Thursday, September 13, 2018

Frozen Synapse 2 Gameplay Review

I'm playing Frozen Synapse 2, a turn-based tactical strategy game by Mode 7 Games.

The single player game mode is the new city mode, where factions vie for control and all are battling a common enemy. Money, earned by completing story-based missions or contracts for a faction, is used to purchase new units. Units are divided into squads that can roam around the city, and regenerate when killed. Missions take place inside (or adjacent to) procedurally-generated buildings that offer good variety in tactics. Some levels lack satellite coverage (hiding enemy movement) or contain locked windows or doors that must be opened in specific areas. The city game is a fun enhancement to the core gameplay, as the different alliances and mission types provide variety each play through. The tactical game has received improvements as well, starting with a large roster of new unit types (including riot shield, scoped rifle, knife, smoke and toxic grenades, mines, flamethrower, minigun, and turret). These new units open up more tactical possibilities in each game. Units can be instructed to focus on a certain portion of the map, and a “focus diamond” can be played for increased accuracy. Large levels can be traversed in fewer turns using the “long turn” option. Keeping units still, behind cover, and aiming in the correct direction still results in the best outcomes. The computer opponents are smart (most of the time) and provide good adversaries. Of course, online play is also available using simultaneous turn resolution and turns that can be submitted at your leisure. All of the previous game modes are available (extermination, charge, disputed, secure, hostage), plus quicker one-turn challenges. Frozen Synapse 2 has enough significant content through the robust city mode, vastly improved procedurally generated levels, and interesting new units to justify its existence.