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Frostpunk is a steampunk survival game set on a frozen world

From 11 bit studios, creator of This War of Mine

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Frostpunk, a new game from This War of Mine and Anomaly developer 11 Bit Studios, is taking a more serious (but still fantastical) approach to what survival means in a video game. The Polish studio's new title, coming to Windows PC in 2017, focuses on "empathy and decision-making rather than optimization and resource management," its creators say.

The world of Frostpunk imagines what culture and society would look like in a dangerous frozen world where steam-powered technology has been developed in order to fend off the inescapable cold. According to its developer, Frostpunk will feature "complex and demanding gameplay" where players will face tough moral choices.

"This is a deeply serious game created for a mature gamer," said creative director Michal Drozdowski in a release. "Looking back at This War of Mine, we're pushing boundaries even further, but we're not pointing at reality in the same fashion. We're putting human nature under a microscope to ask about what happens when people need to stay alive."

According to 11 Bit, Frostpunk will feature strategy and management elements, but will be an "emotion-driven" game. Details are scant, but a teaser trailer for the game offers a look at the game's vibe.

11 Bit's This War of Mine, on which Drozdowski was lead designer, featured a unique take on survival gameplay when it was released in 2014. In that game, players assumed the role of a civilian in a city besieged by war, fighting for resources like food, medicine and shelter while avoiding soldiers and other scavengers.