Impact Winter - PC/PS4/XB1 - Help Is Coming (PC Release Trailer)
Who it Caters to
Those who enjoy the survival type aspects of gaming such as Don’t Starve Together and The Long Dark, Bandai Namco’s Impact Winter will certainly fall within this category. The elements of your typical survival game are there, such as trekking out into the wild and gathering resources to stay alive, or having to deal with dangerous encounters using whatever tools you have in your disposal. A lot of planning and thought are always considered, since you not only have to tend to your own character but the well being of your team as well. Arguments may ensue if you aren’t careful to level up your perks, and your teammates may succumb to the bitter cold so choosing the right roles to keep everyone alive is imperative. If this sounds like your type of game, then grab Impact Winter as it certainly caters to you.
What to Expect
Impact Winter comes with a lot out of the package and it does a wonderful job of informing players where they’re going wrong in game, with the useful Ako-Light as your assistant. The tutorial within the game is easy to grasp and so new players who are unfamiliar to the survival genre will have no issues jumping right in. Expect there to be a lot of problem solving as you come up with ways to delegate the right tasks, scour for items and ensure that your inventory is constantly full. Impact Winter will challenge you at times, throwing you curve balls and having you make tough choices such as sacrificing your rations in order to survive or giving up materials just so that you can build your church defenses.
The minute you load up the game you’re immediately thrown into the bitter cold, as you wake up in a church surrounded by other survivors who you must work with. You have Wendy, Blane, Christophe and Maggie, all of whom come with their own pros and cons so you’ll need to adjust to their liking to gain perks over time. Wendy is the one who provides the crew with food and will usually ask you to go on expeditions to gather rations, and collect important tools in order to speed up the process of cooking. Maggie is the one you’ll rely on when it comes to building defenses for the church such as doors, gathering enough wood to keep the fire burning, and ensuring that everyone stays safe within the church grounds. Blane is all about hunting and will encourage you to go out into the Void and gather whatever tools you can, so that you can deal with threats in the wild such as the bloodthirsty wolves. Christophe is the tech head within the group and you’ll most definitely need him when it comes to upgrading your Ako-Light, so that your expeditions are safer and you’ll be able to develop stronger communication tools overtime.
All of this will require much of your time and dedication because you’ll need to allocate the right roles to characters, so that items can be developed faster but more importantly to keep the moods of everyone high. We ran into situations where we applied the wrong roles which resulted in the team arguing, and so we had to race back to the church to resolve the issue. Speaking of issues, you’ll run into a lot of them once you head out into the Void since there are enemies lurking everywhere and you’ll need campsites set up to ensure you can deposit goods back at any time. Without campsites planted you run the risk of having your inventory filling up and not being able to utilize everything. You’ll have events to consider as your team will have tasks for you to complete, along with strangers who you’ll run into at random times. With those events in mind your inventory organization needs to be concrete because you never want to discard important items just because you can’t fit anything inside the bag. Of course as you play further into the game you can upgrade your inventory size, but you’ll be surprised that as you wander around scavenging for whatever is nearby, your bag will fill up fast.
Every item you find needs to be considered thoroughly, as not every item is worth carrying around despite how lucrative they may be. We often carried around a baseball bat thinking it may be useful at some point, but it only made things more taxing since it took up about 4 squares in the inventory, and had no merit in the end. The events you do encounter can also come from beings known as Nomads, who travel around the Void collecting materials and trading them for seeds. Seeds play an integral role for Nomad events since that’s the only currency they’re willing to barter for and keeping a good bag full of them will be good when it comes to purchasing rare items on the run.
You’ll gather random things like ID Cards and Bone Fragments which may not seem too worthwhile in the beginning, but these Nomads are honestly very helpful so using them to your advantage is good. The scavengers are the ones you’ll need to be wary of and this is where upgrading the church is imperative. When you’re out and about in the wild gathering what you can, scavengers will randomly pop into your church and steal whatever rations they can grab. Without Maggie’s assistance and upgrades from Christophe you run a huge risk of all of your hard work being stolen, which could potentially lead to a ton of other problems like hunger, and dehydration.
Due to the cold weather and lack of natural resources, your team is weak to the bitter cold and may succumb to hypothermia or even worse, an illness that may spread to the entire crew. Having the right defenses up and enough fuel to avoid frostbite will keep your team alive for a lot longer, but in order to survive for the 30 days, successfully clearing events will boost morale and also provide long term benefits to your character. While Impact Winter does a great job of incorporating a very deep and thought provoking game system, we wish that running outside in the Void had something more interesting to keep us on our toes. When we ran around outside it felt so empty despite how big everything felt, and we often just kept finding ourselves lost in this white abyss with nothing interesting popping up. This grew a little boring after awhile because you don’t really feel challenged and when you do run into trouble, it’s a bit easy to deal with it once you’ve upgraded enough.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Overall, Impact Winter isn’t a terrible game at all. In fact it’s a very relaxing experience as you plan and put things into action, praying that you and your crew survive without sacrificing anything important. However all of that excitement can be diminished when there isn’t much out in the Void to challenge you or make you rethink decisions on the fly. At times your Ako-Light won’t respond or pick up on items in the area, despite being able to use the sonar to locate secret items. In the end what takes away some of the fun is that Impact Winter just feels so spacious, and while that sounds like a good thing it doesn’t really provide much merit if there isn’t anything around to peak your curiosity. Simply running from point A to B without there being some sort of element of challenge in between can feel cumbersome, especially when the whole game is about survival.
Great level up system for each character.
The events were fun and engaging at times.
The soundtrack for the game is wonderful and matches the theme well.
Sadly the game lacks in challenge because there’s too much open space, and not enough surprises to keep you on your toes.
Controls need more fixing, but a patch is around the corner for that.
Honey's Final Verdict:
In the end Impact Winter is sure to impress fans who found the beta version to be enthralling, but for those looking for a new survival experience it may or may not be the best solution for you. We enjoyed the finer moments but grew bored after a while simply because things felt barren, and much of the depth we were looking for was gone. Let us know what you think of Impact Winter down below, and be sure to follow us on social media to know when Honey’s goes live on Twitch.
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Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!