Frostpunk: The Fall of Winterhome DLC Review

If you already own Frostpunk, you now have access to a new, free scenario: The Fall of Winterhome. This free expansion tells the story of the Winterhome settlement that preceded the events of New London in the game’s main campaign. It gives you the chance to restore the ruined city amidst a literal frozen hell.

Unlike Frostpunk‘s main campaign, every extra scenario has thrown you right into the thick of things with some of the developments already unlocked. The Fall of Winterhome is no exception — it gives you a lot to work with from the very beginning.

First, we’ll talk about what’s new in the DLC, the we’ll take a look at what you’re faced with when you start and how the expansion fares compared to the base game.

New Map and Gameplay Mechanics

A bright circular settlement sits in a valley between snow covered mountains

11 bit studios created a brand new map for the Winterhome scenario. It looks a lot like the endgame of the main story. There are a lot of structures ready with streets, a beacon, and several outposts.

As would be expected from any DLC, there will also be new structures to build as well.

One of them is the Repair Station. This can be built to repair the main generator, and it is also the place where engineers fix any malfunctioning equipment in the city. Since one of Winterhome‘s new additions forces you generator to lose power and range over time, the Repair Station is the biggest addition in the DLC.

Another new addition is the Evacuation Center. This new structure can be built for emergency situations, allowing people and food to be moved to the dreadnought. However, it’s not as important as the robust Repair Station.

Of course, there are a few other smaller tweaks to the gameplay, but those are mainly bug fixes from the original game.

Restoring the City of Winterhome

A Fall of Winterhome splash screen shows man, woman, child sitting by fire

When you begin the DLC, the city of Winterhome is in ruins. Many of its buildings are badly damaged, hope levels are low, and discontent is high. You’re immediately thrust into a situation where you’re responsible for hundred of the sick and dying.

Thankfully, some laws and technologies have been developed prior to your arrival, so you won’t be starting from scratch. Food storage is full, and although you have to start the generator, the coal storage is full as well.

You’ll also find your population consists of

  • 300 adults
  • About 200 children
  • 50 engineers

That means there is also no need to attract new settlers, so you can focus all of your attention on removing old buildings and setting up new ones.

However, don’t let that lull you into a sense of complacency. Taking action from the get-go is a must. Why? Because unchecked sickness will quickly kill the settlement, so building new medical posts and infirmaries is a necessity early on.

Overlooking a snow-covered city with management menus overlaid in gameplay

Your settlement also receives help from the outside; an outpost that doubles as a coal mine will come to your aid, transferring an additional 800 coal once a day to your storage.

Besides the coal mine, you can send scouts to check out one of the Dreadnoughts that brought you to the area, or you can send a squad to learn everything about the nearby Weather Station, which will help you predict and survive the most unbearable weather conditions.

As the city of Winterhome increases its hope and things get warmer, the ice starts melting. As a result, the rotten bodies of  dead workers come to the surface, quickly increasing discontent among the living.

However, this is only the beginning of your troubles.

With so many things in the progress queue The Fall of Winterhome DLC gets overwhelming quite fast. The developers obviously made the DLC with a clear purpose to make the gameplay more aggressive.

The heating screen of Winterhome's technology screen with upgrades

New events pop up constantly, reminding you that there is no time for rest. You could be focused on building new structures or repairing old ones, but then something happens: an injury, frostbite, or death.

Unlike the main story, where you could gradually develop and better focus on the needs of the people, in Winterhome, you have to multitask like crazy, without a single moment of relief.

This approach really turns the new DLC into a rollercoaster ride, which many players may not survive.

Final Thoughts on The Fall of Winterhome DLC

This expansion is definitely not recommended for beginners. It’s not made to introduce new players to the game, but instead put veteran players into more complex scenarios. You’ll have to apply all of your knowledge and experience from the base game to survive this DLC.

The content The Fall of Winterhome is even harder in Survival mode, and for most, it will be impossible to play.

Things move really fast in Winterhome. Couple that with discontent that rises very quickly, and you’re in for a harrowing experience.

Catastrophes can happen at any point in the game, completely devastating your settlement. In fact, you can lose hours upon hours of gameplay.

But that’s the type of challenge Frostpunk fans are looking for. And in this regard, The Fall of Winterhome fulfills the demand in full force.

[Note: A copy of Frostpunk was provided by 11 bit studios for the purpose of this review.]

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