think the colour scheme looks great, but then I do find the new XCOM games a bit too candy-coloured. Mind, I love my greys, browns, blacks, dark greens. More of a Rembrandt/Velvet Underground than a Matisse/Beach Boys kind of person. :)

        • CdrJameson says:

          New XCom is not nearly bright enough, compared to the Anderson-esque palette of the originals.

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          phuzz says:

          Most of my IRL clothes are pretty drab, but somehow all my new-XCOM squads end up in neon colours with hot pink stripes.

      • moixcom says:

        Nah, look son, there is a GEOSCAPE! That means we can let time pass (wait for daytime) and then dive into the mission during the day (just like in the old original 1994 xcom) if you want bright and sunny mission settings.

    • Adam Smith says:

      Travel on the global map starts with small-range vehicles – helicopters and the like – but tech can unlock new aircraft. Not sure about the size of areas of control.

      Gollop is working with a studio, not solo, and may well work with a publisher as well. Every game is a gamble but he’s certainly capable and released Chaos Reborn recently. Considering how far away release is, what I saw was very solid.

    • timespike says:

      Let’s also not forget: Julian Gollup invented this genre of game. The first entry was Laser Squad, and then the original X-Com added a strategic layer on top of the tactical one. (And he also did the Chaos games.)

      Gollup is both an artist and an artisan, and as the person who came up with this type of game in the first place, it’ll be exciting to see how he iterates on it, especially since he’s clearly willing to incorporate other working ideas that have arisen since.

      • syndrome says:

        Also, UFO: Enemy Unknown was the first game to successfuly marry two different scales of affair, ever. I just got into high school at the time — internet/computers weren’t as popular/ordinary as today — but you could hear students talking about their experiences in the game, which was a rare thing.

        It was also bringing the horror young people crave about. UFO dark corners and its unseen enemies somewhat evoked that FNAT feeling.

        The general two-layered approach was subsequently explored by Jagged Alliance (2), which became the milestone of the genre, only to disappear because of the AAA instant-gratification third-person-view console-oriented-design reign during the late 90’s and early 2000’s.

        Yes, Jullian is more than capable of reinventing the genre. He did it first, and brilliantly, without ever having something to copy from or to base own opinions against.

        • froz says:

          That first sentence cannot be true if read literally at least. For example you had King’s Bounty (1990) which also had 2 scales (tactical battles + big map). Or even earlier (1983), Archon on C-64 did the same (chess map + action battles). And what about different genres? Surely some Zelda game did it early as well? I haven’t played those games, but I couldn’t resist googling (somehow this topic seems interesting) and at least wikipedia claims that The Adventure of Link (1987) also had 2 scales (overview map with top-down view and sidescrolling levels).

          And what about all those Japan tactical RPGs? There is an interesting article on wikipedia about that:

          link to

          The first example is from 1982 and it already has 2 separated scales/modes.

          Ahh, I almost forgot, what about Romance Of The Three Kingdoms series? Surely they count as well?

          To sum up, I cannot agree, X-COM was definitely not the first game to introduce such thing, not by a large margin.

      • Matfink says:

        Don’t forget Rebelstar! :P

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    magogjack says:

    “Jenkins fetch my hype!”

  3. manio22 says:

    whelp, there goes another keyboard…damn you E3 , you are turning costly…

  4. RedViv says:

    Far more Apocalypse in this than I had expected to be teased about. Damn exciting.

  5. Captain Joyless says:

    ahhhhh beyond excited about this

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    liquidsoap89 says:

    Colour me excited! I’m not sure I like the card idea mentioned at the end, but if everything else lives up to the hype I’m producing then that’ll more than make up for a seemingly small card section.

    • klops says:

      Yeah, that’s actually the second thing I wasn’t so enthousiastic about. But all in all: Whee!

  7. dangermouse76 says:

    Don’t you want me baby,dont you want me……

    • CdrJameson says:

      I never realised that The Human League were actually named after a faction in a wargame.

      Thinking about it Depeche Mode or Erasure would work pretty well. Oh and Duran… something. I forget.

      • Doomstar says:

        Future expansions will bring more factions like:

        A neo-fascist group rising out of the ashes of Old Europe (New Order) and a group of ruthless gangsters who harvest infected body parts and organs to weaponise, sell and host pit-fighting events (Pet Shop Boys).

