Review

If someone was to figure out how many video games there are based upon wars, I imagine the number would be absolutely staggering. Although all of these games are different, following different storylines and sub-plots of various wars throughout various times they all tend to be about the soldiers of war doing their thing with you fighting the good fight (or the bad fight). What is surprisingly fresh and different about 11 bit Studio’s This War of Mine is that you get to play from the perspective of the civilian which is something I don’t ever recall seeing before.  As such, the usual rewards and accomplishments that you get while playing a game are not here. This game, quite honestly, gets depressing at times. The reality of it is war is depressing and from that perspective this game is a home run. I’m not complaining here, I’m just explaining that if you are expecting a more traditional kind of game you won’t find it here and for that alone I think you should give this game a try.

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The core gameplay of This War of Mine has you controlling civilians attempting to stay alive. You will have to craft, trade, and upgrade items as you do in many games and at night you will be able to look around and pick up medicines and weapons and food, all of which you will need to survive. You will interact with others and make decisions that affect their lives and the ones you are controlling. This is a 2.5D life simulation and the consequences feel pretty real at times.  I think that is what is most surprising about this game. It will make you feel. It will make you realize that the decisions you make have impact and if you have never been desperate enough to steal food before, this is the virtual way to do it.

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This War of Mine deals with many topics that a lot of us want to sweep under the rug and not face head on. You will deal with remorse, depression and even suicide. You will have to decide real world problems like who gets to sleep in a bed versus who sleeps on the floor; who gets food and who doesn’t when your resources start to drop; should you spend money on medication or something else?

Looking back upon my words here, it doesn’t look like this game would be much fun. Yet somehow, managing these terrible things and horrible decisions yields a gaming satisfaction I doubt you’ve experienced before.  It is a potent look at life of civilians in the midst of a war.

This little war of mine – I’m going to let it shine. And so should you.



About the Author

Syd Bolton
Syd Bolton surrounds himself in thousands of classic video games as Canada’s top video game collector at the Personal Computer Museum in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. He plays all of the latest games on his 80" Sharp TV and provides the "Lost Treasures" segment during The OMG! Hour. Follow Syd on Twitter @sydbolton.