Frostpunk is debuting on Playstation 4 and Xbox One today. I’ve been playing the ‘society survival game’ since its critically acclaimed debut last year on PC. Developed and published by 11-bit Studios, Frostpunk’s premise revolves around surviving a brutal winter by any means necessary.
Frostpunk has a dark atmosphere
In every scenario, there’s one small settlement of people who’ve made it into a crater or valley looking for shelter from the brutal storm. There’s a massive steam furnace in the middle of the map that you must keep powered with coal so your people don’t freeze to death. You’ll have to gather various resources such as wood, coal, and steel to build tents and houses, construct mines, and develop a system of streets that all circle the furnace. Yes, I did say circle. The building system in Frostpunk is on circular rings, which makes management a bit easier, but also presents its own challenges. There are different power levels to the furnace which can be researched by engineers in workshops.
As if all of that wasn’t enough, you also have to simultaneously manage the ‘hope’ and ‘discontent’ of those relying on you. Put kids to work in a sawmill and people lose hope and get pretty pissy. This is a constant juggling act. There are some changes that happen if you survive to help manage this, but I’ll leave that up to you to discover.
The game is extremely difficult
To get a feel for the game, let me give you a couple of examples about what actually happens to me when I play.
- You have to provide food for your city’s inhabitants.
I didn’t provide enough food. people starved to death. I was hung from the furnace and had steam shot up my ass.
- You have to provide shelter.
I was banished from the city because too many people were freezing. Ice city bitch, ice, ice city bitch.
- Sometimes players are so fed up with the grueling conditions that they might kill themselves.
Frostbitten limbs? BRUH! I don’t have enough engineers to heal people, much less make prosthetics.
- You have to dispose of dead bodies or else they could make the rest of your city sick.
I placed steam hubs, an early-game technology you must research for survival, too close to my dead body pit. They got too hot. All of my people got sick and died.
- You have to gather resources.
Sometimes you’ll feel like you just cannot. Get. Enough. Coal. When you can’t get enough coal your furnace shuts down. If the furnace shuts down, people freeze. And when they freeze, they die. You’ll hear this haunting bell ring out for every death, just wait. It’s a sound that, at least for me, plays on repeat. BOUMBBBBB.
One of the hardest game I’ve ever played
It’s brutal, and it only gets harder as the game progresses and the temperature is constantly dropping. I can’t help but to constantly think, “Holy shit! I’m not gonna make it!” And I don’t make it. I die. And you’re going to die, too.
Frostpunk is freezing its way onto Playsation 4 and Xbox One today, pick up a copy.
But if you don’t…
Discontent will rise greatly.