Can you survive this brutal war?
In This War of Mine, you do not play as an elite soldier, rather as a group of civilians trying to survive in a besieged city, struggling with a lack of food, medicine and constant danger from snipers and hostile scavengers. During the day 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 for items that will help you stay alive.
I never played the original version of This War of Mine but given the PS5 got a next-gen version and the recent world events that have definitely shined a new light on the game, I decided it was worth seeing all the fuss was about. What we have is a game that doesn’t so much put you in the role of soldiers, but civilians just trying to survive under any means necessary. There are moral dilemmas to your choices, including your civilians leaving if they cross a line for them ethically, for instance if they steal or kill.
It’s all about balance as you try and survive, but also some of them might be fending off severe wounds, starvation or illnesses caused by poor living conditions. It took me a while to get the mechanics of the game down as you are literally shoved into this war-torn city with next to no help on how it works, so I was left guessing just what made it tick. Its refreshing in a way that there’s no kind of hand-holding, which is probably deliberate in a way like “You wouldn’t get a tutorial in a real-life situation like this, so why would you expect one here?”
Besides the base game, the Final Cut contains a mode that lets you select your own scenarios for survival as well as individual stories with even tougher choices to make. These were released separately as DLC in the original release so it’s good the Final Cut bring together all previous content into one package.
The PS5 version increased the resolution to 4K as you would expect, as well as performance improvements across the board. It’s a gritty looking game with its war-torn areas and for a game that originally came out nearly 8 years ago, it still looks impressive overall.
This War of Mine is a difficult game to play, not because of the controls (even if they do take some getting used to) but because of the incredibly tough decisions you’ll need to make to survive, alongside highlighting just how brutal things must be for civilians living in countries ravaged by war, especially in 2022. I’d say this is an essential game that everyone needs to play without delay.