Frostpunk uses an icy dystopian steampunk setting as the backdrop for a game that asks players to consider the choices that must be made in the name of survival on a frozen-over Earth.
In the aftermath of a climate-changing global event, humanity has managed to eke out a continued existence by leaning on steam-powered technology. But society's old ways of doing things don't work anymore, and difficult choices have to be made.
There are few details available about the game, which is due to arrive in 2017, but its official website hints at what to expect:
In a completely frozen world, people develop steam-powered technology to oppose the overwhelming cold. Society in its current form becomes ineffective and it has to change in order to survive.
What does this change mean? What is culture when morality stands in the way of existence? Think about how survival may, in the end, leave us different beings. Whether worse, better, stronger, weaker or, last but not least, more or less humane that is debatable.
Frostpunk is the next game from 11 bit Studios, the team behind the 2014's This War of Mine. That wartime survival game forced players to face the civilian cost of armed conflict, and from the little we know it sounds like Frostpunk will deal with similarly weighty issues.
That's definitely the implication in a statement from creative director Michal Drozdowski.
"This is a deeply serious game created for a mature gamer," it reads. "Looking back at This War of Mine, we're pushing boundaries even further, but we're not pointing at reality in the same fashion. We're putting human nature under a microscope to ask about what happens when people need to stay alive."
Frostpunk might not be "pointing at reality" as we know it, but the global-scale climate change at the heart of it is not too far off from a reality we may one day know.
Sure, our Earth is getting warmer rather than colder, but the underlying point stands: severe, widespread climate change requires a rethinking of the way we survive as a species. 11 bit proved with This War of Mine that a fun game can consider weighty questions, so we're excited to see where this one goes.
Check out our Steampunk Store! https://steampunkfan.com