Strategic spy thriller Phantom Doctrine launches today, letting players explore the treacherous world of Cold War espionage through XCOM-like stealth and combat. While predominately a single-player experience, CreativeForge’s game also allows players to compete in head-to-head multiplayer battles.
Given how Phantom Doctrine blends spy fiction with tactical strategy, this makes for an intriguing setup for a multiplayer game. We reached out to the developers to find out how it works.
According to CreativeForge, multiplayer matches can be played across a total of five maps, each offering a very different tactical challenge. “‘Soviet Hotel’ is a traditional boxy arena consisting of many medium-sized rooms,” say CreativeForge. “‘Trainyard’ is a chaotic place with many unexpected lines of fire while ‘Call Center’ is a vast convoluted place that encourages sneaky tactics.”
During setup, players can select from a “large” roster of preconfigured agents roughly divided by class. “Each one of them has a unique profile and encourages players to use a variety of tactics,” say the devs. “Spitfire is a slow tank who will suppress enemies with his machine gun and grant allies safe passage with a smoke grenade. Fixer can mine critical passages and eliminate half the enemy’s team with his cluster bomb if the opposing player is careless enough.”
Emerging victorious in a multiplayer match will require players to take advantage of the extensive range of tactical moves and counter-moves that Phantom Doctrine offers. “Doors become surprisingly powerful tools to play with. Bypassing a single overwatch zone, whether it’s with the help of a smoke grenade or a blinding laser, can determine the outcome of the entire match. A single well-placed poison grenade can lead to victory if the agent who threw it can only stay alive long enough for the poison to take effect.”
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