Impressions Of Phantom Brigade, A Revolutionary Techniques Recreation


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Screenshot: Phantom Brigade

Hi there. Do you want XCOM? Do you just like the current and glorious MechWarrior Techniques recreation? And most significantly, are you in any respect within the passage of time? In that case, then there’s somebody I’d such as you to fulfill.

That is Phantom Brigade, a turn-based techniques recreation that got here out final week. It’s a recreation of two halves, one the place you command a squad of mechs on the battlefield, the opposite placing you in command of strategic stuff like conquering enemy areas, managing pilots and upgrading/repairing your mechs.

These are all issues I like and issues I’ll take a look at out in even probably the most primary try at a turn-based recreation. However Phantom Brigade is admittedly setting itself aside in a number of key methods.

Phantom Brigade 1.0 Launch Trailer

First up, it appears to be like superb. It’s received a really Digital On form of vibe taking place with its mech design (and animation, even), and I simply love how slick and funky the entire thing appears to be like. Even the interface is superb, taking cues from video games like Infinite Legend, and displaying that simply because a recreation is about technique doesn’t imply it additionally cant look good.

Subsequent, this isn’t strictly a turn-based techniques recreation. Like Broken Lines, which I liked and wrote about a few years back, Phantom Brigade is kinda turn-based, in that you simply positively get on a regular basis on the earth to line up your strikes, however the precise decision of these choices performs out in real-time.

The story’s narrative foundation is that you and your crew of mech pilots have got hold of a secret prototype weapon that lets you see briefly into the future. Just long enough to see how far an enemy unit is going to move in the next five seconds, and what they’re going to do while they’re getting there. Convenient!

It works like…a video editor. The developer walkthrough below takes you through it in detail, but the planning stage of each turn involves lining up a series of actions on a timeline, on which you’re able to “scrub” backwards and forwards to see how everything is going to go. When everything is to your liking, you hit play execute and the whole series of moves plays out.

Phantom Brigade 1.0 Developer Walkthrough

That might sound easy. If you can see into the future, then you can see what your opponent is doing, and you can simply react accordingly. But there’s challenge and unpredictably inherent in this, since every time you shoot, or move, or come into physical contact, or deploy a shield, these actions are timed, and play out during an animation sequence.

Fighting game fans might know where this is going; it’s all fine seeing what your opponent is doing and setting up something to defeat or counter it, but if you get the timing wrong, then you’re fucked.

You might also have noticed from that video and gif that Phantom Brigade is, as a result of this emphasis on timing, always moving. There’s very little prolonged use of cover here, the game wants to make this more of a dance than a gunfight. I’m very much into this at just a click-by-click level, as it always gives me a lot to do, even on turns where it looks like not much is happening.

The game released in Early Access on the Epic Games Store a couple of years ago, which is when we first covered it, but has now reached version 1.0 status and dropped on Steam as properly, wanting a little bit slicker and enjoying a little bit tighter within the course of.

This submit was initially written in 2020; it has been up to date after spending time with the 1.0 launch.