Maybe there's something to all these tactics games. They're sneaky - you blink, and you're flanked with nowhere to hide. Today's second surprise announcement in the genre is that Frozen Synapse 2 launches next week on Thursday, September 13th. Jack me in.
Frozen Synapse 2 is a vastly more ambitious beast than its purely tactical predecessor. Developer Mode 7 have taken the tense turn-based combat of the first game and transplanted it into a dynamic campaign set across a procedurally generated city. Check out the new trailer below, giving a tantalising peek at its glowing neon world erupting into flames.
At its core, Frozen Synapse 2 still has that deliciously simple-yet-complex combat engine that defined the first. Fights play out in real-time, with each players assigning five seconds of standing orders to their mindless vat-grown cyber minions. Once both players in a fight have a plan in mind, they submit their orders simultaneously, and then watch in horror for five agonisingly long seconds as their foolproof plan shatters. Repeat until one side lies dead. Faster than you'd expect, as there are no health bars - one bullet kills, and dice rolls are rare.
While the pure tactical multiplayer will be returning in the sequel, what sets Frozen Synapse 2 apart from its predecessor is its strategic solo campaign. Multiple corporate factions - including yours - are hunting through a cyberpunk city in search of powerful techno-relics that can give you an edge over the other corporations. While there is a main story to follow, it's not mandatory.
You've got bases to defend, roads where you can intercept enemy forces and diplomacy to worry about. You've also got your finances to juggle - robbing a bank to hire extra mercenaries is a particularly enticing option. There's some new unit classes too, including minigunners, flamethrowers, knife-men and smoke grenadiers. There's a lot to think about, and I'm excited to see how well my scattershot tactics gel with my frequently idiotic strategies. Death seems inevitable, but that's why you take backups.