Metascore
83

Generally favorable reviews - based on 62 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 57 out of 62
  2. Negative: 0 out of 62
  1. Jan 6, 2015
    100
    One of the best all-around games I’ve played all year. A crisp, consistent atmosphere, intuitive gameplay, and surprising depth create a fantastic experience.
  2. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Jan 5, 2015
    100
    Almost documentary game focused on the lives of civilians in a war zone. Can you keep them healthy and fed until the end of a war? It's definitely harder and more interesting than shooting your way through the enemies. [Issue#248]
  3. Nov 25, 2014
    100
    It is a video game that makes you perform familiar video game actions at the expense of all the reasons most people play video games, even going so far as to be ironic at times.
  4. Mar 22, 2015
    90
    A deeply atmospheric, emotionally compelling game that manages to treat war as a serious topic and examines the hard choices made by those caught in the middle of conflict.
  5. Jan 23, 2015
    90
    Whether you choose to perceive it through a moral lens or not, there’s a great tactical survival mechanic driving this game beneath the didactics. Although the events it depicts are depressing to contemplate at length, I found myself coming back again and again to try and get it right somehow, beat the odds, and save my people.
  6. Edge Magazine
    Jan 9, 2015
    90
    The game's unflinching depiction of wartime suffering is particularly unsettling in a medium that commonly focuses on pyrotechnics and headshots. [Jan 2014, p.118]
  7. Jan 8, 2015
    90
    This War of Mine focuses on civilians rather than armed soldiers. It is extremely refreshing even though the game shows the dreadful constituents of war. With a dense atmosphere and an impressive depth, this is one of the decade's most important cultural experiences.
  8. Games Master UK
    Dec 30, 2014
    90
    It's continually bleak and upsetting, sure, but always compelling and always powerful. [Jan 2015, p.83]
  9. 90
    It's hard, remorseless and soul-crushingly depressing, but it's also a must play game.
  10. Dec 17, 2014
    90
    This War of Mine makes you realise the terrible nature of war better than a thousand ad-campaigns can. Trying to survive in this surreal world is hard, and asks sacrifices you are probably not willing to take. Very impressive.
  11. Dec 16, 2014
    90
    Minor criticisms aside, I think This War of Mine is the last great game of 2014. Representing a horrid subject in an honest way, its as effective a critique of war as any movie I’ve ever seen or book I’ve ever read.
  12. Nov 25, 2014
    90
    You’ll be dropped into a blighted world and be left to figure out your own path, making fatal mistakes and incurring tragic losses before coming to the conclusion that precious few videogames have ever had the nerve to draw… War is hell.
  13. Nov 25, 2014
    90
    This War of Mine describes brilliantly the darker (and at times brighter) sides of the human being. “Fun” is not the best word to describe it, but it sure is compelling and a good challenge as well.
  14. Nov 21, 2014
    90
    There is no hero in shining armor, you don’t even know what the soldiers are fighting for. What matters are you and your bitter fight for survival. Every day is a struggle against hunger, disease loneliness and loss of hope. Relentlessly and without judging 11Bit Studios show the dark side of armed conflicts, the suffering, the scars. It is a software monument against war – brilliant.
  15. Nov 21, 2014
    90
    This War of Mine is probably one of the first modern titles capable of mixing mechanics with a strong message without breaking the ludo-narrative dissonance. A rogue-like masterpiece and one of the best indie games of the year.
  16. Nov 20, 2014
    90
    This War of Mine is one of the most emotionally investing games I’ve played in years, and it doesn’t need a complex set of gameplay systems to be what it is… a great game, and a deep piece of art on the horrors of war.
  17. Nov 19, 2014
    90
    In an industry where conflict tends to be approached mostly in heroic terms, with only limited attention paid to its effects on individuals who are not wielding power, This War of Mine is a solid surprise, and given its small price, as many gamers as possible should try it out and see what it has to offer.
  18. Dec 23, 2014
    88
    This War of Mine delivers a setting that is depressing and unsettling. It's a slow-paced resource management strategy game that will hang over you long after you walk away from it.
  19. This War of Mine is one of the most successful survival games we have seen recently. The game shows us a different and cruel aspect of war. It's a very emotional and heart touching adventure.
  20. Jan 9, 2015
    87
    This War of Mine is a brave endeavor. We see wonders done with this game in a potential sequel; one that will hopefully get a bigger budget, so we can see the genre evolve even more.
  21. PC Games
    Jan 12, 2015
    86
    Quotation forthcoming.
  22. Nov 14, 2014
    86
    No matter how many hours you invest into bettering your situation, it's a constant struggle to survive in This War of Mine.
  23. Dec 10, 2014
    85
    This War of Mine is a powerful and intimate portrayal of war through the eyes of ordinary civilians. An immense weight is put on the value of human life and moral decisions that can put your own well-being at risk. It’s a thoughtful and heavy game, but one that’s well worth playing.
