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Phoenix Point teases horrors, recruits X-COM composer

Phoenix Point [official site], as I explained in detail last year, is a very exciting proposition. It marks the return of Julian Gollop, creator of the original X-COM, to alien-themed strategic combat, but it’s far from a nostalgia project. With dynamic factions taking sides in the war, a strong horror element and procedural monstrosities, it sounds fascinating.

A new teaser trailer gives very little away, but does arrive alongside news that John Broomhall, composer of X-COM’s superbly creepy music, has joined the team as audio director and composer, and that Jonas ‘Talos Principle’ Kyratzes has joined the writing team.

That barely qualifies as a tease. It’s the mere suggestion of a tease. If I hadn’t seen a build of the game in action already, I’d probably be wondering how much of the game existed, and whether it was all just scary faces and Lovecraft quotes, but I know that’s not the case. Let’s put the teaselet to one side and look at the real news here.

Broomhall’s presence seems like a very good thing to me. His work on previous X-COMs (the original, Terror From the Deep and Apocalypse) is obviously the most relevant part of the CV when it comes to Phoenix Point, but he’s also the hero behind the jazzy delights of the Transport Tycoon soundtrack. I would pay good money to see a giant mutating crab-like alien skittering onto the side of an oil rig while Broomers Oil Rag jollies away in the background.

And then there’s Kyratzes, who I linked to Talos Principle above. It is perhaps his most well-known work, and a smashing script, but I’ll always think of Kyratzes’ own creations when I hear his name, the Lands of Dream games. They’re strange, thoughtful and I imagine their tone is very different to anything we’ll see in Phoenix Point. A good scribe to have on board though, no doubt. He’s joined by Allen Stroud, who worked on Gollop’s Chaos Reborn and Elite: Dangerous’ world-building and novelisation.

No news on a release window yet, but hopefully we’ll see more soon. For now, feast your mind on all of the details we already know.

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Adam Smith

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