Frostpunk 2 Preview – Break the ice


    The 2018 release of Frostpunk puts a unique twist on the city builder genre, putting you in control of a band of humans trying to survive the new Ice Age. Players take on the role of captain as they build their small colony of workers into a thriving city. Along the way, players were required to make tough decisions, such as restricting food, enforcing strict dictatorial rules, putting children to work, or worse. Frostpunk 2 picks up the story 30 years later and, in the process, improves almost every aspect of the well-loved simulator.

    Three decades have passed since the events of Frostpunk. The group has been wandering the frozen desert for years, but in the wake of another whiteout, they return to the old machine, hoping to use its heat to survive. This is where my gameplay session begins. The old dreadnought is in pieces under the ice, so I’ve finished my work in the weeks leading up to the whiteout. I must first break through the ice to get to the oil tank wagon, create an extraction district to get its oil, and then use it to ignite the furnace.

    Frostpunk 2’s city operates from output – the resources you produce through districts, buildings and workers – and demand – the food, shelter, goods, materials, and heat your people need. To meet the need for shelter and warmth, I build a housing district next to the furnace. Then, I break the frost in a spot with fertile soil and grow food on the patch. We’ll need a lot of food to avoid a whiteout, so I make a stockpile of food.

    Unfortunately, 6 of my 1,350 people come down with an illness and are unable to work, which hinders our ability to produce food. Diseases rise and fall based on factors such as food supply, warmth and shelter availability. People can also get injured which prevents them from working. Still, at this point, there’s nothing to worry about, as I still have the majority of my population able to function. As the weeks go by, it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to reach my goal, so Finan, a 42-year-old gardener in my group, speaks up, suggesting we work emergency shifts or restrictions. Tighten your belt. ration to meet our forecast.

    I don’t want to restrict rations yet, but I do allow emergency shifts. However, the furnace is struggling, and I’m running out of oil, resulting in 30 of my people freezing to death. Morale and confidence in my leadership falls. I’ve started working on putting out another oil tank, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that I won’t have enough food in time, so I end up limiting the rations. I’m also running behind on construction materials, so I start digging out construction materials from under the snow, but I have a problem: I don’t have enough workers.

    This constant dance of prioritizing and keeping multiple plates spinning is where Frostpunk and, by extension, Frostpunk 2 really shines. Feeling the sand slip from your fingers, not knowing whether you should loosen or tighten your grip, but knowing you need to make a decision quickly or risk losing everything. Frostpunk and its sequel deliver in spades.

    Here I know things are getting serious: another citizen approaches me – a 62-year-old seamstress – and offers the senior citizens to sacrifice themselves so that the young people in the group can survive. I hope it doesn’t come to that, but thankfully, I have a few more tricks up my sleeve. I build additional food districts and storehouses and immediately order emergency shifts. It will come down to the wire, and I can feel the tension rising in my body.

    Then, comes the moment: the decisive point. The group fears that we won’t have enough food to survive the coming storm, so they offer two options: We can let our elders leave the group and head out into the desert, without sacrificing our manpower. We can reduce the number of mouths to feed or the future of our city, or we can slaughter a nearby cell colony. I don’t want to either, so I keep going down the same path, just crossing my fingers I’m doing the right thing. It might as well be Frostpunk 2’s mantra: Hope you’re doing the right thing.

    Disease is spreading, limiting the workforce, and a whiteout is approaching. With less than a week to go, we hit our food goal, but at what cost? Confidence has dropped dramatically, and disease is spreading rapidly after months of emergency transitions. This strain was nothing more than a tutorial, but it adequately captures the essence of Frostpunk 2.

    Then I was transported to the core setting of Frostpunk 2, New London. The old captain is dead, and the city is weak. Overpopulation is growing, food is scarce, and coal is running out. You step into the role of a steward in charge of leading New London back to prosperity. Thankfully, this first year is warmer than expected (but it’s Frostpink, so it’s still a snowy mess). I need to use it to get the city back on track.

    As the Captain grew weaker, the city became more divided, stopping maintenance. I have my work cut out for me. With a city population of over 4,200 people, I work to meet basic needs such as food, shelter and warmth. In New London, three factions have emerged, each with their own agendas, desires, and plans. Among them, The Stalwarts are a group that resulted in my binary choice during the tutorial. The membership of these groups will fluctuate, and you must balance your loyalties with them, playing the game of politics as you work to improve everyday life.

    it’s fine. It’s not just about building a city and allocating workers: Frostpunk 2 requires you not only to get enough votes to stay in power, but also to pass the laws that govern the game’s complex system. Recommend using. For example, at one moment, I’m short of money, so I propose a law of economics that citizens must volunteer their free time unless they buy an exemption, allowing the city to Funds are raised, which allows me to fund more projects. It’s not the most popular option, but I got enough support to give it a go. If your estimates look less confident before the vote, you can try to negotiate with different groups in New London and try to convince them to vote for your proposal.

    City builders can be too hit or miss for me, but when they hit, they hit hard. With so many systems layered on top of each other, including an incredible rules system, Frostpunk 2 not only has me circling July 25th on my calendar, but it’s also added a little flavor to the original. Frostpunk has been forced to download again. My hands-on session provided me with Frostpunk 2 comes to PC on July 25, then PS5 and Xbox Series X/S at a later date.


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