ICY Frostbite Edition PC Review

ICY Frostbite Edition comes as a remake of the original ICY game. Is The Lackluster White Wasteland better than before?

By UletheVee4, Posted 11 Sep 2017

Whenever you think about a game that is “Story-Driven” you think of a game that has a story to follow, possibly pretty visuals and that’s it. And this was the sort of game I thought I was throwing myself into when I got a copy of ICY: Frostbite Edition for Steam. However, there certainly are a few different things that make this game one of a kind.

ICY Frostbite Edition PC Review

Let’s start with the basics. Frostbite Edition is a remake of the original ICY game, set in a post-apocalyptic world witnessing a new Ice Age. As a survivor you can create with their own attributes, including your basics like speech, gun handling, hunting skill and such, the player will set off on adventures in the White Wasteland in a constant struggle for survival.

The player is also going to be set in a world where the harsh environment is against them, facing tough decisions that depend a lot on your judgement and skill. All this happens while helping a nomad family in their fight for survival and while taking care of all the responsibilities a leader has, such as keeping the group together and planning how to face challenges that may come.

In terms of story, the game will pull no punches at the player on their travels. The game really likes to put you in harsh situations where members of your family will die or are going to be in danger. There will also be a lot of questions raised regarding factions and certain people who possess hi-tech weaponry compared to your basic weapons such as bows, knives and the occasional gun.

And that’s pretty much where I have to draw the line in regards to ICY: Frostbite Edition’s storyline. There are a lot of things to talk about, but just like with Night in The Woods, I can’t talk about certain plot points without spoiling the story. This is another major issue once you realize that you’ll be staring at a lot of text. And by that I mean that you’ll be reading paragraph after paragraph of text with still images of the characters you’re interacting with (not even showing reactions to the events).

ICY Frostbite Edition PC Review

Without a doubt, this is one of the biggest flaws in ICY: Frostbite Edition, and one it retains from the original game. Not to harp on it or anything, I think the story is engaging for fans of post-apocalyptic settings. But when it becomes the central point of the game, the core essence of the game itself, almost nothing can save it from becoming dull to the average player who wants to try something new.

Watching still images with little to no animations or individual images that happen at key points of the story drives this point further. Because the major problem I see with ICY is that it doesn’t have much else besides “Read these paragraphs about what the character is doing or saying”. And the second I begin talking about the way this game plays? Oh boy.

ICY: Frostbite Edition is a narrative-driven experience. The player will be the leader of the pack and will set off in a journey of their own with their nomad family following suit. That means every decision, every bit of resource management and every step of the way will be decided by the player and just the player. Character interactions are rich and varied (optional as well),so players can get to know their travelling partners better, discovering what they can and cannot do.

The player will manage most practical things on a 2D map with a complete interface that will allow them to travel around the world. The interface shows things such as what the character is wearing, the weapons they have equipped, how much food (or available spaces to move) they have, inventory and other sorts of stats.

ICY Frostbite Edition PC Review

You can also combine materials in your inventory to create things such as fur suits, ropes, grappling hooks, guns, survival kits, and other sorts of weapons and tools through specific material combinations. A limited inventory space of 150 slots, that may or may not rise depending on your actions and luck, will also require management.

The game is basically built so the player gets their own experience made through their own decisions. There are also areas on the map that you can scavenge to earn more materials and resources. However, these areas also have their own danger meter that may or may not hinder their experience. Threats can vary according to the level of danger, for example. Say you’re hunting on a forest with a 25% Danger meter. There’s a slight chance you might find a wolf, a lynx or other sort of beasts that will get in your way. Then the decision will be on you to use your gun or other weapons to scare them away or engage in fights.

The battle system works sort of differently from other RPGs. Instead of treating characters as individuals with their own stats, they are all treated as one individual group fighting against another group while you are given actions according to the weapons you have. You can stack up actions for them to become more powerful. But at the very end the fighting becomes very monotonous and you start losing interest in it because it never leaves this goddamned still image to represent two groups “fighting” until one overpowers the other. Yes, no matter how well equipped I was, and how top notch my weapons were, there were occasions where I got completely wiped out by the enemy team. And I felt cheated whenever these happened, due to the fact that there isn’t a real factor deciding what the enemy team’s stats are or why they bested you. They just do and you have to roll with the punches.

ICY Frostbite Edition PC Review

I praised the character interactions and story earlier, but for a “Post-apocalyptic game set in a White Wasteland” the game is far too easy until it randomly decides to throw you into bull-I mean hard predicaments. I noticed that if you grind hard enough in a certain point, you’ll end up becoming an overpowered god with plenty of bullets (which are also used as currency) to pretty much stroll happily through the game.

Not to mention, this game is unintuitive and sometimes character dialogue happens BEFORE the events leading up to it. Which can lead to confusion with certain character interactions because you don’t know who the hell the character you’re talking to is talking about until later when you meet them.

With all of this said, I can’t recommend ICY: Frostbite Edition, the game definitely has its moments. Like when it puts you in tense situations or makes you face mutants of various sorts. The character interactions are great but sometimes confusing, and the interface is unintuitive to the point where I had to tell the developers that a “Sell Stack” option should be implemented, despite it being a staple in other survival RPGs.

If you are looking for a game set in a post-apocalyptic world and don’t mind reading text 85% of the time, by all means, grab ICY and you’ll have a great time. But if you are looking for something new in regards to survival games, I’m sorry but I think there are other far better options. Let’s just hope that the developers learn from this and give us other, better games. But for now, this game is just another game I am sick of seeing on Steam.

Javier Ulises, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): PC
Publisher(s): Digital Tribe
Developer(s): Inner Void
Genres: Survival
Themes: Post-apocalyptic
Release Date: 2017-08-11

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