ABOUT THE GAME
This game was developed and published by 11 Bit Studios and released in Nov 2014, it currently retails on Steam for £14.99 and worth every penny.
The pace of This War of Mine is imposed by the day and night cycle. During the day snipers outside stop you from leaving your refuge, so you need to focus on maintaining your hideout: crafting, trading and taking care of your survivors. At night, take one of your civilians on a mission to scavenge through a set of unique locations for items that will help you stay alive.
Make life-and-death decisions driven by your conscience. Try to protect everybody from your shelter or sacrifice some of them for longer-term survival. During war, there are no good or bad decisions; there is only survival. The sooner you realize that, the better.
This War of Mine:
- Inspired by real-life events
- Control your survivors and manage your shelter
- Craft weapons, alcohol, beds or stoves – anything that helps you survive
- Make decisions - an often unforgiving and emotionally difficult experience
- Randomized world and characters every time you start a new game
- Charcoal-stylized aesthetics to complement the game's theme
GAME CONTROLS, GRAPHICS AND AUDIO
The game is controlled by the mouse only with the exception of teh ESC key to open up a small menu. The game is set from a side view similar to that of a platform game, however the graphics are a lot better, they also have a sketched dark morbid feel to them. The sounds simply clicks here and there, scraping of a shovel, a saw gutting through metal or low mumbles of people fighting, there are also some cool weather effects like rain and snow.
Main Menu and Story Selection
The main menu is pretty simple with just an exit button, settings, credits and star a new game or continue a game already in progress.
If you are starting a new game you get to choose a story, initially you only get the Katia, Bruno and Pavle story, the others are unlocked as you progress through a story, there are loads of them. The good thing about this game is every time you start a new game this are random, although the characters are the same, some of the locations are different, and the goodies / loot is different.
You can also access your inventory to see what supplies you have, initially it is empty, but it gradually fills up with all the supplies you have scavenged. You can also select items to view there descriptions and what they are used for. You can also get hints and tips through out the game such as telling you that you may need cigarettes or coffee, so keep an eye on this each day.
When you scavenge for items whether it be in your shelter or outside you get an item exchange box up that lets you select what you want to take or put down.
You start with one workshop (simple workshop), you can use this and others to build items for your shelter, for example; beds (for resting), radio (for news and morale), a stove (for cooking). Other workshops include a metal works shop for making tools, a graden for growing vegetables or making medicines.
Later on in the game you can upgrade your workshops to allow access to more advaned tools and home comforts.
The items that you build will either go straight into your inventory or you need to place it somewhere in the shelter. For example, a bed needs to be placed;
You can even build a radio which can be tuned to different channels for news or music.
Day / Night Cycles and Scavenging
The day cycle last about 6 or 7 minute of real time, and starts at about 6am until 8pm, the clock goes up in increments of 10 minutes, you have to stay in the shelter during the day because of all teh snipers about. At night is where you may end up fighting for survival. Once the day ends it goes onto the night cycle. On the left side you see you characters with their back packs and you can select what action they are going to perform during the night, if all your characters stay in the shleter you just click stay and it goes onto the next day. But if you select one of your characters to go out scavenging you can select a destination, when you clcik on a destination it givers you an idea of what you can expect to find, it also gives you a clue as to whether the place will be occupied.
Once you have selected what characters are doing what you get to prepare for the scavenging, you can select items from your inventory to put in your backpack such as shovels, crowbars, weapons, but be careful you only have so much room.
You start outside your destination and the view is similar to your shelter, you have the same sort of icons to conduct actions etc. This is where it will be important to know whether to run or walk, running makes more noise, conducting loud actions such as digging or fighting make more noise. You can view your backpack, run to teh exit if the exit is not visible on screen and you can select between scavenge mode or attack mode, more on this later.
During a scavenge you may come across magnifying glass icons, these are various notes left by previous people, some are nonesense, but some give you clues about locations of loot.
When you find loot you get your inventory up to select what you want to take, if your inventory is full you have to start being a bit more selective about what to take back, and just because it's full it doesn't mean you have to run home straight away, you can continue looking around to see if there is something more important to take or to see if you need to come back with a crowbar or sawbalde or soem other tool.
In the example below I carried on seaching and came across 2 doors that had metal bars across them, so now I know that on my next visit I need to come back with a saw blade.
Once you come back form your night scavenge you will get a daily log pop and gives you a report of the previous day, like what loot your scavenger brought back, if you were raided, if someone was wounded or became ill.
There may be times when you need to enter a building that is occupied, in this instance there may be places where you can hide in the shadows, you can use shadows to hide and wait for people to pass by or you can us ethem to stab them in the back. Teah it's a dangerous world out there.
If you decide to fight, then you switch to attck mode and your preferred weapon appears in your hand and a target icon appears over any viable targets, you then simply left click on the target to attack. You do have to be careful when attacking as it affects your characters morale.
Morale, Sickness and Death
Your survivors do have a morale level so you have to be careful they don't get depressed. So far I have seen content, normal (nothing showing), sad, depressed and broken, if any of your characters are broken you have to be extremely careful as they may commit suicide, yep that's right they go and kick the bucket because they can't handle it any more. You characters also get tired so you may have to choose different characters to do things because your prime is far too tired. They can also get sick so you may need to give them meds, they can get wounded so you need bandages, and finally they can die, this can be from committing suicide or in combat. I've even had one person freeze to death because of the cold.
Never Take A Shovel To A Gunfight
If you want to see the combat system and a nice death then check out my video review above, quite amusing.
So what do I think of the game? I love it, I find it highly addictive, I have played this for hours at a time and until the early hours of the morning. It is only single player, but it's nice just to shut myself away, put the TV on and just play at my leisure. There are no saves except when you exit the game, now I am used to saving at critical times or if I think I am going to do something risky, this game doesn't allow that, although there are ways if you check on the internet. But if you play without cheats then every decision you make is a one shot deal, and to be honest that makes it more important that think about your actions before embarking on mass warfare.
Anyway, that's all for now, hope you enjoyed it, please comment on your thoughts and let me know what you thought of the video review seeings it was my first one.
Through Arms In Battle I remain Unconquered