Beyond the fact that the original is a bona fide classic to which every open world game owes a huge debt, we don’t know an awful lot about the new Midwinter that was announced back in 2014. What has been obvious for some time is that the team tasked with remaking Mike Singleton’s 1989 snowbound masterpiece has been working at a glacial pace. Indeed, according to the most recent development update, the game has effectively been on ice since last December.
A recent tweet however, from none other than Midwinter’s hero John Stark, suggests that the development freeze is set to thaw:
For those still here. Great meeting today that may have broke the deadlock. Still time in front of us, but the direction is good. #midwinter
— John Stark (@CaptJohnStark) October 8, 2016
The original Midwinter was celebrated for being the most compelling open world game of its day, offering a vast post-climate change domain across which the player had try to unite as many disparate outposts and conflicting personalities as possible to thwart the invading forces of General Masters.
As well as snowmobiles, cable cars and hang gliders, players could slide across the icy wastes on skis, often tumbling into polygon crevices and ending up bruised and broken as a result. Thus it was that beyond its many technical innovations, Midwinter had an aesthetic that highlighted an ever-present danger from its subzero environment, marking the game out today as a survival pioneer.
It was in 2014 that Chilli Hugger Software announced its intention to bring back Midwinter, having successfully releasing new versions of Mike Singleton’s previous games, Lords of Midnight and Doomdark’s Revenge, both with the legendary developer’s input and blessing, though with Singleton sadly passing away in 2012 the games were released posthumously.
On the assumption that development resources would be boosted via Kickstarter, it was hoped that a new Midwinter would be ready for release in 2015. However, no crowd-sourced funding efforts were ever announced and thus the Midwinter trail rapidly turned cold. Until now, that is. Maybe.