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Pirate Radar
Apr 18, 2008

yeeeeee strigoi!!


Phantom Doctrine


What?

Phantom Doctrine!


Oh.

Phantom Doctrine is a turn-based squad tactics game from Polish game studio CreativeForge, makers of Hard West, which I didnít play but heard was good. For this one theyíve dialed back the supernatural elements and moved the timeframe up a hundred years or so. Itís 1983, with the Cold War in full swing, and you play an agent of a major world intelligence serviceóCIA or KGB. Beat the game once to unlock a third (more on that later). In the course of your duties, you stumble upon a sinister plot to manipulate world affairs for unknown reasons and are suddenly plunged into a worldwide battle for the fate of humanity. Going off-the-books, you form your own group of spies and agents, the Cabal, andó

Wait, youíre the Cabal?

Yes.

Youíre the good guys, but you named yourself the Cabal?

Apparently.

Anyway, you:
-Recruit and equip agents
-Send them on missions
-Complete a variety of objectives
-Stop the enemyís secret project



Like a lot of games recently, itís XCOM, But:

Itís the Cold War: No power armor and laser guns. Agents need cover identities. The agents themselves have language proficiencies that let them blend into different places.

You can do everything with stealth: what if the stealth phase from the beginning of XCOM 2 missions could last the whole time? Stay in the shadows, avoid conflict or eliminate your enemies silently and hide their bodies. Or put on the right uniform, speak the right language, have the right documents, and walk right in the front door. Youíre a spy! Do spy poo poo!

Several new twists to the tactical game:
-No % chance for shots. Instead, your shots will always do somethingóthe ďawarenessĒ stat gives the enemy a chance to dodge that goes down with repeated shots and regenerates when not being shot at. So if the enemy has no or very low Awareness, you always hit them. If they have high Awareness, your shot will miss or only graze them, but theyíll be easier to hit with other agents. Your agents have the same mechanic.
-Offmap call-ins. You can position agents around the edges of the map with binoculars, sniper rifles, or grenade launchers and use them to scout or take out enemies.
-Move and shoot, or shoot and move. You get move points and fire points, and you can spend them in any order during your turn. I was wrong about this, I think.
-Breach rooms: stack your agents up at the door and then give orders for them to execute simultaneously. Theyíll move into the room all at once and shoot enemies inside it. This also suppresses enemy overwatch.

On the strategic level, you send your operatives out all over the world to do little missions like scouting an area or foiling an enemy plot. These arenít represented as tactical missions, but depict you unraveling the conspiracy behind the ominously titled Beholder Initiative. The devs have folded real Cold War history into the story: in this universe itís the Beholder Initiative thatís behind the shootdown of KAL 007, but you can try to prevent that.

Your agents might get captured by the enemy, and return later, boasting of a daring escape... but are they telling the truth, or brainwashed sleeper agents? Of course, if you capture an enemy agent yourself, you can do some brainwashing of your own.



Thereís a loving wonderful-looking cork board section where you read through the files youíve collected while on missions and connect the dots to unmask enemy agents and figure out where their bases are, leading to missions aimed at taking out their operations.

It all looks pretty sweet, honestly. Launching for PC, PS4, and Xbone on the 14th; preorders are already open on GOG with a discount, though not on Steam yet.

Post-Launch Edit: Below is a collection of some of people's impressions, tips, and resources.

Perestroika posted:

When you get the option to have an agent start disguised, make sure to take it. That agent will spawn much closer to the objective, and they can only be uncovered by enemy agents. Otherwise they can trespass all they long right in front of cameras, soldiers, or civilians and nobody will ever care. Managed to pull off an otherwise potentially tricky mission by just walking right up to the target, bonking her on the head, and carrying her out without nobody being any wiser.

Of course, the very next mission (which appeared to be story-related) involved my safe-house being raided, meaning my three poorly-armed agents on site were supposed to fight through like 10 enemies towards an evac zone on the far side of the incoming attackers. No idea how I'm supposed to manage that.

Disguises are, frankly, amazing. Being able to walk around the enemy base doing whatever is awesome. Doubly so if you get the perk that removes the "can only be uncovered by enemy agents" part and just makes you a master of disguise.

Disguises and off-map callins are locked behind the Tactical Recon (or whatever it's called) base feature. More on how that plays in the Geoscape below.

friendly 2 da void posted:

After being really excited for release and playing this for a couple hours, this game is in full on Please Do Not Buy Yet mode.

Full of jank and completely unfun in many ways. I can't tell if some of these decisions are bugs or awful design decisions. They might be able to fix it, they might not. Either way you should almost certainly wait.

