It has been about 3 months since my first preview article into Surviving the Aftermath, a post-apocalyptic survival colony builder developed by Iceflake Studios, and in the time the game has seen 3 major updates, 1 a month or so since my initial playtime. Barely a few days after I had finished, had a new update been released. The core concept of the game is still there, along with many of the mechanics, so I will instead be going over all the new additions/changes the game has seen.
One of the bigger changes, coming along in update 11, the newest update, the game has added in several quests to sink your teeth into. The quests add some much-needed story, lore, and direction for your colony and its inhabitants. Instead of merely just surviving in the world, you will now undertake journeys to find old buildings, survey the world map, and uncover secrets. With rewards at hand, both in exploring the map with a purpose, the loot along the way, and the story tidbits, the addition of quests helps to keep the mid-late game stable and less repetitive than before.
There are around 17 unique quests currently in the game, acting out in several phases or quest chains. Popping up just after you start getting settlers into your camp it doesn’t take too long to jump into the new content.
A quite significant and prominent change to the game is that now when you start up a session you’re only beginning with 3 specialists, introduced in update 9, which you now choose in the game-settings when you load in. Specialists have a bigger impact on the colony as well, now being able to help with building or scavenging instead of just hunting the animals on the colony map. Specialists are also made more in-depth with a variety of statistics being added in. The starting colonists are now alerted via a flare, which can be done after you make 1 or 2 buildings if following the tutorial.
Colonists haven’t seen too much in the way of updates, though they now do mundane tasks if they have no current jobs or have diminished the stockpiles they were collecting. This mostly comes in the form of them gathering food in the local collection spots. Though colonists now age overtime, from children to adults to elderly and eventual death of old age. Thankfully the birth-rate goes hand-in-hand with this, seeing an increase, apparently the apocalypse makes people a bit more hands-on.
Animal ranching and rearing have been added into the game, allowing us to make our own meat essentially instead of hunting the land bare. Along with ranching, animals now drop their meat on the floor, requiring the hunters to cart it back and forth to the warehouses.
The colony map has been updated quite a bit, with more unique layouts, obstacles, as well as the addition of fog in areas you’ve not explored, giving the specialists another job for scouting out your base. Similarly, the world map has also seen a big update, with the sectors containing more collection points and events, instead of having 1 or 2 per sector you can now have around 3-5.
Sadly the tech tree hasn’t seen any huge additions, as far as I could tell it only really updated to fit in the new additions like the animal ranching. While it hasn’t had much put in, it does feel a bit smoother to research technology,
Since my first playthrough of the game, it has seen a few updates to both the graphics as well as its animations. UI icons, text, and the models all look to have been polished here or there, the technology tree looking much nicer and cleaner than before. Animations of both icons and models have also improved, looking smoothed out.
With all the updates adding in new events and quests, to cleaning up the other parts of the game, it really does feel like my annoyances from update 8 have been addressed or are in the process of being fixed. There isn’t much idling around as before with the quests, and the increase of specialists in the beginning really helps to jump-start a game. With the increased number of events and locations on the map, the world map also takes longer to fully deplete, which was a concern before with my last playthrough having gone through it all in under 10 hours. The difficulty of the game has seen a better curve, though can still feel a bit too random at times, or unforgiving.
With a higher focus into the specialists, I was kind of expecting a skill or levelling system for them, getting better at tasks as they performed them. Sadly that did not seem to be the case and would be a welcome addition in my eyes. It’s all about their gear for now.
Overall, Surviving the Aftermath is shaping up to be quite a fun game with some much-needed polish going to noticeable areas. I am unsure how much longer they plan on cooking the game, but I do foresee it to be quite the well-done, if you’re a fan of those types of steaks.
You can grab this game here on PC through Steam for £21.99. The game is still in early access
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