Frostpunk 2 presents the question of how to live after the apocalypse passes

Frostpunk 2 takes place after the apocalyptic blizzard of the first game and presents players with the challenge of moving forward.

11 Bit Studios

Frostpunk proved to be a breakout hit for the team at 11 Bit Studios. Billed as the first society survival game, its intriguing dystopian setting and its challenge to players to manage the last city on Earth and help construct a functioning society out of it made Frostpunk one of 2018's most fascinating indie games. The developers are now ready to up the ante with Frostpunk 2, which has weathered the first game's storm just in time to prepare for an even bigger one on the horizon.

First revealed back in 2021, Frostpunk 2 takes place 30 years after the events of the original game, where the world's last city has somehow endured past the apocalypse. The city now runs on a central steam generator, which has brought it back from the brink of frosty destruction. However, saving a city and keeping it safe are two different things. Worse, the citizenry's own hubris is starting to surface, which is adding new challenges for the road to survival. While 11 Bit Studios has a gripping story it's waiting to tell, Shacknews recently had the opportunity to check out the game's Utopia Builder sandbox mode and witness some of the additions coming to the sequel.

Building a post-storm city in Frostpunk 2

Source: 11 Bit Studios

After choosing a community and a map, the Utopia Builder opens on a central district with the Generator sitting in the center. The idea is to connect the Generator's power to connecting districts and keep society running over the long haul. While survival is key, one of Frostpunk 2's primary goals is to build a functioning post-apocalyptic society. That means the economy has evolved. Rather than running on a barter system of critical survival items, players will oversee a developing economy based on supply and demand.

Players will have to account for the new economy when building various districts. Individual districts will serve different functions, whether to provide food, energy, housing, or other objectives. Organizing cities by districts also makes keeping track of communities in the city slightly easier. Communities of different people (whether they be Engineers, Foragers, or others) bring their own experiences to the table, which come into play when utilizing mechanics like the Idea Tree.

When attempting to grow the city through new idea research, individual communities will offer differing opinions on how to proceed based on their past experience and current worldview. For example, when players explore how to produce more food, Engineers will propose a solution involving chemicals and science while Foragers will propose using human excrement as a fertilizer for crops. Picking one idea over another will inevitably disgruntle certain communities and it's up to players to address that growing tension over time.

Council meetings in Frostpunk 2

Source: 11 Bit Studios

As a growing society, it's important to set structure and rules. Frostpunk 2 will introduce a new feature called the Council. Players can occasionally hold meetings in the Council building to settle various societal matters by listening to community concerns and passing legislation meant to make as many people happy as possible. Obviously, making everybody happy is impossible, and this adds to the complexity of Frostpunk 2. How players deal with questions of child labor, waste management, and other pressing concerns is up to them, and they must deal with the consequences of their decisions or the vote of their Council delegates as they come.

At its heart, Frostpunk 2 is still a survival game. Just because humanity has endured through the worst climate disaster it has ever seen doesn't mean it can't happen again. The cold remains a threat, and players should be prepared to exercise survival tactics when necessary. Players' cities will be shaped by how they are built during calm windows, but they'll also be determined by how they're managed when the occasional blizzard comes in.

Frostpunk 2 promises to be a far more complex take on the original survival strategy game. 11 Bit Studios will look to reveal more about the game in the months ahead. Look for Frostpunk 2 to come to PC in 2024.

This preview is based on a hands-off presentation from the developer held over Discord. It may not be representative of the final product.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty
  • reply
    October 2, 2023 7:00 AM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Frostpunk 2 presents the question of how to live after the apocalypse passes

    • reply
      October 2, 2023 7:44 AM

      Shouldn't the Utopia Builder sandbox mode be called Dystopia Builder?

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      October 2, 2023 10:27 AM

      Oh neat. FP1 was such a tight experience, I constantly felt on the edge of losing and had to make some really tough decisions. The pacing was excellent.

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        October 2, 2023 10:52 AM

        It's impossible to win on the hardest difficulty without child labor.

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          October 2, 2023 12:46 PM

          Look little Billy, you want to lose a leg in the mines or freeze to death?

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            October 2, 2023 12:56 PM

            You are literally the last 100 people on earth and you are going to complain that we need the kids working.

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          October 2, 2023 1:04 PM

          I watched a let’s play where the premise was a “utopia” on max difficulty. The meaning being you could only enact “noble” policies.

          It worked, but basically the entire run was about minimizing the number of children by assigning them the worst houses and leaving them to their fate if scouts found them. Not exactly a utopia.

          • reply
            October 3, 2023 9:36 AM

            All Utopia’s are build on a dark secret

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