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.


  1. syndrome says:

    Broomhall is ace!
    Julian, do your thing, follow your hunch, I wish you the best comeback ever.

  2. Syrion says:

    That brooding X-Com midi battlescape music will forever be imprinted in my mind. Just like the exciting but still suspenseful Geoscape music. Despite never having played/succeeded in more than the first few missions up until few years ago, I’ve always loved the music (and the whole game at that) since getting the game on a cover disc in 2001.

    Broomhall also made the soundtrack to the excellent free X-Com-tribute-comic/visual novel “Deep Rising”, definitely look that up!

    For other fans, has really cool 1-hour-mixes of suitable Battlescape/Geoscape music from various sources, mostly to be played alongside the game. But, I find these also serve incredibly well as general purpose moody music!

    As for the actual topic, cool! For me it’s too early to really be excited about the game, but the ideas are promising.

  3. Little_Crow says:

    Was really interested in this when I saw the article posted last year. I Googled it a few weeks ago and was worried that I found no further news.

    Great to hear Julian is still on the case and has brought back some of the original UFO:EU crew too

  4. Captain Narol says:

    I’m very hyped for this.

  5. skyturnedred says:

    That teaser warrants a staring eyes tag.

  6. Stugle says:

    I still listen to the UFO: Enemy Unknown and Transport Tycoon soundtracks regularly (they make great background music at work), so this might be the first time hearing about a composer actually makes me more interested in a game. The theme and Gollop pedigree doesn’t hurt things, either.

    • caff says:

      It’s about two years since I last played TT but I can still hear the tunes in my head.

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    wonderingmonster says:

    Wow, that’s quite the team!

  8. DaftPunk says:

    I am so eagerly awaiting this,cant stand new xcom anymore.

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    ooshp says:

    Will I finish a Long War 2 campaign before this comes out? It seems doubtful, especially since I refuse to bump the difficulty down from commander even though I haven’t the foggiest idea what I’m doing with all the new mission types, unknown tech tree, boosted AI and… pretty much I have no idea what I’m doing. Which is fantastic, but brutal.

  10. Themadcow says:

    I’m not sure why the interest in this. It’s only one of the greatest game designers of all time, returning to the genre he defined, with a plan for a game that sounds like it could be the best thing ever created on a computer… what’s the big deal?


    Having recently replayed Impossible Creatures, it’s amazing to think that we don’t see more games with bizarre animal hybrids.

  11. Allen Stroud says:

    You want more? ;)

    You can, of course, ask…:D I do occasionally frequent these comments.

    • Themadcow says:

      Always up for more news on this project – I think I signed up for updates on the official site when it was announced but, err, it’s been a bit quiet. Sounds like quite the awesome team being assembled.

  12. King in Winter says:

    Fantastic. Where do I sign up for the beta? :D

  13. Alien says:

    Broomhalls Masterpiece: “Terror from the Deep”!

    link to

    The excellent soundtrack from “It Follows” somehow reminds me of Broomhalls eerie, atmospheric music: link to

  14. Josh W says:

    Very interesting, I love the idea of using a genetic generation approach, it reminds me a little of AI war in that the problem is to some extent about facing down a kind of AI system.

    It makes me wonder if people will start finding exploits that push the enemy’s development down certain alleyways that they can then manipulate (it might help to avoid that by having a more circular transition network, looping on itself without any corners to get pushed into).