Phoenix Point is an upcoming Turn-Based Tactics game developed by Snapshot games. Several team members worked on the original XCOM title, including franchise creator Julian Gollop himself. The game is planned to release mid-2019 for the PC.
Taking heavy inspiration from X-COM: Terror from the Deep and the works of H. P. Lovecraft, Phoenix Point is set in a bleak world. In 2022, the climate change-induced melting of the permafrost layer has awakened a mysterious virus dormant inside the ice. The so-called Pandoravirus infects all it touches whether it be plant, animal, or human, and twists it into something alien. The sea was the first to be consumed, as a strange mist fell over it, which soon spread to land. Nameless abominations began pouring from the murky depths of the ocean, and civilization soon collapses against a mixture of monsters and World War III. By the year 2047, humanity has been driven to the brink of extinction, now only existing in small, guarded communities, isolated havens, and secretive para-military organisations.
That's where the Phoenix Project comes in, an organisation composed of numerous cells, each with radically different ideologies. It's up to the scientists, engineers, and soldiers that compose the groups, to figure out a way to eradicate the alien menace, and save the human race from complete assimilation.
The player leads one of these cells, and engages in diplomacy, and conflict with the other remnants of humanity, all the while fighting a desperate, all-out war against the abominations spawned by the Pandoravirus, and other, darker, more ancient monstrosities.
There are also a number of short stories on the official site, released before the game itself.
The game provides examples of the following:
- After the End: Human civilization as we know it is almost entirely destroyed, with scattered remnants of governments and cults fighting it out for survival and dominance over the ruins of civilization.
- All There in the Manual: Several background and lore elements are explained in detail in the many short stories posted on the official site, which deal on the background, as well as current factions.
- Alien Invasion: A more...subtle example then most, at first anyway. The Pandoravirus introduced itself to the planet, in a relatively harmless fashion, melt from the ice and go towards the ocean. Coincidentally, humanity was fighting a brutal war, and was preoccupied killing each other, so the only interest it drew was from news tabloids. Whilst this farce was happening, the Pandoravirus was fast at work mutating marine life, and preparing for an invasion of the surface, as it festered in the water. By the time the governments of the World knew something horrible was about to happen, hundreds of thousands of abominable mutants we're storming the surface, making it an unusual example of this trope; the origin of the virus is extraterrestrial, but the actual invasion didn't come directly from space, but the sea.
- Ancient Conspiracy: Subverted. There's evidence of the Phoenix Project originating in the 15th century, and rumors stretching all the way back to Ancient Egypt. But these are merely successor organizations following the same central ideal, not direct continuations.General Sumrall: So keep in mind that there's no secret plan, no arcane knowledge, and no guarantee that we'll succeed. We're just ordinary people following in the footsteps of others, trying to do the right thing for humanity, even when humanity thinks we're the bad guys.
- Animalistic Abomination: Justified, as a majority of the Pandoravirus's soldiers are mutated marine life, fused with Organic Technology. Ranging from the simple crabmen, to hulking and horrifying Sharkbrutes◊.
- Badass Army: The remnants of humanity are filled with veteran fighters, hardened from the constant battle with the monsters of the Pandoravirus. All the factions field an impressive, if small, company of soldiers.
- Benevolent Precursors: The pre-human hominid civilization in the fiction, who performed a species-wide Heroic Sacrifice to put the pandoravirus in its can, and their ruins led to the foundation of the Phoenix Project. It's heavily implied to be the Elder Things.
- Concealment Equals Cover: Averted in the later backer builds, which now allow for even solid "cover" like wooden house's panels to get shot to pieces in order to get at whoever is behind them.
- Grey and Black Morality: Whilst the humans are unscrupulous in their methods, they are all ultimately well intentioned, and want what's best for their dying species. You cannot say the same thing about the Pandoravirus, which wants to entirely devour all life on the planet, although, it's more of a case of Grey and Blue and Orange Morality then downright evil.
- Grey and Grey Morality: All three of the factions have their own flaws and appeals, along with being at odds with each other; even the Phoenix Project are hardly saints.
- The Disciples of Anu are considered as a friendly and neutral faction who wish to adapt to the new world created by the Pandoravirus. Unfortunately, their beliefs tend to do more damage than good as their experiments involving Black Mists tend to create more monsters.
- New Jericho wish to reclaim the Earth from Pandoravirus through military means, but their militarism tends to put at odds with more scientific-minded communities along with have friction between themselves.
- Synedrion are generally portrayed as A Lighter Shade of Grey as their ideas tend to put a compromise between the Disciples' belief in adapting to the new world and New Jericho's goals of human survival. Whether their beliefs are altruistic or naivete is yet to be seen, but it is certain that their decentralized structure meant that the execution of their ideas would be too slow to react to Pandoravirus.
- Hauled Before A Senate Subcommittee: The Framing Device of The Hatch is the Committee on Governmental Efficiency in Supplementary Projects interviewing an unnamed man who was Director of Operations for the Phoenix Project in 1973.
- Heroic Sacrifice:
- In The Hatch, the astronauts who are infested by what is implied to be the Pandoravirus open the hatch of their spacecraft and let themselves die than risk bringing it back to Earth, since the virus has already shrugged off decontamination.
- The New Jericho Commanding Officer in the PC Gamer Demo makes it clear to the squad sent into the fallen Haven that the mission is a one way trip for them to buy time for civilians. They charge in anyway.
- Lovecraft Lite: The alien Pandoravirus has spread on Earth, corrupting every living being in its path and transforming them into otherworldly monstrosities, decimating humanity and forcing survivors to retreat into fortresses named "Havens." However, as bleak as it looks, humanity is still shown to be willing and fully capable of fighting back, showing there is still hope for man. And with the Phoenix Project, humanity has the potential to defeat the alien menace.
- Our Weapons Will Be Boxy in the Future: Phoenix soldiers' assault rifles seen in the backers' builds are essentially flat rectangles with a fist-length fire suppressor at one end and a shoulder grip at the other. The sniper rifles are longer and thinner, but are still pretty rectangular.
- Powered Armor: Phoenix Heavies wear fully enclosed armor suits reminiscent of the Halo series.
- Shout-Out: The comet carrying the Pandoravirus originated from the planet Yuggoth from H. P. Lovecraft stories including "The Whisperer in Darkness", "The Horror In The Museum" and "The Haunter Of The Dark".
- Take Cover!: In all the builds it's very important to keep your troopers behind corners, chest-high walls, inside buildings, etc. and the enemies will seek to do the same. However, later builds also complicate this by making a lot of the potential cover easily destructible, and the free aim system with simulated ballistics allows you to shoot whenever you want to destroy whatever you want.
- They Would Cut You Up: Before the collapse, some governments allegedly did invasive studies on pandoravirus survivors.
- Too Dumb to Live: "The Legend of Fort Bacon" tells of a young New Jericho Lieutenant whose team decides to eat one of the mutants, and while it does taste like bacon, it also ends up infecting all of them.
- Transhuman Treachery: Parts of the pre-human hominid civilization that first encountered the pandoravirus willingly embraced the mutation as a means of gaining power over their peers.
- We ARE Struggling Together: Both before and after the Pandoravirus has been discovered, many factionalizations among the humans led to World War III erupting, and Pakistan nearly got nuked. In the game, politics play a role in appeasing three major factions with differing ideologies, who are still fighting each other despite the human race being a small fraction of it's former size and very close to extinction.