Review: Frostpunk: The Last Autumn DLC (PC)

8

Great

The latest DLC for 2018’s brutal survival game, Frostpunk, has arrived. The Last Autumn is a prequel to the main story, taking place before the endless cold arrives. You’re tasked with constructing one of the generators that will give a future settlement a chance at survival.

Like the existing scenarios, The Last Autumn is pretty challenging, even on the lowest difficulty settings. You start out on a new, unfrozen map, with a shaft where the generator will be, and a number of (mostly) willing workers and engineers. It’s your job to ensure the generator is constructed on time, all the while balancing the demands of your workforce.

The generator will be built in several stages, each more challenging than the last, each requiring more and more resources. The deadlines seem fairly generous at the start, but there will likely be setbacks along the way. As this is merely a building site rather than a proper settlement, you’ll be getting many of your resources and workforce via sea from London. This takes time and careful planning to ensure you don’t fall behind schedule while waiting for resources or more workers.

The new map, initially untouched by the frost, features a coastline on one side, where you’ll place harbours and fishing buildings. You can also send foragers overland to find food sources to keep your people fed. As the weather gets chillier, you’ll need to make sure you have stockpiles of essentials. The map is also available in endless mode.

Balancing tough choices

You’ll need to balance discontent with motivation while building the generator. A highly motivated workforce will work more efficiently, while a discontent one may lead to one or more buildings going on strike. You can attempt to negotiate with striking workers, but much like in the main game, The Last Autumn forces you to make difficult moral decisions as you pass new laws to keep the people in check and complete the project at all costs.

The new laws fall into two branches: Administration, which deals with general health, safety and entertainment; and Labour, where you’ll have to side with the engineers or the workers. Both sides eventually lead to extreme measures and uncomfortable moral dilemmas.

Construction of the generator is made even more difficult by the presence of toxic gas in the shaft, as well as the danger of the work. Balancing workplace safety with efficiency is an ongoing struggle. You can pass laws and research new technologies to help improve working conditions and safety, or you add double shifts to keep progress going around the clock – whatever the consequences.

The Last Autumn is a welcome addition to Frostpunk, providing enough new laws, research, and buildings to challenge new and seasoned players. The new scenario feels fresh while sticking more or less to the formula that makes the base game so engaging. (The endless whining of your workforce makes a bit more sense in this scenario as well, since the end of the world has not quite arrived yet.)

Check out the launch trailer below:

Good

  • New map & scenario
  • New technologies & laws
  • More Frostpunk

Bad

  • Still brutally difficult, even on lowest settings
  • So much whining from the workers

Summary

It's more Frostpunk, with a whole lot of fresh content: technologies, buildings, laws, a new map and a new scenario.
8

Great

Gamer, geek, LEGO fanatic. I also love Pathfinder RPG, The Sims, cross stitching, crochet, and sci-fi and fantasy movies, games & books. And animals.

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