        • dangermouse76 says:

          Pre order and receive access to these exclusive factions.

          Soft Cell: A pacifist anti terror organisation from darkest Hull.
          Dexys Midnight Runners:A ragtag collection of late night jogging enthusiasts and resistance fighters who worship the mighty Gary Numan.

  8. Sin Vega says:

    This sounds great conceptually and I like the setting – more ufo/xcom games that actually change the setting are always welcome. A sort of remake of Abomination too, which is nice.

    I’m not sold on some of the tactical level stuff, though. Cards and buffs and HP bars are all too reminiscent of the gimmicky, overly game-y things I didn’t like about the Firaxis games.

    • slerbal says:

      I completely agree with you. I loved Abomination and am also leery of the cards. But I’m optimistic about the end result.

  9. seroto9 says:

    The Human League? Sold.

  10. Severn2j says:

    While it sounds great and is probably the best thing I’ve heard from E3 so far, I am curious about the aiming at body parts angle.. Usually games of this type feature characters with terrible aim, its hard enough to even hit an enemy more than a few squares away, so how close will you need to be to target a specific part?

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    AutonomyLost says:

    This sounds awesome.

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    Nauallis says:

    I’m all for neat tactical gameplay and literally evolving strategy. For singleplayer though, I usually like to know a bit more why.

    Any hints as to the motivation of the mist/aliens/mutated creatures? Does the virus drive them crazy with bloodlust? Are they somehow able to tell the difference between infected and non-infected or non-carrier? Is the virus like Halo’s Flood and is actually intelligently self-organizing and driven to consume all?

    I ask this because it seems rather unlikely that a human/crustracean mutant hybrid is going to be biologically grafted or otherwise integrated with a heavy machine gun just because.

    I’m probably asking too many questions.

    • BB Shockwave says:

      Read the article, they say it at one point that the virus strips animals and humans of free will and puts them under the control of… well, some consciousness. The Advena Domine group found a way to circumvent this, hence they can infect themselves to gain powers but not become part of the “swarm”.

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        Nauallis says:

        Yep, read the article, including the half-sentence you reference. Re-read it, same desire to know. Question on alien/virus/mist motivation still stands.

        Interest is piqued!

        • Einsammler says:

          If it’s got research like Xcom Apocalypse, you’ll find out later!

    • Zenicetus says:

      Well, I had that same question: how does crab man mutant work with a gun like that? Specifically, where does he get ammo? Spare parts if it breaks?

      The aliens in XCOM presumably have a supply chain of factories that build the guns and ammo, but it always seems weird to me when I see some “creature” integrated with hardware like that and no support system for it.

      I’m probably overthinking this. Maybe it’s just basic Rule of Cool.

      • wr0ng1 says:

        Most of the world has been abandoned due to the mist, so I imagine there are plenty of weapons left around for scavenging. As for how it operates it? Trigger mechanism could be integrated into the arm somehow – flex a tendon – gun fires.

  13. TΛPETRVE says:

    There’s a heavy smack of newer Resident Evil in the aesthetics. I dig it. Hopefully there’ll be some footage from the prototype to be shown, soon.

  14. Koozer says:

    I hope he has the budget and the business sense to pull it off. If he pulls a Molyneaux or a Derek Smart I’ll be quite upset. But! His Ghost Recon game on the 3DS was excellent so I have high hopes.

    • CdrJameson says:

      He has a strong record of delivering things that are actually better than the hype.

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      cpt_freakout says:

      Chaos Reborn is a really great tactics game, just to mention his most recent work. And I do mean really great!

    • timespike says:

      He invented this genre. I have complete confidence in him.

  15. Hydrogen says:

    Two critical questions: first, are we going to have another case of “you can move and then shoot, but not shoot and then move, since that might cause you to actually use strategy and not play the game the way we wanted you to” like Xcom did? If so, I’m going to have to give this one a (very reluctant) pass; that was probably the worst decision Solomon and crew made.

    And secondly, are we going to have troops marching into battle singing “You were working as a waitress in a cocktail bar”?

    • BB Shockwave says:

      That’s a weird question… why cocktail bar?
      And well, this will not have action points either, as I heard. Cheer up, the terrible simultatneus turn UFO Invasion MMO DOES let you shoot and THEN move! At the same time as the enemy. :D
      In new XCOM, yeah, it was hard to get used to for old gamers, but I soon learned to find the proper use of it. It also made second chance actions in XCOM2 (via weapon mods or sniper skills) pretty powerful.

