Frostpunk Console Preview, How Does It Compare to the PC Version?

11 Bit Studios gave us a tour of its chilly survival game on the Xbox One! So how does the mouse and keyboard game work with a controller?

Created by 11 Bit Studios, the same talented group behind This War of Mine and Moonlighter, Frostpunk is a society driven survival game where you manage the last remaining city on Earth, following a catastrophic freeze that wiped out most life on the planet. Every choice you make impacts the outcome, which forces you to think before doing something potentially rash.  The game turned a lot of heads and collected multiple awards after its April 2018 PC debut, and soon it will come out on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but it’s more than a port. 11 Bit developed this version specifically geared towards consoles, and the team intends to make the game accessible for this audience. We had the privilege of seeing Frostpunk running on the Xbox One, and it looks great thus far.

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Reps from 11 Bit told us that both the PC and console versions of Frostpunk were developed simultaneously, but due to limited resources they prioritized the former. Once the PC edition released, they ramped up work for the PS4 and Xbox One.  They didn’t want to shoehorn the keyboard and mouse experience on the consoles, so they adapted the game with the controllers in mind.

On the control side, they redesigned the entire interface by retouching every panel in the game. This also meant redoing the menus that on the PC version are accessible via keyboard and mouse. Now everything is navigated using the analog sticks. The Command hub, for example, was adapted into a circular menu; the game’s Tech Tree layout, however, remains the same so that you have a “big picture” view of what’s happening. Additionally, an Express (think shortcuts) menu lets you easily hand out tasks without getting lost. Doing it this way lets you quickly assign your AI-controlled citizens different jobs.

11 Bit also built on the existing game by adding a top down view, and also a Precision mode. The latter slows things down on console so that players have increased control of where they want to place buildings on the map.

With all of this in mind, Frostpunk will release for Xbox One and PS4 later this year. It will have full parity with the existing PC version, including four scenarios to play through. 11 Bit has multiple DLC packs in the works, but said these will likely not see a simultaneous release across all platforms due to the certification processes with Microsoft and Sony.  That aside, you can expect plenty of post launch support for Frostpunk when it arrives on your console of choice.

We love Frostpunk, so much so that we awarded it Prima Game of the Week roughly a year ago. Definitely read that article to learn more about this special game, and to help you prepare when Frostpunk comes out on console, find out how to survive the storm to prevent the human race from going extinct.

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Christopher Buffa
Christopher lives to help people beat their favorite games. He is a huge Nintendo Switch fan, and spends countless hours playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Bring on Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Arms!