Phantom Line is a 'paranormal SWAT' co-op FPS set in post-nuclear Europe, and there's a playtest happening soon

I get a little giddy whenever I hear about a new co-op shooter. Not that there's a shortage of them these days, but I have an unending appetite for any game that brings the whole gang together. I've yet to hear somebody utter the sentence "there's just too many cool co-op games right now."

Phantom Line, announced during today's PC Gaming Show 2024 stream, hopes to be counted among them. Previously codenamed Hornet, Phantom Line is described as a four-player "paranormal SWAT" FPS set in the midst of a nuclear war in Europe. It's the first project from Antistatic Studios, an outfit founded by industry vets who worked on Cyberpunk 2077, Bioshock, and Conan Exiles.

"Your mission is to search and contain paranormal events and activities (anomalies) hidden from the public eye in an open world map full of dynamic events," reads a release from Antistatic.

One such event, judging by the PCGS trailer, is venturing through shed portals into little nightmare dungeons. The trailer is light on actual gunplay, though it sounds like part of the open world action will be confronting (or avoiding) the two warring factions between you and your paranormal assignment. The way Antistatic describes Phantom Line suggests there will be a degree of survival upkeep, too. Players need to be "self-sufficient" and "improvise" with any resources or gear available out in the world.

Oh yea, another strange Phantom Line detail to mention: As a special operator, you can apparently "transfer your consciousness between artificial bodies" through a program called H.U.S.K.

"Use them in your tactics: scout, distract, decoy, or utilize many other strategies and commands to gain an advantage over anything in the way," the release reads. What a vague way to describe an ability—I gotta know how it works. Can you take over drones to scout an area? Robots? Other soldiers?

Phantom Line will support 1-4 players and, despite its milsim impression, it sounds like there's no PvP whatsoever. The part of me that gets stressed out by other players hunting me in Escape From Tarkov and Gray Zone Warfare is breathing a sigh of relief.

Playtesting for Phantom Line is already underway, but Antistatic is taking sign ups for future test sessions through its Discord server. There's also a Steam page where you can learn more.

Morgan Park
Staff Writer

Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.