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    dkirschner's This war of mine (PC)

    [February 5, 2017 07:19:30 PM]
    Really neat game. Not particularly fun, but made me think and feel things. My general mood oscillated from hopeful to hopeless and back. At times I wanted to just give up and let the characters all die. I'll back up and give some context. This War of Mine positions you as a group of survivors during some sort of civil war or coup. Instead of playing the typical badass hero in a war game, you're scared civilians whose characteristics only seem to hinder their efficacy in wartime. You have a bombed out shelter, and you have to fix it up using all manner of spare parts that you scavenge during the night. You can scavenge from various places, some of which are fellow civilians' homes, or an old school, or a supermarket where the military has taken up operations. The game plays in cycles of daytime (work around the shelter) and night time (scavenge for supplies).

    There is A LOT more to take into consideration. It's a balancing act that I couldn't win. By the end of the game, I'd had two characters killed while scavenging, one deserted me, and the last was the only survivor--and he almost died of starvation, disease, severe depression, and bleeding wounds, but during the last handful of days of the conflict, I played it real safe so he got better. I was hoping and praying that international forces would come to my aid.

    I started the game with three characters. There is no tutorial. This fit the theme of the game well. The survivors are ill-equipped to handle their situation, and so is the player. I built another bed so two could sleep at a time. I built a machine station so I could build basic mechanical things. I installed a heater. In the middle of the game, a blizzard came and it got cooold, but luckily I'd anticipated that. I burned a lot of wood during that week. I did all manner of things to help maintain food and water supplies, as well as board up my shelter so bandits would have a harder time ransacking the place. Despite my best efforts though, they still occasionally stole my things and wounded my civilians.

    My home became quite depressed when I raided the home of an elderly couple and stole their things. This was the beginning of an emotional downward spiral for all my characters. It didn't help after I stole supplies from the hospital the following night. Shortly thereafter, one character was shot to death while fleeing from a garage. She didn't leave quickly enough after the people living there demanded she go. Another character died later after prowling around a locked door for too long. Another civilian joined me at some point (I had pity and let him stay), an elderly man. He was quite useless, could only carry 8 items (as opposed to the 10, 12, and 12 of the others) and arrived sick. He eventually left in the middle of the night and stole my shotgun, the only weapon I had to defend against intruders. I was able to make another, and a pistol too. It was with the second shotgun that I murdered the people at the garage, partly out of revenge, and partly out of desperation, as I think I was running low on materials to chop up and throw in the fire during the coldest days. Everyone was sick and tired and depressed and wounded. It was a grim time.

    I kept notes about what I needed to scavenge and where. Ex: "hospital. doctor can heal wounds. bring lockpicks. trade medical supplies and food." And later: "not much left to loot." Regarding the town square: "trade for broken helmet, shotgun, meds, food." Then "Bring shovel and lockpick!" After I tried to pick the lock and was caught: "Shit. They killed Katia. Return for her things." Then when I was short on supplies: "Going to need to kill." I took two notepad pages of notes. I haven't written things down for a game in a while, but this was life and death.

    One of the first things I built was a radio to get news from the outside. This let me know about impending weather conditions, blockades, and actually alerted me to the game being nearly over. At this point, I only had one character left, and so I just stalled. I quit scavenging. I ate all my rations. I traded if someone came to the door. The first time someone came when I only had one character, I thought they were going to kill me and I didn't open the door. I did the next time, and they just wanted to trade. I was very suspicious of other people. It's funny because after beating this, I loaded up H1Z1: King of the Kill, which has a similar theme: Trust no one. Kill on sight. Anyway, 5 or 7 days of waiting it out and the war was over. This War of Mine made me really anxious. I still don't want to imagine being in a war-torn country, but I was forced to think about it for 10.5 hours. Is this game meant to develop empathy for refugees? Support for international aid efforts? Not sure, but making players uncomfortable is a first step to getting them outside their boxes.
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    dkirschner's This war of mine (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Thursday 2 February, 2017

    GameLog closed on: Sunday 5 February, 2017

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Damn. Seriously heartbreaking and demoralizing game.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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