Frozen Synapse 2 follows up on 2011’s excellent turn-based tactical combat game with another round of meticulously planned shootouts. Its new ideas are a little sparse, though, mostly centered around a single-player campaign in a massive city that looks a lot deeper than it actually is.
If it wasn’t for the slick-looking neon-on-black art style, the real-time playback of Frozen Synapse 2’s tactical battles might look distressingly like drone footage of real-world military actions. During the planning phase you’re given a remarkable level of control over your squad’s movement, and each different weapon has its own targeting time and range. That gives each soldier a specific role in combat, and learning the somewhat opaque rules for how these roles interact is the key to winning these high-stakes shootouts. You’ll plot out paths for your soldiers to carefully clear around doorways and charge into fights, and the tension is always high: one hit is all it takes to down anyone, and every fraction of a second and inch of separation counts when your assault rifle-wielding soldier rounds a corner and comes face-to-face with a shotgun-toting adversary.