Frostpunk: On The Edge Review
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Frostpunk: On The Edge Review

Frostpunk On The Edge Review

I have spent over 100 hours killing innocent people exploring the challenges of the apocalyptic survival sim that is Frostpunk. Although the main campaign only takes around 10-15 hours long to complete, the amount of replayability that each DLC adds to the game is a real credit to the developers, 11 bit studio. Each DLC builds on the core foundation laid by the base game, yet at the same time feels is almost worthy of a full-priced released thanks to the addition of new challenges and gameplay mechanics.

DLC

Frostpunk’s first DLC, The Rift, introduced bridges that allow you to explore previously unreachable areas of the site. The Last Autumn plays out as a prequel to the main story, bringing a pleasant change of weather in an epic race against time to construct the generator before winter arrives. And finally, the time has come for the third and final DLC to arrive; On The Edge. Veteran Frostpunkers (is that even a word?) will notice a quite substantial change to the game — there is no generator. Is this even Frostpunk without the generator? Let’s see if the grand finale to Frostpunk can live up to the quality of its predecessors.

Story

New London has survived the great winter but is still in hardship as humanity’s battle to survive the harsh elements of the world is real. On The Edge sees players take command of a newly formed outpost with the sole purpose of exploring a nearby Army Warehouse for additional supplies for the motherland. Sounds simple, yeah? Your outpost is located On The Edge of a cliff face (see what I did there!) and with little resources available and to make matters worse, you are governed by the laws imposed by New London. This means that you are completely powerless and heavily rely on New London in basically all aspects of survival. The only way to survive these challenges is by building your relationship with them and trading the resources you find to New London, but New London may not want to reciprocate the favour…

Trading

Trading the resources you have at your disposal is key to surviving On The Edge. There is no food available at your outpost, and wood is in very limited supply, you solely rely on harvesting iron and iron cores from the Army Warehouse as your key trading material. Initially, New London are happy to exchange your hard-earnt steel and especially, steam cores for food, but soon enough the cracks begin to show as New London begin to reduce your food supply, forcing you into a state of panic. This leads you to request additional assistance, which is denied. Instead, New London will pass laws that they believe will aid your cause. Like it or not, once New London passes a law you have little choice to obey… don’t you?

Sending out scout teams is a common mechanic throughout all the previous Frostpunk games, but this is perhaps the most critical task you will find in On The Edge. As New London promptly cut off your food supply, yet demand more iron and iron cores by their deadlines, you are forced to explore the world for remaining food and other materials to survive. Soon enough, you realise you are not alone in the world as discover other settlements, each with their own supplies that they may be willing to trade.

Relationships

Building relationships with each settlement is the key to the trading game — Each settlement will want something in return (no, not those sort of favours). For instance, you will come access a settlement in dire need of assistance as a vast amount of their population is sick and need shelter, but the people also refuse to believe in the age of technology. What happens if you use advanced technology to aid their cause? Well, we all know how karma works in Forstpunk

Help out settlements in need and they will be happy to send you some supplies in return, even come to your aid when the shoe is on the opposite food and you are in dire straights. Be careful though, ask for too many favours and each settlement will cut you off until you help them out, this is where you begin the monopoly of trading resources between settlements to make sure everyone is happy.

Decisions

New London begins to catch onto your charades and want their cut. After all, you are still governed by their laws and are technically apart of the New London district. New London will demand you to cease all communications with the outside world and send all your resources back to the motherland. This is where On The Edge comes into its own as finally, the power is in your hands — Do you cooperate with New London and cut off ties to your other settlements? Or do you become your own settlement (in my case, Newer London) and forge your own destiny?

Each path will introduce its own set of challenges but ultimately lead to you saving humanity, again. I found one path noticeable easier than the other, but perhaps this a result of my tactics of stockpiling coal and using this as my trading resource. Choosing to establish Newer London your own settlement allows you to implement your own laws much the same as previous titles. The law book isn’t as deep as the base game or other DLCs, but there are one or two new additions that will keep you entertained. If you are not a seasoned Frostpunkian (again, is that even a word?), each law pass will inevitably come back to haunt you. A wise man once said “For every actionthere is an equal and opposite reaction“, this is particularly true in the world of Frostpunk. No matter how good a ‘Gentleman’s Club’ sounds, it is only a matter of time until your population is riddled with diseases.

Conclusion

Is On The Edge as good as The Rift and The Last Autumn? No, I don’t think so. I commend 11 bit studios for focusing on trading and relationship management but at its core, Frostpunk strives on building and micromanaging your people and resources. Despite this change of direction, On The Edge is another fantastic example of how to create deep and engaging content that adds a tonne of replayability. My only criticism with the entire Frostpunk series is that I wished that elements from each DLC would available in each DLC. The ability to build bridges like in The Rift or experience On The Edge‘s mountain face location in the gorgeous scenery of The Last Autumn would really allow you to explore the true beauty of Frostpunk.

Frostpunk: On The Edge Review

Pros

  • Gorgeous Visuals
  • New Challenges
  • Great Value
  • Less Killing
Frostpunk: On The Edge Review

Cons

  • The Final DLC For Frostpunk
Frostpunk On The Edge Review
  • 90%
    GAMEPLAY - 90%
  • 86%
    GRAPHICS - 86%
  • 85%
    AUDIO - 85%
  • 87%
    VALUE - 87%
87%

Summary

For under 20 bucks ($18.50AUD), On The Edge provides amazing value and will consume another 10-20 hours of your life with Frostpunk. On The Edge focuses on trading and relationship management that adds a new layer of complexity to Frostpunk, but doesn’t disturb the key foundations that have made Frostpunk a success. Unfortunately, once you have completed On The Edge you will realise that this is actually the final frontier for Frostpunk, and winter is gone.

Written by Shaun Grimley

I see a little silhouetto of a man, Scaramouch, Scaramouch will you do the Fandango?

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