The developers behind This War of Mine debuted the gameplay trailer for Frostpunk, showing a glimpse of how its choice-based morality elements jive with city-building gameplay.
Frostpunk is set on a frozen-over Earth, where players take the role of a city ruler who must enact policies, build infrastructures, and ensure humankind’s survival while deciding on difficult moral dilemmas.
The new trailer subverts the grim image illustrated in previews that Frostpunk is simply about hopelessly surviving in a snowy steam-powered dystopia where cannibalism and inhuman acts seem necessary for survival. “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness,” the trailer states, quoting social rights activist Desmond Tutu. Afterwards, still images of important player-decisions are shown, including enacting child labor laws and adding sawdust in food to make meals more filling, each carrying consequences.
Similar to This War of Mine, balancing resources is only one of the many essentials in Frostpunk, as players will have to maintain hope and everyone’s will to live. While This War of Mine used character states for managing survivors, screenshots on the official website show that Frostpunk has a meter for contentment and hope, which was also touched on in the trailer. “It is not shelter nor food that brings us consolation, for it is hope that makes us grow,” the trailer narrates. “Hope that there is more of us, and if not, that we are enough.”
Aside from managing the city, players will get to explore the outside world to understand its history and present state.
Whether Frostpunk can successfully make players care for thousands of citizens under their rule, considering this War of Mine’s morality system felt impactful due to each survivor’s individuality, remains to be seen.
Frostpunk is set to launch on PC some time later this year. The game’s 60-person development team, 11 Bit studios, said it is also considering porting the game on console once the PC version launches. The game will be present at PAX West 2017 at Seattle, Washington from September 1 to 4.