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Quick Look: Phoenix Point

The enemy may be unknown, but Ben and Rorie are ready to take them on one turn at a time!

Sit back and enjoy as the Giant Bomb team takes an unedited look at the latest video games.

Dec. 11 2019

Cast: Ben, Matt

Posted by: Jan

In This Episode:

Phoenix Point

43 Comments

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snider301

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its another festivus miracle

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rorie

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I sure hope I got everything here right! There's a lot to cover and I'm sure I got some stuff wrong. Didn't play super strategically because I was rushing!

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asherrd

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Subhead should go "The enemy may be unknown." maybe ≠ may be

sorry. pet peeve of mine

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VSG

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Edited By VSG

@rorie said:

I sure hope I got everything here right! There's a lot to cover and I'm sure I got some stuff wrong. Didn't play super strategically because I was rushing!

You start off with a stance on save scumming, so can't get more strategic than that.

Edit: Preemptively requesting a new season of The Exquisite Corps, ideally with X-COM 2, but this looks good too.

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sparky_buzzsaw

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Oh cool! Glad to see some more coverage of this. I think I'm going to have to pick this up at some point.

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Sojak

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Will never turn down more Rorie content! Thanks for making sure this stuff gets covered!

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MeierTheRed

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Looks like a competent game, I'm just not that into the whole look of the UI stuff looks really rough.

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mattchops

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Looks like an early access x-com

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Zurv

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I wish he has played more of the game before doing a quicklook. It takes always most of the value of this - other than entertainment.

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mysticpirate

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Seems like a pretty subpar quick look unfortunately. I don’t think I’ve learned much about the game and what differentiates it from Xcom, and the QL itself wasn’t particularly fun or entertaining.

Even in the big fight at the end where everything turned to shit, Rorie and Ben barely seemed to care, which robbed the moment of any excitement

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LeraA

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Oo, love me some XCOM-like stuff. Thank you for this quick look.

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supermoose

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yay content!

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FugitiveJ

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bybeach

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I saw this game when Rorie did a stream on it. I suck at these games, but I still feel the pull.

This just may be the ticket for breaking into this genre. And I find the premise and all, Invaders from the Ocean, kind of 'fun'.

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rorie

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Edited By rorie

@zurv said:

I wish he has played more of the game before doing a quicklook. It takes always most of the value of this - other than entertainment.

I'm like six hours in which I think is enough to give it a fair shake, but if you know of anything later in the game that you'd like to see, let me know and I might throw it on one of my personal streams later.

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rorie

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Edited By rorie
@mysticpirate said:

Seems like a pretty subpar quick look unfortunately. I don’t think I’ve learned much about the game and what differentiates it from Xcom, and the QL itself wasn’t particularly fun or entertaining.

Even in the big fight at the end where everything turned to shit, Rorie and Ben barely seemed to care, which robbed the moment of any excitement

Ben had a timer on leaving the office so we couldn't go super long. I think the differentiation thing is the point - the game really doesn't do much to set itself apart from XCOM outside of the aiming system. Even the UI is pretty much identical. Sorry this QL wasn't up your alley though!

I'm not sure where you're getting the "barely seem to care" thing, though. I think I was pretty vocal about shit getting fucked up. Certainly with save scumming it's not like my party was actually being wiped out, but if I had lost an ironman run or something because I was recording a QL I'd have been pissed.

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Adaptor

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Gun stuff!

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jasperkazai

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This seems pretty cool. I'm fine with more XCOM stuff, and the free aim seems like a good addition. Even Overwatch being a vision cone you have to position, rather than just an AOE shoot anything nearby, is a neat change.

I'd be interested to see the extent of the customization options. I know Rorie doesn't generally care about that stuff, but I, like many people, enjoy creating custom people (friends, etc) in the game. And because I savescum like Rorie (the one true way to play), it means I can play the whole game with the people I want. You can change their name, but what else? How deep into the appearance can you go, if at all?

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Topcyclist

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@rorie said:

I sure hope I got everything here right! There's a lot to cover and I'm sure I got some stuff wrong. Didn't play super strategically because I was rushing!

You GOT EVERYTHING WRONG! Were SHUTTING THE site down. This is your final warning from the online comment police. XD

Good on you for trying since these games are dense. Hope you liked it and discuss during GOTY. Thanks!

