Farthest Frontier trailer reminds us that life sucks when you're a medieval peasant

I was immediately intrigued when Farthest Frontier was announced in February because it's a medieval city simulator being made by Crate Entertainment, the studio responsible for Grim Dawn. I very much like Grim Dawn, it's one of the best action-RPGs to come along in years, but it's also, you know, an action-RPG

City sims and ARPGs are pretty disparate genres, but as unalike as they may be, the new teaser for Farthest Frontier that appeared at the PC Gaming Show emphasized one major similarity between these two: Shit is grim.

"Life can be harsh everywhere, but in the Old World there was no hope of it ever improving," the narrator says. "When our crops failed, the ruling class would still collect the same share, leaving our children to starve. And if we had any coin to our name, the tax man would appear, demanding it for the Crown."

Not all that different from today, am I right? Anyway, amidst this great vortex of peasantry suckage, a few hardy souls decided it was time to hit the bricks and try their luck elsewhere. It was a rough journey, and plenty of people died along the way, but hope is on the horizon. 

Also on the horizon, according to the Steam page, is:

  • Dysentery
  • Cholera
  • Scurvy
  • Tetanus
  • Rabies
  • Frostbite
  • Bubonic plague

All of which come on top of the usual issues with starvation, animal attacks, violence, and accidents. Not a good time for anyone, fair to say, but if you can pull it off your people might end up living in a pretty nice place. The developers have been posting a series of city-building blog updates on Steam over the past couple of months, and it seems to be coming together quite well. They've even got a pizza oven!

Farthest Frontier also now has a release date: It's scheduled to launch into Early Access on August 9. Crate Entertainment expects it will remain in Early Access for 4-8 months, "depending on how much we feel the need to alter gameplay systems or add to the scope of the game before we're ready to call it finished."

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.