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Frostpunk’s Scenarios Are Scripted, But Have A Good Payoff In The End
It is worth it
11 Bit Studio’s new city-builder Frostpunk has been selling well, and deservedly so. The developers’ take on a city-builder with high stakes where you have to pull one awful decision after another certainly delivers what they were aiming for.
We have spent a good 10 hours in the game as we line up our final thoughts for a review. But in the meantime, let’s talk about the structure of the game: It’s linear and scripted.
The article will discuss the ending of the first scenario of Frostpunk. While not strictly a plot spoiler and more of a gameplay spoiler, if you’re playing it right now we recommend finishing it first to experience the ending on your own.
Frostpunk’s campaign, or scenarios as it’s referred to in-game, has a particular time limit, very particular objectives to achieve and very specific triggers that will always happen. It’s not a sandbox city-builder- that mode is coming soon- so whichever direction you want to go with your city, you are always dictated by the scenario’s current objective. For example, in the main scenario A New Home, the Londeners event will always occur at the same day.
While it robs the fun of running the city however you want, it helps with keeping players invested in the story the game wants to tell. All the flavour texts sells a lot of the story- though some important decisions, such as what law to pass, will impact your city significantly. Such major choices you made will be reflected back by the end of the game.
Either you survived the scenario until the end- it’ll take around 40+ in-game days, roughly 5 or more hours of playtime- or failed the objective while still in power, you will then be treated with a specialised ending roll, featuring a time-lapse of the very city you build alongside big texts reminding you of all the decisions you took to get there.
Basking again of the glorious city you’ve build and the citizens you have helped survived is gratifying, but you will be reminded of the gruelling decisions you took to get them there. Is worth it to get all the children to work, even in dangerous workplaces not meant for them? Is it worth it to keep order by instilling an authoritarian rule? Is it worth it denying all those refugees from settling in because you can’t afford more mouths to feed, despite knowing that they will perish in the storm if not taken in? Frostpunk will remind you of your decisions and then hammer down those points unto you to reflect.
But seeing that time lapse is worth it. All city-builders would benefit with a built-in timelapse feature, it’s fun to see YouTubers do their own time lapse build videos, but seeing one of your own craftsmanship feels even more satisfying.
Stay tune for our full review of Frostpunk soon.