Impact Winter, otherwise known as The Day After Tomorrow: The Video Game, is out now on PC.
It’s a wonderful survival game set in a very cold post-apocalyptic world. A meteor has struck Earth, causing a literal ‘impact winter’, burying towns and cities under tens of feet of snow. Holed up in a church with four other survivors, you assume the role of Jacob, a middle-aged man tasked with the job of keeping himself – and everyone else – alive.
You’ll have to keep everything running in your makeshift camp as well as regularly go out into the treacherous white-out world – now known as The Void – in order to bring back vital supplies.
As you may have guessed, surviving in a freezing cold post-apocalyptic environment isn’t the easiest thing, so we have a few tips to (hopefully) help you on your way.
There’s no right or wrong way to play
Nothing in Impact Winter is necessary – except survival – so don’t feel like you have to follow a particular quest line. Some quests are useful in that they provide upgrades to your camp and Ako-Light, your companion bot, but if you’d rather wander freely and find supplies when and where you want to, that’s entirely your call.
Following quests isn’t always the best way to go
Your camp in the church building has four survivors in it, each one giving you a separate quest line. While following these is a great way to get started in Impact Winter and acquaint yourself with its systems, they’re not always the most useful way to spend your time. You may need to prioritise finding food or drink, or fuel for the fire, so keep an eye on stock levels before deciding where to head to on your next outing.
Prioritise crafting a storage upgrade
Each survivor in your camp has a particular skill, and as such, can craft you a number of items. Even though you won’t get quest lines for them all, it’s worth checking everyone’s crafting lists and prioritising particular items and upgrades that you think will be useful. Through Christophe’s crafting menu, several upgrades are available to your storage capacity, which makes scavenging a hell of a lot easier. The first one only requires three items which are easy to find, so try and grab these as soon as you can.
Pick up seeds every time you see them
The first few times I went out scavenging, I saw massive boxes of seeds but didn’t bother picking them up – I didn’t want to waste the storage space. I was a fool. Don’t make the same mistake I did; seeds are the currency of the land, and picking them up – regardless of the quantity – won’t take up inventory space. You have a separate cache for currency, and you’ll want to build up as much as you can as it’s necessary for trading.
Ration food constantly
Never put all your food supply in the main storage hold. Turns out your fellow survivors are greedy savages and it’ll all be gone faster than you can say “I’m dying of hunger, here”. Each person has their own ration box, and as the boss, you’re able to provide each one of them with their fair share. Nothing’s stopping them from still raiding the main supply as well, but with their own rations they’re less likely to – and it means nobody goes without. Make a habit of rationing something out every time you bring back food and drink supplies – but don’t forget to save yourself something, either. You don’t have a ration box, but can consume food directly from your own inventory or from the storage hold.
Play it like a true survival game
In most survival games, your goal is to, well, survive. And if you fail, it’s game over. Not in Impact Winter. If Jacob succumbs to the cold, you’ll be able to jump right in from the last checkpoint. It’s not always the best thing to do though. Depending on Jacob’s status before he died, you may find yourself in an endless, miserable loop of perpetual death that’s almost impossible to break. Restarting the game may be a bit of a ballache, especially if you’re more than half way through your 30 days, but it at least gives you the true survivor experience – and it’s easier to learn from your mistakes the next time round, too.
Use your map to get the lay of the land
When you’re out and about, you can use Ako to plot various points of interest on a radar. You also have access to an old “pre-apocalypse” map of the town that charts key locations. Buried under all the snow, the world looks a lot different now, but familiarising yourself with that map and recognising landmarks will at least be useful in pointing you in the right direction of where you want to head next.
Keep a lockpick on you at all times
Early on in your scavenging, you’ll likely come across what’s left of a residential street – a row of houses buried under the snow with just their roofs visible. You can enter a couple of the houses, and on the end of the street is one currently being used as a trading post. Use some seeds and trade for a couple of lockpicks. You can also find them out in the world, but they’re pretty scarce – and they come in very handy to access locked off areas or cabinets/chests. They will just randomly break though, so having a couple will come in handy.
If you’re braving the harsh cold and giving Impact Winter a go, share your tips with us by leaving a comment.