Winter Survival: Prologue Review

We played the free Winter Survival: Prologue on Steam to get a feel for the game, and found enough to want to play the full game when it’s released at the end of February, 2024.

DRAGO Entertainment’s game will let players survive a relentless frostbitten wilderness to discover a fascinating story, while also tackling some psychological side effects. Players will need to scavenge the landscape for meager provisions to fend off starvation and the cold. In true survival game style, you’ll need to harvest raw materials from the environment to fashion basic tools and weapons, and construct shelters to withstand biting winds and snowstorms.

You’ll also need to contend with the threat to perception and sanity lurking behind the endless white void. Auditory and visual manifestations will assault the psyche, eroding willpower and intuition until the environment appears alien.

Into The Cold

A screenshot of a character standing in a snowy area featuring Winter Survival: Prologue.
Winter Survival: Prologue

The Winter Survival Prologue aims to give players a taste of the brutal survival and psychological elements that will be central to enduring the dangerous frozen world of the full game. It introduces you to the main characters and gives you a taste of the background to the story.

Winter Survival: Prologue drops players into a frozen wilderness around Mount Washington with only the clothes on their backs and advice to seek shelter in a nearby cave. The howling wind and growls of prowling wolves instantly set the grim mood as you struggle against the elements simply to survive.

Harrowing Survival Mechanics

A screenshot of Winter Survival: Prologue, featuring an aurora in the sky.
Winter Survival: Prologue horror

The tutorial guides you through basic stealth and movement – critical to avoid deadly wolf ambushes. You’re gradually introduced to other survival mechanics such as picking up items, crafting and looking after yourself.

Winter Survival: Prologue, a thrilling game set in a post-apocalyptic world, now available on PS4.
Winter Survival Inventory

You must brave the harsh conditions, scrabbling to simply start a fire and make food to bolster your waning life force. Your ultimate goal isn’t to thrive, but to endure until you can figure out what’s happened to you and your friends.

The opening prologue serves as an effective beginner-friendly tutorial, guiding players through stealth techniques that reminded us of Assassin’s Creed. This prepares you for the omnipresent threat of wolf ambushes, which can rapidly overwhelm and tear apart incautious players. The combination of fierce wolves, bears and other what we’ll call unnatural “creatures” instills a constant sense of dread in even mundane tasks like searching empty houses.

A dark screenshot featuring the Winter Survival: Prologue menu.
Winter Survival Crafting

Fortunately, the inventory and crafting systems are intuitive enough to pick up quickly. Tutorial messages are concise, teaching the basics of supplies gathering, tools crafting, and usage without excessive hand-holding.

Atmospheric Story Telling and Survival

The atmospheric music and sound effects, such as howling winds or creaking floorboards, enhance the post-apocalyptic setting nicely. The voice acting also stands out with emotional, believable delivery, drawing players deeper into the frozen wasteland.

A screenshot of a night scene with an aurora in the sky from Winter Survival: Prologue.
Winter Survival: Prologue Hot Springs

While gameplay sticks close to survival genre conventions, the ambient sounds, music, and vocals help curate the tense, isolated mood. Focused tutorials and logical crafting systems ensure even new players can dive in without frustration.

Overall veterans of the genre may not find much they haven’t seen before in terms of mechanics, but the exceptional audiovisual presentation and the added Sanity system makes up for it. For players craving a true test of endurance against the elements, Winter Survival may just offer a haunting, deadly setting filled with mysteries to unravel.

Check out the game on Steam or the Epic Games Store,

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Harriet Gough
Over 20 years' experience as a writer and games journalist. Avid gamer and enjoy a wide range of game genres including MMOs, FPS and RTS. My favorite games include Warframe, Skyrim, Destiny 2, CoD and Age of Empires.

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