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Phoenix Point

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: RPG/Strategy
Developer: Snapshot Games
Release Date: Dec. 3, 2019

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'Phoenix Point' Details Festering Skies DLC, Free Behemoth Update - Screens

by Rainier on May 19, 2021 @ 12:00 a.m. PDT

Phoenix Point is a turn-based tactics and world-based strategy sci-fi game by the original X-COM game designer.

Phoenix Point, which has been in development for over a year, is a turn-based tactics and world-based strategy Sci-Fi game from the minds of Julian Gollop, veteran designer of the original X-COM games, and David Kaye, the founder of Gaming Insiders. Phoenix Point draws inspiration from a deep pool of talented developers from companies such as Ubisoft Sofia and Crytek Black Sea, and games such as XCOM 2 and X-COM Apocalypse.  

The spread of alien Pandoravirus was an unimaginable extinction event, nearly wiping out all human life. The fortunate majority were quickly killed off by the virus, but some were mutated by the aggressive virus, which attacks human DNA sequences and imbeds its own transformative DNA, thereby mutating humans into horrifically disfigured alien species with the ability to clone.  Those who somehow survived gather in isolated havens spread throughout the world, with several of the largest and most powerful factions of radically contrasting ideologies controlling most of the world’s resources.

You play as part of the Phoenix Project, a worldwide organization set in place before the Pandoravirus, and designed to activate in times of world peril. You and your team must find out what has happened to the other Phoenix Project sleeper cells as you race to bring humanity back from the brink of extinction. Along the way, you will encounter constant threats from an ever-increasing variety of alien mutants (procedural generation system) armed with varying6 tactical abilities and intense boss battles with massive monsters and alien land walkers. Aliens are not your only concern as you will come face to face with unpredictable interactions with human factions with their ideologies and rife with internal conflicts including kidnappings, assassinations, sabotage, military coups, and base defense missions.

Festering Skies DLC features new missions and enemies, alongside an air combat interception mini-game and our largest enemy ever to shake up your campaigns on May 25, 2021!

In Festering Skies, Phoenix forces will encounter a new threat on the Geoscape: the Behemoth, our biggest enemy yet, complete with its share of surprises. The Behemoth is a horrific, lumbering force of nature that appears early in a campaign, introducing new gameplay mechanics, creatures to fight, and missions.

Larger than anything Phoenix has seen to date, the Behemoth seems unstoppable at the outset. But rest assured, all-new story missions and research projects will reveal the secret to overcoming the threat — if Phoenix can survive that long. Time is of the essence as the Behemoth targets nearby havens, and it doesn’t come alone.

Nesting on the back of this gigantic monstrosity is a swarm of Pandoran flyers; frightening creatures that terrorize the countryside and create new problems for Phoenix. Acting as a mobile Pandoran colony, the Behemoth launches aerial raids against nearby havens, exploration sites, and even Phoenix bases as it seeks out resources, bombs colonies into oblivion or converts them into something worse. After its reign of destruction, the Behemoth withdraws to the ocean where it lies dormant until hungry once more.

Thankfully, Phoenix can now leverage its own air power to fight back against these flying foes through an all-new aerial minigame: Interception. A throwback to creator Julian Gollop’s original UFO, Festering Skies transforms your transport aircraft into air-to-air combat machines. Through a new story mission, players will receive their first armed Manticore, with which they can take on Pandoran fliers in the skies above havens, POIs, and Phoenix bases. Later, players can unlock the ability to research and manufacture new weapons and modules for their air force.

Interception combat consists of a quick, automated duel between two aircraft, each firing weapons and using abilities continuously. Players gain the advantage by upgrading to faster, more powerful, or longer-range weapons. Players can also equip defensive modules to avoid incoming attacks, and at any time a player can choose to disengage; don’t forget: your operatives are on board your fighting aircraft! Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor. Of course, if you’d prefer to focus on other areas of Festering Skies’ new content, auto-battle is also available.

Winning the Interception is key, not just for stopping the Pandoran raids but in pushing back the Behemoth’s rampage. Kill enough flying Pandorans and the Behemoth will have no choice but to retreat beneath the sea. But if left unchecked, the Behemoth and its infesting flyers can change the last refuges on the planet into something truly terrifying...

As some of you figured out, the Behemoth isn’t just a mindless beast, only rendering havens into piles of rubble; it also hungers for the havens themselves. When the Behemoth or its flying cohorts reach a haven, it can transform it into an Infested Haven, contaminating the settlement and covering them in organic material that affects the buildings and people within. Left unchecked, these havens will send forth Infected Aircraft to hamper Phoenix efforts.

