The Polish game development company 11 Bit Studios has become famous for their award winning and extremely addicting game “Anomaly: Warzone Earth” (gameplay video) and its sequels. It was founded by former CD Projekt members.
Yes, they are the people who created “The Witcher“, one of the best role-playing games ever.
After such a breakthrough, nothing less catchy and amazing was expected from these guys and they have absolutely met the expectations of numerous fans of their sensational work with the game named “This War of Mine“.
The game focuses on civilian experiences during a fictional war. However, it was inspired by the Bosnian War that took place in the early 90s. Even though the game was based on a war, the player does not get to fight in it or go anywhere near the eye of the storm.
Instead, you control three male characters with common Balkan names – Bruno, Pavle and Marko, who are hidden in a ruined house.
“This War of Mine” (an hour long gameplay video) is basically a war survival video game and your task is to keep these men alive. This concept is not very innovative, since it has been present in the games such as Don’t Starve and many others, but they found a way to make it awesome.
You can collect materials and tools, with which you can upgrade their shelter and living conditions. Build them a bed, so they do not have to sleep on the floor, a stove, because they are not satisfied with raw food, a heater, so they do not freeze or some other necessary and useful instruments.
Naturally, they can never get to live peacefully and quietly. The protagonists often get very tired, so you will need to send some of them to sleep, which will leave you with two or even one man. Also, they can get sick or wounded. In both cases you must find medication and bandages to heal them.
There are many ways to get wounded, but the cruelest one happens if you leave the house during the day, because there is an enemy sniper all set to shoot you as soon as you step out of the ruin they call home. In order to collect goods, you will need to go out at night and scavenge nearby locations, such as abandoned houses, garages and buildings.
Some of them are empty and you can freely roam until you find the needed supplies, but sometimes you come across non-player characters, that can be either friendly or hostile. If they do not shoot you on sight, they are probably going to ask for help or supplies. Should you decide to lend them a hand, you can expect many outcomes.
One time you get rewarded, the next time they give you the opportunity to trade with them, but it is possible to get absolutely nothing, if you for example aid poor children. If you, for some reason, do not want to help them, your character could get very upset and the regret he feels would become unbearable.
Another bad thing that happens is that your shelter can get raided by looters, as well, and you can lose some supplies. You know, what goes around, comes around.
Keep in mind that this is a 2D stealth/survival game made by a small studio and do not judge it only by the screenshots. They paid attention to the smallest of details visible on the screen and for that they need to be greatly respected. You rarely get to see any other color than black or white and all of this is followed by creepy music.
Therefore, the atmosphere is really dark and heavy. The designers absolutely managed to represent the horrors of war and the stressful, traumatic feeling will not leave you hours after you have stopped playing.
The fact that you can slightly experience a bit of civilian life during wartime surely is a phenomenal thing in this case and not a downside at all, since that exactly was their intention.
Besides the annoying autosave feature that is the only way to save the game, there is completely nothing wrong with this game. “This War of Mine” looks amazing, the gameplay is spectacular and the feelings it gives are totally unforgettable.
No matter whether you are a casual or a hardcore gamer, you are going to love this game.