Developer: Snapshot Games
Publisher: Prime Matter
Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Serise X, PC
Reviewed On: PS4 Pro
Release Date: 01/10/2021
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
Do you have a X-COM shaped hole that other games can not fill? Well, here is a new offering to fill that hole, Phoenix Point: Behemoth Edition. Does what X-COM does and a bit more. But is it any good?
In the future of the Earth, all most all humans have been mutated by the Pandoravirus. The Pandoravirus mutates any humans unlucky enough to be caught in its storm. They succumb to the virus and mutate in to Pandorans. That has one role to kill and destroy. Phoenix Point is the last hope for humanity to survive if you lose all is lost.
The story is not a deep one; you travel around the world and getting snippets of story as you search nodes. There is a story to uncover, but it just basically what you would expect.
Let’s Save The World
Gameplay in Phoenix Point does mostly play like X-COM, in terms of turned based tactical RPG. With varying missions, from killing all the Pandorans to rescue and evacuate people or items. These lead to a good amount of variety to the gameplay. As well as different mission types. There are troop types that have advantages and disadvantages. For instance, sniper – good long range but weak at close combat. Each class working just as you would expect.
It also has a base that you can upgrade, complete research, craft weapons and so on. However, you get to unlock more and more bases as the game goes on. This adding to the amount of areas that are cleared. As you travel from one node to the next time will pass, as time passes, events will occur. These can be attacks on settlements, timed events to save people, and so on. With all the DLC, there is around 100 hours or more content.
Shoot It In The Head
With the battle systems in Phoenix Point, I have to admit they impressed me with how they implemented the shooting mechanics. No longer do we get X-COM dice roll and forget about the percentages battles. Where missing at 99% hit chance is common place. Here you can aim at different parts of the body freely and have a better sign of hit chance. I did not miss a shot if in the high 90%.
It is also possible to run out of cover, shoot an enemy and get back in to cover. Well, providing you have action points. This is vital for the heavy weapons as they are shot from the hip and if there is half cover, most of the shots hit the cover.
Before any missions, you need to form a team, and make sure that we correctly equipped them. If not, then the team will be at a massive disadvantage. As running out of bullets in the middle of a fight will need a tactical change. From pushing forward to hanging back to safeguard the team member. If this happens, you will be looking for trouble.
It is always worthwhile to have at least two magazines worth of ammo and health packs. Also, grenades could be worthwhile. It will depend on the mission and party. However, each character has a weight limit and limited storage. That need to be taken in to account.
Faction Are Key To a Happy Life
As you cover the globe and kill everything that moves, you will encounter three factions; New Jericho, Synedrion, and the Disciples of Anu. Each holding pocket of safety throughout the world called Havens. You are free to interact with each faction. However, some actions and decision can and will affect your relationships with each.
As each of the factions, beliefs and ideals for how to rule the world. They all offer very different rewards for siding with them. However, striking a balance could be hard depending on how you play.
I love this idea of factions. Not only does it allow for reply value (well if you have a spare 300+ hours). But each time you play, the story can be profoundly different.
Not Always A Safe Landing
Phoenix Point has a few minor problems. The button layout can confusing at times. To the point I would perform an action but not mean to. This more down to my own daftness to be fair.
The other problem I have with Phoenix Point is there were a lot of frame rates drops and momentary freezing. It did not really affect the gameplay, but it was annoying.
Overall Phoenix Point: Behemoth Edition is a great addition to the X-COM formula, with just enough differences to make it stand on its own. I had a load of fun playing it. I wanted to tell you more about the game but cannot spoil it all now, can we.
I would definitely recommend this game to any fan of tactical RPGs.