Release Date: January 29, 2016
ESRB Rating: M for Mature (Violence, Blood, Use of Drugs and Alcohol)
War never changes but the person telling the story does with This War of Mine: The Little Ones, a console port of a unique game that focus on the hardships a civilian population has to go through during a conflict.
The concept of war is not new to gaming from titles that have taken players to a generation’s finest moment during World War II (Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30) to conflicts like Vietnam (Men of Valor), the Somalian Civil War (Delta Force: Black Hawk Down), and the war in Afghanistan (Medal of Honor). Gamers have even experienced the gritty realism of war through the Armed Assault series and through the eyes of Tom Clancy with the Ghost Recon series.
However in every single one of those games, the focus has been the combat and the story was always told from the perspective of the soldier. This War of Mine: The Little Ones instead focuses on the struggles and hardships that civilians have to overcome when trying to survive the brutality of war.
Inspired by the horrors that civilians had to endure during the Siege of Sarajevo, players are responsible for managing a makeshift shelter populated by a group of civilians. Players must control their survivors by having them strengthen the shelter while venturing out to look for supplies.
Players must also be vigilant of looters and enemy soldiers while also monitoring the well-being of the other shelter residents.
Compared to other games that focus on the struggle for survival, This War of Mine: The Little Ones presents both a strategic and emotional challenge for the player. The choices made will not only affect the shelter’s well being but also the characters morality while playing with one’s emotions after having made some difficult choices.
This War of Mine: The Little Ones does an amazing job at depicting the terrors of war on the civilian populations, however it’s obvious that this game was made to only play on a PC.
Everything about the console port is perfect except for the controls which may be a little difficult to work with. That is because games like this are better tailored for a mouse and keyboard rather than a joy-stick controller. Despite this minor shortcoming, console gamers should not be discouraged from playing This War of Mine: The Little Ones. This is a rare title that attempts to show an alternative perspective to an all too familiar setting in gaming.
This War of Mine: The Little Ones is a break from the typical war bravado and instead focus on the hardship of the innocent who are trapped in the crossfire.
Words by Stan Rezaee