Variety — June 18, 2018

"Phantom Doctrine’ Will Take Hours to Learn, but Will Probably Be Worth It."

by Peter Clark


Phantom Doctrine” has won at least one Game of E3 awards, and there’s a good reason why: it’s incredibly interesting.

It’s 1983. You play as either a Russian KGB agent, an American CIA agent, or an Israeli Mossad agent. Although things are tense as the Cold War reaches new, frigid peaks, you can’t shake the feeling that something is off. Something seems to be pushing the diplomatic detente in such a forceful direction, where you are starting to believe that a deep, global conspiracy is afoot. And you just might be right.

That’s the basic conceit behind “Phantom Doctrine.” It’s an *intensely* complicated turn-based espionage game that finds you leading a counter conspiracy force to undermine whatever duplicitous plot might be trying to unravel the very nature of international relations for malicious reasons.

Shown in a hands-off demo during E3, “Phantom Doctrine” was shown to me in not-nearly-all of its complex glory. It has systems upon systems, considerations upon considerations, which all underly a combat system that CreativeForge Games lead designer Kacper Szymcsak called distinctly “chess-like.”

“It’s always your fault when you lose,” he said.

Though the basic concept is easy enough, there’s not simple way to describe the levels of play that await you. In the demo, one moment Szymcsak was showing me the random perks that come with leveling, the next he was showing me the chemical compounds that you can create to give to characters, the next he was showing me the bombs you can implant in characters’ heads in the event that they’re kidnapped by the arbitrators of the conspiracy, until we were actually, *seriously* putting together clues on a digital  cork board, complete with yarn, to figure out the deep, procedurally generated components of the truth.

Full article here.

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