Was the Hype Around Frostpunk Justified?
With a solid Metascore of 87, and very positive user reviews as of the 25th of April, Frostpunk by 11 Bit Studios is trailing just right behind Subnautica. Have the same developers of another acclaimed title, This War of Mine, nailed it yet again?
This just might be the case. Having followed the development of Frostpunk, when I first heard about it just weeks before its release, I knew what to expect and hope for. So, I was not disappointed when the game was finally released on the 24th of April, and I had the chance to taste the harsh winter apocalypse firsthand!
Testing your Conscience & Consequences
Frostpunk, unlike This War of Mine, tests the player’s decision making. Frostpunk is set in a ‘Snowpocalyptic’ world. The rapidly worsening weather has left London devastated. As the Captain in command of the small number of refugees which have survived, it is your job to maintain and shelter your new settlement. Live or die by the enormous generator at the heart of your new home: New London.
This is not simple to do, however. Frostpunk loves to challenge players left and right. You never know when you will need to execute a fellow man stealing food rations for his family, just to set an example. It isn’t often you’ll be presented with a scenario to balance survival of the whole colony against the lives of a few colonists. Every decision you take can have grave consequences.
As the Captain, it is your responsibility to set new laws into motion. One of the early laws you can set is to either have child laborers, or build shelters for the children so they have somewhere to stay during working hours. Being short of helping hands and desperate for resources to provide people with something as basic as a tent can easily influence your decision.
Even so, I wasn’t swayed. I was adamant we, the good folk of New London, would overcome our struggles and grow stronger as a result. New Londoners were grateful the children had a warm shelter and an opportunity for education. It was to my pleasant surprise to later learn my decision had somewhat positive consequences!
Is this all there is to Frostpunk?
In my estimation, no. Harsh decision making on an in-game hourly basis is barely scratching the surface. Resource management and optimization is just one aspect of many you will need to keep tabs on in order to make sure your colony survives.
Thinking two steps ahead is the name of the game. You will need to brace against the elements. For better, or for worse. Work towards reasonable compromises, or face the uproar wrought upon by a desperate populace. The decisions are ever changing.
Sooner or later you will come to realize that, yes, there is a world which needs exploration. You will send scout parties out into the wasteland in pursuit of resources, survivors, and even knowledge. Questions you might encounter: Any useful abandoned technology? Have others made it out? Is this winter truly everlasting? It’s up to you to find out!
While the main campaign, depending on how well you do and how fast you play through it, is pretty short in my opinion. There are two other scenarios, each with its own unique features, that you can play through once complete with the basic storyline. Don’t fret! As of April 28th, developers have confirmed they’re planning on continuously adding content over the coming months.
What is my honest opinion?
Frostpunk is simply breath-taking. The game can keep you entertained and on the edge of your seat for hours. Unfortunately, this is why the game falls short.
You spend hours, unable to walk away from the game, pushing your luck, sending people on extra shifts just to make sure everyone survives the night. Gathering just enough resources from day to day. Watching your colony thrive. Panicking as your colony descends into chaos. Bubbling with excitement as you realize that yes, you might just make it!
It’s at this point, as you’re awaiting the inevitable with bated breath, you reach the point of no return and then …! That’s it? I can’t say a better statement could describe Frostpunk. It’s truly a rollercoaster of emotions you never want to end! This might truly be its only fault.
A Solid Rating: 8 / 10
Those of you that have played Frostpunk, what do you think? Do you agree or disagree with what has been said? Those who haven’t, do you believe you would be willing to give Frostpunk a chance? Leave a comment down below!
Alternatively, check out other reviews from the DVS Gaming here!