Today we are pleased to release our very first video game review by our new page editor Sean.. Enjoy..
This War of Mine. An unsettling, realistic view into the life of war-torn survivors.
“This War of Mine” is hard to pin down, to be honest, tense and often disturbing but yet this game is true art that shows a stark portrayal of what happens to ordinary people when forced into time of war.
Made in partnership with War Child, an amazing charity that helps children in war-torn countries, the main reason this was made was to develop awareness in a facet of media that traditionally glorifies warfare, this they do perfectly. There isn’t another game on the market like this one, at least none I am aware of. Mechanically, a 2D Sims-esque format set in a war ravaged city, if you’ve not seen it then I suggest you do so, the concept is amazing on many levels.
Survival isn’t as easy as you may think, like real life, it is based on planning, if there’s no plan in place or unexpected events destroy previous plans made then your people could suffer or die at a moments notice leaving your team and survival rate extreamely vulnerable.
At the start there are three or four healthy people in a bombed out building, once the building is cleared of debris and some crude beds are made this becomes their “home”. The supplies are plentiful and on the first few nights you scavenge areas and most often very little resistance is made. At this point it is honestly as good as their lives get. After the first week or so things get truly difficult, few supplies, little or no food and chances of someone getting injured or sick is increasing rapidly.
You, the player, are forced to make some difficult decisions; do you rob the elderly couple just trying to survive the war? Do you attempt to barter with either army for much needed supplies? Do you risk assaulting the bandits that terrorize the city? All of these options have separate risks. How would the others in the house view someone who is able to rob from the elderly and infirm, are the military willing to trade or will they just shoot on sight, and how do you take from those that are clearly set up to defend their own ill-gotten gains? Every question is answered with another question and must be planned, plotted, and deciphered if any progress is to be made. Trying to keep not only yourself but your team alive through battle is not the only demon you will face within the cold “reality” of this environment, depression is as dangerous as sickness, injury or hunger and much harder to cure.
There are still good people, even in war. Neighbours, family, friends, these are the linchpins to your survival. If the neighbours needs help to protect their family and, at a risk to your own life, you spend the night guarding them instead of sleeping in an actual bed will there be any doubt in their minds that you are a good person? The mechanics reflect this and someone who has done terrible things in the name of survival can be redeemed through his or her actions.
I have no idea what the end looks like as I only got about twenty-six days in before a combination of disease, suicide and running full tilt into a shotgun blast killed three out of four survivors. The last one was starving and sick so I had to re-roll. After that run I couldn’t make it past twenty. Just as in real life, some people are just better equipped for harsh conditions, and some friendly advice, if you get the construction worker then make damn sure he lives. There are actually very few tips I can give here to be honest as the mechanics change the game every time you play.
This war of mine raises many questions that the player must find the answer to themselves. There are three people starving at home but sometimes to save those you care for, others must suffer. The picture of life during chaos of war is bleak but that is as it should be, war isn’t glorified here, the fight is not with these people, they only hope to see the sun rise for another day. The setting is brutal and I would not wish for my worst enemy to be put in this all too real world.
Story – 2.8/3
Format – 2.2/3
Graphics – 1.7/3
Magic – 0.7/1
Total 7.4 out of 10 Difficult Decisions
Enjoy the game..