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Jay-V

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Exquisite Corps 2 with Phoenix Point please!!

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Draxxlith

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Seeing the free aim took me back to a weird B game from the OG Xbox that I spent way too much time on- https://www.giantbomb.com/future-tactics-the-uprising/3030-5413/

Anyway, Phoenix Point seems like some neat light twists on XCOM. I wouldn't mind seeing bigger evolution in the XCOM-like space, I love the idea but always burn out towards the end of these games.

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goosemunch

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Rorie quick looks are the best

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norm9

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Haven't started yet, but more of these types of games need to be console.

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JesseJames

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@jay-v: That is one of my favourite features on this site, so i'm hoping the same.

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Stephen_Von_Cloud

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Yeah it looks like the new XCOMs but those games look a lot like the old XCOM, which was created by Julian Gollop, who made Phoenix Point, so I think it's definitely cool.

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Nethlem

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@rorie: No offense, but if people are on such a short time-limit it might be better to reschedule for another time-slot instead of rushing through the QL in a "We've had this on screen, check, off to the next thing!" manner, at least with more complex games like this because this felt like it was recorded in a real hurry.

And while it might be a "Quick" Look, but you didn't finish/fail a single tactical mission, and barely scratched on a rather complex looking geoscape layer, with multiple factions, like people are supposed to know how all of that works out and functions. Do only shorelines need defending? Is there an equivalent of "ufo air combat"? Multiple bases?

I consider myself rather well versed in the genre, and what little you showed looks very intriguing but left me with more questions than answers. Or is the whole gist here really just "Firaxis X-Com with free aim in the original X-Com Terror from the depth" setting?

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@rorie: Enjoyed the quick look, hadn’t heard about this game and it got me interested. I enjoyed the xcom games and seems there are a few differences to make it worth while. hope to see a follow up review or UPF session on it when you have played more of it. I am more impressed that with the holidays coming up, people taking vacation days, and all the editing that needs to be done for GOTY that you guys can still post regular content

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pmurph03  Online

I got to a mission where there were 3 sirens, a couple other basic enemies, and an one that launches airstrikes from across the map. I figured that was just bad luck of the draw, but soon every mission had similar enemies where the whole squad needs to use all their actions just to take down 1 of the tougher enemies. Which is rough when there's 8 other enemies who are also right nearby and want to shoot you, mind control you, and bomb you from across the map. This was on the easiest difficulty.

I'm hoping there will be mods or updates that will smooth out the weapon damage/tech tree a little more. You can get upgrades from stealing or becoming friends with factions, but those still don't seem good enough.

It might be a little too challenging for me past the point I reached.

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Edited By dasakamov

@nethlem: Rorie touched on the factions, geoscape and diplomacy. That seems like pretty detailed coverage for a 30 minute video, especially when videos under 30 minutes get complaints about being "too short" and videos OVER 30 minutes get complaints about "lololol you call this a QUICK Look?!"

Never mind that QLs (different staff styles not withstanding) aren't intended to be a comprehensive analysis of game mechanics; they've always been "Hey folks, here's some gameplay footage so you can see if it's something that might interest you!"

@rorie I would also be interested in seeing more of Phoenix Point if you stream it in the future! I need something to kill time until the game leaves the EGS-exclusive, in any case. ;)

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@nethlem: A bigger change than the free aim probably is the AP system. Well, really it's a return to what tactical games of the type were almost all like before the XCOM reboot. It allows you to perform whatever actions you want within an AP pool your character has vs the move and action system the XCOM reboots used. It allows for a lot more freedom.

I appreciate a lot about the XCOM reboot series and think its fantastic but I have always missed AP, being a big fan of games like Silent Storm and Jagged Alliance 2.

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@nethlem said:

@rorie: No offense, but if people are on such a short time-limit it might be better to reschedule for another time-slot instead of rushing through the QL in a "We've had this on screen, check, off to the next thing!" manner, at least with more complex games like this because this felt like it was recorded in a real hurry.

And while it might be a "Quick" Look, but you didn't finish/fail a single tactical mission, and barely scratched on a rather complex looking geoscape layer, with multiple factions, like people are supposed to know how all of that works out and functions. Do only shorelines need defending? Is there an equivalent of "ufo air combat"? Multiple bases?