  24. Dec 8, 2014
    85
    The war ain't some glorious thing like portrayed in Call of Duty; it's the definition of darkness and horror as This War of Mine will show you. What's the price of survival? It's yours to decide in this truly awesome game.
  25. Nov 18, 2014
    85
    This War of Mine has some flaws, but all in all it's a great, strong game to remember. It pulls you in and generates lots of emotions just like the biggest and best games but it's not easy and pleasant: the gameplay immediately takes the player to the deep end without explaining the rules. The developers have managed to create a playable game without sacrificing a really difficult theme, and that's not an easy task.
  26. Nov 17, 2014
    85
    It is an unique experience, accessible and touching. If you're looking for something different, don't miss it.
  27. Nov 24, 2014
    84
    One of the year's most thoughtful games.
  28. Nov 24, 2014
    81
    11 bit Studios’ greatest success with This War of Mine, it turns out, is in creating a videogame that is profoundly unpleasant to experience.
  29. Hyper Magazine
    Feb 9, 2015
    80
    Not many games can claim to be "edifying." I think this one can. [Issue#257, p.75]
  30. Jan 14, 2015
    80
    Offers little new in terms of gameplay, but it's hard to deny the power of the games message, which will stay in your head for a long time.
  31. Dec 28, 2014
    80
    The slow pace can make it less tempting to try again right away with a different tactic, but perhaps that’s for the best.
  32. PC PowerPlay
    Dec 23, 2014
    80
    Grim and edifying in equal measure. [Jan 2015, p.54]
  33. Dec 18, 2014
    80
    After 26 days I stood in tragic disbelief in front of the depopulated remains of the enclave I had cobbled together from trash and others peoples hopes. What other games dare to give you that kind of experience?
  34. Dec 8, 2014
    80
    Survival sim in the ruins of the city will shake your morality, mood and conviction.Improve your slum, plunder stores and dig graves. War has never been so interesting from the perspective of civilian. And rough.
  35. Dec 5, 2014
    80
    In This War of Mine you control a group of civilians, who are struggling to survive during a war conflict. Based on the siege of Sarajevo, the game offers a great experience the real terror of war.
  36. Dec 5, 2014
    80
    This War of Mine does not pull punches. Introducing the horrors of the recent Bosnian war to the mainstream and unsuspecting public, it does so with finesse and through the tearful eyes of the refuges, the simple citizens, the everyday survivors lost in a war not of their own wish or making.
  37. Dec 2, 2014
    80
    If you can take all the messages and empathy out of This War of Mine, then it boils down to a rather simplistic survival experience that takes around 40 to 50 in-game days to complete.
  38. Dec 1, 2014
    80
    A bizarre, intense, brave, different game. It's got some issues, but if you're looking for an intelligent and peculiar game, you should give it a try.
  39. Nov 25, 2014
    80
    The reality of war, hammered home through stark visuals and tight resource management, in a game where just surviving another day is winning.
  40. Nov 25, 2014
    80
    This War of Mine is a game whose simple message - that war is hell, and that we're all capable of being sucked into its moral depths - might be slightly compromised by its strengths as a game, but at least it's a message carried with a great deal more conviction than other, more bombastic portrayals of conflict. That, for certain, is something to be thankful for.
  41. Nov 24, 2014
    80
    Ruthless and emotionally destabilizing, This War of Mine is the merciless portrait of what evil man is capable of causing. The conflict saw through the eyes of civilians is terrible at least as that experienced by soldiers on the fields of war.
  42. Nov 24, 2014
    80
    With its laborious gameplay, This War of Mine is not a game for everyone... but it's probably the most interesting game about War and the more engaged and efficient "serious game" so far.
  43. Nov 24, 2014
    80
    This War of Mine is an important game, both as a glance into the life of civilians ruined by war, but also as a great survival game. It's only a shame that the tedious days and repetitive encounters hamper the experience.
  44. Nov 19, 2014
    80
    It’s hard to recommend a game that makes you feel disgusted or upset, but I’m doing it anyway. This War of Mine is great, it just asks a lot from its players.
  45. Nov 19, 2014
    80
    A stark statement about war delivered through deftly designed stealth survival and resource management. Important, but unrelentingly cruel.
  46. Nov 19, 2014
    80
    Regardless of its shortcomings, This War of Mine is a hugely powerful game.
  47. Nov 18, 2014
    80
    This War of Mine is a very peculiar game, based on simple survival mechanics made pretty challenging by the realism of the experience.
  48. Nov 17, 2014
    80
    Is this a game you want to play? No. Is it a game anyone with a beating heart should play? Yes. A million times yes. It's a longform exercise in empathy, a sobering piece of work that fills in the blanks left when all we see of war are the headshots.
  49. Nov 14, 2014
    80
