When I think about games that have hit me emotionally while playing them one of the ones that always comes to mind is 11 bit studio’s game This War of Mine that released back in 2014. That game really gave you an idea of what it’s like for people to have to carry on with their lives while their city is in a war. This is extremely relevant in today’s world where the people of Ukraine find themselves in this very position, in a war they didn’t ask for and don’t deserve all because of a dictator foreign president. If you haven’t yet experienced this game, the team just released This War of Mine: Final Cut on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series this week and there has never been a better time to give it a look.
If you never played This War of Mine this basic setup is that you control a group of civilians inside a city being ravaged by war. The game operates on a day and night cycle where your duties differ depending on which time it is. When it’s day, you’ll be focusing on having your people tend to things at your residence like maintaining their health or crafting things. When night time rolls around you have to send someone out to scavenge for supplies to keep your people going. Danger is always on the horizon though as while you’ll be looking for supplies, so will others and if you run into them you could end up with a fight on your hands and one your civilian may not return from.
The game always continues to show how much of a struggle it is to survive as your home and the people there can also be attacked while you’re gone. When this happens, you have to spend resources to heal people, cure sicknesses, build up your defenses for when another attack comes your way, deal with depression that is affecting some people, and much more. There are constantly tough choices to make and your morality will be tested throughout which is why the game was so emotional to me. If you think games are meant to be fun then this likely won’t be for you as it’s really not fun having to see these people suffer and have to make very hard decisions.
As for what the PlayStation 5 version brings to the table you are mostly getting better visuals and performance in this Final Cut version. While it isn’t a huge upgrade the 4K resolution does help bring out more of the details in each area of the game. You can also pick up the DLC or get the Complete Edition which comes with three new packs for the game each with their own story. Each of these feels like a more self-contained experience but they are emotionally impactful just like the base game. The Little Ones adds children into the mix which is always a heartbreaking thing while Father’s Promise focuses on a father trying to escape the city with his daughter. Last Broadcast has you playing as a radio broadcaster who has to get the truth out no matter the cost. Each of these comes with new locations, shelters, and mechanics and all of them are worth playing through.
This War of Mine: Final Cut is an emotional and meaningful survival game that will give you a really good idea of what people are going through in places where war is raging. This new version is the most visually detailed version yet and the DLC is worth checking out with it. It’s a game that deeply affected me emotionally back in 2014 and now in 2022 has done it all over again with what is going on in the world today. I honestly can’t recommend this one enough.
*This War of Mine: Final Cut is available now on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series. PlayStation 5 version reviewed. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.