Most post-apocalyptic settings are based on the aftermath of nuclear holocaust, but This War of Mine challenges the trend with a post-apocalyptic setting not focused on aftermath, but on the fight for survival during a major military conflict. Given three survivors to control in an extremely well designed two-point-five dimensional point-and-click style game, the player is challenged with the tasks of boarding up holes in their shelter, as well as arming and feeding their survivors. The player is also challenged with the task of building a heater and continually refueling it in order to keep the shelter warm, reducing the chances of the survivors becoming ill. During the day, survivors are confined to the shelter for fear of getting caught in the crossfire outside of it. But during the night, the player is expected to leave at least one of the three survivors on guard to secure against looters and raiders while one other survivor may be dispatched (and controlled) to loot sites for food, wood, components, parts and other needed resources around the game’s map. Additionally, the player must also keep the survivors from falling into a state of depression. Consciously not killing non-hostile NPC characters for loot is a must, since the consequence of killing those non-hostile NPCs is penalty to the survivors’ mood. If a survivor falls from “sad” to “depressed” and then to “broken”, the survivor becomes disabled, and the player can only make re-enable them by random chance, should a chat dialog icon appear above that survivor’s head, allowing the player to direct another survivor to chat with and console them.
Strong anti-war sentiment is expressed throughout the game. But rather than blame economic models like socialism or capitalism, or even any government in particular, the game focuses on the consistency of its message. Clearly, the developers of this game, like the vast majority of people, do not like war. That sentiment is emphasized in profanities on some of the walls in the game’s maps.
by James Hill