Metascore
73

Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 32
  2. Negative: 1 out of 32
  1. Aug 14, 2018
    100
    A rich, detailed and highly replayable espionage adventure, touting the right mix of strategic and tactical choices within its entertaining fiction.
  2. Aug 14, 2018
    92
    Phantom Doctrine from CreativeForge uses the collective Cold War imagery to build one of the absolute benchmarks for modern turn based tactical games, excellent in almost every aspect.
  3. Sep 20, 2018
    90
    Overall I had a lot of fun with Phantom Doctrine… I’ve been a big fan of the X-Com games since enemy unknown and I thoroughly enjoyed Silent Storm. The Cold War, espionage theme of Phantom Doctrine helps to make it stand out a bit and is a great story line. If you like turn based strategy games I would highly recommend Phantom Doctrine… now excuse me I just have to jet to a (redacted) in (redacted) and talk to my handler.
  4. Aug 15, 2018
    90
    Taut, thrilling, and full of twisty new takes on a classic gaming formula, Phantom Doctrine is our new strategic addiction.
  5. Aug 14, 2018
    90
    Phantom Doctrine takes the familiar framework of isometric turn-based strategy and confidently repurposes it into a unique and satisfying experience. It wholly embodies the paranoia and tension of the 1980's Cold War setting in every aspect of its numerous gameplay systems, and completely immerses you in that all-encompassing state of mind.
  6. Sep 17, 2018
    85
    Despite some repetitive missions and cutscenes, there's a massive and complex plot waiting to be discovered in Phantom Doctrine. Although it might not feel that way at first, the game offers a mix of tactical and strategic decisions way more complex than any of the XCOM games. I also think the game perfectly catches the Cold War atmosphere of the early 80s, and delivers it in the form of a tactical stealth turn-based formula. Phantom Doctrine tackles a sensible but fascinating subject, the Cold War, and does a damn good job at it.
  7. Games Master UK
    Sep 6, 2018
    85
    A gripping spy thriller, successfully replicating the XCOM campaign structure in a le Carre-like world. [Oct 2018, p.66]
  8. Aug 14, 2018
    83
    I especially like the great focus on secret infiltration.
  9. Aug 15, 2018
    82
    A suspenseful stealth/action strategy game with a strong Cold War vibe and quite a few original ideas. Not all of them land as well as they should have, but Phantom Doctrine is still a deep and engaging experience for fans of the ‘XCOM’ genre.
  10. CD-Action
    Dec 4, 2018
    80
    Phantom Doctrine is an addictive mix of improved combat mechanics from Hard West and XCOM’s strategic layer (but you also manage particular soldiers, not just your base). I recommend it if you revel in silent executions and infiltrating enemy facilities without leaving any traces, especially if you enjoyed Invisible, Inc. and don’t mind a game being somewhat rough around the edges. [10/2018, p.48]
  11. Aug 20, 2018
    80
    You’re free to grow your operation, tinker with drug combinations to engineer supersoldiers, get the right mix of equipment and training, and fully deck out your MKUltra brainwashing facility. We aren’t fans of how often “addictive” is used as a synonym for fun, but thanks to its loop of world map organisation and tactical missions, Phantom Doctrine is both.
  12. Aug 14, 2018
    80
    Quotation forthcoming.
  13. Aug 14, 2018
    80
    Phantom Doctrine is an efficient tactical game, with a suffocating scenario which tighly ensnares the characters… and the player. Its graphics are dusty but the variety of its gameplay plays like a charm.
  14. Sep 12, 2018
    77
    Although the first look of Phantom Doctrine reminded me XCOM, I still think it has some different advantages. At least, if you are a fan of spy movies, I am sure you will enjoy this game. Right now it has many flaws indeed, but developers are listening to community's opinions, and working hard to repair.
  15. Aug 22, 2018
    75
    It is an interesting alternative to XCOM, which might be even more appealing for some players. It still has some rough edges, but it is a very solid debut.
  16. Aug 14, 2018
    74
    The campaign itself can feel drawn out at times thanks to a less-than-stellar story and some obviously recycled content, but there’s a real thrill in executing covert missions and putting all the pieces together like a master spy.