      • Raoul Duke says:

        “this will not have action points either, as I heard”


        • BB Shockwave says:

          Sorry, I ministerpreted when they say “combat is like in the new XCOM games”, while it actually says that visually it is like that. So, it might have action points. We will see.
          Checking the bigger photos (not sure why this site did only upload such tiny ones) and the GUI, it does seem to indicate there are options for aimed, snap and auto shot under the gun… just don’t know if the number next to it indicates damage or time units.

          • Raoul Duke says:

            My god… that strongly implies that it has the actual combat mechanics of the original X-COM/UFO… this could be completely amazing.

    • moixcom says:

      @Hydrogen, Chilax Bro! I’ve read a lot of complains about the game of firaxis’ XCOM2 units can only “shoot and move” and not “move and shoot”, i’m like “Have you not been playing the game son?” Lmao. YOU CAN SHOOT AND MOVE. No kidding. Grenaders have this skill called “salvo” which you can shoot and then move. or Sniper’s quickdraw/lightning hands which you can shoot and then move. There might be other skills thats lets you shoot and move that i havent mentioned.

      • Hydrogen says:

        Lyrssoh. I’m not complaining about XCom 2; I saw it made the same stupid mistake as the first game and avoided it. And the fact that an upgrade lets you walk and chew gum at the same time doesn’t mean it’s not a missing part of basic functionality; or as you might put it, “Son, do you even own a dictionary?”.

        Look, it takes a certain amount of time (let’s call it X) to aim a gun and pull the trigger. It takes a certain amount of time (let’s call it Y) to run behind a stack of shipping crates. If you take Y and add X to it, you get Z, the amount of time that makes up a full turn. But if you take X and don’t add anything to it, you still get Z. And yet Y does not equal zero; if you add it to X, you get something greater than Z. See how this makes no sense?

        I’m not complaining about the lack of time units; that was a bad decision XCom ultimately suffered for, but it made sense. X+Y=<Z does not- but it does push the player into a single repetitive playstyle; a poor design choice even when it's not taking the name of such a deservedly loved game.

        • codexer says:

          Skipping several decent games over a psuedo-mathematical quibble?

          Your loss, buddy.

        • Jungle Rhino says:

          If you think through the outcomes that Shoot+Move allows you will see why Solomon and crew didn’t go down that route. Put simply – allowing a unit to shoot then disappear from LoS doesn’t work in a turn based game. It means that defensive positions become king as you can shoot – then pull back out of line of sight with no opportunity for the enemy to respond. This gets compounded with an Overwatch Mechanic which allows you to shoot, pull back, set over watch – wait for the enemy to rush up – get the overwatch shot and then shoot immediately again before pulling back – rinse and repeat.

          This is why pretty much every turn-based wargame ever made (including tabletop games such as Warhammer etc.) has the movement phase BEFORE the shooting phase. Doing it the other way around just doesn’t work as well.

    • Raoul Duke says:

      I, too, am very interested in the answer to your first question. I really like the new games, but they are so limited and gamey in the way they allow you to play. I would be really surprised if the same issues exist in this game, given the rest of it seems geared towards being as flexible as possible.

  16. BB Shockwave says:

    Wow, I was not interested at first due to the Resident Evil/Gorky 17-like monster designs, but I am willing to forget those (and hope not all enemies will be mish-mashes of humans and crabs with guns added) for all the insane awesome ideas. Mutating/modular enemies, several factions, aiming for body parts to cripple enemies… This all sounds really advanced and interesting. Hope Gollop finds a publisher. Also hope this will have a proper SAVE Game function, or I will not even try – default Iron Man mode ruined Mordheim and that previous Chaos game for me, too.

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    caff says:


  18. DailyFrankPeter says:

    Parts of this look like UFO Aftermath. Which wasn’t actually bad – in terms of atmosphere, at least.

    • Sin Vega says:

      Those games were full of great ideas in the setting at least. It’s good to see them helping to inspire something that might play better.

  19. Frank says:

    “Phoenix Point may be humanity’s last hope.”

    And in the game.

  20. melancholicthug says:

    HOLY CRAP. This all really sounds like the most awesomest thing ever. Like, a sum of all the things I like (tactical combat, Lovecraft, Alpha Centauri) with the ones that scare me (Lovecraft, The Sea). I believe in you Mr. Gollop.

