Frostpunk: Console Edition – Review
Follow Genre: Simulation, Survival
Developer: 11 bit studios
Publisher: 11 bit studios
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Frostpunk: Console Edition – Review

Site Score
9.0
Good: You lead the colony as you wish, Great survival game
Bad: Immediate quest fail is irritating
User Score
10.0
(3 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 10.0/10 (3 votes cast)

Brace yourself, winter is coming. When winter comes around the corner, there are some that enjoy the cozy nights at home, while others hate it and look forward to the first rays of sun again. Luckily, we find ourselves in a part of the world where winters are quite manageable and are often only a mild inconvenience. In Frostpunk, however, the winter is much colder than we have ever seen. Set in a post-apocalyptic Steampunk London, you must guide your people to safety and make sure they survive while providing for your cause, imposing new laws and deciding what happens with wrongdoers.

Story

Not much is known about what happened or what was the catalyst that brought eternal doom upon the citizens of the United Kingdom. Maybe this will be the result of the upcoming Brexit and the game is a survival training program. All jokes aside, the game is set in a Steampunk version of the UK and when a blizzard hits, this goes on for quite a while and people are evacuated to generators. These generators provide heat to nearby settlements and as your group comes across one that is abandoned and doesn’t function, questions arise and hope falls. You, the commander, must lead your people to safety and ensure their survival while keeping the heater on and passing new laws to keep the people happy. Later in the game, you will learn the fate of nearby settlements and will have people riling up to go back to the starting point, London. Will you allow them to go back? Or shall you reign with an iron fist? The story is there but you write the passage from beginning to end. The story flow is very good and the pacing with the quests makes the game very addictive and taking a break is very hard since you want to know more about the past.

Graphics

Frostpunk was first released on the PC and as many gamers know when a PC game gets ported to console, the graphics are the first thing that gets worked on. What makes the console version all the better is that there aren’t any cutbacks to be found. There are many fine details such as the snow and ice that cover everything in the great crater and beyond. You’ll see snow build up on the roofs of buildings that are cold, as well as see it melt when the heat is turned on. If there are no roads to the working places, people will just walk through the snow in different paths, creating footprints all around the map that will remain there until the snowfall fills it up again. The user interface is nice to work with, everything is clearly visible but there seem to be issues when it comes to visibility. The PlayStation 4 version has a scaling issue so that some parts of the screen aren’t visible. Luckily the developers have already picked up on this problem and told the community that they are working on a fix.

Sound

Having to survive in a winter wonderland might sound all gloomy but the British enthusiasm cannot be contained. The game has some great music and the more people that live in your city, the noisier it gets. At the start there isn’t much hope, so people are silent, just walk to work and you feel disconnected. As time goes by and you have more power over them, you will hear voices over the speakers commanding the workers, drunks blabber, riots starting and accidents happen.

Gameplay

Forstpunk is a survival management game where you are the commander of a group that survived and found shelter near an abandoned generator. After a large blizzard that made life inhabitable, you are currently the last hope not to freeze to death. At first, you must gather coal to start up the generator because temperatures below 40 degrees are not liveable in any way. When the generator is up and running, you can worry about getting a roof above everyone’s head. As a commander, you must be sure to always have a good stockpile of coal, wood, and metal. The game is very good at guiding your needs and what to do next. In the beginning, you will gather the remains of wreckages left around the camp and later on you will research better ways of extracting them. Because everything will run out eventually, you will have to either pull it out of the ground or from the large ice wall. The gathering can be looked at in three stages, the first is to just gather items from the wrecks and when you have enough you can gander at the second stage, namely build medium-sized machines to grab the resources left on the field. In the third and final stage, you set large industrial extractors that excavate the needed coal, wood and metal from what seems an endless supply, yet it has its limit. The stages of buildings are also well represented, as unlocking more branches will allow you to build larger excavators, hospitals, better houses and so on.

Not only the resources are something to keep in mind but there is also an eternal fight against the cold. Your generator will keep the direct circle warm, but the more you build, the more solutions you will have to find. From upgrading the range that the generator can provide heat to improving overall power so your inhabitants stay warm even on colder days. These adjustments will require more fuel, so keep a close eye on your coal stockpile because once it runs out, the heating will shut down. People who have to work in cold locations and live in a chilly tent will get sick after a while, so it’s best to tend to them in the best way possible, since frostbite will cause amputations and then they can’t work anymore. Adjusting work is done by signing new laws and there is always a cooldown between adding new rules. New laws may make the inhabitants happier, but they can also spark controversy. For example, allowing children to work or use dead bodies for organ transplants.

After you have your camp all up and running and research improved technologies, other problems will arise, from discontent and the loss of hope due to hearing that there are barely other survivors, to riots in the streets and people threatening to leave. The temperatures keep on dropping lower and lower and on a certain day there will be an influx of many refugees that seek shelter in your town. You are not limited to life between the icy walls of your camp as you can build a beacon to send scouts to various points of interest and discover survivors, outposts and lost technology. Next to human workforces, there are also robots that can work 24/7 without food or rest, which can be found left and right and later built at a high cost.

Controlling the game is quite easy with a very user-friendly interface. Everything snaps to a grid and you don’t get locked out from building sections because one pixel is in the way. At the push of a button, you have your overview menu to erect new laws or build new buildings. For a game that came for the console, it works out very well and you don’t miss a mouse to navigate through everything.

Frostpunk offers three modes: story, select scenario, and endless mode. In the story mode, you follow in the footsteps of a bunch of survivors that find an abandoned generator. Select scenario will let you choose from three critical turning points in the main story. This gets unlocked on day 20 on story mode, so if you get stuck at a certain point you can just play that scenario to piece together the rest of the story. Endless mode has two options on its own, Endurance will put you to the test with very limited resources, the bitter cold, and frequent blizzards, while Serenity mode will let you build the city of your dreams in mild weather with plenty of resources.

Conclusion

Frostpunk is that winter survival game that will embody the struggles of perpetual winter. Having to keep your people warm, well-fed, healthy and happy while fighting the cold, harsh conditions, morale destruction, and rioting. Its easy controls, well-balanced gameplay and gripping story in combination with a carte blanche on how you lead your people will make Frostpunk an amazing game for anyone to play. Try out your survival skills on Endurance, build whatever you want in Serenity, explore the story and be the glorious leader they all need. Make the British wasteland warm again in this spectacle of nice graphics, an amazing good soundtrack, high attention to detail and just overall addicting gameplay.

 

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Rating: 10.0/10 (3 votes cast)
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Frostpunk: Console Edition – Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
MC_JP
MC_JP


Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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