PC, Playstation 4, Xbox One; CreativeForge Games/Good Shepherd Entertainment
This tactical espionage game gives frustratingly little chance to hone skills, leaving players dependent on luck
In Phantom Doctrine, a brutally punishing tactical game, you are the head of a shadowy organisation of spies at the height of the cold war, either aligned with the CIA or Russia’s former KGB. It is an appealing fantasy, but might seem too close to the reality of working at the top echelons of espionage. There is frustration, futility and a nagging sense that the endless global fight might not be worth the trouble.
Players are tasked with unravelling a conspiracy using a network of spies, commandos and moles. Much of this is done from your base as you train agents, investigate intelligence and direct worldwide missions. For on-the-ground work, you send small teams into the field, directing the turn-based combat from an overhead view. All of this is pulled together by a bewilderingly convoluted storyline.
Phantom Doctrine review – a vexing spy game for masochists