Infested Havens offer a new mission type that will emerge as long as the Behemoth and its ilk walk the Earth. Infested Havens reduce the global population, making the Human Population Census (HPC) fall, and putting pressure on Phoenix, but you can reclaim these havens for humanity by succeeding at Infested Haven missions. These new missions take place within a faction’s haven, where you’ll find that faction’s former defenders under control of mindfraggers, twisted into defending the interests of a darker power. Thankfully, you can rescue faction soldiers and bring them back into the fold -- and you’ll need them!

Hidden inside one of these buildings is a true terror, a highly evolved form of the Pandoravirus that attaches to structures and machinery to completely overtake the haven: the Corruption Node. Immune to mind control and resistant to blast damage, the Corruption Node acts as the key to saving Infested Havens and requires operatives to get up-close and personal to take it down. But be warned, it will defend itself with a powerful Viral Pulse which radiates damage to all that would do it harm. It will take coordination, but destroying the Corruption Node will cleanse the haven, restoring the Human Population Census and severing the telepathic link to any Infested aircraft in the skies. There are also rewards for Phoenix, including mutagens and resources; but doing a good deed is its own reward, right?

Infested Havens may sound terrifying as it is, but adding to the challenge is a new seemingly simple enemy, the Myrmidon. Myrmidons appear as squashable bugs, but these creepy crawlies can take a beating and easily catch operatives off-guard. Their wings allow them to effectively secure strategic locations, spring into action from far away while using swarm tactics to overwhelm players. Stopping Myrmidons is tougher than it looks, and with their own set of Pandoran evolutions, the Myrmidon will continue to challenge players throughout the game when they appear in Infested Havens, special missions, and haven defense missions.

Of course, that’s not all. We don’t want to reveal everything, but you’ll be able to discover more for yourselves when the new DLC arrives on May 25.

There’s one more update to discuss: our next free content update which will introduce some new quality-of-life improvements and game balance optimizations for all players of Phoenix Point.

All Phoenix Point owners will receive our latest free update on May 25. The v.1.11 “Behemoth” (yes, named after the star of our Festering Skies DLC) content update, includes many upgrades and balance changes for key systems -- and it’s available to you whether you own DLC 3: Festering Skies or not. More details on the changes in the free update below:

Quality of Life Improvements

To start, we’ve made multiple improvements and rebalanced the toughness of all destructible objects like walls, doors, windows, etc. The toughness of objects should take into account a better calculation of the size and material type (metal, concrete, wood, etc.) when determining if a shot is able to destroy it.

We also know understanding enemy awareness was important for players trying stealthy maneuvers, and we wanted to help players know when they might be in jeopardy. Enemy perception range is now visualized when hovering over a selected enemy, so you can see which of your soldiers may be at risk. You can also get an understanding of the trigger range of Eggs and Sentinels by hovering over them as well. 

We also included a few other QOL updates that include:

  • The cone radius of the Overwatch ability will have a maximum size based on weapon type.
  • Change of the rule for the Supportive Faction Havens. When the player discovers a site that is a Haven of a Supportive Faction, it is revealed.
  • Improved information in free aim when mousing over body parts. 

Game Balancing

We’re continually optimizing the game for all our players, thanks to the feedback we gather from our community. While DLC 3 took a large part of the team’s focus over the past few months, we were able to look at a few abilities and weapons in the core Phoenix Point game, and tweak them to align better with our vision for the game for this update.

Specifically, we’re making changes to the Technician’s Remote Control and Infiltrator’s Vanish to increase their AP costs and make them less exploitable. We’re also adjusting the Infiltrator’s Sneak Attack damage so that it now only provides 50% damage dealt when not spotted, versus 100%. Additionally, the Scorcher will get a rebalanced Ammo capacity and burst.

We’ll be keeping an eye on the reception of these changes and have other areas we’ll be addressing in future updates.

Last but not least, we’ll also be releasing a new cosmetic skin on May 25th for those looking to add some more style to their Snipers. We’re not making the code available just yet, but be sure to follow our social media or subscribe to the newsletter to be the first to receive!

We also are in the midst of designing and developing another DLC to release later this Summer. Corrupter Horizons, introduces a new class, enemy, and an even more dangerous threat. DLC 5, which is still in the early stages, will be more focused on vehicles and will release before the end of the year.

Phoenix Point is available on PC/Mac (Epic Games Store and Steam) and is expected to arrive on PS4/Xbox One in Q4 2021

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