Frostpunk: The Last Autumn Review

Last fall is a prequel to the original Frostpunk campaign. Deadly frosts have not yet come, outside the window is comfortable +10 degrees, and on the plank flooring laid in the mud, not the last survivors are busily scurrying, but ordinary workers who have arrived in this God-forsaken land to build one of the very generators around which the remnants of civilized humanity will huddle in the future. The true purpose of the building is, of course, kept secret from people.

The player’s task this time is very prosaic — to arrange the supply of resources, provide workers with tents and make sure that the work on the construction site is completed on time. Construction is in four stages, if you don’t complete one in time, you’ll get a reprimand, fail again, and you’ll be fired.

Frostpunk: the Last Autumn – this is not even a survival city-builder, it is more of a Manager simulator, here you need to plan in several directions at once, including long-term and short-term, to lead the project, not forgetting about deadlines and more. And none of the above can be done carelessly, your construction site will either work as a well-coordinated mechanism, or will not work at all.

In the original game, you could miss something, forget to build something in time or lose sight of it, it gave you the opportunity to ”endure». In The Last Autumn, you have to deal not with a handful of doomed people, but with ordinary hard workers, who instead of the characteristic “Hope” have a much more terrible “Motivation”, which directly affects their efficiency and speed of work.

There is also an indicator of “Discontent”, but it is not so terrible, the strikes generated by it are the easiest to resolve: you can always give people a break if you go ahead of schedule, buy off additional rations, improve working conditions or force them to return to their jobs. Motivation is more difficult — over time, it will begin to fall rapidly regardless of your actions, but there are few ways to raise it, most of the decrees that can raise the spirits of workers, you will accept in the second reporting period of construction, and really serious motivation will begin to decline only in the third, evening prayers help only partially, and work under supervision, even if it makes the demoralized staff move, but at the same time increases the level of discontent, thereby increasing the possibility of a strike. A striking object is not fatal, but only if you have a well-established production chain and you know exactly what resources, in what quantity and at what stage you will need, the benefit of this information is collected in a separate menu.

Success depends not only on long-term planning, but also on proper resource management and micromanagement of facilities. Somewhere in the fourth attempt, I memorized the key places on the global map and made the correct order of visiting them, understood when to stock up on provisions, on what day to start burning wood stocks into coal, and learned how to correctly alternate work shifts in factories with the construction of generator parts. Unfortunately, you didn’t manage to make it on time either this time or the next, but the beauty of The Last Autumn is that every time, except for some moments, you understand where you made a mistake.

Frustrating only certain plot events that the game does not always try to explain. For example, on a construction site, sometimes there will be disasters that can not be avoided, it remains only to choose how to respond to them. In some cases, the game gives a hint — there was a fire, now it has been eliminated, it would not hurt to create fire dampers. But sometimes one of the possible reactions is inactive without the slightest explanation of «why». There’s no way to send a rescue team, that’s all.

Once again, the construction will not be completed on time — there are not enough workers, as food supplies have come to an end,

The habit of proclaiming all industrial buildings several times during the game day helped to cope with the problems associated with inattention, the additional workshop accelerated the research of new technologies, and it remained to deal with constant injuries and accidents at work. Building a generator is a dangerous occupation, working at height, toxic gases and extended work shifts are a bad combination. At best, someone is constantly injured and out of action for a few days, at worst, you will see a message that there was a collapse or fire and will be forced to choose between the possibility to save the workers or save the progress of construction. To rectify the situation in various ways — the adoption of laws on labour protection will reduce the level of risk in the production of 1, due to the performance of the facility by 25% (don’t forget to disable once the level of risk will be reduced), inspection at the end of the shift will reduce the chance of accident, but increase the discontent of the employees on a regular basis, and in the tech tree additional funds available to increase the level of security for each individual object. If you think that you need to keep too many details in your head, then I hasten to assure you — you do not think so, but this is something in addition and wonderful.

What didn’t work out was the game’s traditional moral dilemmas. No, they are in the Last Аutumn, and the choice of the proposed options is as difficult as usual. Or rather, it would be difficult if I did not pass the original campaign. Where in the original it was possible to weigh all the pros and cons for a long time, choosing from the options offered by the game, in addition, hard decisions are easier. Employees, for example, do not try to survive, they simply earn a living, which means that at any opportunity they try to bargain for better conditions, better rations and extra hours of rest. I saw the icy hell that will soon become this planet, I know that people will soon be eating porridge with sawdust to store ice corpses “in reserve” and hang himself out of despair — do you think I will pay attention to what some engineer does not want to live in a tent with the workers and think twice before you ignore the fact that the observers night killed the instigator of the riots?

At the first successful, if you can call it that, passage, I used the labor of prisoners, plied workers with cocaine to reduce dissatisfaction and increase motivation, broke up strikes, periodically using fire to kill . None of these decisions were difficult, because I knew what would happen if we didn’t finish the generator on time. The generator was ready at the cost of the lives of three hundred workers, New Liverpool could give shelter to eight hundred residents, but their chances of survival were low, because most of the buildings were set on fire. The second time the losses were about 180 people, there was no cocaine, shootings and burning of infirmaries, but the chances of future settlers did not get better — I do not know yet how you can manage to build all the optional improvements to the generator, but I will find out for sure — Frostpunk: the Last Autumn is a puzzle that I really want to solve.

In the rest, the addition brings a pleasant variety to the gameplay. The graphics were tightened, the images were refreshed, and a new map was drawn. In general, it is clearly worth the money and I would highly recommend passing it.

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10.7.2020