Iceflake Studios, owned by Paradox Interactive, released Surviving The Aftermath in mid-November of last year. They’ve just released Update #3 and a free-to-play weekend was offered in celebration. Surviving the Aftermath is a post-apocalyptic city builder in which you attempt to rebuild society after a devastating asteroid shower wipes out most of our civilization. It’s up to you to survive the harsh elements, radiation, pandemics, and bandits in this rich resource management game.
Let’s talk about how the game looks. Surviving the Aftermath does a good job of encapsulating the bleakness of a post-apocalyptic world. The seed I played on placed me in the marshlands, so my surroundings were full of greens, browns, and tans. In a way it’s comparable to the color palette of Fallout 3’s Capital Wasteland but this time with more vegetation. With regards to the models and effects, it’s adequate. The different buildings are very detailed with things like plants around the houses and crates and barrels in the storage buildings. The quality of the textures themselves can always be improved but they are not to the point where it’s an issue. Generally, with city builders, there are so many things on screen that it can definitely be forgiven.
Now let’s focus on the audio. Surviving the Aftermath offers three radio stations to listen to while you build. Two of them are comprised of instrumental western music which is incredible. The third is more relaxing. Whenever an event pops up, most of it is voiced by a narrator which is a huge plus.
The story is up next. There is a main questline that you can follow to build a Doomsday Bunker to keep your town safe. You progress through the story by sending specialists to examine locations across the map and through building structures. In my time of play, I didn’t get far enough in the questline to comment on it as a whole. With that being said, I do find it entertaining thus far. Studying other bunkers and going underground is just a really cool thing that a resourceful city would probably want to do.
And finally, we have the gameplay. The building is solid with plenty of different structures to choose from. The resource management aspect is well-tuned as to not provide unnecessary difficulty. The added world map which is not a common mechanic in most city builders gives the player flexibility when dealing with problems. Whether it be through scavenging or trading with the other towns, you have the means to access resources you run low on. A small adjustment that could be made to better improve the flow of play would be to give the player more means of obtaining tech points. Researching new technologies is a critical part of the game and the player may find themselves bottlenecked until they acquire enough points to research a crucial tech.
Overall, this game is a fantastic addition to any city builder fan’s collection of games. The gameplay, soundtrack, and plot of the game really hammer home the idea that civilization is on the brink. There is nothing more intimidating to a would-be settlement than a meteor shower raining down upon them, damaging important buildings. It is clear that Surviving the Aftermath is the accumulation of many different inspirations. I’ve personally noticed some ideas inspired by games such as Frostpunk and Wastleland. Surviving the Aftermath is still a new game and plenty of changes and new additions are sure to release as time progresses. This review was written in version 1.22.
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