I know Ronia used to emerge from the VR Version of Dance Central exhausted, so it's not super crazy that Gabriel's cyber excursions into the delicious Pistol Whip deposit him on the couch - damp, yet also greasy. It's essentially Jazzercize circa 2023, which probably explains his getup. I went pretty hard on Nike+ Kinect Training back in the day, about as hard as you could, its witch eye testing and judging me.
Finding me wanting.
I've been playing Phantom Brigade whenever I can tuck it in. I grabbed it when it went on Early Access on EGS, so I've had years of experience with its concepts as they've been developed over the course of something like twenty one updates. I have no idea how you'd be able to turn a code for this game into a review. It simply doesn't work like other games, and it's just an odd quirk of mine that I've been waiting for something like it since Mars Saga. Which is from, like… 1988.
What I want - what I need - is Turn-Based Combat. You know this! But once I've put in my turns, I want them to play out in real time. This is a very peculiar need, I will grant you. But Phantom Brigade does this! The conceit of the game is that your guerilla mech force is overmatched, but has a piece of technology that might win them the war - a sophisticated "prediction" engine your mechs can use to project what your opponents will do. That makes the game something like a mix between a tactics sim and a puzzle. Tactics and puzzles are a savory pairing - Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes and it's rowdy F2P scion Solgard have proven that out. Except that is where Phantom Brigade goes rogue.
It doesn't take place on a grid. If it was grid based, and you knew exactly what enemies were going to do, I'm not sure how much game there would be there. No, like in an analog wargame, you move units dynamically through the terrain - building a turn for each robot using something like a video editor with multiple tracks - one for movement, and a parallel one for your attacks. Set up all your dominos, hit the Execute button, and then watch the next five seconds of battle unfold. Then do it again. Dear reader: would you be delighted to learn that each fight drops loot of various color-coded rarities, parts and weapons with unique perks? Well, good! Because that's what fuckin' happens.
There's a couple things I would love for them to add - I think it would be bonkersville to replay the whole fight, once you've beaten it. They'd even be fun to store - you won't believe how it feels when you've choreographed some of this stuff, and you might want to put them online or show them to your dad if he was still alive. There are also times when you're moving a mech, but it's not showing your weapon ranges, which you need in order to know the ranges of your weapons - because the game is entirely about these orchestrations, I need as much info as I can have. But the core is too good. It's too good.