Frostpunk: The Last Autumn DLC Review
Released on PC in 2018, Frostpunk might be my favourite city-builder of all time. Set in a harsh, unforgiving world in which a global cooling has wreaked havoc on the world and driven a small colony of survivors to settle the last city on Earth around a steam generator, Frostpunk forces you to make tough decisions and many compromises on your journey for survival. Its most recent DLC, Frostpunk: The Last Autumn, brings you back to the time just before the eternal winter strikes and comes with a new set of challenges.
As with most city-builders, Frostpunk: The Last Autumn is a balancing act between completing your objectives and keeping your population sated. Instead of battling the unrelenting cold, you are tasked with the creation of a massive steam generator. The balance here is between completing the generator on time and maintaining the population around the generator.
Resource gathering has also changed in this latest DLC, with harbors being a main source of fishing and receiving resources from the mainland. Like the base game, you will be forced to make tough choices to shape how your colony functions, each of which coming with its pros and cons.
While a new upgrade path is available to improve shipments to your harbors, waiting on these means that it takes longer to implement any desired change in priority, which only serves to foster greater discontent among your workers, which will inevitably lead to one of your greatest challenges in Frostpunk: The Last Autumn in work strikes.
If workers become too discontent with their working conditions, they will begin taking job action and cease all construction, forcing you to enter into negotiations with them and compromise either through passing of new laws to form unions and other administrative bodies or by spending resources to directly improve working conditions.
Striking the balance between keeping workers happy enough not to strike while retaining enough resources to complete your generator on time is absolutely essential to your success in Frostpunk: The Last Autumn, but as with most things this is far easier said than done – in no small part due to the pressure provided by the daunting knowledge that failure to do so will result in your immediate and unceremonious replacement.
For those used to a more relaxed city-building experience, I highly suggest beginning on an easier difficulty setting for this scenario, as the demands are high and the room for error is low. Regardless of this, and much like the base Frostpunk gameplay, The Last Autumn has extraordinarily rewarding gameplay.
Even though nothing you do in The Last Autumn will prevent the coming apocalypse, it is certainly a treat to experience the Frostpunk universe pre-freeze and enjoy a change of pace, priorities, technology and challenges. It very much feels like a brand new game to enjoy, while reaping the benefits of existing in a familiar universe.
This peek into the lore of the Frostpunk universe will delight fans of the base game and earlier DLC, as well as benefit first-timers in understanding more of the world the game is set in.
Also, if you thought the base game forced you to check your morality at the door and make cold, calculated decisions for your colony’s survival, The Last Autumn will test you even further, with the immediacy of survival less prevalent, it somehow makes each unpopular decision harder to make, and I suspect many players will fall victim to this in their first attempts at this scenario.
Overall, Frostpunk: The Last Autumn is an extremely enjoyable, if brutally difficult, scenario that offers an array of new challenges and simultaneously fleshing out more of game’s lore. There are so many different strategies to employ and methods to try that you will find yourself wanting to play over and over to conquer each new phase of the Frostpunk challenge. Fans of the city-builders and strategy games should strongly consider grabbing both Frostpunk and The Last Autumn DLC, on sale now through Steam!