  17. Dec 30, 2018
    70
    It's a little bit weird, sometimes disbalanced, boring at times and clearly lacking a better budget, but now, after a handful of patches, you can safely pick it up during a sale.
  18. 70
    Two parts XCOM and one part Invisible, Inc., Phantom Doctrine is a fun take on the turn-based tactical genre that struggles with silly pathfinding and an uncertain storyline.
  19. Aug 31, 2018
    70
    Phantom Doctrine may not quite fully follow through on its early promise, but the game is still a lot of fun and will readily supply lots of hours of enjoyment. The difficulty options are such that newcomers looking to get into the style of game should find themselves welcome and given a bit of license to experiment without being punished too harshly, while those with experience will be able to find a challenge. Anyone with even just a passing interest in either an espionage-focused or XCOM-style RPG will find Phantom Doctrine well worth checking out.
  20. Aug 24, 2018
    70
    CreativeForge tries to present a larger and more complete turn-based experience, compared with Hard West, but some hiccups show up along the road. The welcome addition of stealth is marred by… immersion issues, as well as feeling over-powered after half-point of the campaign, whereas the lack of any feeling of urgency on the overworld map makes this part of the game feeling somewhat like an afterthought. Nonetheless, it has enough competent elements in its action as well as the presentation of its spy theme which will probably hook fans of the genre for hours.
  21. Aug 20, 2018
    70
    Phantom Doctrine is a game that can pull you in so hard that you won't notice where the night has gone. It generates lots of fun thanks to cool ideas and good implementations but it can also be frustrating at the same time. If not for the cheating AI we would be taking about a truly wonderful game.
  22. Aug 14, 2018
    70
    You might well find the evocative, smoke-damaged backdrop of ‘80s espionage fresh enough to carry you through a satisfying playthrough. But even with the plates changed and the serial number filed off, there’s no mistaking XCOM 2.
  23. Sep 23, 2018
    69
    Atmospheric and thematically very dense strategy game about agents, with some weaknesses and annoying mechanics spoiling the fun.
  24. Aug 17, 2018
    64
    I loved the idea of this game and enjoyed a few missions here and there, telling my agents where to go and having them exercise their particular skills in saving a prisoner to the backdrop of Cold War espionage chatter and tensions. Yet the gameplay and plot never lived up to its potential, and my expectations slowly lowered themselves into a shallow grave as the gameplay, initially full of potential, let me down through repetitive gameplay and a cliché plot.
  25. Sep 11, 2018
    62
    Phantom Doctrine is in short a project partly derailed on the tracks of confusion and that it would have deserved more attention in defining the mechanics that characterize it.
  26. Aug 14, 2018
    62
    A promising setting and clever systems are let down by simple enemies, simpler characters, and strange balancing.
  27. Sep 5, 2018
    60
    I can see that there is a game to be enjoyed in Phantom Doctrine. I really want to enjoy it, I can’t though until the issue with combat is fixed. So far the best solution has been what Mario + Rabbids has done with its cover system, but even that isn’t a perfect response to a clear problem with turn based strategy games. There’s some unique aspects that I hope are observed by other developers but there are better strategy titles out there like Invisible Inc. that do the core basics better.
  28. Sep 5, 2018
    60
    The game is full of good ideas but the action/combat part is painful, because of an too powerful AI. In short, the game is no bad but the "action part" is not as good as it should be to feel like a real pleasure. It's a shame for a game with brilliant ideas.
  29. Aug 14, 2018
    60
    Phantom Doctrine is a disappointment. However, it has bundles of ambition, a lot of smart ideas and a clear and real love for the spy genre it hamfistedly mimics. I’ve no doubt it will find a cult following, but for people expecting a turn-based tactics game along the lines of titans like XCOM 2 and Jagged Alliance 2, this isn’t it...But that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop playing it. It’s deeply flawed – but like a proud and misguided parent, I keep wanting the best for the game and can’t leave it alone.
  30. Aug 14, 2018
    60
    There’s a lot of great game here, with some fantastic ideas, but a lot of major problems are stifling the fun. If those issues are fixed, then Phantom Doctrine might be worthwhile. If you see a patch with the note “combat isn’t broken anymore”, then you may pick it up. Until then, hold off.
