Posts Tagged ‘11 Bit Studios’

Screenshot, This War of Mine, 11 Bit Studios

Screenshot, This War of Mine. 11 Bit Studios.

Picture this: you’re trapped in a war zone, forced to take shelter in an abandoned, derelict building. You’re with a couple of strangers, all separated from their families; your homes and possessions are gone, destroyed in the conflict. You have no weapons, no way to defend yourselves, no comforts but what you can fashion from wreckage, and nothing to eat but what you can scavenge from your war-torn city. You’re hungry, tired, and scared, and your only options are to die tonight, or survive the night and try not to die tomorrow.

This is the reality that This War of Mine depicts: war is not heroic and it is not glamorous. War is harsh and brutal. It is a grim struggle for survival, and it spares no one.

War, in short, is hell.

Developed by Warsaw, Poland-based 11 Bit Studios—known for its tower-defense-on-its head Anomaly series—This War of Mine portrays armed conflict from a perspective that game aficionados rarely consider, and developers never present: the civilians all too often caught in the crosshairs. The game is about survival, about hunkering down and waiting out, about risking your life—and the lives of others—just to scrape by for another day. You don’t take up arms and fight, you stay quiet and invisible, and pray for the return of the sheltering dark, when you can venture out once again.

This War of MineThe game is slated for release later this year, so I haven’t had a chance to play it yet. However, reviewers at Polygon were treated to a preview by the developer, and even watching the gameplay is harrowing. This War of Mine is dark—literally and figuratively—and intense: everything about it, from the environment to the gameplay, is designed to engender unease. The game sets you on edge from moment one and holds you there for as long as you can stand to play.

Perhaps more significantly, This War of Mine is morally and ethically challenging: You’re forced to make life-or-death decisions every step of the way, some of which involve stealing food or medicine from others in need, or withholding help to conserve resources for your own group. While this may turn the odds of staying alive in your favor, it does so at the expense of someone else who, like you, was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. The message is clear: during war, all bets are off. The laws of nature reign supreme, and the only rule is survival.

Though this game may never put an end to war, for those with the courage to play, it sheds a welcome light on the human cost that others so often leave in the shadows.

For 11 Bit’s official game website (including a trailer), click here.

Polygon has some gameplay footage on their website here.

And you can read more about the game and the developers behind it here.