This War of Mine Stories: The Last Broadcast DLC – Review
Follow Genre: Action/Adventure
Developer: 11 Bit Studios
Publisher: Deep Silver
Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, Mac, Android, PC
Tested on: PC

This War of Mine Stories: The Last Broadcast DLC – Review

Site Score
9.5
Good: Storyline, great immersion thanks to visuals and audio, new mechanics added without removing the core mechanics from the base game
Bad: Controller support not added yet
User Score
9.5
(4 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 9.5/10 (4 votes cast)

War games without guns or proper shelter, where you are not god wreaking havoc but rather the victim trying to survive in a world that is crumbling around you, are few but This War of Mine has always been just that. As an action adventure game with micromanagement and survival horror elements, This War of Mine delivers a gloomy concept and for its 4th anniversary, it is back with the second story-driven DLC Episode 2: The Last Broadcast.

Story

The Last Broadcast DLC for This War of Mine: Stories shows us the war-torn city of Pogoren through the eyes of two distinct characters. Malik used to be a radio host, but the war has scattered the radio crew, leaving only one person behind to broadcast messages he deems worthy to announce, Malik himself. Malik has a deeply driven desire to help the citizens of Pogoren as much as he can, but an accident during the war – possibly the mortal shell which destroyed his house – has left him with a restricted range of motion.

His wife Esma provides Malik the news she deems noteworthy whilst she scavenges for supplies so that he can warn the citizens of any danger or update them on the prices of certain products. Together Malik and Esma have a son, Adem, but he enlisted when the war broke out. It is an act neither of them can forgive as they are against the army and their methods and they are no longer on speaking terms with their son.

Graphics

Visually the game has not changed these four years. War-torn zones are still dark and gloomy areas with burning fires and rubble caused by mortar shells in monotonous colors. The entire combination with black and grayish buildings further elevates the depressing nature of war and innocent casualties. As in the base game, the DLC comes with a day and night cycle with the day cycle being slightly more vibrant but still quite somber due to the rising smoke. Even the animations are still the same, from the limping movements when wounded to the sluggish movements when tired or starving.

Sound

Similar to the graphic and animation design, the sound hasn’t changed much. The majority of the audio design is instrumental, adding an even more eeriness to scavenging undiscovered areas. When you are working on creating items, or even cooking a meal, those sounds can be distinctively heard. With This War of Mine Stories, there are no voice-overs except during the intro, but it wasn’t apprehensible as it wasn’t in English.

Gameplay

This War of Mine is an atmospheric survival game so the game heavily relies on graphics and audio design and the controls are very simplistic. Whilst the base game can be played with a controller, the DLC does not yet have controller support so you’ll be playing it with the mouse instead.

As always, you start off in a building with a limited amount of resources and equipment available. It is up to you to create a better environment, either by adding beds and chairs or by adding crafting stations and cooking pits. These actions are done during the day cycle as this is where your characters stay indoors. What is challenging in The Last Broadcast DLC is the fact that Malik has troubles moving from one point to another due to his bad leg and his movement is restricted to one floor only, so Esma is the most important character as she will need to do everything; including taking care of Malik by bringing him meds and food. The one thing Malik really excels at is broadcasting and listening to any news.

Once the day cycle has run its course, usually around 8 PM, the night cycle begins, and you can choose what your characters will do. Obviously, Malik is not a character you would choose for scavenging and thus you’ll be having Esma working double-shifts. This creates a bigger challenge as she’ll be constantly tired. The DLC offers seven remastered locations and four new locations and each of these locations are littered with supplies but you’ll need to choose carefully as you have a limited amount of space in your bag. It is in these locations that you can search for clues, which is a new investigating mechanic. There are times when you will need to look through keyholes and listen to conversations as these can be vital for Malik’s broadcasts. When Esma comes home in the early mornings, she will report what she has learned, which brings us to the new reporting mechanics.

Certain events are automatically relayed to Malik but important events require your own input. These are the important decisions to make as it will alter the course of your game session. For example, Esma found out a friend has possibly become a collaborator and she questions if she should give the identity to Malik or simply tell him she found evidence of a collaborator in their midst. These decisions shouldn’t be taken lightly, and it questions the morale during wartime. How far will you go to keep the citizens of Pogoren alive? Would you give up your own safety for those of others? Will you tell the truth, harming others, or will you tell a white lie that can grow into big noise but keep your family safe?

Aside from Malik’s disability and Esma being the sole provider for both resources and news, another challenge comes forth in the form of seasons. Warm summers are easier to deal with than cold, harsh winters where the days are shorter. Literally everything needs to be taken into consideration.

Conclusion

This War of Mine: Stories – The Last Broadcast DLC is an excellent addition to an already amazing game. It keeps the core features of the base game intact such as the grim visuals and the voiceless audio design, but it introduces a few new mechanics such as radio mechanics, investigation and reporting mechanics. Being restricted with movement also adds a new challenge. All of this is combined with a storyline, a scenario during wartimes which circles around morality and whether it should withstand if the price of telling the truth is too high. All-in-all, the content of the DLC is great and is worth playing.

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Rating: 9.5/10 (4 votes cast)
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This War of Mine Stories: The Last Broadcast DLC – Review, 9.5 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
Drydwen
Drydwen


Hi! I'm Jess and I’m a writer, dreamer and gamer at heart since the early ages. I primarily game on PC but occasionally also on PS4 and Xbox One. I have a tiny obsession for World of Warcraft and caterpillars but you may also claim I have a devoted passion for the gaming industry in general. If you want to hit me up, find me on twitter!

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