    The work of 11 bit Studios is a marvelous cross between the aesthetic of Deadlight and the idea behind Zafehouse Diaries... With no zombies involved. A game about survival at its hardest, deepest, most depressing and most realistic shape. Its setting has that bit of post-apocalyptic game, but actually moves us to a reality that many people lives at many places right now. This War of Mine is the to war games like protest songs to pop-rock ones. A bold, brave and exciting offering that deserves to be played.
  50. Nov 14, 2014
    80
    This War of Mine makes the most of its clean, attractive graphics, its moody ambient soundtrack, and the intense, emotional nature of its gameplay. You’ll care about your refugees, and you’ll want to work hard to keep them healthy, fed, alive, and well. Unfortunately, This War of Mine doesn’t make it easy.
  51. Nov 14, 2014
    80
    That earnest human touch keeps This War of Mine compelling even when you mess up and the rubble all comes tumbling down around you, leaving you just enough hope for the next attempt that you'll dive back in and endure it all again.
  52. Pelit (Finland)
    Jan 21, 2015
    77
    An ambitious game about an important subject. Sadly, it gets a bit repetitive after a while. Please make an expanded sequel with more stuff to do and more ways to interact with other survivors! [Jan 2015]
  53. Dec 1, 2014
    76
    In terms of basic gameplay, this War of Mine is actually quite a bit like The Sims.
  54. Dec 3, 2014
    75
    The emotional side, be it notes scribbled by the characters or encounters with other survivors, is hands down the best thing in the whole game.
  55. Nov 30, 2014
    75
    This War of Mine is a great counterpoint to the yearly influx of war games, and uses the language of video games to present a harrowing real-life experience in a way that’s often particularly engaging. It’s dark, it’s sad, it’s often crushing and difficult. It might not be fun, but it’s definitely worth experiencing.
  56. Nov 27, 2014
    75
    This War of Mine conveys the horrors that occur when trying to survive war time. Not through story, but through gameplay which is done perfectly. It is a heavy game that touches upon subjects that are usually kept quiet. It's too bad that the roguelike element of having to start over again and again in this game, stands in the way of really leaving a mark.
  57. Nov 21, 2014
    75
    The narrative wants to be mature, but that can't come easy without a proper work on the characters, which feel somehow too flat to really emerge. Truly a shame, since the game loses its most powerful aspect, namely the dark atmosphere, and sometimes become just another survival with a management aspect.
  58. Dec 15, 2014
    74
    Overall, while I found This War of Mine to be an intriguing and novel game, I didn’t really enjoy it. It is downbeat and somber to a fault, especially if things start deteriorating and you have to watch your civilians get ground down into nothing.
  59. Feb 3, 2015
    70
    For a game, it's more eye-opening than it is entertaining.
  60. Nov 26, 2014
    70
    This War of Mine is a soul crushing thing to consider as entertainment. It is going to make you feel bad and absorb the consequences of your actions. It exists as a piece of indie expression that shows the actual grayness that is inherent in all conflict. There is no winning.
  61. Nov 14, 2014
    70
    This War of Mine wants you to care about the people who have been affected by the war, rather than soldiers on the front-line. Via conflicting thoughts the characters have, the cast’s paper-thin stories and an elementary crafting system, it never fully reaches its potential. But the moments where you’re racing across an outpost trying to dodge military fire and robbing someone blind right before their eyes; those are the points where this war does genuinely feel like mine.
  62. CD-Action
    Feb 7, 2015
    65
    The game is dripping with pathos, but I couldn’t invest myself emotionally in it, because it all just feels fake. [01/2015, p.42]
User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 778 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 52 out of 778
  1. Nov 14, 2014
    10
    Being a journo I got my final copy two days ago. Been busy with it ever since! At first I took this game as a gimmick, knowing about a conceptBeing a journo I got my final copy two days ago. Been busy with it ever since! At first I took this game as a gimmick, knowing about a concept since maybe April I perceived it as a very nice twist with a huge question mark for gameplay, replayability and actual story. While I still think that the devs a bit exaggerate their 'grieve' approach to war, casualties and such, I must say they have delivered an addictive game with strong mechanics. You've got crafting here, you've got exploring, time management, character developing so to speak, you've got resource management and a bit of randomness that adds a nice spice to the mix. So after a while you tend to forget all this bleak and suffering, and just enjoy your achievements, make bonds with characters, just immerse in the world and enjoy it. Especially I liked how the story is told: not to fast, you really focus on details, sharpen your attention, and enjoy small carefully polished details of the concept. Well done 11 Bit! Full Review »
  2. Nov 19, 2014
    0
    Like every other survival game out there, I have to give this game a nil score.

