With new shooters coming onto the market every day, it's good to have a wake-up call that we're actually playing with war. And that "War always happens at someone's doorstep." This game will make you feel closer to those suffering in war but taking no part. Thrown into a shambling shack, with holes in the walls caused by shelling. The icy cold winds causing disease to spread. Or a lack of food causing hunger amongst the survivors, all because you didn't want to steal those other victims' food. Not everyone is a soldier, but everyone fights during a war.
+ Amazing atmospheric art and audio
+ Well fleshed out character and location stories
+ Game runs well, even on a weaker computer
+ Survival aspect feels like it has some meaning and weight
+ Different stories (and difficulties)
+ Decisions that make you feel really bad... or really good
+ GO Bruno, you magnificent badass!
- Some minor character glitches while running up and down ladders
- Character stories are the same each time you play
- Random events become predictable
- Gameplay and art are really specific. Some might not like this "just 'cause"
- Zlata... useless
The newest shooter, the newest war sim, anything with guns really, causes that little child within all of us to jump up with joy! Explosions and violence all satisfy a secret need we all have for something “dangerous” or “challenging”. This drives us gamers to buy games where we can do exactly that! Now this is of-course for fun and games, but what we don’t realize is that most of the stuff in such a game (except the regening of health in 20 seconds, the ammo and medic packs scattered around, and the re-spawning) are actually occurring in the world as well. All the atrocities of war however are more often than not omitted in these video games or in some other way glorified. This game however, does not. Over at 11-bit studios, some inspired game developers have made a game that puts you in the shoes (almost) of the normal civilian during a period of war. Your goal is to survive. As stated on their site, “This War Of Mine provides an experience of war seen from an entirely new angle.” and that is EXACTLY what this is. This game provides the player with an almost platform based game, where morality and camaraderie are major issues the player must deal with on an (in-game) day to day basis.
It’ll put tears in your eyes! Even if you’re manly-man!
The realism is particularly affected by the game’s almost emotional history. The game is loosely based on, and certainly inspired by the 1992 siege of Sarajevo. The developers team, together with Emir Cerimovic (a survivor from said siege), have compiled a history of war situations and stories. And using this, they have created a game that brings the player closer to those who suffer(ed) in wars. Knowing that these stories, that you as a player are so happily playing through, are most likely actual situations that happened to actual people, gives the game and the player a sense of importance.
Playing a story will decide with which characters you’ll play, which locations you’ll be able to search, and what hardships your characters find themselves in (such as fighting bitter cold, or a sickness spreading amongst survivors). Each character in this game has a unique story. From an ex-pro sportsman, to a cook, maintenance man or a teacher, This War of Mine mercilessly throws innocent men and women into this horrid situation and YOU have to make the best of it. But every so often, a character will update their bio. As the player, you get to know your characters more and more, realizing their individual worth and weaknesses, attaching you to the characters like most common RPG’s won’t be able to.
The locations you send them to also changes per story. Will you get an easy scramble for rescources at a bombed building? Or will you have to rob an elderly couple blind? The stories behind each location is unique and not only has in-game consequences if you raid it, but also gives us as players the sense of a living and vibrant world where war is ripping the very fabrics of society, and men and women, children and adults, rich and poor, all have to work together and survive. But one must never lose sight of your own needs. Wars take casualties, no matter how hard you try. One of the very important locations we can find, is “Sniper junction” where you can travel for lots of different resources. There’s just one small detail. There’s a sniper harrowing anyone who shows their head in the area, and his accurate shots will slaughter anyone who’s not fast enough. Running from cover to cover might save you, but once hit, you better pray to everything good that you’re able to find shelter before the next “bang” is heard on you can wave good bye to your scavenger!
The game’s not tagged as ‘atmospheric’ for nothing in the steam store. The art in this game is one of the major atmospheric details. The back and foreground layers that are constantly there, made in a “drawn with pencil” style. The character models and constructions show the horror’s that war might bring to one’s life. The different locations each have a history, residents (or bodies) and feel to it. And even the audio in the game, whether the cold wind is biting through holes in the walls broken by mortar shells, or the gun shot of the sniper in Sniper Junction, makes you feel (especially with headphones) that there’s nothing left in this world but war. And a slight hope of survival. Most importantly however, wherever you go the pencil art style gives you chills. It’s almost like some victim of war was drawing up his/her life story…. and that’s exactly what this game intends for you to feel.