All images: Surviving the Aftermath website.
I've been looking for a new top down strategy game for a while now, and having tried a few different games recently I haven't found anything that really got me going. It's something I used to play a lot back in the day; I've spent days conquering the world in various Age of Empires, Civilization & Total War games. There are a couple of decent mobile strategy games around these days but to really get the full experience of taking your faction from nothing, to dominating the world, you need to be playing on a PC or console really.
The most recent game I have tried is definitely one to watch. Surviving The Aftermath, developed by Iceflake Studios. It's in early access mode at the moment and the devs have released a trial mode to give you a feel for it, but also to allow guidance and feedback from the community.
Surviving The Aftermath sees you take control of a group of settlers in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. And like any good global strategy game there are buildings, a tech tree, and a vast world to explore. Starting off the game I was pleased with the graphics firstly. It had a nice aesthetic feel to it and the HUD is very clean easy to navigate. You can tell that will be slightly easier to play on PC because of the level of depth you can go into as you'd expect, but they done a good job of creating controller shortcuts to easily navigate between messages, building and all the other options. This is important for console players!
So what's different about it? Well it feels very much like they've tried to make it as real as possible. Each settler has a happiness gauge, it's possible to get sick, you have to discover, repair and use vehicles to scout further distances and there is the inclusion of a leader system which allows certain settlers to have special abilities. One of the best things is the tech tree, which currently has 79 unique techs to learn, and potentially more in development. One thing that is nice is that you can take time to research learn new techs which all contribute to keeping you settlement safe, as opposed to just hammering the output of armies to defend yourself like in a lot of strategy games.
Overall the feel of the game is quite relaxed with a lot if building, scavenging and technology development options. Before even starting the game you can create varying levels of difficulty by specifying how scare resources are, how harsh the conditions are etc. A lot of thought has gone into the game and I'm looking forward to getting past the first hour to see how it develops, and what the challenges I will face are.
As you can tell this review is still quite basic having only played one of the 4 updates so far. Iceflake are releasing a huge amount of info per update and are really trying to push the boundaries of survival games. You can take part in the trial or buy the early access to the game now by visiting their website: www.survivingtheaftermath.com