Phoenix Point

From the minds behind X-COM, indie RTS Phoenix Point has just received a lengthy narrated gameplay demonstration outlining its Backer Build 4 features.

The mission in the footage had previously only been available to those that attended the EGX Rezzed 2019 event in London but can now be freely viewed with some explanatory dialogue. In the latest early access build, the gameplay focuses on one of the three scenarios that the team were showcasing at the event. While the scenario played in the video does not display all of the added features to the Backer Build 4, it does highlight some of the more important aspects.

In the footage, the audience has a full view of the slums map which the narrator describes as one of the more challenging missions and also warning viewers they may be in for a crippling defeat. The difficulty of the level is made clear by the lack of open spaces and a limited line of sight. The lack of vision is, however, compensated by the addition of much more verticality in terms of vantage points on buildings.

Despite the limited vision, Phoenix Point has a nifty mechanic that indicates when a character is moving onto a space that is within the line of sight of an enemy and vice versa. At first, this can be intimidating as players will know if they are moving a troop into danger, leaving the player to determine the risk/reward of the situation. Thankfully, players can also see the weapon types of enemies within range whether that be an armed foe or one that can only attack at close range.

In addition to the new map, the footage also shows a new artillery enemy type. The creature shown has four legs and a large pod-like body which acts as a mortar, but with Phoenix Point’s mutation system this same creature could have a multitude of different abilities. These mutations include different legs, therefore changing the creature’s mobility and weapon types, creating a welcome sense of variety to the combat. For example, the artillery fired by this crab monster is a gooey substance that prevents player characters from moving while another, similar creature may have an explosive based attack.

One nice touch, on the other hand, is the inclusion of partially destructible cover demonstrated by the heavy class accidentally destroying a support beam and therefore missing the enemy. The terrain itself in the current build is described as very “weak” as the team are looking to add properties to the existing materials in a later build.

Overall, while Phoenix Point is still in development, some innovative and intuitive mechanics are being implemented that could make the project stand out from other tactical shooters. While some issues do raise concerns about the project, Phoenix Point still looks promising.

To keep updated about Phoenix Point, and everything single-player, be sure to bookmark OnlySP and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube. You can also join the discussion in our community Discord server.

Richard Flint
Part of the UK team, Richard enjoys a bit of everything. From covering news, to meeting up with devs at events, Rich has done it all and loves every minute of it. No task is too big or too small and each new opportunity is a chance to grow as writer.

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