Frostpunk 2 gets a new trailer, heads to Xbox Game Pass: Arctic air may be wreaking havoc, but 11 bit studios' first gameplay reveal depicts a city boiling over

Frostpunk 2 key art
(Image credit: 11 Bit Studios)

What you need to know

  • 11 Bit Studios shares the first gameplay trailer for its highly-anticipated dystopian city management simulator, Frostpunk 2.
  • While its predecessor's gameplay focused on player construction and management of The City, Frostpunk 2 will take place 30 years after The Great Storm and will focus on managing the City's inhabitants.
  • Frostpunk 2 is developed using Unreal 5 and will launch first on PC, and be included in PC Game Pass on Day One.
  • Players will be able to experience Frostpunk 2 on Xbox Game Pass when it is released for the Series X|S platform at a later date.

For many of us in the Northern Hemisphere, it is a brutally cold day, with parts of the US and Canada just starting to see a break in the weather after widespread blizzard conditions brought down feet of snow. 

The timing of the current bout of freezing weather couldn't have been more perfect for 11 Bit Studios to reveal the first gameplay trailer for its frozen-dystopian city management simulator, Frostpunk 2. While it may be deathly cold outside, Frostpunk 2's latest trailer shows a city on the brink of a fiery meltdown as citizens' tempers flare.

Frostpunk 2's predecessor focused on the days immediately following The Great Storm, as the player struggled to build and manage a city's basic needs following a wintry storm that plunged the world into an endless ice age. Frostpunk was widely praised for its emotional narrative and critical player choices blended with strategic gameplay. For the sequel, 11 bit studios has opted to direct the player's focus on the inhabitants of that city as it continues to grow, 30 years after The Great Storm's initial events. 

While the immediate threat of survival has come to pass, the City's growth has led to powerful factions all clamoring for the Steward to hear their demands. From the societal ills of squalor and crime to the very basic needs of food, shelter, and education for the next generation. It is up to the player to hear the cries of the people and bring the City's delegates to vote on the laws the survivors will live by. 

Or die by.

It's impossible to please everybody, and the trailer shows that as the player fleshes out the laws of the City, tempers will rise between the factions, leading the City that so many depend on to the brink of collapse. Gameplay shots of Frostpunk 2 depict distrust by faction leaders when the player negotiates with another faction that has been declared an enemy, and protests by yet another group as they demand progress for their causes. Players will need to consider the potential benefits and risks of which faction is given the platform to guide the City's future, as frustration and the risk of political upheaval mounts. 

11 bit studios has been supportive of Xbox Game Pass in the past, having inked a 2023 deal with Microsoft to include more games from the Polish studio's portfolio in the subscription service. Frostpunk 2's Day One launch on PC Game Pass in the first half of 2024 will be one of the first titles added to the service since that deal was originally announced, though 11 bit studios has plans to unveil more games from their portfolio for Xbox Game Pass "at a later date." 

Frostpunk 2 does not yet have an official date for its console release, though it will be available Day One on Xbox Game Pass when it eventually launches on the Series X|S platform. The game will also be available on Steam, Epic Games Store, and GOG as part of its PC launch, and PlayStation when it launches on console.

Cole Martin

Cole is the resident Call of Duty know-it-all and indie game enthusiast for Windows Central. She's a lifelong artist with two decades of experience in digital painting, and she will happily talk your ear off about budget pen displays.