Are you ready for some darkness? Are you ready to have the lives of different survivors in your hands, keeping them fed, medicated, and away from depression during a raging war? This is a survival war game with the inspiration taken from the 92-96 Siege of Sarajevo during the Bosnian War, and it is heavy. Are you ready for this?
Games are supposed to be fun right? From the early days of gaming it was all about fun, but as the years passed we have seen more games release with a more serious undertone while still being labelled a video game seeing as you control the action in opposed to a movie where you are a bystander looking in. But with the rise of indie game developers there are now more serious release out there than purely fun-focused ones, at least that is how I feel. But with that in mind I still wanted to tackle the Playstation 4 version of This War of Mine: The Little Ones and I know something for sure, if there ever is a war, I am ready.
The game gives you little to none explanation before it puts you in the driver seat, ties your foot to the gas pedal and floors it for you, because as soon as you boot up you are set with a black screen with some grey and white images surround a white text that says Day 1, and from there it is up to you to have at least one of your survivors make it through the war, alive. And the war ends whenever the war feels like it should be ending. So there is no timer, no deadline, the only thing you know for sure is you need to survive until the next day and just hope.
You usually control three different characters, but as soon as you gone through the game once, not having to complete it but at least have your entire team die on you and loose, you get the option to create your own story, which gives you the ability to customize your games difficulty level, amount of survivors you start with, and the amount of locations unlocked from the start. But the first time you boot up you have no saying and is basically left to die.
Left to die unless you choose to do something about it, and you start scavenging everything that is in the house you are left in, until night time, because when it is night time you get to choose one of your survivors to head out and scavenge while the other in your team can be either ordered to guard your house or go to sleep, and you need to guard your house as you are not the only person out there trying to find some goodies to take back so that your team so that you can survive at least another day.
As soon as you choose someone to head out and scavenge you are set with a map over locations, which are minimal at first but while slowly increase. The different locations are unlocked depending on where the war is heaviest. Snipers surrounds the area you are in and some locations might be blocked off from time to time. Some are guarded well, others are already taken by other survivors and some are abandoned buildings. Sometimes you encounter people that will fight for their food and medications, sometimes you meet survivors that will trade with you, sometimes you meet someone who will share whatever is there, while other times it is up to you if you steal from an old and dying couple, because even though you as the player don't mind stealing from and elderly couple the character you control might get suicidal and depressed because of the fact that he or she, probably caused those people to die. And that right there, is why This War of Mine is something really special and incredible hard to master.
There is nothing like encountering an abandoned house with everything you need to survive a few more days, but the chances of that happening is rather slim. This is how it usually goes, you have two characters back at the house coughing up blood and heavily bleeding and needs bandages and all of this while starving, dead tired because they have been up all day crafting things for the house, while the other person is going insane and needs help, while starving, and incredible tired, but someone needs to guard the house so they both need to stay up on their feet that night and guard the house.
So you head out and try and find a house that has some of these things, as you know you only need a few items because over these last couple of days you have managed to horde a few items which combined with these items you are now out searching for can give you the ability to build furniture you might need. Then you find them, but there is a guard watching them so you need to be quiet, he almost sees you but you duck into a dark alley and he walks by you, and as soon as he turns his back to you, you sneak over and grab the items you need.
The guard turns around and notices you and lifts a shotgun and fires at you and you are now heavily wounded but still able to walk so you run for the exit while the bullets pass by you, and you manage to survive with the items you needed, only problem is that you now only have bandages for the wounded people back at your house and you, yourself is now wounded. So you enter your house, only to find out that your house has been raided and they have taken almost everything you saved up these last couple of days and killed one of your survivors. So the other survive is now insane, depressed, suicidal and starving, while you are tired, hungry, life-treating wounded and hearing about your friend being killed has turned you depressed, and all of this is just day 9... The good thing though is that you now have enough bandages... Good luck.
This War of Mine: The Little Ones is one of those games that I can sit here and tell you all about for hours but it won't make any difference until you sit down and devote some time to it and get to experience it for yourself. This is incredible, and I love these kind of games, that is if you are able to truly immerse yourself into the game, and you need to do that to truly get behind it. And if you don't that is perfectly fine but I still think you are missing out on some truly incredible experiences. Oh did I mention that the game also introduces kids into the mix hence the name of this release... again... Good Luck!