I know a fair few people who are refusing to even consider playing this game because of the title. Knowing nothing else about the game, other than the fact it has children in it and is about a war has been a deal-breaker for many of my friends. Luckily I am not as soft. I am a Mummy to two beautiful children, and anything depicting children suffering breaks my heart and leaves me sobbing for hours. But I am ok with showing my emotions and believe that experiences like that only serve to make us more well-rounded and empathetic humans. Or maybe I'm just a masochist...
This War of Mine first realised a couple of years back on PC. The console version comes with The Little Ones update. This War of Mine sees you take control of the people left behind in a war. Not the soldiers we are so often playing as, but the people who have had their homes, families and country ravaged by the effects of war. We must help them survive.
You start off with 3 blokes, Marko, Pavle and Bruno. In the day you are stuck inside your shelter, too fearful to go out because of the snipers and troops on the ground that would kill you on sight. So you can build furniture for your base, get some much-needed rest or eat some of your meagre food to stay just above 'starving'. I restarted the game 3 times, desperate to use my first day in the house the best way I could, before giving up on my third attempt and accepting that what will be will be. There was one of the fellas who could carry much more weight on the nightly scavenging runs, so he became our runner, whilst the other two took it in turns to guard the shelter or sleep (this was only after I had already been raided once and they had taken all of our tiny food supply).
So I would have him go scavenging every night. At first the places you visit are fairly easy to get things from, no soldiers or thugs in sight, but soon this runs out and you have to start making the more dangerous runs to get the supplies you need. I had given the last of our food to two hungry children that had knocked on and begged, I could;t ignore children. But now I was desperate, everyone was starving and I had found all of the food from the first Shelled Cottage. I went somewhere where others were camped out, hoping that there would still be a few cubbyholes to search for food in. Unfortunately there was no food. The guy was asking me for bandages for his old sick dad, but I had none of those either. He started to get impatient and then violent so I stabbed him. And his dad.
What happened next was interesting. I went back home and he sat on a previously unnoticed bit of rubble right in the doorway. He was having a breakdown and couldn't be controlled anymore. The other two, when I clicked on their Bios, were questioning why he had committed such a terrible act. The shelter was starting to fall apart and I had only brought back enough food for two.
I'm not going to go anymore into my first foray into This War of Mine, I think it should be a personal experience when you first play it and I don't want to ruin anything for anyone. Suffice it to say there have been tears, questions and times I have truly hated myself for the actions I have taken. But that what this game is about. You're not going to have fun with This War of Mine, you're getting an experience, a story, a narrative we hopefully will never experience in real life. And that is what makes it a must play.
9/10 BUY IT!
A code was provided for the purpose of this review.