This isn't an uncommon impression, so if you come off from reading this post feeling like this, no worries. CreativeForge hasn't talked about post-release plans yet but I'll update this space when they do.

Raged posted:

When the game forces you into a mission with no stealth and open combat it suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuccccccccckkkkkkkkks


They should have stuck with X-COm % chance if they were going to do that

pedro0930 posted:

It certainly doesn't have as much polish as XCOM, It doesn't have certain QoF feature such as preview vision and flanking after movement or whether you are flanking someone. However, after a few hours of game what I've seen so far is pretty promising.

Combat is more attrition based. Overwatch seems extremely powerful, especially if you stack it since you can fire multiple times with overwatch. First shot strip the enemy of awareness (similar to the luck system in Hard West), second shot kills the target. There's no chance to hit, cover and various defense stat reduce damage taken. Breaching also seems powerful, it's seems to be one of the few cheap and reliable way to kill multiple enemies in a room. Carry smoke if you want to capture enemy agent, enemy vision and attack range is extremely long in this game, blocking off vision is probably your best chance to survive when you are trying to disengage.

The geoscape portion of the game seems interesting. You have to assign your limited agents to prepare missions before hand or attack head on which is much harder. As the game progress you get more options to prepare your mission. It's pretty dope.

About the Geoscape: you gotta be on the ball with the Geoscape! This also means stationing agents at different cities around the map. If you learn about an enemy operation you have a window of time in which to interrupt and prevent it entirely, but that's dependent on you having agents close enough to fly there in time. The same goes for doing tactical recon before a mission, which is what enables you to use disguises and off-map agents. It took me a bit to get the hang of this.

THERE APPEARS TO BE A BUG IN THE CIA CAMPAIGN

botany posted:

Every time I try to hide Aguirre's body in the second mission the game crashes.

Raged posted:

Same here. I just did not bother after the 3rd crash.

So be forewarned of that.

Finally, you can


I'm having a lot of fun now that I've gotten into it, honestly!

Pirate Radar fucked around with this message at Aug 15, 2018 around 14:56

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Pierson
Oct 31, 2004



College Slice

This sounds cool as poo poo and I had zero awareness of its existence, thanks man. I appreciated Hard West for what it tried to do but the setting never really grabbed me, but I'm totally down for cold war turn-based shenanigans.

Caros
May 14, 2008



I'd have gone with X-Blonde, but looks cool.

Pirate Radar
Apr 18, 2008

yeeeeee strigoi!!


Caros posted:

I'd have gone with X-Blonde, but looks cool.

The other thing I thought of was XComic Blonde, but yours works too.

Caros
May 14, 2008



This game popped up on my youtube suggestions today, and I have to say, watching a preview of it, it looks surprisingly good. Deserves considerably more love imho.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGApiK0m4_o

Pirate Radar
Apr 18, 2008

yeeeeee strigoi!!


Caros posted:

This game popped up on my youtube suggestions today, and I have to say, watching a preview of it, it looks surprisingly good. Deserves considerably more love imho.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGApiK0m4_o

This video shows off one of the cool ways they implement cover (as in your spy cover, not like walls and objects). The two members of the team in plainclothes get to walk around in front of people and quickly take down the police officers outside, clearing the way for the agents in tactical gear to move in. The people in body armor, obviously, would raise an alarm if seen. It also shows the sort of two-tier system for enemies, where there are mooks like the cops and regular soldiers who go down pretty easily, and then there are the enemy agents who are just like yours. When I get home later today Iíll try to remember to do a roundup of the videos theyíve put outótheyíve shown off three or four missions so faróand what they contain.

SlightlyMad
Jun 7, 2015


drat. This game looks really cool. I will buy this as soon as it is available. Unlocks in two days.

WaltherFeng
May 15, 2013

50 thousand people used to live here. Now, it's the Mushroom Kingdom.

Hopefully this runs better on PS4 than XCOM

Pirate Radar
Apr 18, 2008

yeeeeee strigoi!!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIWeT5okiBE This video is short and mostly showing combat but the devs talking over it give some cool information about the game.

There are a couple of missions they've shown off so far by giving them out to streamers. The most common one seems to be the first mission in the CIA campaign--the two starts, CIA and KGB, have a different first set of missions but apparently dovetail into each other once you get into the main plot.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J91ddhlKRng This video has the tutorial mission and the first CIA mission, in which you infiltrate a Pakistani military base during a sandstorm to spy on their nuclear program. The team of three agents is wearing disguises, so they have access to the base and can do a lot of things without raising the alarm.

