Frozen Synapse - MHIS 22/143
Frozen Synapse is a game that’s always been on the edge of my radar, never really sure what it was, just knowing it’s gotten some good reviews.
The Game in a Tweet
Frozen Synapse is a hard strategy game that is boiling hard against AI, but a blast against a friend.
The word “hard” above is in both senses: hard as on hard-as-nails and hard as in hard-sci-fi.
This is a foreboding start.
To play Frozen Synapse, you guide individual troops through combat, giving them waypoints, telling them where to aim, when to run or shoot, etc.
The strategy involved in the combat gives you such granular control over your individual squad members, it plays more like chess than command-and-conquer. While the control is nice, it doesn’t feel like it makes the strategic possibilities much deeper. It also rarely feels like you have all that control. The terrain can be very hard to read, and I felt that without practice against a person, you could never succeed at the AI campaign. It has the same problem AI advantage problem as Cortex Command, which is odd considering it’s turn-based.
How am I supposed to plan or even predict that this shot is possible?
The above moments are startling in single player, but surprising in multiplayer. The unpredictability of the outcomes becomes the delight of multiplayer.
To be fair, they give you every chance to succeed by letting you run simulations on the enemies too.
I can see someone getting really into a strategy game like this. So maybe it’s not my cup of tea, but when you get a copy for a friend when you buy, it’s worth going through the excellent live multiplayer. Then maybe try the story.
I think this guy is the same as the comic relief guy. You’ve been warned.
Verdict: Rent.- It’s dangerous to go alone, find a sale and enjoy with a friend.