The Spy Games of 'Phantom Doctrine' Offer More Style Than Substance

A friend asked me whether he should get Phantom Doctrine. I didn’t really have an answer, so I asked him, “Do you want a cool game, or a good one?” Phantom Doctrine is frequently the former but, despite a lot of waiting and hoping as I played the campaign, it never quite manages to put the pieces together long enough to become the latter. And the longer I played, across 20 hours and three long chapters, the less cool it began to seem the same beats repeated over and over again, with little evolution or variation.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

That’s unfortunate, after the nigh effusive coverage during PAX East. Playing the demo there, I didn’t have enough time on it to see the appeal and now I suppose I never will.

It’s not out yet and it’s operating on a more strategic/narrative level than tactical one (you pick who to send and where but the missions themselves play out with a series of multiple choice questions), but Sigma Theory looks like it could be interesting:


I actually remarked to a friend of mine, after playing a bunch of Phantom Doctrine, that what the game’s unfortunately mediocre blend of fluffy strategy layer and infiltration focused tactics really made me want is to play Sigma Theory and Invisible, Inc.

So this is where my life is now. Show me any spy game from Alpha Protocol to Device 6 and I’ll apparently want that shit with no consideration whatsoever.

Off to learn everything I can about Sigma Theory apparently.

Looks like the team behind Phantom Doctrine is falling apart. CEOs have come and gone, and the team is disbanding.

It’s sad, because I have just started playing PD, and I’m actually kind of into it. I’m curious what life this game will have once those mod tools go live. Let’s hope for a mod that gives it some life in a cult-status kind of way.