By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on May 23, 2017
Oh the weather outside is frightful
But the fire is so delightful
And since we've no place to go
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow
That's all fine and dandy, except. we've got places to go, so can somebody please put a stop to this damn snowfall?!
Imagine, if you will, that our world is covered in snow because of a horrifying blizzard. And not just a pleasant layer of snow to play in either; it covers the entire world, reaching the rooftops of even the tallest houses. It's would be quite difficult to survive in this world, wouldn't you agree? Well, however hard it may be, in this case we will have to give it a try.
In Impact Winter, players take the role of Jacob, a man who has been able to survive up till now. He's the leader of a larger group, who joined forces and took shelter in a church. This is their base of operations and everyone in the team helps in their own way. Wendy is a middle-aged woman that serves as the groups cook and helps to keep everybody's stomach filled. Maggie is a young woman who knows her way around tools and is the group's handyma. woman! (pardon me, ladies) Blane is an older guy who can provide you with valuable survival tips, seeing how he is the survival expert of the group. Then there's Christophe, a highly intelligent young man. Christophe has built a contraption known as Ako-light. In essence, Ako-light is a flying robot, who travels with you as you go out on scavenging trips and helps you carry all the stuff you've found. Ako-light can also scan the environment and reveal hidden objects or entrances for you.
At the start of the game, you'll start off with a short tutorial, which both serves as starting narrative and a short lesson in survival techniques. The story begins when the entire group is present at the church and Ako-light receives a message, saying that help is on its the way and someone will rescue you in thirty days. So the only thing you have to do now, is keep yourself and the group warm, healthy, happy and (most importantly) alive for the next thirty days. When you manage the first three items on that list, your group will be more inclined to help you and listen to your orders, making survival that much more easy. So, just keep everybody in high spirits and physically fit for thirty days... easy, right?
Wrong!!! Accomplishing this is certainly not easy. Quite on the contrary, actually, it is thoroughly challenging. This makes sense, because if it was easy, Impact Winter wouldn't be very much of a game, now would it? Every survivor in your team has certain skills and you can give them roles to make the most of said skills. Each role has a positive and a negative effect, so think things through before you start tossing roles around! Depending on their skills and roles, you can let your team craft useful items like food, tools and materials while you go out and gather the resources they need for the creation of these items.
Time is a very important issue in this game. As I've mentioned earlier on in this review, you will have to survive for thirty days. Luckily, this is game-time, not real-time! But, even then, survival is not just a matter of simply huddling in a corner and wait for these thirty days to pass. So you will probably understand that everything that can speed up this process, is a blessing. And the good news is, you actually can! By earning Rescue Points (RP) you can level up and, in doing so, reduce the time you will have to wait for a rescue. You see, by earning RP, Ako-light's signal becomes stronger, making it easier for the ones who are coming to rescue you to home in on your position. You can earn RP by completing missions for the other team members. For example, Wendy, the cook, needs new recipes, so you can go to her old house and look for her recipe book. Find her book and you will earn Rescue Points and her moral will rise. That's "two birds with one stone" stuff, right there!
A way to earn more RP faster, is to upgrade Ako-light's systems, giving you an edge in any scavenging situation. You could, for example, enhance his radar system and discover hidden secrets with much more ease. You could also expand his carrying capacity, so you can carry more loot at a time, without having to return to the church to unload your stuff. Ako-light is a very useful companion, so be sure to keep his systems up and running perfectly! This also goes for the members of your team. If you let them starve or neglect to fuel the fire that is keeping them warm, they become depressed and much less efficient. If you let this slide for too long, you might even have a full-blown mutiny on your hands, or they may just die on you if you're not careful. So pay attention to the stats of every member of your team and try to keep them as happy and healthy as possible!
The world of Impact Winter looks truly amazing! The environments are all beautifully crafted and lit, giving the entire world an abandoned and still threatening feel. If you venture outside of the church, the white landscape looks really beautiful and almost inviting. You just want to roll around in the snow, until you realize that this snow is about 26 feet deep and you would most likely die of hypothermia within minutes. I also really liked the soundtrack of Impact Winter. The only things you will hear most of the time are sounds true to nature and the environment you are in. This minimalistic approach to sound suits the game perfectly and gives you that feeling of being stranded. Everything about Impact Winter shows that developers put a lot of effort and attention to detail in this game. Controlling Jacob is a cinch. The game plays really well and looks truly beautiful.
I haven't told you one of the best things yet. We we're lucky enough to receive the Impact Winter Survival Kit. When I opened the package I first wanted to grab the phone and give the postal company a piece of my mind about how carelessly they handle packages nowadays. The beautiful box the developers had sent us was full of dents and looked terribly damaged. But, as it turned out (or rather, pointed out to me by my ever-so-clever husband), this was intended; the box needs to look battered and weathered. It has been carried around a lot in an ever-lasting blizzard, remember?
Inside the box was a lot of snow (shredded plastic) and a lot of goodies that tie in with the theme of the game and are sure to help you on any survival adventure. Hidden in the makeshift snow was a compass, a collapsible cup, the Impact Winter soundtrack on a cassette usb, a strike-a-light, an emergency blanket and a notebook. Apart from the items being totally awesome, the notebook sheds some light on the things Jacob went through before he joined the group of survivors in the church. Very neat!
Impact Winter is a great game for everyone who loves a good story, beautiful environments and likes to spend a lot of time crafting and scavenging. Together with the overall design, minimalistic music, cool characters and easy to learn gameplay, this game is really worth your time! The Survival Kit really completes the experience for me and also looks awesome. So, I would suggest you gather your basic survival items and try to survive the hell out of those thirty days!