Frostpunk- Xbox One Review
Our Xbox One Review of Frostpunk
Have you ever wanted to know whether you could survive in a freezing Tundra? Now you can in 11 bit Studios Frostpunk.
Frostpunk was originally developed for PC in 2018 to critical acclaim, at first I was very dubious as to whether a PC strategy, city builder survival game would transition well enough from mouse and keyboard to the controller. As I have had experience of other PC games that have failed in that department (7 days to Die, City Skylines and Tropico).
Upon starting the game you are greeted by three game modes two different scenarios and an Endless Mode. The two scenarios are Story based whilst the endless mode is exactly that endless.
When starting the first scenario you get to watch a 2 minute cinematic which tells you how your group got to this point. The earth started to cool down and with that everything started to freeze as resources became harder to find people started leaving the cities and heading north. Your group does this and comes across a generator and resources inside of what looks like an inactive volcano. You decide that this is where your going to make your home and the rush for heat begins.
Immediately as you get control you are told to mine coal to feed the generator that means you must select up to 15 people per resource extraction zone to start getting said coal. Once you have collected 200 pieces you can then start the generator. Then comes your first decision, whilst you have powered it up you lack enough resources to keep it going for long as the work day ends; You are then greeted with emergency Laws this allows you to extend the working day. Whilst this sounds logical it can create discontent amongst your people. This is shown as a read bar at the bottom of your screen once that bar fills you will be removed from you position as leader and the game ends. I enjoyed this feature as it makes you think are the decisions I am making worth it and when your first play you really do struggle to make the decisions.
Beneath the Discontent bar is the Hope bar, building special buildings like hospitals, churches and homes increases the populations Hope, people dying, crime and disease lowers the Hope which can like a high discontent can lead to Protests and the eventual Game Over.
Also whilst collecting Coal you will also need to collect other building materials like scrap metal and wood. This is so you can build homes for everyone as 10 people can live in one home you will need to build at least five to begin with, if you don’t build enough homes then people will have to sleep outside and inevitably get sick and die.
Heat and power are very important in frostpunk and the generator can be upgraded overtime, the generator has its own overlay that you can toggle on this gives the player a heat map to show how far the heat travels, certain buildings require more heat so you need to build them closer. If a building like a house gets to cold then the people who reside in the will die.
When a character dies you have another ethical conundrum do you create a cemetery which takes up space or do you cremate the bodies and upset your populace.
In terms of graphics Frostpunk is very beautiful and haunting as you can imagine for the developers of This War of Mine. I did find the opening cinematic slightly choppy playing on an Original release Xbox One, but I have read they run perfectly fine on S and X.
Whilst the look is great, I can’t say the same for the UI playing about 10 metres from TV I found the UI to be too dark and small to be able to see perfectly. This from my own experience seems to be the major downfall of these sort of games on Consoles. Having UI’s that a design for people being close to their monitor.
Back onto the positives the music and sound design is very haunting and beautiful it really adds to the overall atmosphere of the game. The music flows almost like background noise and is never too in your face.
Overall I would say Frostpunk is a good game and the Xbox version is a solid game but for myself personally I would rather play the PC version.
The scenarios last between 8-10 hours your mileage may vary but Fostpunk does have high replayability if you are into City Builders and Survival games.