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Frostpunk: The Last Autumn

Posted by GG Goblin On January - 27 - 2020

Last Autumn you demanded safer working conditions, and the very next day, you went on strike.

Winter is coming. It may be a saying that has been used far too often in recent years, but in the Victorian world of 11 bit Studios’ strategy game Frostpunk, it has already arrived. However, the latest DLC for the game, The Last Autumn, takes the player back to a time when everyone would still be saying winter is coming, as it challenges the player to prepare for the rapidly approaching never-ending winter rather than just having to deal with the colds and sniffles. Players will know how difficult things are going to get, but The Last Autumn will be no day at the beach either.


The Last Autumn is a prequel, giving players a glimpse of this fascinating world before the endless Winter arrived. This time around the player will be responsible for building one of those massive generators that will be needed to survive the oncoming chill, but at least they will not have to be worrying about the effects of the cold, as for this DLC the temperatures are positively balmy. Alright, maybe it is not quite that nice, but at least it is not too bad, and it does give the game a nice autumnal makeover that gives the players more greens and browns to look at rather than just an abundance of white. Frostpunk was never too shabby in the looks department, but this new pop of colour really does make a big difference.

Of course, the differences don’t end with a new colour palette. While survival was the main force forward in the main game, The Last Autumn DLC is much more about the hope of survival, and as such requires a different set of priorities. This DLC is really very difficult and should only be attempted by those who have already at least understood the main game, which may seem strange for newcomers who may wish to jump into the prequel first. But the DLC is quite unforgiving and seemingly small mistakes can result in missed deadlines and failure without much by way of warning.

So it turns out that building one of those massive generators is a fairly complex job, and the construction of a generator will take place in parts. Given a time limit, this leaves little room for mistakes. It doesn’t help that the location is limited in size and somewhat inhospitable. The good news is that resources are, for the most part, somewhat easier to come by. New dock buildings are available that will make sure the player can have certain items shipped in, while more basic resources are plentiful. This doesn’t mean that the player will have resources in abundance however, as building the generator will take far more resources than anything seen in the game before. It will also take more people, which will thus bring more problems.


With the cold weather not quite arrived, the workers are much more interested in their own working conditions rather than just keeping warm. This is where much of the complexity of the game comes in. There is a new Motivation meter that simply tracks how motivated the workers are, and as that starts to drop, productivity will also slow down. With the already tight time limits to worry about, the player will have to keep their workers motivated or risk not hitting deadlines. But it goes further than that, as workers could simply refuse to return to work if the safety conditions are not up to their requirements, or if they are being worked too hard. Just coming up to a deadline and hearing that the work force has gone on strike can be devastating, and will quite often lead to the player having to restart their game. Strikes are not the end of the world though, as if the player has enough time, some quick negotiations can get them back to working.

New laws are available for the player to impose in order to make things runs smoother, with labour laws there to effectively control the workers. There are also plenty of events that will happen during a play through, adding much more flavour to the city building. These are often a highlight to the game and continue that sense of desperation that can be found in the core game, forcing players to make difficult decisions that that will quite possibly come back to bite the player later on. It could be argued that these events sometimes give the player only the trickiest of choices, rather than offering a simple solution to a given problem, but this all adds to the games difficulty, which is something that will be welcomed by the veteran players. Newcomers, not so much, but there you go.

With new buildings, new laws, new systems and a new setting, The Last Autumn does feel like a new game. Sure, many of the old systems are still in place, but the gameplay is much more precise in this DLC, and punishes players for the smallest mistakes. The difficulty is probably the most overwhelming feeling to take away from this DLC, and could potentially be the most unappealing aspect for the less than proficient player.


But anyone who enjoys a challenge and has spent enough time in the frozen setting of Frostpunk will enjoy this slight change in direction and the warmer weather. The Last Autumn is a great piece of DLC that will change the emphasis from simple survival to achieving the goal of building a generator above all else. Rethink your strategies and get that generator built. You will need the heat.




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