Polish developer 11 Bit Studios announced their newest game today: a modern war game titled This War of Mine. The announcement, titled “Today’s the day we’ve been waiting for,” was accompanied by a trailer for the game that paints it in a decidedly more emotional and thoughtful tone than many other military-themed games and even the studio’s previous reverse tower defense games.
The trailer does not depict any in-game footage, instead showing a now-familiar sight in the gaming scene: soldiers running across a modern war-torn city, being cut down by gunfire and explosions. However, the trailer then pans to the inside of one of the buildings in the city, showing a terrified and disheveled family cowering in their decaying home. The trailer concludes with the tagline: “In war, not everyone is a soldier.”
The announcement emphasizes the game’s eschewing of common norms in popular military game franchises such as Battlefield and Call of Duty by having the player play as a civilian instead of a soldier. The studio envisioned the gameplay as such:”During the day snipers outside stop you from leaving your refuge, offering precious time to craft, trade, upgrade your shelter, feed and cure your survivors. At night you can scavenge nearby areas in search for food, medicines, weapons and other useful items.”
11 Bit Studios also state that This War of Mine draws inspiration from a real-life account of survival in a war-torn city, and that their goal with this game is to “make something real, something that moves people and makes them stop think for a second. It’s about time that games, just like any other art form, start talking about important things.” The game’s stated design philosophy brings to mind another military game: Yager Development’s 2012 shooter Spec Ops: The Line, which adopted familiar military shooter conventions in order to critique and raise questions about the moral dilemmas of war; in particular its role in videogames.
Although the announcement and trailer do not reveal much on how the game will function from a gameplay perspective, 11 bit studios has promised more information to follow in the form of “a very interesting interview”, presumably during the upcoming Game Developers Conference on March 17.
11 Bit Studios was founded on October 2010 by former members of CD Projekt and Metropolis Software, with a stated goal of creating “high-value, high-quality, digitally-distributed games.” The studio is primarily known for creating the Anomaly series of reverse tower defense games, which have received positive critical reception.