Change is something that places human beings in front of choices: there are those who embrace it completely, opening up to new possibilities, and those who instead perhaps struggle to try to avoid it. Then there are an infinite series of nuances in between, all with different intensities and different behaviors towards what in all respects can be defined as a change in the status quo. What certainly cannot be done, however, is to block the change when it arrives with no possibility of escape: this is the case of Floodland, a strategy with a strong survival component that will put us in front of a world destroyed by a cataclysm called Event, and which will lead us to lead a handful of survivors, in the reconstruction of civilization.
Whether this is as we remembered it, structured in a way very close to the previous one, or with new values given the clean slate made by the Event, will be up to you (and the clan you choose in the game): here is our review of Floodland, new game from Vile Monarch, coming on 15th November.
The choice is yours
Floodland is a strategic one, which is why you expect to have to manage a group of people, but it is also a survival one, since you will have to survive on low supplies and save money. Both in the test done in Cologne during the Gamescom, both in our games made for the review, we have repeatedly fallen into the trap of wanting to do everything at once, leading us to one of the biggest obstacles in the game, in a positive sense, the choice.
In fact, during the game, from the very first bars to the end, you will find yourself having to make some meaningful choices: starting from the clan, which will define your approach, in a range that goes from traditionalism to nonconformist, in Floodland you will have to decide where to invest. For example, if you bet everything on the recovery of resources, so as to have material to build, you could find yourself without food and therefore with the urgent need to build adequate structures; on the contrary, thinking only of the citizens of your clan and of your new society under construction could lead you to forget that without resources you are finished, thus requiring more days to advance and consequently more food and water to consume.
If in the first stage you will have to find yourself resources and other people to join your company (and advance in the rediscovery of how to work various materials, starting from wood and scraps to metal and concrete), in the second you will have the opportunity to meet other clans: these, who, like you, will have formed groups to be able to restart and survive, will have different ideologies from yours (in part or in toto) and it will be up to you to choose whether to go through the diplomatic route or whether to opt for an immediate contrast. Obviously the second case will push you to have an enemy, but the first could bring you unpleasant surprises later, considering that you will have to find a way to get everyone along.
The third phase of the game instead concerns the gist of the concept of floodland: a cataclysm has reset, and it's up to you to choose whether to return to the old society or create a new one. To do this, you will use the more, a series of actions that will push you to make limiting choices, where continuing on one side will inexorably lead you to abandon another. Going deeper into this dynamic, it will be enough for you to know that you will have to regulate leisure, safety, authority, taxes, health and any other, all with choices that will push you to understand which state you want to create.
Once upon a time
Vile Monarch's game starts from an important narrative incipit, both in terms of structure and value: the world was destroyed by the Event, it is no longer as we remember it, and everything seems to point to a problem related to climate change. Already this choice, which might seem almost clever at first glance, is anything but obvious and indeed shows courage. The difficulty of making a game without falling into the trap of looking like a purely meaningful game was high, but the development team managed to create a weave above this very interesting theme.
During the game you will also be able to hear some chats with the advisor (who will act as a "voice of the status", highlighting your shortcomings and giving you advice), which will push you to discover the lore behind this Event, what happened and what were the consequences. However, it will not be necessary to listen to everything to see what happened, especially if you carefully observe the space around you. In fact, it is not impossible to find old abandoned, destroyed or ruined structures, bad roads and some memories of the past along the way.
Now that we're talking about it, floodland it is not free from technical problems, on the contrary: as the game progresses they become more frequent, considering that the variables to manage increase. The aesthetic style chosen will hide some technical limitations but renders it quite well, especially as regards the interface, while for the in-game polygons there is a slight dissonance between structures with well-shaded pastel colors that give an artistic sense to the whole and some component such as grass and water which instead infuse greyness. The art design of the characters, menus and every other detail is superlative, with a style that approaches titles like Disco Elysium, maintaining a solid and well-positioned identity.
The game music is amazing, which will accompany you along your adventure as a trailblazer for a new company, and the information interface is also excellent, which manages to be minimal but to warn you and report every detail. Unfortunately we encountered some problems as we progress in the game, especially when there are more variables and the game struggles to manage them (not so much during the action, but in the saves), but we are convinced that with a well done patch they will be resolved in a short time.Review
- Floodland (Tested on PC)7.5Final Vote
A survival management game with a strong strategic component, capable of making you passionate about a world that has gone down the drain due to climate change and after the cataclysm called Event. Floodland will push you to rebuild: the choice of how, when and with what it will be up to you, starting with the resources to which you will give priority up to the choice, late game, of laws and edicts that will characterize what kind of society you will want to rebuild, be it traditional and tied to the past, or more unconventional and different from what it once was.