ICY: Frostbite Edition – Review
Follow Genre: RPG
Developer: Inner Void
Publisher: Digital Tribe
Platforms: PC
Tested on: PC

ICY: Frostbite Edition – Review

Site Score
7.7
Good: Great narrative
Bad: The lack of animation makes the combat feel stiff
User Score
7.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)

‘I c wut you did thar’, was a popular meme a couple of years back and it slaughters the English language in favour of a more phonetic writing. ICY: Frostbite Edition on the other hand is a game that started out as an Indiegogo project, and after a successful campaign the real work began for the developers and the result is available on Steam. So both of them originated from the internet, and they might share a part of the demographic if you were to put the players and the users of the slang in a venn diagram, but the game is bound to last longer than the meme, and has more work put into it to boot. It’s also the second edition of the game as the first game was simply called ICY.

ICY_Logo

Story

ICY: Frostbite Edition is narrative driven. A game that goes by that moniker tends to oversell itself by giving players a high expectation. If the writing isn’t all up to snuff or the clichés ooze out of every pore of the game then players will find themselves turned off by the experience and the game will just collect digital dust in their Steam Library or sit idle in the Blu-ray disc case. ICY: Frostbite Edition doesn’t sell itself short. The team behind it had a clear goal and some really good writing skills. It’s a perfect blend between show and tell. Having the scales tip too much to either side might make the game too flashy so it becomes too visual while having it tip the other way might make the story go at a snail’s pace turning players off by not being able to hold their attention.

ICY_04From the start of the game you are bound to feel for the characters, their struggle isn’t that relatable, it’s not like we are living in a post-apocalyptic frosty wasteland, but it’s the way they act that even without the writers telling you how long they’ve been out and about, you can feel the weariness in the way they react and they are completely believable characters. It’s quite a feat to do so. As for the story itself, it starts off quite calmly. The group you are a part off is huddled in a frozen wasteland. The leader of the group comments that the group should leave the tundra for better pastures. There are some members who don’t think that plan is the safest, but there’s no other viable option otherwise, so you go out for a final scouring of the wastelands and take some items that should make the trip more bearable. Upon returning, shit goes south and your group is attacked. The odds are ever against you and you’re taken captive, alongside various other people, a lot of which you don’t know. Things happen and you break away from the thugs, but a part of your friends are still held captive by the bandits. So it’s up to you and your ragtag band of survivors to rescue them and take the fight to the bandits’ front door.

Graphics

The game has a comic book feel to it, that’s because the art style is completely hand drawn. Again, props to the designer of the environments and the characters. The story box meshes greatly with the conversation boxes and it makes so that the player is constantly on alert for a moment when you have to react. What could be improved and make the combat a little more interesting is actual animated characters, which would make the ICY: Frostbite Edition less static.

ICY_02

Sound

ICY: Frostbite Edition isn’t a horror game nor does it pretend to be, it does however keep you from being at ease when you play. The melody that plays when you are out and about and during conversations is lithe yet has an eerie sensation to it. Like anything could happen at any given time and you have no time to feel safe, at ease and you don’t have the luxury to feel like you aren’t hunted down by everything. Either feral beasts, human enemies, even the cold will find a way to hunt the characters and you down and is hell-bent on killing you. There is no voice acting, but there are some moments where the scenes are strengthened by audio cues. A perfect choice to make role playing easier and not force the player to imagine every sound the game spells out.

ICY_03

Gameplay

When it comes to the gameplay, ICY: Frostbite Edition, is a narrative driven RPG. The main focus lies in the narrative part, as the choices you make in between confrontations with enemies drive the plot. That isn’t to say that the rpg elements aren’t quite capable of holding their own. At the start of the game you pick your character and assign statpoints, as the story progresses, and you explore more locales and venues, you’ll gain more points that you can sink into your skills. There are some skills that will aid you in battle and some that will aid you when you are just looting places. There’s combat abilities that will make the damage with melee weapons higher and stats that will boost projectile based weaponry, like guns and bows. Both looting and succesfully killing enemies will net you loot. This loot can be anything, food, weapons, weaponparts, armour or random junk.

ICY_01

The crafting part of the game comes with some prerendered options to make it easier for beginners to know what combinations do what and it really helps out. The battles can be initiated when certain story events unfold, or if you are looting a place where the risk of being spotted is high. The combat is turn based and every turn you’ll draw cards which, when combined, can do better damage or have cool effects. There’s a morale system in place which gives you a massive boost in damage if it is high, but lowers your damage if it’s lowered. On the other hand lowering the morale of the enemies will stop them from doing large chunks of damage. So morale won’t mean a game over immediately after it’s depleted but it will hinder you quite a bit. You lose if your hitpoints hit zero. Winning is done by making the hitpoints of the enemy drop to zero.

The game doesn’t explicitly state it, but there’s an auto save function. It’s not as fully fleshed out as other games and might set you back a little, but it’s a nice feature that shouldn’t be forgotten.

Conclusion

ICY: Frostbite Edition is another take on a post-apocalyptic game with RPG elements, kind of like Fallout in the snow, but with a unique hand drawn art style that make it worth looking into if you are a fan of RPG’s. It also does it’s best to help out newbies to the genre with a difficulty choice at the beginning of the game.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
ICY: Frostbite Edition - Review, 7.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.