Floodland Review | GodisaGeek.com

In the past, the end of the world was a fantasy. There are countless books and movies that focus entirely on the world that might follow this one after it disappears due to a meteor strike, zombie virus, or alien invasion. But much less fantastic, and therefore much more frightening, is the very real and imminent threat of climate change. It’s a road to apocalypse less traveled by entertainment media; one far too close to home to be an escape. And yet, this is the focus of Floodland, a new post-apocalyptic city-builder from Vile Monarch.

In fact, the “city” constructor is not quite accurate. Floodland is more like a large-scale survival game that sees you scavenge for resources just to stay alive a bit longer. Except that instead of controlling a single survivor stranded on a beach wearing a simple loincloth, you are responsible for a few dozen of them. It’s not a feel-good game, at least not in the true sense of the word. It has something in common with 2017’s The Flame in the Flood, from developer The Molasses Flood, in that even when you win your small victories, you feel like failure is inevitable, a dark shadow lurks somewhere. goes ahead – and you’ve got no choice but to keep moving forward anyway.

Floodland begins by selecting one of four “Clans”. The choice, including former firefighters or a group of engineers, determines the modalities of starting your nascent commune. Firefighters are more resistant to disease, for example, while former commuters, good neighbors, are able to filter water more efficiently and work longer. There is even a team of “preppers“, the survivors of Oakhill, who consume less food than the other clans. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, but ultimately each is a viable starting point. You can also customize your difficulty by adjusting the availability of resources and the general mood of your people.

If you choose to play the Prologue (and you should be doing this for the first time), you’ll be guided through the first few days as you start out with just a small storage camp and 10 survivors. Each game starts on an island surrounded by toxic water and shrouded in thick fog, and you’ll have to send people out to collect food, recyclables, wood, and water. You can ransack the few buildings around you to quickly increase your resources, but very soon it will be up to you to develop your technology based on Old World science.

So you create water distillers to filter flood waters, foraging huts to gather berries and mushrooms. You set up fisheries, sawmills, and build tents, then cabins, then houses, to house your survivors. Periodically, you will meet other groups and, if you have enough resources, you can induct them into your commune. You’ll even meet members of other clans, who will join you in an uneasy alliance that needs constant nurturing.

Floodland Review

Be clear though: this is not an action game. There are no zombies or military units to attack your home – and there is no need. The very world of Floodland itself is dangerous enough. As I said before, this is not a game where you feel like you’re winning – and that’s a double-edged sword. You are under the almost constant threat of revolt, pandemic or famine. After a while, you will form a council, which will allow you to establish laws to govern your people. This is followed by the formation of a police force or militia, and increasingly advanced technologies. Boats are needed to cross the water, while scout camps allow you to send brave souls to find literature and supplies, Old World relics, and other survivors. But even these elements are in danger.

It took me several days to collect supplies left behind by a scout party I had sent too far and had perished in the desert. My first commune failed completely when it contracted a pandemic that decimated the small population. I saw my people poisoning themselves with rotten food, I saw mutated fish attacking my fisheries and finally leaving me only berries to harvest because I didn’t have enough workers left to run the hut foraging or kitchens. And this isn’t one of those games where you can click on the town hall and produce more settlers; humans are the most valuable and scarce resource you have in Floodland.

But while it may be dark, it’s also incredibly addicting. Perhaps because it always seems so hopeless, every little victory is cause for celebration. Passing a law that everyone agrees with, or accepting a marriage that unites two restless clans; maybe overcoming a pandemic with everyone intact – those moments instill little bursts of endorphins almost as surely as defeating a Dark Souls boss.

Floodland Review

It is also aided by aesthetics. A haunting watercolor art style depicts a blurry and unpredictable world, and the fact that you can’t zoom directly near the ground forces a sense of detachment. You cannot go down there and comfort the family who lost their father due to your reckless planning, you can only coldly appoint another worker to take his place. Every once in a while a song will play, about nothing but setting the mood, and that too reminded me of The Flame in the Flood, which used Chuck Ragan’s heartbreaking soundtrack to full effect while during.

And yet, Floodland is not without its problems. For starters, bugs abound. Sometimes I was unable to zoom in or out at all; at other times, natural disasters and events would unfold in quick succession at a pace that must have been a glitch. It is also incompatible with its policy. Once in a while, the leader of another clan would chastise me with a sentence and then immediately congratulate me, whether I did an action in between or not. It’s also worth mentioning that the autosave pauses the game for several seconds each time, and it’s regular enough to start annoying.

Floodland Review

On top of that, Floodland isn’t very good at telling you what things are doing. I don’t mind the lack of grip in a survival sim, but I’ve found that progression has stalled a few times because I had to figure out how to build something the game wanted me to build but didn’t have. not explained. It was infuriating every time, and also unnecessary. Floodland doesn’t need to tell you what to do next, but it should at least tell you how to do it once you figure it out.

Those gripes aside, Floodland is an excellent survival sim that constantly forces you to think about your actions and make tough choices. Research and influence tokens aren’t given freely, and you’ll often have to make tough decisions about what to build and invent next. Make the wrong choices and people may die or leave your colony altogether, reducing your chances of survival or expansion. It may not be joyous or thrilling, but the world of Floodland never lets go and presents a dark and touching vision of the future that nevertheless manages to be rewarding and satisfying.

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