I don’t know if it’s cheerier or far more grim for an XCOM-ish turn-based tactical game to be set against the very real backdrop of the planet-ashing Cold War rather than a humanity-mulching alien invasion, but I look forward to finding out in Phantom Doctrine. Developers CreativeForge Games, who you might remember from their ‘XCOM/Jagged Alliance but demonic cowboys’ game Hard West, today announced plans to launch Phantom Doctrine on August 14th – just over a month from now. It’s an interesting-looking one, supposedly with scope to complete missions with spy stealth as well as Rambo III megamurder. Here, a new trailer introduces the premise.
And yes, that big conspiracy corkboard is actually part of the game’s UI:
Our former Adam (RPS in peace) enjoyed the Phantom Doctrine preview build he played last year, trying to wave away some of the obvious XCOM comparisons, and it sounds sound.
“That’s one of those unexpected elements. There are essentially three possible start-points for agents on a mission. They can be part of your squad, preparing to infiltrate, they can be planted within the objective by assigning them to go undercover on the world map, or they can be at the perimeter of the map working as spotters or snipers. Those latter agents can’t enter the actual tactical grid – they’re off-screen, assigned to one edge of the map and equipped with either a scope or a rifle. With the scope, they can track enemy positions, and with a rifle they can pick off anyone foolish enough to stand near a window or in the open.
“And the undercover agents can do just about anything you might imagine. You could have them kill all of their ‘colleagues’ silently and efficiently, giving your other agents a clear path to their target (whether that’s documents to steal, systems to sabotage, or a person to kill or kidnap), or they could simply act as eyes and ears on the inside. It might even be possible to have them complete objectives while pretending to be a good employee, without drawing attention to themselves.”
Hard West didn’t quite come together but I’m hopeful for this one.