In November 2014 the developer and publisher 11 bit studios launched the game This War Of Mine. Now after exactly 4 years, the latest DLC of the story DLCs followed with episode 2: The Last Broadcast, which means something like the last broadcast. The game principle remains the same for the DLCs, but you also play a little story and learn a little bit about the circumstances in the war. But is the DLC worth a look at all, I'll try to bring that closer to you in the next few lines.
The important voice in war
Before the war began, Malik worked as a radio presenter in a radio station and loved his job, he would have preferred not to leave there. But then the war came and the family home was destroyed. The family son joined the army, and Malik and Esma took refuge in the old radio station. Unfortunately, Malik did not survive the attack unscathed either, he was injured in the leg and has been walking on crutches ever since. Esma knew how much her husband loved his job and that's why Malik put the radio station back into operation.
Of course, he cannot leave the house himself to convey the new information to the other surviving civilians, so his wife Esma has to take over this job. On their nightly tours through the city, the city not only tries to find new resources, but also to pick up one or two pieces of information from soldiers or other civilians. She then gives this to her husband and he then passes it on to the other listeners. But among the listeners are the military and other hostile groups. Thus, Malik's information does not only get applause from the population.
The normal day of a family from Pogoren
It's about survival. And about defying the adverse conditions of war. The two have to take care of all the important resources of daily life and of course pass on the information. There are two ways to get this, either by looting other places at night or by visiting traders. But always remember, not everyone is friendly.
Since the military is trying all the time to wipe out the rest of the population and has placed snipers all over the city, it is important to stay inside during the day in order not to be seen. But even in your new home you have a lot to do, of course you have to look around at the beginning to find useful things that will be necessary later.
The new house is first equipped with the important things, you have a refrigerator, a bed, a possibility to collect water and a work table for the production of important objects. It quickly becomes clear that you have to do a lot during the day, the characters are hungry, have to sleep sometimes, can get sick, need certain consumer goods to stay in a good mood and have to listen to the radio at the same time. In short, construction takes place during the day and the resources collected or traded are further processed or used.
But at some point night falls, which means that the snipers can no longer see us so well. So let's start looking for resources in other places. We always have new places available for a short visit. But be careful not every place is unguarded and we don't meet nice and helpful people everywhere. Esma is then on her own and has to creep through the respective buildings or what is left of them. You will find all kinds of useful and useless stuff, whether important building materials or an old teddy bear, everything can be found. Of course, Esma is not an infinite chest and can take anything with you. So you should always be aware of what you actually need and what you can perhaps save for the next time.
By the way, of course, you also meet the military and can then listen to their conversations and thus also get one or the other piece of information, which could then be relevant for the next radio report. Whether it is a supply delivery or a torture chamber for rebels. Of course, the searched buildings are not empty and you can find other clues, for example from the family living there or left by rebels. With the information and resources you have gained, you go back home and the next day begins.
The important decisions of the Malik
Of course you pick up one or the other piece of information on your nocturnal foray, but everyone should know that or should keep it to themselves. That means that a bit of strategic thinking begins here, do you tell the others about the supplies? Then the next day there is no longer a soldier there, but there is not much to get for yourself either, as others were already ahead of you. Of course, not everyone, especially not the military, likes it when you pass on various information, so you also make enemies who could attack you the next night. So think carefully about your decisions because everything has consequences.
In the course of daily tasks, you realize again and again that you can live well with what you already have in the beginning, but that you need more and more in the later stages. This can be a metal processor for the production of various metal-safe objects, an improvement of the existing equipment so that it becomes more efficient or central heating for the winter. The strategically correct use of your own resources is therefore important in this game. People also have needs and are, for example, smokers; if these needs are not met, depression can occur.
Number of players: 1 players
Age: from 16 years
Playing time: 4+ hours
Long-term motivation: medium
The 2D graphics and the gloomy graphics make the game look really horrible. It quickly becomes clear to you that you are at home there in a world full of violence and war. Everything seems very tense because you don't know what will happen next. When is next winter coming or who is next on the doorstep and what are their intentions? I think that the game looks really very good and that the dark mood comes across really very well to the player thanks to the music and the graphical user interface.
What I wonder about the game after ten in-game days is whether there is long-term motivation. For me the ten days were exciting and varied, but by the end you noticed that processes in the daily routine were repeated over and over again and that a bit of boredom ensued. Of course, small events (onset of winter, guests, nocturnal looting) should bring a bit of tension back into the game, but I don't yet know whether that can keep the tension up for a longer period of time. Since it's a story, I would have liked a little more depth.
The story itself is pretty short and the basic principle of the main game prevails in almost all parts of the DLC. Since there are different types of endings, it might be worth playing through the DLC multiple times.