Project Winter, a survival game all about lies and betrayal, leaves Early Access soon

At a glance, Project Winter is reminiscent of The Long Dark, but surviving its low-poly snow fields is only half the battle. At the beginning of a game, two of the eight players are designated as traitors. They each know who the other traitor is, and are tasked with preventing the group from escaping. The non-traitors must suss them out before being shot in the back.

It's a fun-sounding idea, though a tough design challenge. Playing the similar party game Mafia (or Werewolf) is always a good time, but I've never been all that attracted to digital versions of the game, because lying directly to your friends' faces is where the fun's at. In that respect, Project Winter provides multiple communication avenues: "proximity-based voice chat, private voice chat radio channels, text chat, and emotes."

A lot of Project Winter's success will hinge on the effectiveness of those tools and the quality of the playerbase. It's a game that's easy to ruin, since it relies on everyone committing to acting.

Right now, reviews are mixed on the Early Access version, but it seems like many of the complaints are simply that there aren't enough players in the game, not that Project Winter fails in its execution, which is promising.

Recent reviews are more positive. When Project Winter releases in 1.0 form on May 23, maybe it'll get a little boost in player count. We'll plan to check it out then to see how it's come along since its Early Access launch.

Tyler has spent over 800 hours playing Rocket League, and slightly fewer nitpicking the PC Gamer style guide. His primary news beat is game stores: Steam, Epic, and whatever launcher squeezes into our taskbars next.