“Frozen Synapse 2” is a deep strategic game about defending what’s yours and taking what you think is yours.
I always enjoy seeing what games come out of indie game developers, and “Frozen Synapse 2” by Mode 7 looks to be a very promising title. “Frozen Synapse 2” is a grand strategy game combined with simultaneous turn-based combat. This combo has led the developers to create their own term called “open world tactics.” What this means is when you are zoomed out looking at the city everything is moving in real time, but when you get into a combat scenario and zoom in, the game changes to a turn-based strategy game. Do not let this fool you, however. The artificial intelligence (AI) for this game is of a high caliber, which will make controlling the map tense and dynamic. From just watching the game, I can agree that it deserves its own unique term to describe it.
Players are tasked with defending Markov Geist City against a large amount of threats and dangers. These can manifest to either threaten the city from within or come from outside the city limits. “Frozen Synapse 2” is all about creating your own strategies to deal with enemy forces attempting to take control over the city. Building bases and deploying squads of soldiers is only half the battle however. In every sprawling city, there is a massive amount of buildings. In “Frozen Synapse 2,” you can have your forces go into, seize and attack whatever building you want to expand your territory.
Besides going inside buildings, there is another multitude of goals and objectives you can partake in. From robbing banks to assassinating political leaders, players can do what they need to take control. You can even start your own political agenda to get what you need from other factions.
Like I mentioned before, turn-based combat sounds deceptively easy if you are given enough time to prepare for an attack. This is not true. Not only because of the AI’s abilities, but because the plan is always changing. Before a battle begins, you have time to set up a plan of action for your soldiers. You can do this however you want and test it without starting the actual battle. Once you are satisfied, you can press the “Prime” button, which will start the battle for real. While you are planning your attack, the AI will also be setting up its own battle plan. This fog-of-war effect should keep battles engaging and different.
The graphics of “Frozen Synapse 2” are the opposite of the strategic potential the gameplay offers. Graphics seem to be barebones, and this is most likely due to the game’s focus on the strategy of creating an empire rather than looking fantastic. That is okay with me. Sure, would it be nice to see fully rendered tiny soldiers annihilating each other in brutally epic fashion? Of course it would, but that is not what the game is about. If you want that, then I suggest any of the Warhammer 40K games to slake your bloody lust.
“Frozen Synapse 2” releases today, Thursday, Sept. 13 on the Steam Store for PC. Have fun controlling Markov Geist City.