We've also seen the first KGB mission, though the game and commentary are in French, which I don't speak, so I'm not sure exactly about what's going on in it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Eyb9-2zDIQ

No idea yet what the first mission for the unlockable third start (Mossad) is.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGApiK0m4_o This "Fearsome Kingpin" one already linked shows off combat and off-map call-ins.

WaltherFeng
May 15, 2013

50 thousand people used to live here. Now, it's the Mushroom Kingdom.

Also why the topic title isnt Metal Gear Tactics

Autonomous Monster
Apr 29, 2013

a miserable failure as a person

an incredible success as a magical murder spider



Pierson posted:

This sounds cool as poo poo and I had zero awareness of its existence, thanks man.



I wasn't all that impressed by Hard West in the end (only bothered getting one ending, never got round to the side missions), but juggling cover identities and fail-forward gunplay already sounds a lot more interesting.

1stGear
Jan 16, 2010

MEIDAY



College Slice

WaltherFeng posted:

Also why the topic title isnt Metal Gear Tactics

The real question is why the plucky underdogs are named The Cabal and not the world-controlling shadow government.

Dandywalken
Feb 11, 2014

I will not shut up about the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I talk about them all the time and work them into every conversation. I actually named my daughter after the Pink ranger and will provide proof if challenged.


I like how much of the CIA research techs are based off MkUltra and brainwashing techniques. I wonder what the KGB equivalent will be?

Game looks loving sweet.

Perestroika
Apr 8, 2010



Caros posted:

This game popped up on my youtube suggestions today, and I have to say, watching a preview of it, it looks surprisingly good. Deserves considerably more love imho.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGApiK0m4_o

Man, that looks really promising. You can absolutely see how you could potentially manage that whole mission entirely stealthed, provided you brought the proper tools. Making the shooting semi-deterministic looks like a really good decision, since you won't end up in a situation where your cover depends on not missing with a bunch of percentage-based shots in a row.

Caros
May 14, 2008



Perestroika posted:

Man, that looks really promising. You can absolutely see how you could potentially manage that whole mission entirely stealthed, provided you brought the proper tools. Making the shooting semi-deterministic looks like a really good decision, since you won't end up in a situation where your cover depends on not missing with a bunch of percentage-based shots in a row.

I don't have it in front of me currently, but I caught a streamer last night who did a full mission without raising an alarm, and it looks like that will be a pretty common thing if you play well.

It reminds me a bit of invisible Inc, in that the goal is to go full stealth, but if that fails you can go loud without the game being ruined.

Interestingly, it does also look like going full 'there is one more way to kill a man' I'd also an option, that sometimes the best solution is to just load up with body armor and heavy weapons and wreck their poo poo.

One last thing I caught on a stream. If you get caught there is the standard x-Com reinforcements, but there is also 'off board' events that can happen. In the stream I caught they had a fighter just start strafing the building they were in, semi-randomly at the end of every turn, in an attempt to kill them.

Pirate Radar
Apr 18, 2008

yeeeeee strigoi!!


Yeah, if you go full loud you have to move fast, because the reinforcements are infinite and the enemy can also call in those fighters to strafe or bomb the map, or helicopters to shoot up the building.

Pirate Radar fucked around with this message at Aug 12, 2018 around 23:29

Bogart
Apr 12, 2010

Time to button mash!


1stGear posted:

The real question is why the plucky underdogs are named The Cabal and not the world-controlling shadow government.

Minor spelling error. It's supposed to be the Ca Pals.

Pirate Radar
Apr 18, 2008

yeeeeee strigoi!!


I have to stop watching streamers do the investigation sequences because I just end up annoyed and muttering the words under my breath. Itís right there!!! You just moused over it argh

SlightlyMad
Jun 7, 2015


1stGear posted:

The real question is why the plucky underdogs are named The Cabal and not the world-controlling shadow government.

The Cabal origin story. By the time you finish researching all the mind control fuckery your organization is poised to take over EVERYTHING. Why else does it take place back in 1983? That's when THEY all started to REDACTED the REDACTED! It all makes sense. Now where is my cork board and red string... why is it not tomorrow yet

SlightlyMad
Jun 7, 2015


Comrades! A KGB agent lets play by PartyElite has been uncovered:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLYlTJPzqeE

I am glad they have Russian language voice talent doing the agent comments at least in the early game.

Price without discounts would be 39.99Ä. Early purchase discount seems to be 10% until the 28th and comes with soundtrack and digital artbook, and owners of Hard West can get another 5% off. GOG and Steam have similar prices as far as I can tell. Xbox One version has a 10-day delay, available August 24.

Raged
Jul 21, 2003

A revolution of beats

Is this available for pre-order on Steam? I'm in Australia and there is no option to pre-order it.