  21. timespike says:

    Well, the significance of every other game announcement up until this comes out just dropped a bit for me. ;)

    It’ll be great to have the guy who created the genre defined by the XCOM/X-Com and Jagged Alliance games back in the saddle making another one.

    And for those who aren’t sure about Julian Gollup’s pedigree: he INVENTED these types of games. He’s got Laser Squad and the original X-Com to his name. He most assuredly knows EXACTLY what he’s doing.

  22. Raoul Duke says:

    Please, please, please, please have free aim and soldiers whose hands can operate more than one type of gun. And enemies whose weapons etc don’t magically explode when you kill them. And the ability to do whatever you want on your turn, not a series of pre-defined macros.

  23. Allen Stroud says:

    Hi folks, I’m Allen Stroud. I’ve just finished the Lore work on Julian’s previous game, Chaos Reborn and am writing three novels for that. I’m also working on Phoenix Point with him and Snapshot Games.

    I previously developed lore for Elite: Dangerous.

    Its an exciting project as you can see. We’ve got a lot of great ideas and hopefully this summer, we’ll be able to share a bit more of it.

    • Alien says:

      Great! Please get the Lovecraftian atmosphere right! X-Coms “Terror from the Deep” lore for example was great; a lot of information but not too much.

      Let the players imagination fill the gaps and it will enhance the uncanny, eerie atmosphere…

  24. mercyRPG says:

    Watch how easily this will topple the sand castles of XCOM2 Firaxis built. I do really hope!

  25. mercyRPG says:

    “changes to the core X-COM idea” Lets now forget Gollop and his team built the entire original DOS game and the “core Firaxis X-COM” tried to base anything on it.

    • Phasma Felis says:

      And all the changes mentioned are changes to the original X-COM idea. What’s your point?

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    Captain Narol says:

    Wow, what a awesome news, as a tactics/strategy hardcore fan, I can’t already wait for this game !

    No publisher yet ?

    PARADOX, don’t miss that one please !! That would be quite a perfect match…

  27. Little_Crow says:

    It like a complete mishmash of Alpha Centauri/Civ, XCom, the red weed from War of the Worlds and a host of bits from other IP’s.
    Julian Gollop (and team?) seems to have woven it all together into something that sounds utterly distinct and amazing.

    Being that he pretty much invented the genre, and the successful re imagining of it by Firaxis I can’t see this going without a publisher for too long.

  28. mercyRPG says:

    – What happened on E3 2016?
    – Phoenix Point screenshots and the RPS article!!!
    – Anything else?
    – Meh.. big publishers churning out crap. DOOM is interesting tho and some Gears 4 that turned out to be a boring predictable tube gameplay mess-ness.

  29. Premium User Badge

    Captain Narol says:

    For the record, you can suscribe on the game official site (the one linked in the article) to get regular updates on the advancement of the project directly in your mailbox !

    Already can’t wait to know more about it !

  30. Dominare says:

    Quite a bit of this stuff sounds reminiscent of features that were planned for Apocalypse but never made it in due to time and budget constraints. I loved Apoc anyway but I know that the final game was nowhere near as deep and intricate as the one Gollop wanted to make.

    It sounds like he’s getting the chance to do it his way this time though, and that’s fantastic news both for him and for the rest of us.

  31. braven5 says:

    I loved the old Origninal X-Com, even loved X-Com Apocalypse, and love modern reboot by Firaxis, and I pretty sure I going to love this too!

  32. 9of9 says:

    How about a Fable: Legends style mode of players versus a malevolent evil DM, to fulfil all my Tzimitse fleshcrafting fantasies as I decimate them with my unnatural creations?

  33. Hunter_Wolf says:

    Sounds interesting if he can pull it off, one thing i liked in the article is the pic showing the ability to target enemy body parts, that was one of the things i enjoyed a lot in games like Vagrant Story (an awesome action/turn-based hybrid RPG by Squaresoft on the PSone), where hitting each part could produce different effects (i.e hitting the head would silence magic users preventing them for casting spells), oh and you even had counter attacks as well (which also come with a wide variety of effects).

    All in all Phoenix Point does sound very interesting and different enough from the current XCOM games (which IMO are fantastic in their own way), can’t wait to hear more news about it.