In this Floodland review we show you the strengths and weaknesses of Vile Monarch’s new post-apocalyptic city builder.
Strategic survivalist video games have always distinguished a certain part of the videogame market. Whether for the immense possibilities given to the player, called to build a new civilization from the ashes of the previous one, or for the possibility of creating suggestive and imaginative game environments, the charm of this genre of post-apocalyptic video games continues to bewitch thousands of fans, ready to try the latest in this field. This time, it is Vile Monarch who takes us to devastated lands, with a title that does everything to stay afloat in a sea of competition.
Immerse yourself in the quagmire with us in this one Floodland review.
Causes and Effects
Floodland immediately presents itself as a game strongly attached to narrative component. The world as we know it is long gone, plagued by unprecedented floods that have crumbled the last bastions of society. Years after the Event, our job is to make a small group of survivors thrive in these “new” land. Our “counselor” has led us to a place that she considers very important. In fact, she thinks there is a state-of-the-art, highly efficient power plant in the area which, if put back into operation, could help us give humanity a new beginning. Once we have given a house that is at least liveable to our community, the goal will be to go in search of this phantom source of energy.
Along the way (or, better, the river routes), we will obviously meet other groups of survivors (who could prove to be great allies as bitter rivals), as well as a whole series of information that will help us understand what actually happened at the moment of the great cataclysm that has essentially annihilated society.
It is not a particularly intricate plot, nor original, but it is functional in a title like this, much more interesting in the relationships between individuals and clans and in the search for an all-encompassing knowledge.
Not just survive, but thrive
The Floodland gameplay puts us in front of various choices from the very first moments of the game. First, we need to select a clan to drive in these wastelands. Each clan (initially four, but you will meet others during your games) has its own peculiarities and, above all, its visions of the world. There are the more traditionalists, still tied to “old habits”, while there are those who would like a new beginning for humanity, far from the decisions that led to the end of the world. Once you have chosen our group, you are catapulted into a randomly generated map, which leads each game to appear different from the previous one (obviously, don’t expect big changes, but just a repositioning of the points of interest and possible new encounters along the way) . The game, then, follows the standard of the most famous management systems, with the collection of objects and the day-night cycle that marks the working hours and those of leisure.
Returning to the meetings with other groups, the peculiarity lies in the fact that, if you wish, you can invite the clans you meet to join your community, but still remaining two different community realities. This means that you will have the control of one or more external groupswhich will flank the one initially chosen and which will bring a whole series of bonuses and malus, as well as different needs and often very contrasting world views.
Therefore, we must be careful who we choose to let in our settlement, because a greater workforce, in the long term, could turn against us and create “disorders”, with a consequent increase in crime and dissent towards those who make the decisions ( or us).
The situation becomes even more complicated when our community is large enough to need laws for a common and prosperous coexistence. This branch of diplomacy envisages choosing from a large number of edicts, some of which face irreversible crossroads (for example, whether to establish a police force or an armed militia). Ultimately, much more than the search for resources and survival, what makes the difference between prosperity and defeat is the serene coexistence between the members of the communities.
PC System Requirements
- Operating system: Windows 11
- Processor: Intel Core i7-10700
- Memory: 16 GB of RAM
- Video card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070
- DirectX: Version 12
- Operating system: Windows 10, 64-bit
- Processor: Intel (R) Core (TM) i7 8700k or AMD equivalent
- Memory: 16 GB of RAM
- Video Card: GeForce RTX 2060 or AMD equivalent, 4GB VRAM
- DirectX: Version 11
- Memory: 6 GB of available space
If Floodland presents itself as an interesting title to play, which in many ways recalls another important exponent of the genre released in recent years, Frostpunk (from the introductory video, to some game mechanics, up to certain aspects of the artistic style, the elements that refer to the atmospheres of the title of 11 bit Studios are different, including the more concrete use of Piotr Musiał, composer of the greatest hits of the Polish team), from technical point of view the first critical issues arrive.
We would like to point out that the one we tried was not exactly the final version of the title, as the developers decided to take every minute of time available before the release to work on the optimization of the game and some finishing touches. However, we should rely on something and, what we have had the opportunity to test with hand has left us with a bitter taste in our mouth (but, we repeat, these are all elements that could be fixed through future updates).
First of all, the game was very expensive in terms of hardware resources. Our test setup is certainly not the best, but still more than enough to handle such a title at 1080p and 60 frames per second. Still, the cases of slowdown and of poor performance they increased as we progressed through the story and, therefore, our community (and the elements on the screen) expanded. A decline that does not seem justified by a particularly significant graphic complexity given that, at the highest quality, Floodland is certainly not a game that amazes for details and visual effects. We are in the “common”, which is more than good for a strategy of this kind. However, the performance problems persist even at the minimum level of graphic quality, so the flaw is more likely to be found upstream, in the poor optimization of the game by the development team.
Our experience was a swing of frustration and elation as we progressed through the story as the more we expanded our community, the longer the autosaves became (which resulted in the entire screen freezing for even more than half a minute). These that we highlight and that have undermined our healthy enjoyment of the title are critical issues that in all probability will be fixed in time for the release, but for the moment that excruciating doubt remains: the possibility that the game actually comes out in these conditions, slightly improved. , but still quite plagued by Technical Problems at least annoying.
The sound protagonist
If under the mere computational aspect the game has little convinced us, dal artistic point of view, Floodland knows how to defend itself very well. It seems strange to say, but the visually most interesting sides of the title are probably the menus, the screens, the interfaces, with very particular hand-drawn elements, vaguely already seen, but still characterized enough to be strongly linked to the work of Vile Monarch .
However, what stands out most is the musical commentary, indeed, the sound sector in general. There soundtrack it is delicate and at the same time bombastic, with also some original songs created for the occasion, produced and performed masterfully. Your ears will keep you glued to this narrative universe, more than anything else, creating around you an atmosphere that is in our opinion unique, which is strongly linked to the game and enhances its hidden (perhaps a little too much) qualities.
Tested version Windows PC
Floodland blends resource management and survival with coexistence and community prosperity, an absolutely not new undertaking and already accomplished by several other video games, sometimes even in a more convincing way. However, despite the little technical cleanliness (the promise of a more careful optimization in time for the release will be kept?), The work of Vile Monarch manages to amaze in the small things, perhaps less relevant to most, but still necessary to create a game context capable of capturing also for its atmosphere and its aesthetic value.
- A sound experience
- Good dose of challenge
- At times a bit derivative
- Technically a half disaster
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