Developer: 11 bit studios
Publisher: 11 bit studios
Out now on PC
Frostpunk is the most brutally intense and cripplingly depressing city builder I have ever seen or could ever even imagine. Devoid of hand-holding, comic relief or easy solutions, I still found myself pretty enamoured with this game. It looks and sounds great and even though the unforgiving gameplay had me restarting more times than I care to mention, I was happy to do so every single time. The combination of genre and atmosphere is unlike anything else I’ve ever encountered and the addition of The Fall of Winterhome DLC fills in some of the depth gaps in the story and adds a couple hours to a fairly short completion time.
Frostpunk’s gameplay consists of assigning your citizens to tasks and jobs, all with the ultimate goal of not freezing or starving to death. Its essentially a perfect blend of RTS and survival. You start out simply trying to get a generator up and running to provide some heat, but the problems only really start once you have that up. Then it becomes a balancing act of implementing Tropico-style laws and decrees and building the right amount of shelters and industrial buildings to keep everyone safe and fed without working them all to death.
The music and sound add to the depressing dystopian atmosphere brilliantly. The ambient music paired with the sounds of sad dying people working hard to stay alive is almost too much to bear. While this may not be a desirable feeling, so to speak, the effect this game has on its player is undeniable and sound has a lot to do with that. Graphic-wise this is as good looking a city-builder as I have come across. The models and (tiny) animations are strong and I felt fully immersed in this dark and dreary world from the start.
I love the city-building and 4X genres and this game is a worthy entry that manages to do things in its very own way. Calling this game “fun” seems off but it is. It’s dark and depressing and really really fun. The main story is short but the new FREE DLC rounds it out very well and I am stoked to sink even more hours into it beyond this review!