Sekenr
Dec 12, 2013



There is a ChristopherOdd lp as well, I'll post link when I get to computer. Game looks like it could be very good.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kFfXMXiYKk

Sekenr fucked around with this message at Aug 14, 2018 around 06:33

Pirate Radar
Apr 18, 2008

yeeeeee strigoi!!


Thereís no pre-order on Steam and apparently there arenít even pages for the game on the PS and Xbone game stores until launch. Thereís a pre-order through GOG.

Knobb Manwich
Dec 25, 2007

This is where I begin to speculate what being a
man of my word costs me


GoG has a 15% off coupon set up for Christopher Odd, OddDoctrine. Probably gonna get this tomorrow even though I'm a complete idiot when it comes to deciphering clues.

Raged
Jul 21, 2003

A revolution of beats

Knobb Manwich posted:

GoG has a 15% off coupon set up for Christopher Odd, OddDoctrine. Probably gonna get this tomorrow even though I'm a complete idiot when it comes to deciphering clues.

Thanks for this nice deal with the pre-order discount.

Anime_Otaku
Dec 6, 2009


Was the console version delayed? Itís supposed to be out on the 14th but itís not on the Xbox store.

SlightlyMad
Jun 7, 2015


Anime_Otaku posted:

Was the console version delayed? Itís supposed to be out on the 14th but itís not on the Xbox store.

Yeah, Xbox version will be out on 24th. Last minute fixes or something. PC version unlocks today in 6 hours.

Anime_Otaku
Dec 6, 2009


That sucks, guess Iíll just have to content myself with watching Christopher Odd and Marbozir playing on YouTube. I think itís kind of cool that they donít seem to be portraying the KGB story as taking the villain role, but I suppose it would be difficult to portray this aspect of the Cold War as anything but shades of grey.

curried lamb of God
Aug 31, 2001

we are all Marwinners


edit: wrong thread!

curried lamb of God
Aug 31, 2001

we are all Marwinners


edit: wrong thread!

TheCenturion
May 3, 2013
HI I LIKE TO GIVE ADVICE ON RELATIONSHIPS

You know what I've wanted for years? A modern version of Sid Meier's Covert Action.

Is Phantom Doctrine that game? I guess I'm about to find out.

TheCenturion fucked around with this message at Aug 14, 2018 around 15:27

beats for junkies
Dec 23, 2013


Install faster, game!

I hope there's an Acoustic Kitty research option.

Rookersh
Aug 19, 2010

Midgets be packing some Space-Age shit!



GMG just put up their sale, $29. Cheaper even then having Hard West and getting the loyalty discount through Steam.

Perestroika
Apr 8, 2010



gently caress, the hype got me, downloading right now. Now to decide whether I should go CIA or KGB...

Deketh
Feb 25, 2006
That's a nice fucking fish

God dangit the hype is in me too. Hovering over the buy button but GMG's refunds policy sucks so I can't decide!

Farrier Theaks
Mar 23, 2007

Whatever fucking exists, he said. Whatever in creation exists without my fucking knowledge exists without my fucking consent.

Nap Ghost

I enjoyed Hard West but it felt unpolished in a lot of ways. it seems like this is all the good things from HW (including that sax/trumpet) plus a lot of other cool poo poo. gonna grab it now, hope its good~~~~

Saint Freak
Apr 15, 2007



I died on fleek, and so am cursed to roam the Earth forever, eternally on fleek...


Buglord

Farrier Theaks posted:

I enjoyed Hard West but it felt unpolished in a lot of ways. it seems like this is all the good things from HW (including that sax/trumpet) plus a lot of other cool poo poo. gonna grab it now, hope its good~~~~

The devs did a livestream for GOG like a month or so ago and 'Hard West was unpolished' was basically the first thing they said too, so I'm hoping that means they learned some lessons.

Crakkerjakk
Mar 14, 2016


Bought it over the weekend, waiting another 3.5 hours for work to be over so I can go home and install this. Pretty stoked, I loved Hard West (though it got a bit repetitive towards the end) and all the extra strategic stuff towards the end on this plus the espionage stuff is just right up my alley.

Perestroika
Apr 8, 2010



Ahahaha, the KGB start has you using a full-on brainwashed sleeper agent that's activated by a certain control phrase.

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Pirate Radar
Apr 18, 2008

yeeeeee strigoi!!


Perestroika posted:

Ahahaha, the KGB start has you using a full-on brainwashed sleeper agent that's activated by a certain control phrase.

I think thatís just the tutorial mission, isnít it? But itís only 75% downloaded for me so Iíll verify when I can.

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