DISCLOSURE: This game was reviewed on the following platform: PC – Check out our Review Policy page for more information.
An epic fantasy city builder in which the rains of the end of the world force you to rebuild civilization. As the Queen’s Viceroy, you need to guide humans, harpies, beavers, and lizards to take back the wilderness and make sure the last people left in civilization have a future.
In this Against The Storm review, we will explain the history of this game and a brief description of it. Then we shall split the good and bad into Pros and Cons sections and at the very end, we shall give our overall feel of it as well as rate it based on our own and others’ experience.
Against The Storm is an Early Access game that opened its gates for players to try it out on the 1st of November 2022. The developers are both game programmers but also very big gamers when it comes to creating this game.
You can clearly see and tell that they care for this game because they implement and fill up the missing, repetitive, or downright bad things for other roguelike games. It draws a little something from all of them and possibly the most from Frostpunk.
It is a city builder that has a lot of elements of a roguelike game. You will be laying down the foundations of new cities and fulfilling their needs while progressing and upgrading through the story to make the most prosperous network of settlements.
First off, we shall start out with the many positives that Against The Storm has to offer.
Against The Storm has one-of-a-kind gameplay that will grab your interest and hold it for thousands of hours! It is truly a unique gameplay that will make you fall in love with the game.
Even though it’s a city builder, it’s not like Anno or Simcity, where you spend days building the perfect city. No, rather you’ll be racing against time (the queen’s impatience, increasing difficulty, and resource shortages), making sacrifices and deals just to get by. We know it sounds terrible to a certain type of roguelike players, and to be honest, we are too, but this somehow wasn’t an issue at all in this game.
Having to adapt to just what resources the map gives you, what buildings you can build, what random things happen, and what random tasks the queen gives you is the key. You won’t possess all of the tools you need to make your settlement perfect, but it will grow and stay alive until you accomplish your objective. Then you’ll initiate another settlement, and then another, and another, and so on.
You can start with a lower level of difficulty to learn how to play, and then just keep getting better until you’re ready to try a harder level. Then it becomes more and more difficult to push yourself.
The visuals are very good and interesting. You will have very interesting biomes to look at that are all different from each other as you travel and progress through the world. You will see your settlers working left and right and as you do the world around you will change.
The world setting is a fantasy world where you can play with 4 different species. Each of them are different and you will have a lot of goals to fulfill to bring happiness to your peoples and lands.
You can zoom in and actually see the different buildings and people and fully appreciate the setting of your world map.
There’s a ton of content that you can go by that will make you though as this game does not have an end. You will be playing lots of levels over and over again and it’s going to be different each time.
There are many different biomes, each with its own resources and ways to play. Almost every crafted item can be made in different buildings with different levels of efficiency and using different materials, so you can usually find a substitute for what you’re missing. Most buildings can make more than one thing.
So, your settlement can become good at making some goods depending on the resources on the map and the buildings you choose. Other goods will be harder to make and can only be bought from a merchant or not at all. You will still find a way to make it work because there is always a way.
As with any Rougelite game, you will be going crazy with the number of hours you can spend in Against The Storm. The thing is you won’t be getting that feel of grindy feeling because you will constantly be getting something newer and that feeling of having nothing then building up to something extremely amazing.
So, they created a game in which you start a city from scratch. You have to work quickly to reach enough goals, meet needs, etc. Then, in a few hours, you win. And you do it once more.
But this time, you get random structures, resources, quests, abilities, etc., that are different from the last time, so you have to find a whole new way to build to handle things. It’s never the same.
You’ll construct cities, again and again, both because it’s fun and because it fits with the game’s theme.
Even though your goal each time you build a settlement is to fill up the score bar, the ways you get there may be very different. You can keep your people happy, do what the queen tells you to do, or discover the land and find treasures.
And when you win a settlement, you choose to keep some of the rewards associated with it and strengthen your base on the mountain, which gives bonuses to your next settlements. This is a classic example of how roguelikes make progress within themselves.
So this game cycle is very hard to break: get more bonuses, try new things, and get better the next time. It is extremely addicting and rewarding!
Let’s see the bad side of Against The Storm.
There is no sugarcoating here. While enjoying the beauty and very fun gameplay elements of this game you will have a timer. Having a timer and a constant clock ticking in the background will certainly take away from a big chunk of the fun that players can enjoy.
Sometimes, and there are times like times since it is a roguelike game, you will feel almost pressured and stressed from all the objectives that the game will give you, and on top of all that the timer ticking and ticking.
Some players will say that every time you get thrown into a different layout and world once you do the gameplay loop over and over again, will ultimately give you the overall experience. These players do not like this element at all.
But some though thrive on it since you won’t get that boring overpowered feel that you get with these types of games.
The people who made these games knew that the most fun part is when you’re just starting out and building your city from scratch, getting key production up and running, and being able to feed, house, and heat your people, etc.
Most city builders games get boring after a certain point when you have built a big, sprawling city that meets all your needs. Players usually get bored of these kinds of games after a few hours if there isn’t a clear goal or a big challenge.
Against The Storm Review: Is This The Roguelike City Builder We Have Been Waiting For?
We think this is the best city builder for people who like to play the early part of a city, who really want efficiency to matter a lot, who want to be racing against time, and who wish to have to adjust to entirely different configurations and building accessibility and make a new build order for each game. That is why we give it a 4.7 out of 5 while it is still in Early Access. It could just be a 5 out of 5 in the near future!
We hope that you agree with our high score. The reason why we decided to give this game such a high rank is that it simply is a truly good experience that builds from the Frostpunk blueprint and upgrades it to a max! This might just grow up to be the generational roguelike city builder. You definitely want to give it a try!