Let me start out by saying this game is one of the better games to be released all year, atmospheric, suspenseful and hits home with such a strong message about how war can affect everyone. The first time I played through the game I actually choked up a little bit over the choices I had to make, I beat an old couple to death with a shovel just so I could survive another day.
My characters felt as I did, which added to the emotional roller coaster.
This War of Mine
Developer: 11 Bit Studios
Publisher: 11 Bit Studios
Price: From $19.99 (Steam AUS)
Manage Your Resources
Ultimately, this game is a plate spinner, trying to make sure that you equally distribute resources to your war survivors without one of them crashing to the ground.
You start off with a couple of characters which you don’t have an automatic connection with but you soon realize that these people are in pretty bad shape. Playing through This War of Mine you soon realize that one mistake could cost one of your survivor’s lives.
I had a moment in the game where I didn’t have enough material to build two upgrades when they were needed. Raids on my home were becoming more frequent and the food shortage was getting pretty dire. These decisions make you feel accountable to these people and when one of them starts to die, emotions start to go crazy.
Keep everyone alive
Managing your survivors is a lot like The Sims, making sure they eat, sleep and have emotional support. Differences in their personalities makes for a dynamic play through; each game will be different in that the people you start off with will be randomly generated along with the whole play through.
One game I was trying to help a girl and her dad find some medication and the next I was slaughtering old people just to survive to the next morning. There aren’t many games that can hit deep like this, This War of Mine really harnesses the emotional and shock value they were looking for.
A Fitting Style
The pencil sketch like art-style adds a sort of surrealism to the whole game and honestly, I think this was the right way to go about making this game. For a game of this genre to be too real looking may have turned people away, adding the pencil sketch style made it easier to play as a game.
The environmental effects and background bombs generate that feel of war very nicely, hearing bombs go off in the distance or sniper rifle fire brought the game back into perspective. Every night one person would be given the choice of a scavenger mission to find resources such as food, building materials or water. These hunts are tense, the moments when you hide in the shadows so that squatters or the homeowners will not spot you are absolutely unnerving.
Ducking in and out of shadows to avoid detection can only last so long until you are given a choice of running or fighting. Fighting would always end up with a negative outcome, whether it is your character becoming wounded or depressed.
As I said at the start this game hits home with a strong message, War is bad. There really is no “winning” at his game; the only outcome is that you do a little better each time you play it.
With a strong message and great gameplay I can recommend this game to anyone who likes to experience their games as well as playing them.