In 2011, developer Mode 7 Games released Frozen Synapse, a game that grossed over $1 million in 2011. Now, seven years later, we finally get a sequel.
Frozen Synapses 2 was announced in 2016 but the developers moved the deadline for September of this year. Just like the prequel, it’s available for Linux, macOS, and Windows although the first part got iOS and Android editions.
This open world turn-based strategy lets you control a team of mercenaries which you can deploy in combat in any of the buildings. You plan the battles in advanced by deciding where to place your forces and then observe how it all unfolds. However, AI makes sure that everything is realistic which makes this game a little bit scary. Especially since everything resembles the drone footage from the real-life combats. However, the graphics give this game a unique appearance with 3D blueprints of the city as though the designers were inspired by the Tron movies.
But the game is not as easy as it sounds. If anything else, it’s really challenging and may have spent quite some time planning your moves. This is because you are not planning only your team’s moves, but also predicting your enemies’. When the mission starts you can have some say in what your team does by issuing commands like “engage on sight” or to have them stay low while moving. You have a lot of options available which can help you issue even more complicated orders. Nonetheless, AI won’t get you to feel that comfortable and you will see even the best of plans go wrong.
It will take some time to get the hang of Frozen Synapse 2 since the games require patience and exercise. For some players, this will be frustrating but once you get used to the game’s mechanics, you will really start liking it. Just don’t stop experimenting in order to figure out how the game operates and in a few hours you will feel like a pro.
The city is divided into districts and each one of them is under the control of a different faction. You get your funding from them so if you do something they deem bad for them, you will get less paid. Also, pay attention to contracts since they’re time sensitive and not executing them in time will cost you money.
The story of the game is told through NPCs and dialogues for example with the chairman of the city municipal council and your AI assistant Belacqua. You will have to deal with another AI, Sonata, which is causing all sorts of trouble around the city as well, besides the violent factions.
On the negative side, you don’t have an option to save the game before the mission begins. So, once you deploy your team – it’s all or nothing. This is really a nuisance since you will use quite some time in preparing the mission so aborting it will hurt.
Now, the multiplayer mode is a whole different story. While game’s AI is a challenge, going into combat against the actual human is more entertaining as well as more challenging. While you wait for your opponent to plan their moves, you can start another game with someone else, which is really cool and beats waiting. Also, it’s respectable to all players involved since it gives you all enough time to carefully plan your moves.
Frozen Synapse 2 is a game that is hard not to like since it looks great and gameplay is exciting. While single-player mode may not give you the best satisfaction of playing, you can compensate for that in the multiplayer. The game is nerve-wracking at times, but also thrilling and this will be a nice title for all those turn-based strategy fans out there looking for something refreshingly new to test their grey cells.