After sinking dozens of hours into Frostpunk, I finally felt prepared to dive headfirst into its hefty expansion Frostpunk: The Last Autumn. But does it hold up compared to the legacy of its 2018 predecessor? Let’s review and find out.
Now, how one derives fun from a product tends to be highly subjective. Therefore ALL forms of review are opinionated and should be taken with a grain of salt (this included). So let’s review Frostpunk: The Last Autumn through the lens of more objective metrics such as; graphical fidelity, characters/story, content/length, controls & gameplay, then finally, sound design and cinematics. This product was reviewed on a 1050Ti 4Gb, 8GB Ram, with an i5-7300HQ
Visually speaking The Last Autumn still looks very familiar, accompanied by a complete overhaul of it’s setting. Gone is the inescapable frost and snow, replaced with luscious greenery, accompanied by glistening waters and towering trees. Much of the user interface has remained the same, with minor exceptions. 11 Bit Studio has also overhauled all of the icons at the top right-hand corner, and in the laws menus with signature Frostpunk style. It also includes newly modeled buildings and terrain. I must admit, the water looks glorious.
It’s a drastic change from the original, though a welcome one, indeed. The landscape prior to the plastered white is a beautiful, and welcome sight within the bleakness of Frostpunk. Although that initial spark of warm hope is quickly smothered by the inevitability of the cold. And the familiar cold will come, there’s no stopping it. But it’s truly fascinating to see the gradual invasion of the winter hellscape, assimilating what’s left of the final fall.
Characters & Story
Frostpunk has never really been a title defined by its characters. Though there is a Euphemia McLaughlin narrating the introduction, the fact remains that your citizens are the characters of this story. Your workers were sent to site 113 by the Imperial Exploration Company to build a Generator. The hellish winter is impending, therefore, you must complete construction of the generator before it’s too late. There’s not a whole lot more to it, but Frostpunk‘s hook is in its addicting gameplay, not an in-depth and complex story.
Content & Length
The Last Autumn is quite difficult, and that’s stated in consideration of Frostpunk’s standard level of challenge. 11 Bit Studios even recommends that players begin on easy mode, rather than the accustomed normal. And the expansion also includes the standard difficulty options players have come to expect. The delicate balancing act of Frostpunk is back, yet altered. Instead of struggling to keep workplaces and citizens warm, players must keep workplace safety conditions nominal – lest the people revolt. New buildings and tech, alongside changes to laws and functionality, keep The Last Autumn feeling like a fresh Frostpunk experience. Now, it doesn’t redesign the entire game, it’s still a tough as nails survival city-builder.
For extra playability, 11 Bit has also introduced a new endless mode called Builders. Similar in form to the other endless modes Endurance and Serenity, Builders offers no plot but players are unrestricted by mission objectives and time restraints.
Controls & Gameplay
Moving on to controls, not much (if anything) has changed. If you’re comfortable with how Frostpunk handles, you’ll feel right at home with The Last Autumn. However, there have been some major changes to buildings, laws, and the hope meter. Hope has been replaced with Motivation and subsequently split into 3 sections. If your worker’s motivation falls below an approximate third, their efficiency drops. Though into the latter third, your populace will get bonuses in both gathering and working faster. Similarly, laws have changed, with adaption not yet being necessary. The administration tree is, however, still available. And in regards to the Discontent bar, it has remained largely the same.
As their leader, players must balance safety levels with productivity and efficiency. If workplaces are too hazardous, workers may get injured or die, which lowers motivation and effects your ability to remain on schedule. Players have the option to sign laws that have positive motivational effects, such as the establishment of chapels, or bathhouses. At a cozy +10 celcius, worry not about your workers freezing. However, accumulating food is a task now designated for ‘foragers’ that players must send out into the world. Or players have the option to build fishing harbor on the coast. All the minor modifications to how players strategize to survive reignites the survival formula. Details like, engineers being unable to perform physical labor forces the player to rethink how they approach Frostpunk.
Sound Design & Cinematics
Much of the sound design hearkens similar tones as it’s predecessor, a looming – though not too aggressive undertone possesses The Last Autumn.
Although I did enjoy it’s introductory cinematic, it didn’t feel as impactful as the original intro. Understandably, however, as that is an incredibly high bar to reach, and it still manages to acceptably set the framework for proceeding gameplay. The Last Autumn retains its predecessor’s excellent outro cinematic, revealing a time-lapse of the player’s progression. It accumulates for a satisfying conclusion before players dive deep into the endless modes available.
All things considered, The Last Autumn is a worthwhile investment for fans of Frostpunk who may be itching for more content to delve into. It’s not, however, a reinvention of the Frostpunk formula. But it will momentarily satisfy fans, who can’t get enough. Considering the overhaul provided, I believe The Last Autumn is well worth the asking price.
For those looking for a reason to get back into Frostpunk, or if you never stopped playing I’d recommend The Last Autumn in a heartbeat. This expansion absolutely holds up in comparison to the original, even if it were a standalone product. The asking price is more than fair considering the content provided at ($19.99CDN & £13.49), and individuals who found value in Frostpunk are sure to find it here as well. Solid 8.2, it doesn’t reinvent what makes Frostpunk great, but hones in and refines what works. Frostpunk: The Last Autumn is available for PC, on Steam, Humble, and GoG.
What did you think of Frostpunk: The Last Autumn? Did you enjoy it? Why or why not? Lets us know in the comments!
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A Must Have For Frostpunk Fans
- Score - 8.2/108.2/10
+ Masterful Re-balancing
+ Thorough Visual Overhaul
+ Redesign of Survival Mechanics
– More of the “same”