Frostpunk: On the Edge (PC) Review

By Athanasios 18.08.2020

Review for Frostpunk: On the Edge on PC

The final DLC of the marvellous strategy/resource management game, Frostpunk, by 11 Bit Studios, is finally here. Seeing how great the previous one, The Last Autumn was, it's safe to say that the chances of this being bad are pretty slim. Indeed, On the Edge manages to deliver, but how does it compare to what came before it?

On the Edge is a mini campaign. That sounds silly, doesn't it? After all, every single DLC so far was exactly that: a smaller scale scenario. Then again, The Last Autumn felt like a different kind of deal, as it offered new technologies and mechanics to experiment with, and also had less to do with surviving, and more with managing a workforce tasked with completing its job on time, despite the odds (natural or otherwise) being abundant. Having plenty of resources, and not that scary of a weather forecast, The Last Autumn basically had you playing a union representative (or disciplinarian), and for that reason it felt fresh. On the Edge is kind of more-of-the-same-ish.

Screenshot for Frostpunk: On the Edge on PC

Players are thrown into a (surprisingly tiny) area, and, like in the main campaign, must gather resources, unlock new tech, build a settlement, and keep settlers as comfortable, well-fed, and… alive as possible. 11 Bit Studios got lazy? While it's unfortunate that this isn't as original as some might have expected, the answer is a big fat 'no.' What makes this stand out from the core scenario is that the resources that can be found in this region are far from plentiful. In fact, due to how this is basically a barren rock covered in snow, you won't even be able to find something to hunt and cook.

The main tool of the trade here is… well, exactly that: trade! You see, this temporary base is under 'New London' leadership. While this town will initially provide the player with stuff (which must be "bought" with plenty of hard work), the number of said stuff will suddenly begin to decrease - and, pretty soon, you'll be on your own. The only hope for survival is hidden out there, in the 'Frostlands.' Your scouts can found more people, yet unlike New London, these poor folk belong in small, unorganised settlements that, like yours, are in dire need of help. Will you give it to them?

Screenshot for Frostpunk: On the Edge on PC

This is a balancing act, where you give food to 'A' so that it can send wood, trade it with 'B' to get steel, and offer it to 'C' if you ever feel peckish again. Is that all? No. For all this coming and going to be efficient, one needs to be on good terms with the ones he or she exchanges goods with. Once again, this becomes a game of choosing what seems to be the lesser evil, after taking into account the current circumstances. This means helping out settlements, in various ways, and whenever they need to, but that usually has you choosing between denying their requests, and losing their favour in the process, or doing whatever the heck these have asked, only to displease your own people.

Screenshot for Frostpunk: On the Edge on PC

Hmph… as if the cold wasn't enough. Oh, yeah! Unlike the previous add-on, you actually need to keep the place warm - and without having a precious generator around, as the tech that is available is comprised of the typical indoor heaters, and the pretty lousy, outdoor braziers. In the end, On the Edge is a fun scenario that manages to do exactly that: to keep you on the edge. Frostpunk veterans will find it hard to ever feel at ease here. They will constantly be very close to running out of this or that thing, with the allies being more of a necessity than a beacon of hope.

The only major issue? It's somewhat constricting. The beauty of the main campaign, and even of The Last Autumn, was that one could try out different things. While that's possible here too, it can't be done to the same extent. Luckily, like everything before it, this isn't just another strategy video game, but an immersive, post-apocalyptic odyssey, whose main focus is still on how despair affects humans; how it can break their will, bring out their worst instincts, but also how it can make them to put their morals to the test, and be helpful to each other. Despite the flaws, this remains a work of art.

Screenshot for Frostpunk: On the Edge on PC

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

On the Edge, the final Frostpunk DLC, offers one more challenging, and gripping strategy title that genre fans will love. When compared to The Last Autumn, it feels a bit limited in the things one can do when giving it a second try, and it's also not as original as you might have hoped, but it's still a solid recommendation to anyone who found the base game to be one of the best in its field.

Developer

11 Bit Studios

Publisher

11 Bit Studios

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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