    How, exactly, with a simple metal working station did I
    Like every other survival game out there, I have to give this game a nil score.

    How, exactly, with a simple metal working station did I make a shovel and crowbar? Think about it for a few minutes. It's not physically possible. I need forging equipment to do that.

    Tools don't last long enough and should be something you look for and find, not something you have to constantly make and replace. That makes zero sense. Has no one ever used a crowbar before? In my time as a renovator I met people that had bought crowbars thirty years ago that they were still using, and they were using them a hell of a lot more than what you do in this game.

    Why, exactly, does my rainwater - CLEAN WATER - need filters? Why would I need to set up the collector every time for this? You would just set it up once and let it collect as much as possible. This doesn't make sense. If the argument is that it is from a contaminated source, a filter doesn't do anything unless it is chemical contamination (which generally will not be a problem). The more pressing issue is biological contaminants, which means boiling, not filtering.

    Why can't I use a brick, piece of wood or rubble as makeshift weaponry?

    Are none of these books guides on how to make simple traps that don't require manufacturing?

    I could go on ENDLESSLY. I have yet to test to see how the hunger mechanics work, but in real life it takes THREE WEEKS before your body shuts down from lack of food. Vastly more important? Water; without which you will go into kidney failure in three days.

    The makers claim to have lived through a warzone? Sorry, I'm not buying it. There is far too much that makes no sense for that to be true. I'm a practiced survivalist and this game made zero sense to me.

    How is it that you can't go outside during the day, but some random idiot that wants to trade can?

    Why are people showing up at my door and NOT telling me what makes them useful in order to convince me it's a good idea to let them in?

    Why can only one guy go scavenging at a time, even though in real life that would be nearly suicidal?

    I just don't see it. I didn't feel like I was in a war zone: I felt like I was in a bad game made by people who have zero understanding of survival. The fact that this game gets a good score shows the ignorance of the gamers and the reviewers. This is not an immersive game nor even a good game. This is a bunch of pandering and nothing more. I read a claim that the makers had actually been in a warzone. I'm calling BS. If they had been, they'd know everything that I'd just questioned over the immersion.

    This game is, like all other survival games I've tried, absolutely terrible and a prime example of why I don't pay for video games until after I've tried it. This game was so bad that I should have been paid money to play it.
    Full Review »
  3. Nov 16, 2014
    6
    For me, This War of Mine fails to achieve its ambitions. I appreciate its intentions, but it ends being bland and not that realistic.
    Yes,
    For me, This War of Mine fails to achieve its ambitions. I appreciate its intentions, but it ends being bland and not that realistic.
    Yes, the graphics are beautiful. And yes, the grittiness of war from a civilian's perspective (though lets not forget that there are places where wars are much worse) is sometimes present, in the stories and in some events. But the gameplay feels almost casual and severely breaks the immersivity and the overall tone. The crafting system is shallow. Time needs to be well managed but is presented in a weird way where your characters, even while running, can take up to 20 minutes to climb a couple of stairs. The save system straightforwardly sucks. If you try to leave the game while playing, nothing warns you that you'll lose everything you did during the day and will have to restart it, which is exactly what happens.
    And then there's all the stuff that breaks realism by itself. Like your group having psychic powers and knowing everything a single member does when on a scavenge mission, even if he was alone and far away. Like a guy asking me for medicines for his father, me trading with wood instead, and all the team (thanks to their psychic powers) thinking I gave him medicine and being happy for that. Like my group being composed of 4 healthy rested people that are very hungry, and only one member being able to go out to scavenge. Like interaction icons sometimes superimposing themselves and me clicking the wrong one (which was actually below the correct one, so bug) and ending up in a fight instead than a conversation, which in a game where choices matter is kind of a deal-breaker. Things like that.
    Oh, and the randomized world. It's not really randomized. Simply you'll get different characters if you restart, and sometimes some areas will be inhabited by different people.
    In short, again I appreciate the intentions, but This War of Mine ends up being one of those zombie survival games that we already saw tons of times. And this is not me ignoring the realistic intentions behind the operation: this is me being forced to ignore them by way the game was done. I'd say that the devs put a lot of effort in making the graphics and the background atmospheric, and they did succeed there. But then the rest just falls short. Still, maybe it's just me.
    Full Review »