September 19, 2017 Dan Paredes
There were a lot of great games at PAX 2017 in Seattle. Both of my cohorts detailed many of them last week. However, the one game that really stood out during the show was Phantom Doctrine. While looking like another XCOM derivative, Phantom Doctrine trades aliens with spies and operatives in a slickly, designed 1980s Cold War alternate reality.
The tactical combat resembles XCOM down to the “Enemy Turn” label when the opposing force is taking turns, but much of Phantom Doctrine is a great iteration and evolution of concepts from past games in this genre. Phantom Doctrine has an overwatch ability that these games all have. But, the added wrinkle is that overwatch here is directed in a particular direction in a cone shape. This allows for more tactical realism and control while adding some difficulty. I was even told that the player could assign target priority in overwatch, so a operative could keep watch on a single enemy, which is valuable in situations with high value, mission critical targets. There are also support units like spotters and snipers from off the tactical map that give more options for tackling every situation.