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Sunday, December 21, 2014

This War of Mine PC Review - 8.5/10

Merry (almost) Christmas! You know what I need? Some depressing games! Wait no... that's not what I need. Its kind of weird. I never heard much about this game. I saw a preview for it and I knew I wanted to play it. Luckily I had some left over cash after Christmas shopping and it was pretty cheap.

The Good:
The ascetics of this game are really superb. Background noises of artillery fire, bullets being shot. A drab and dreary look to all of the graphics. Really brings home that this is in the middle of a war. Instead of being 'White-Man McProtagonist Bullet Sponge', you're a random person. Actually you're not even a person. Sort of like the godlike creature that controls The Sims where you tell people where to go and what to do. Makes for a better sense of 'outside looking in', where people aren't constantly babbling on about the horrors of war, more or less talking about their shared experiences. A few times I walked into a building to scavenge and a character had a personal story about the place. "I used to come here with my parents when I was a kid," or "I heard that when the bombing started the children were still in class." No character really has a 'woe is me' mood, more just trying to drive home these are normal people simply trying to survive.
Each character has their own thing that makes them better at something than others. I had a guy who was good at cooking, a guy who could run fast and a woman who was a decent barterer. It wasn't that they were stuck in these roles, more that I had a better idea of who to send to scavenge if I wasn't sure if there were enemies and who to send to barter.

The Bad:
Combat is really bare bones. The one time I really got into it was when I sneaked into a place where there were enemies and I got caught. I got taken out pretty quickly as they had guns and I had only my fists. Basically, all you can do is click to hit someone. Click, click, click. As weird as it is, I wish there were some elements of stealth combat. At least being able to take out people if you are unseen. It would add a different layer to the game.
All characters have the same stats. Like there are static characters and their stats won't change if you have a new game. This doesn't seem really sensible to me. Some characters will arguably have better skills while some have 'Loves Children' which probably does absolutely nothing.
There's not a lot of choices to be made. More or less its just what are you going to do during the day or night. There should be a lot more choices in my opinion. Say, since my home keeps getting raided maybe there should be a new crafting choice that allows you to rebuild and fortify your home. Or perhaps, since you've already searched your home you could move your group to another. Or maybe when you've searched the entire area you can go to a new location with new places. I know its to force me into making more horrible decisions as a commentary on war, but its kind of messed up when I have to go ahead and murder the old man and wife just to get at their precious food supplies. I wish there was a way to get replenishable food, say a garden or a nursery for animals.

If anyone knows anything about my reviews is when I have a lot to complain about the minute details about a game, it usually means I like the game itself. Its a good game, don't get me wrong, but it could have been better.

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