This War of Mine – PC
Developer: 11 Bit Studios
Publisher: 11 Bit Studios
Release Date: November 14th, 2014
Nerd Rating: 10 out of 10
War. A three-letter word that can destroy the lives of countless people.We often see games with stories of the soldiers. How their heroism saves a country from destruction. Stories of overthrowing a dictator and being welcomed home, honored for their deeds… But we never hear about the citizens. The ordinary people, trying to live their own lives… being caught in the middle of it all. Ladies and gentlemen, 11 Bit Studios brings to you, the other side of war… This War of Mine.
In This War of Mine you play as three survivors. There are a variety to choose from, but you only get three to start. These three, living in a city ravaged by battle, take refuge in a war-torn house where you have to manage what they do to try and survive. The daytime is dangerous. To walk outside during the day is asking to get sniped by the militia. No. The only time it is remotely safe is at night. You can pick and choose which of your characters will go out scavenging for supplies (Which is extremely scary and dangerous!), who will guard the house, and who will sleep.
Scavenging is necessary. It is crucial to your group’s survival. You need supplies to make things like a garden, a stove, and a rain collector. That is just the very bare minimum. You must pay attention to the needs of the group constantly. But you are not alone in the struggle to survive. You will occasionally have people knocking on your door with various problems you can solve or opportunities for trade. Traders are a godsend in many ways. Let me tell you, it saved my group’s butts a few times. The traders ask not for money, but they ask for fair compensation. High demand items that are akin to money, however, are things like tobacco, coffee, alcohol, and medicine.
Sometimes, a tough call must be made. Sometimes, you must make a decision that could end the life of someone to save yourself. Will you steal from elderly couples and homeless people? Will you kill a soldier to save a civilian? Will you give the last of the group’s antibiotics to save a lady you never meet? The choices are entirely up to you. However, every decision you make bears consequences. For example: if you choose to kill a person, depending on the situation, the person committing the act can become sad and depressed. If left untreated, this person can end up crippled and unable to shake the depression. Food is almost always scarce, so rations must be given out sparingly. You might not have enough food to spare for everyone.
Now, let’s talk about the mechanics of the game. All you need to play this game is a mouse. No click and drags needed… just clicks. Very simple. But remember… every click has the potential for consequence. The animation in this game is smooth. Characters have a realistic animation to them. By that, I mean that they walk, run, and sneak in a realistic way. I believe that is an effective way to immerse the player. Every scene is displayed in a sort of side view that scrolls to the left or right. Scenes are easy to navigate, and people are challenging to sneak around. This game has the perfect mix of challenge, fear, realism, and accomplishment. You can survive the 40 or so days, you can build a means to survive, and your characters are praised for helping and saving others.
There is one DLC available for This War of Mine. It is called the War Child Charity DLC. “100% of 11 bit’s proceeds go to the War Child charity!” (Steam store page) – As a buyer, you are given the option of three different prices. You can buy it for 99 cents, $9.99, or $19.99. Basically, you pick the price. The DLC includes wall art that can be found in many different places upon download. You can also view the art in the gallery upon unlocking them. I, personally, have never heard of a DLC that offered such a thing! 11 Bit Studios has really broken ground in the realm of gaming. This is highly commendable. It really shows that the gaming industry can give back to the community and others in need.
I highly recommend This War of Mine to everyone. I believe people should see the other side of war. The citizens that are trapped in cities ravaged by war. How they survive and how they get by is incredible in every way. While playing, I felt fully immersed. I felt bad when I had to steal food from a hospital, but that’s what it took. Surviving was an accomplishment like nothing else.
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