Project: Winter – Preview
Follow Genre: Survival
Developer: Other Ocean Interactive
Publlisher: Other Ocean Group
Platforms: PC
Tested on: PC

Project: Winter – Preview

Good: Really interesting gameplay mechanic
Bad: Too little players to get in games consistently
User Score
8.0
(3 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.0/10 (3 votes cast)

The end of an empire often starts with a simple act of betrayal. That’s the gist behind Project: Winter. The Early Access game made by Other Ocean Interactive and published by Other Ocean Group is all about making it out to warmer climates and being sure you aren’t another special snowflake trapped in the blizzard. It has a very ‘werewolves of Wackerdam’ feeling to it and that’s to the merit of the game. Only this time you won’t be able to read the other players faces for ticks or tells when they are lying.

The story aspect of the game isn’t a grand affair. It’s just a simple premise that makes Project: Winter so interesting. Sometimes not telling makes things more so. Four people are stuck in the wilderness, and it’s a harsh climate they are facing. So they have to trust each other to get out of this frosty nightmare alive. However, there is one person who’s not so keen on letting the others live to tell the tale, he or she is all about making sure they don’t make it out by sabotaging the whole ordeal. However, Project: Winter doesn’t leave the survivors without defense against the perpetrator, if they find out who it is. Which they’ll do if he or she isn’t smart about it. The survivors could just gang up on him or her and take them out.

The sound design of Project: Winter, is on a whole different plane. There’s only music in the lobby, but that doesn’t mean the developer didn’t think their choice through. When entering the game, the music disappears and is replaced by the swirling winds and other ambient noises.

Why this is becomes apparent when a very vital game mechanic is introduced: voice chat. The way this works is that when allies/the enemy is near, you are able to voice chat/write responses or coordinate plans. When you walk out of range however, both the written and the spoken word disappear completely and you are left out on your own. This makes it so the traitor can manipulate certain players to join him or her and take them out one by one. Divide and conquer. A very tense situation keeping all players on their toes.

Every game there are certain objectives to be met, whether it’s repairing communication stations or scrounging for resources, you’ll be forced to do it in order to make it out of there. It’s up to the traitor to use tactics to stop the others from completing their tasks. Or if the traitor doesn’t want to be creative they can just build bear traps and kill everyone the moment they get a gun. This isn’t always a good choice of action as the survivors can fight back. If they are armed, you as the traitor, might find yourself at the business end of an axe or gun.

As you complete objectives during the game, upon finishing the game –win or lose-, you’ll be rewarded with credits, which you can use to buy loot crates with. These give you cosmetic items so you can don your character with new coats, glasses, guns,… The loot crates aren’t the only way for you to gain unique apparel. If you succeed in doing certain tasks in the game, you can unlock specific pieces of clothing which will reflect your aptitude for survival or your ruthlessness as a traitor.

If you don’t want to play games to gain loot boxes with a chance to get an items you really want, then you can just shelve out real life money to get what you want, but that’s kind of self-defeating, so why this even is a feature apart from blatant greed is unknown.

Getting into a game itself can be quite a chore too, because there aren’t many players and the game can only be played with others. Not even bots can join, giving a new player the chance to get to grips with the system. This makes it so waiting for a game to start or even looking for other players can be a nightmarish task. So players might feel cheated having paid for a game that they won’t be able to play at all if no one shows interest. Also the game wanting both money up front and charges you quite some money for cosmetics won’t sit well with some players. The game would definitely profit from a free-to-play model with exclusive cosmetics being behind a paywall, giving players who are really dedicated a chance to support the developer.

Conclusion

Project: Winter is a very interesting take on Werewolves and survival games, but it currently lacks a dedicated following to give newcomers a chance to actually get in a game and enjoy the rather robust mechanics that make Project: Winter very unique to play. As long as the game doesn’t have a chance to play without needing other players, there’s a big chance the game will bleed to death before having even had a shot at convincing anyone to come play, whether it’s throwing snowballs at each other, or hurling bullets.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Project: Winter - Preview, 8.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
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First game ever was Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped, ever since then, gaming has been something that I've gravitated to. Reading's fun but not as interactive. Always up for a bout of online multiplayer. If that multiplayer is co-op. So if you are up for a friendly co-op session, hit me up. Rahenik's the name to search on PSN.

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