At its heart, the downloadable game This War of Mine is a sensational survival horror sim, that mimics the harsh realities of life under fire, to good effect. In doing so, it approaches the subject of war from an obscure yet poignant viewpoint, in a way which embodies the true nature of the human spirit. It is a lesson in empathy, and one that encourages the player to understand the dark side of war, and the detrimental aftermath that comes from besiegement.
Download This War of Mine
You can download This War of Mine from Steam or GOG.com together with its DLCs: The Little Ones (2016), Father’s Promise (2017), and The Last Broadcast (2018). The Latter two are the first episodes of so-called This War of Mine Stories.
If you like the game, be sure also to check out another strategy hit by 11 bit studios – Frostpunk.
This War of Mine Review
In the current age of video games, we have been conditioned to accept mindless shooting and merciless killing as commonplace. However, this is not an accurate reflection of war, and there are huge ramifications to those caught in the crossfire. This War of Mine opens your eyes to the emotional turmoil of life under siege, all the while, it addresses the elephant in the room and raises the question, “at what cost”?
The developers of This War of Mine has treated its heavy subject matter with grace and poise, despite utilizing an angle that shares deep, emotional and psychological themes. Also, the dim charcoaled visuals depict a gritty warzone, where pockets of survivors unite under one umbrella to survive. The objective is to last it just one more day, but as a collective, you stand a better chance.
Firstly, it’s refreshing not to see the same old criteria of an elite soldier, infiltrating a terrorist compound, surrounded by more goons than they can handle. Miraculously though, they carry an unlimited arsenal and display a surreal set of senses. Better still, super sharp reflexes that defy gravity itself. Thankfully, This War of Mine is a more accurate portrayal, and it’s this facet that makes it more gripping.
Much of the gameplay in This War of Mine revolves around decision making. Sometimes, those decisions can have a significant impact on lives, so careful rumination is required. Often, the fallout may lead to dire events, that said, the game truly tests your degree of conscience. Those choices linger on the mind, for better or worse long after the game finishes. Ultimately, you must decide whether to go with your head or your heart. Can a human sacrifice be for the greater good?
Along the way, you discover a side of you that perhaps you had never seen before. Compassion and empathy sit at the heart of this, but pragmatic solutions are often needed to get the job done. It pulls at the heartstrings, knowing that those moments are a matter of life and death.
The focus of the game is survival, and the game runs on a constant day and night cycle. During daylight hours, snipers pin down your position, and by night the coast is clear to embark on supply runs.
To venture out in the day would be a deathwish, so this time is an excellent opportunity to build up your shelter and craft objects that make life a little more bearable. For example, it’s incredible what a bowl of piping hot grub, a comfy bed and a drop of alcohol can do for the soul in times of necessity. These are hard times after all.
In short, This War of Mine is a visceral, thought-provoking tale that depicts the horrors of war, and the harsh realities of those left to fight for survival. Psychologically demanding yes, but a real test of character and conscience. This fresh perspective on the war scene will linger on in the memory for many days to come.
- Engrossing survival elements
- Gritty, sombre visuals that highlight the horrors of war
- Decisions greatly impact the story
- Complex moral dilemmas
- No manual saves