A good spy thriller needs a good title, something like The Bourne Identity or The Berlin Memorandum. Phantom Doctrine is off to a good start then, with a name to match its Cold War spy action in an XCOM disguise. There’s a new story and gameplay trailer out now, which shows some of Phantom Doctrine’s turn-based espionage in action.
The basic premise of Phantom Doctrine is that you’re running a super-secret spy organization who are trying to subvert a global conspiracy for world domination called the Beholder Initiative. The XCOM comparison is the most obvious one, but there’s a lot more than shooting bad guys going on in Phantom Doctrine.
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You’ll often have choices in how to approach missions - infiltrate target military bases either by going in guns blazing, or opt for more subtle approach with disguises and learning the local language. You’ll need to piece together clues to crack cases, and brainwash captive enemies to create Manchurian Candidate-style moles to activate in combat. Operatives can have their cover blown, and you’ll have to forge new passports and identities for them.
Julian got a chance to play a demo version of Phantom Doctrine in December and came away impressed with the many pulp spy thriller themes woven into its mechanics. Tension builds throughout each mission, and the longer you stick around, the higher the chances of your agents being discovered.
Here’s the new E3 trailer: