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This War of Mine studio announces new, morally-fraught survival game Frostpunk

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This War of Mine is a grim survival-strategy game about a small group of civilians trapped in the midst of a brutal war. The expansion, The Little Ones, adds the unique needs of children to the mix. Not the most lighthearted stuff anyone has ever played, as you can imagine, and 11 Bit Studios' new project, Frostpunk, looks set to follow the same path, as it imagines “what society is capable of when pushed to the limit.” 

Frostpunk takes place on a world encased in ice, whose inhabitants rely on steam-powered technology to survive. But society as it was is not equipped to exist in the world as it has become, and so it must evolve, one way or another. 

“This is a deeply serious game created for a mature gamer. Looking back at This War of Mine, we're pushing boundaries even further, but we're not pointing at reality in the same fashion,” creative director Michael Drozdowski said. “We're putting human nature under a microscope to ask about what happens when people need to stay alive.” 

There are obviously a lot of blanks to be filled in here but it's fair to assume that survival will be neither easy nor an especially redemptive accomplishment. As 11 Bit put it, “What is culture when morality stands in the way of existence?” Frostpunk, which has a website at frostpunkgame.com, is currently expected to be ready sometime in 2017. 

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.