The Frostpunk 2 release date trailer is here, along with two ways to play the survival city builder before launch

A city in the snow
(Image credit: 11 bit studios)

Frostpunk 2 finally has a release date, and I hope your bathing suit is insulated because things are gonna get pretty chilly this summer: the survival city builder sequel is coming July 25.

A new trailer released today during the Xbox Showcase not only delivered the launch date but gave us a look at the surprisingly massive frozen city we'll be managing, a brief glimpse of the factions contending for power, and showed how the city will expand into new areas via "frostbreaking"—which involves sending enormous ice-cutting machines out onto the frozen tundra. Have a look:

If you just can't wait until July 25 to play Frostpunk 2, you've got a few options provided you don't mind spending money before the game is released. You probably remember last year the trend was to give players who preordered a game access a few days earlier if they preordered: Starfield, Modern Warfare 3, and Hogwart's Legacy all did it. 

Frostpunk 2 is taking a slightly weirder approach. You can play it for a week early, but that week is very early: preordering will give you access to a seven-day Frostpunk 2 beta in April, three months before the full game launches. That beta will give you a chance to try out sandbox mode, not the campaign.

If you preorder the deluxe version of Frostpunk 2, on the other hand, you'll get the week-long April sandbox beta as well as Frostpunk 2's story mode three days before it launches. This version also gets you three DLCs (no word yet on what those will be, or when they'll arrive), a digital artbook, a novella related to the game's story, and soundtrack.

Frostpunk 2 is set a few decades after the original, in a time when oil, rather than coal, is literally the new hotness. Phil had a look at sandbox mode back in October and was impressed with the complicated clashes of the game's factions

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.