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Frostpunk 2 - What We Know So Far

"Frostpunk," 11 bit studios' frigid survival management game, released for PC in 2018. It quickly established itself as one of Steam's hidden gems, earning an 84/100 Metacritic score and glowing user feedback. Though not a perfect offering, reviewers and players praised its themes, impactful narrative, emphasis on meaningful choices, and thoughtful mechanics. Moored in an apocalyptic wasteland, "Frostpunk" makes it easy to get attached to the individuals under your command as your wrestle with a host of moral and ethical choices.

Buoyed by the positive response and ports to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, 11 bit announced a sequel in August 2021. Set 30 years after a blizzard left the planet entombed in ice, "Frostpunk 2" promises to build on the legacy of the first game, bolstered by an expanding team of 70+ people. Cast as the head of "a resource-hungry metropolis," the stakes rise to greater heights as players search for new energy sources. With coal and steam relegated to the past, the burgeoning oil industry may yet save the remnants of humanity — but at what cost?

Can't wait to return to Frostland? Here's what you need to know about "Frostpunk 2."

When will Frostpunk 2 release?

11 bit studios revealed "Frostpunk 2" in summer 2021. Though you can wishlist the game on Steam, the Epic Games Store, and GOG, the developer has yet to share a release date or even a launch window for the sequel. A look at the development cycle of the first game may shed some light on the matter, however.

11 bit announced "Frostpunk" in August 2016 (via Polygon), almost two years after shipping survival strategy title "This War of Mine." Though the studio originally targeted a 2017 release, it shared its decision to delay the "Frostpunk" launch to early 2018 on Facebook before pushing it back a second time to April 24. "For us, production value is always the most important thing, and a bug-free, carefully-balanced game is crucial to offer gamers the experience we want them to have," managing director Grzegorz Miechowski said in a press release at the time, as reported by PCGamesN.

While its not clear when "Frostpunk" entered production, about a year and half passed between its reveal and eventual release. If the sequel follows a similar pattern, players can expect to pick it up sometime in spring 2023. However, increases to the scale and quality of "Frostpunk 2" compared to its predecessor could contribute to a longer development cycle.

Is there a trailer for Frostpunk 2?

Those hoping for gameplay might be a bit disappointed by the "Frostpunk 2" Announcement Trailer; however, 11 bit studios manages to drive home the tension and dilemmas players can expect from the sequel in the allotted one minute and 30 seconds.

The video opens with a sweeping shot of an oil drilling station located deep within the frozen landscape, accompanied by a voiceover that declares, "The world turned against us, yet we survived." The emphasis on oil as a potential fuel source persists throughout the frames, bolstered by glimpses of abandoned homes and shattered medicine bottles. Striking a more sinister note, the trailer zooms in on a fresh bloodstain, brilliant red against the white snow, as the announcer ruminates on accusations of betrayal and "[abandoning] God." It concludes with a look at a bloodied and shirtless man kneeling in the snow with his hands bound, the word "LIAR" emblazoned on his chest.

The audio and cinematics paint a bleak picture, reminding players of the sacrifices they will likely have to make in "Frostpunk 2" to ensure the survival of their city.

What is the gameplay like in Frostpunk 2?

According to the official "Frostpunk 2" website, players have a "new multi-layered society" to grapple with as they set out to establish an oil dynasty. Pressure from different factions exacerbate this, inevitably leading to strife and tough choices as you determine your leadership style. It's clear the sequel will feature greater size and complexity than previously seen in the franchise.

"What we aim to deliver to players is an experience that goes vastly beyond that of the original 'Frostpunk,'" explained co-director Jakub Stokalski on Steam. "We have more manpower available to focus on all aspects of the game from the scale, the production value, and the quality of UX, but our ambition is to do more than a straight-up sequel."

Stokalski promised a stronger emphasis on choices, granting the player "the freedom to shape the society and the city however they see fit." Of course, these decisions can come with heavy consequences, forcing you to shoulder the responsibility for missteps and triumphs alike. Conflict acts as a recurring theme, both internal and external, as you wrestle with the dangers of the arctic, opposing interests, and human nature itself.