Impact Winter (PlayStation 4) – Review
Follow Genre: Survival adventure
Developer: Mojo Bones
Publisher: BANDAI NAMCO
Platforms; PC, PS4
Tested on: PS4

Impact Winter (PlayStation 4) – Review

Site Score
5.0
Good: Atmospheric high, good visuals and sounds
Bad: Bad gameplay which forces you to just run around aimlessly.
User Score
7.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)

A game about snowy landscapes might be good for the Christmas spirit or to cool off in the Summer. Especially when you, like many gamers, are too pale to be in the warm summer sun and prefer to watch the cold blue lonely light of your screen. Impact Winter is here to enhance the blue cold light with vast planes of white snow. Don’t get depressed by the lack of light, you can always craft a campfire to make it all a bit cozier. Oh, and don’t forget to survive. 

Impact Winter

Story

As a meteor struck the Earth, billions died by the harsh cold neverending winter that’s brought with the impact. It’s a world of scarce life. Most of the food that’s left is canned, and seeds became a replacing currency since money got rather useless when you are freezing your toes off and your tummy is rumbling. Seeds are hope, possibly creating a new life in a controlled environment since everything else went to hell. You play as Jacob, a guy in a literal mid-life crisis, trying to lead some survivors who are held up in a church building. As you get dropped into the story, a mysterious broadcast is heard, giving hope to you and the other survivors. The message says there will be help arriving in about 30 days. As you progress, you try to make the 30 days go faster while you survive on make-shift creations and whatever supplies you can find in a winter wonderland.

Impact Winter 4

Graphics

Graphically the game is rather impressing. It’s got a unique take and style on a post-apocalyptic world and its inhabitants. While you travel through meters of thick snow and frozen wastelands, there’s little to see but yourself and a robot companion, following you around with a GPS and a flashlight. Most buildings you come across are only available through the roofs since every other access isn’t accessible anymore. It’s a vivid world in terms of solitude, which seems contradictory but solitude seems to be the goal in this game. Each character and NPC is stylized in its own fun little way, and there are many references to be found suggesting what used to be there before the impact. As such you will find broken roads, buildings that don’t have their original purpose anymore, fences, specific cars and more.

Sound

When listening to the sound, it also has some very nice features. The title menu music alone screams that it’s a different game with interesting elements. There’s a bit of 80’s in there, mysterious and inviting. The sounds in-game are mostly those referring to the barren environment, covered in snow and howling winds. It’s fine sound design, there is not much to say about it. Much like the graphics, it forms an excellent base to make a proper game.

Impact Winter 3

Gameplay

Impact Winter is a survival exploration game with RPG elements. In this case, that means the game gives you a 30 days timer at the start. If you survive the 30 days, you get rescued. To survive, you need to try and keep everybody that’s inside your base safe, happy and healthy. To do this, you start out with a team of five including you. You are the leader, able to give commands to each and every party member, but you can only play as yourself. Commands vary from giving assignments to craft something such as a specific meal or mechanical structure, or by handing out ”roles” that always have a positive and a negative side. As an example, a role can make sure a character works faster on a given craft task, but on the downside, they will have a higher chance of injuring themselves in the process. It’s a fun concept but by evening out each role with a positive and a negative side, the roles actually feel rather useless because it evens out each other on a general basis.

Impact Winter 2

This is the biggest problem with Impact Winter. For something that’s presented in a golden wrapper, it’s awfully hollow. The style calls out for some action, or at least for stuff going on in the world around you. Most of the time though, you get a ”quest” to collect certain items that help you build stuff such as a furnace or a generator for your safe haven. Then, you walk around aimlessly to gather these things in empty buildings with an inventory that is always too small and questions at every item you come across since you won’t be sure if you can use it before you learn about all your recipes and their ingredients. Even if you complete a quest after collecting the right items and when you create a new object, it doesn’t really seem to have any effect. It’s the futility of life in a snow-filled landscape where you aimlessly walk around that makes the entire game very plain and boring. All up to the Heads Up Display that seems overly complicated for the options you have at your disposal, making any action you take more frustrating than fun. Navigate too much, walk too much, collect too little before your inventory is full, it adds up to a negative experience. Also, it can’t be stressed enough what a shame this is. Because the entire set-up and graphic appeal of the game seem to suggest there is so much more going on. It’s like a beautiful cake for your birthday, with a decorated sugary layer on top and all, just to find out it’s all sugar and empty on the inside. Disappointing to say the least.

Impact Winter 1

To contemplate what would make this game way more worthy of your time, the developers should look at other crafting and survival games and try to incorporate some of those fun things into their own unique style. It’s all there, it just needs some better effort, design process and reflection. Some examples that could make the entire thing more fun: A better inventory that doesn’t hold you back from the main part of the game which is exploration, the option to invest in a vehicle so you don’t move around so slow, more variations in craftables that actually matter, and a general threat outside of the survival timer. Surviving in most games means i.e. zombies coming at your base. A game where the biggest threat is that you are running out of pickles doesn’t seem like that much of a survival game at all.

Conclusion

Impact Winter has so many ingredients to make a fun, good game that it’s painful to see what the game is like right now. It’s high in atmospherical environments and has nice graphics. There are well-written characters who, sadly, take too much effort to get to know their depths, and to top it all off, terrible gameplay. The only hope to bring out the true potential of this game is a thoroughly considered patch that overhauls the entire gameplay element. But if this happens, it will surely be worth it.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Impact Winter (PlayStation 4) - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Pim Hoogeveen
Pim Hoogeveen


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