I consider myself rather well versed in the genre, and what little you showed looks very intriguing but left me with more questions than answers. Or is the whole gist here really just "Firaxis X-Com with free aim in the original X-Com Terror from the depth" setting?

We had already had barely any content for a week so I figured it would be better to get this up and posted rather than wait any longer! Sorry if it wasn't as detailed as you would like but as someone else this is more of a "hey this game is neat" video (at least in this instance) rather than a review. If I get to the end of the game I might try and do another stream but in GOTY season that will probably not occur until next year.

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This just looks lame. I get this is the original creator of XCOM but this looks like a bad, low-budget version of the new XCOM games. I just don't get the appeal and those are my favorite games. I was hoping for something more original and complex. Maybe Xenonauts 2 will give me that.

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rorie

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@pmurph03 said:

I got to a mission where there were 3 sirens, a couple other basic enemies, and an one that launches airstrikes from across the map. I figured that was just bad luck of the draw, but soon every mission had similar enemies where the whole squad needs to use all their actions just to take down 1 of the tougher enemies. Which is rough when there's 8 other enemies who are also right nearby and want to shoot you, mind control you, and bomb you from across the map. This was on the easiest difficulty.

I'm hoping there will be mods or updates that will smooth out the weapon damage/tech tree a little more. You can get upgrades from stealing or becoming friends with factions, but those still don't seem good enough.

It might be a little too challenging for me past the point I reached.

According to IGN's review editor on Twitter, the game apparently adjusts its difficulty on the fly if you save-scum? This would've been nice to know!

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Wow, I really hope that is an unintentional side effect that gets fixed. It's super lame to punish people like that, if it is intentional. Hell, even having dynamic difficulty in the first place should be an option you can turn off. I don't want to have to deal with that, personally.

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Edited By zor

So... from the sounds of it, from the comments about save-scumming and dynamic difficulty, the crab people will eventually start wearing glass armor if i save scum...

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Edited By Hupsel

Fucking love Rorie

Enemies in different levels of that house look weird to see, wish they had silhouettes or something.

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pmurph03  Online

@rorie: Haha that makes sense, I would always reload whenever things went real badly so I hadn't lost any one. But it sounds like it's time to recruit a bunch of fresh faces and send em out on some random missions to die.

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Looks cool but not as good as it did when they put out the first gameplay trailer. Doesn't really seem to add much new to the xcom formula and doesn't seem as polished. I guess it depends on the price they set for it.

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Edited By Lethargy

@jasperkazai: It sounds like it's not actually because of save scumming, it's because if you always win and never have any soldiers die, you're going to get the difficulty upped on you dynamically

edit: I mean it probably doesn't matter how much you save or load, just what the outcome is

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@rorie said:
@pmurph03 said:

I got to a mission where there were 3 sirens, a couple other basic enemies, and an one that launches airstrikes from across the map. I figured that was just bad luck of the draw, but soon every mission had similar enemies where the whole squad needs to use all their actions just to take down 1 of the tougher enemies. Which is rough when there's 8 other enemies who are also right nearby and want to shoot you, mind control you, and bomb you from across the map. This was on the easiest difficulty.

I'm hoping there will be mods or updates that will smooth out the weapon damage/tech tree a little more. You can get upgrades from stealing or becoming friends with factions, but those still don't seem good enough.

It might be a little too challenging for me past the point I reached.

According to IGN's review editor on Twitter, the game apparently adjusts its difficulty on the fly if you save-scum? This would've been nice to know!

I love this model, but I've never been much of a save scummer in games like this or Fire Emblem, unless I fucked up in like the first turn or two. They should have an option for permadeath or "casual" like the FE games do now.

And good QL, got everything I needed to decide if I was interested in seeing more of this game.

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jasperkazai

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@lethargy: Yeah, I didn't mean it was an intentional punishment for save scummers, but that it's an unintentional side effect that will end up punishing save scummers. Keeping everyone alive is, in my eyes, something you want to always do. So I will keep reloading saves to make that happen. It's simply how I like to play these games. The iron man/endless war stuff has never been something that appeals to me.

Really I just think the dynamic difficulty stuff should be 100% optional/toggle-able. I don't want that kind of stuff, but I can see the appeal for people who do.

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andthentrumpets

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I enjoyed the QL!

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trelution

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I saw Ben and "Matt" and I was like who the fuck is this new guy?? but fun QL.think I'll wait for a sale for it tho