  31. Aug 18, 2018
    55
    Phantom Doctrine has a lot of competition in the broader turn-based strategy genre and its unique Cold War-era setting isn’t quite enough to really set it apart when all the cards are down. While the setting is great and fresh, the generally lackluster gameplay and mismatch of mechanics hold it back from feeling as clean as it should. Its best moments seem to happen almost completely at random or by accident instead of by design.
  32. Aug 16, 2018
    40
    Phantom Doctrine may find an enthusiastic audience with strategy-game masochists. It is complex and open-ended; there are multiple ways to finish missions, and they’re are not always about taking out targets. But it’s also punishing and opaque, poorly explained and hampered by a flummoxing plot. For most of us, it’s a confused and very niche experience.
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  1. For a game about spies, Phantom Doctrine is atrocious at providing you with information. It doesn’t set up its pieces in an interesting way, it just pretends to – and while it has some neat ideas I haven’t gone into detail on, that’s because I so rarely needed to engage with them.
  2. Aug 24, 2018
    An interesting and atmospheric tactical spy game that never quite comes together.
User Score
7.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 115 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 78 out of 115
  2. Negative: 25 out of 115
  1. Aug 14, 2018
    10
    Phantom Doctrine (PD) is the newest installment from polish developer CreativeForge Games. They are known from Hard West (also a turn-basedPhantom Doctrine (PD) is the newest installment from polish developer CreativeForge Games. They are known from Hard West (also a turn-based tactical game set in the wild west with a satanic twist).
    Their newest game is set in the cold era period where the player controls undercover agents who are trying to stop an evil plot of a super secretive organization who's aim is to cause world war 3.

    I personally grew up on games like UFO, Jagged Alliance or X-com.
    I liked the latest installment from Firaxis, but i despised the dumbed down feel of the latest xcom games. Dont get me started on the RNG, with having an experienced marine not being able to shoot with a shotgun from point blank range. Or the lifeless base management.
    Well, CFG up'ed their game with PD. The game is not linear, and the player decides on how he will time manage his team and their agenda.
    The absolute cherry on top I would say is the revealing and gathering of intelligence and misc data. The player needs to connect the dots in order to reveal a valuable piece of information, leading him to either a secret base of the opponent, or allowing him to recruit a double agent OR revealing that the player himself, has a mole among his team.
    Another original idea and how CFG did not plan to dumb down the genre, is mission prep. In each mission the player has to decide on what kind of support he will take with him in order to complete the mission with the utmost success. You can decide to go guns blazing and take a team of snipers and spotters to make your life a bit easier, or go completely silent and rely on comm's and unveiling portions of the map to make passage of your agents easier.
    Dont get me wrong - this game is NOT easy. Its demanding on both fronts from the player - on how he manages his time, his resources, how to deploys his team and his tactical sense.
    The customization is also something PD heavily improved from xcom and allows you to fully customize the agents and their appearance.

    TLDR; its a breeze of fresh air in turn-based tactical genre, anyone who ever enjoyed xcom, Jagged alliance and UFO will have tons of fun!
    Full Review »
  2. Aug 14, 2018
    10
    This is a serious espionage experience with a tactical, turn-based combat. If you liked XCOM you should definitely try it and if you're a fanThis is a serious espionage experience with a tactical, turn-based combat. If you liked XCOM you should definitely try it and if you're a fan of spies, conspiracies and Cold War you're gonna love it.

    There are moments when it is obvious the game had not have the same budget as Firaxis' masterpiece but at less than 40$ it is worth every penny from its price. Challenging, satisfying and NO RNG!!! I mean, no more missing shots from two feet away!
    Every strategy fan should give it a go as it might be solid candidate for a GOTY in this particular genre.
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 15, 2018
    0
    it's practically unplayable. The combat system is broken.
    Don't expect an X-Com in spy sauce, this game has nothing to do with it.
    I do not
    it's practically unplayable. The combat system is broken.
    Don't expect an X-Com in spy sauce, this game has nothing to do with it.
    I do not understand why the developers released Phantom Doctrine in this state. There were so many good ideas behind it! :(
    Full Review »