Launching next month, Floodland is a promising new take on the survival/strategy genre from Vile Monarch and Ravenscourt. Time for a hands-on preview.
What we know
Only recently announced at Gamescom, Floodland is a city/society builder with a strong survival theme, taking place in a world where climate change has wreaked havoc on the world we know. With humanity pushed back hundreds of years and remnants of society struggling to survive, it’s up to you to see how you can lead your people towards the future.
The planet looks very different in Floodland, with rising sea levels making for a world in which only islands and swamps remain. Resources aren’t exactly abundant in this scenario either, so you’ll have to set out and scavenge for what remains, growing your society and working your way up a tech tree to see if you can reclaim some of humanity’s lost technology.
You’re not the only ones here though, and mankind isn’t united, some will have a very different outlook on what survival means, and you’ll have to deal with this as well. It’s a creative new take on a formula made popular by games like The Settlers, and it’s coming out rather soon – on November 15th. It’s a PC-exclusive, and promises to be one to look forward to with a team of developers that previously worked on the likes of This War of Mine, Frostpunk and Dying Light.
What we saw
We met with the developers at Vile Monarch during Gamescom, where we set up a meeting with publisher Ravenscourt for an (at the time) unannounced game. This turned out to be Floodland, about which we got a short presentation before going hands on with it for the first time. We’ve since also been able to have some additional hands on time with a demo for the game, using an early press build.
What we thought
It’s hard to ignore the parallels between Floodland and our real world climate challenges, though Floodland paints an extreme picture of this (like Waterworld once did). As a group of what are essentially climate refugees, you step in at a time where people are starting to look forward again, trying to find a way out of this dire situation in search for new hope.
To add diversity to playthroughs, the world is generated randomly before each new game, and you get to choose between a variety of “clans” – each of which has a different outlook and thus perks and bonuses in different areas. Some will have a more social view of the world, while others are more focused on (re)building, and this will affect your game. Regardless of your choice, however, you have to explore the world around you, finding resources – though these eventually are finite and you’ll have to keep going and establish new camps and people to run them – eventually forming a new kind of society.
As your little Floodland nation grows, you’ll also have to decide on technological advances and laws. This is a careful process in a precarious world, but while the early goings are about survival it doesn’t take long before it feels like you’re building towards some kind of light at the end of the tunnel for mankind. It’s a captivating premise that quickly pulls you in and doesn’t let you go, so it’ll be exciting to go further than we could in the demo in a few weeks’ time.