Make love, not war. Eight Anti-War Games – review

To the Day of Defender of the Fatherland.

The vast majority of video games are somehow based on violence, and for many of us it is military blockbusters that come first in the list of games that should be played on Defender of the Fatherland Day. But this year we propose to go from the opposite. Let’s look at games where war is a terrible and unpleasant thing.

Valiant Hearts (2014)

Let’s open a selection of heartbreaking Valiant Hearts: The Great War from Ubisoft montpellier. This is a quest puzzle game about the fate of four different people during the First World War.

But, unlike many military stories, the game does not focus on fierce battles or significant historical events. She talks about people and difficult choices that they have to make in order to save themselves or those who are dear to them – even if for this they need to be killed or betrayed. In Valiant Hearts, war is not a springboard for exploits or valor — no matter which side you take, it brings only pain and loss.

This War of Mine (2014)

In war stories, the protagonist is usually a soldier, officer or commander. IN This war of mine the main character is a simple civilian in the ruined city of Eastern Europe.

In the game you do not need to risk your life at the forefront – in the conflict you do not have a place at all. Your task is to survive. Making your way through the ruins of your hometown, you need to look for shelter and food. And at the same time to collect any garbage that is useful for repair or shelter. For example, boards to clog windows, or small electronics to assemble a radio. And you also need to filter dirty water, plan matches, protect yourself from rats, grow some vegetables in the greenhouse … And at the same time help other townspeople in trouble … or, conversely, use their grief to their advantage. After all, what will the old people do, say, if you rob their house and take away the last values?

This War of Mine is not just showing terrible pictures of a city bombed by bombing. It makes one feel the severity of crimes that have to be committed not only by the participants, but also by the involuntary victims of hostilities.

Series Metal gear solid

Metal gear solid from Hideo Kojima always encouraged the player for mercy to his enemies and did not forget to punish for excessive bloodthirstiness. A vivid example is the battle with Sorrow from MGS 3, where the ghosts of every enemy he killed in previous missions pounce on Snake. Do not touch anyone – calmly go to your goal. But if the cutoutawhether all right and left – do not expect good.
Even with bosses, MGS always gave us a choice. Euthanized or cut down? Here you have exclusive weapons or equipment. And in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and in MGS V almost every soldier can be stunned and sent to his base to incline to his side.

In addition, Metal Gear Solid never romanticizes hostilities: in the end, by the fourth part, most of the main characters in the series had died, and those who survived seemed to dream of joining the dead.

Spec Ops: The Line

Spec Ops: The Line – One of the best anti-war psychological shooters. Although in fact the work of Yager is a militaristic shooter, it very accurately conveys one simple thought: war and violence are bad.

And he does this in an extremely unusual way – he shows us how the main character is roofing, how his thinking and views are changing against the backdrop of hell, and how reality is being replaced by hallucinations. And through all this we are led through bloody scenes and ambiguous decisions.

Rebel Inc: Escalation

We heard about the game Plague inc, where could you create your own virus and destroy the world? Its developers Ndemic creations, in 2019, another strategic simulator was released, Rebel Inc: Escalation, this time about the management of the state destroyed by the war.

Our task is to stabilize the regions of our republic, increase our reputation, maintain a balance between inflation and corruption and pacify the rebels. At the same time, the state needs to be developed: to invest in civil, military and government projects. And even if you are a born ruler, rebuilding a country killed by war while building relationships with society is not an easy task. The game diversifies the hardships of life in the post-war state and how long and difficult it is to restore.

The snowfield

The snowfield – Perhaps the most unknown game on our list. This is not even a commercial title, but a student experiment project: in The Snowfield, a player is allowed to play for a soldier who by some miracle survived in the meat grinder of one of the First World War fights. And now he has no choice but to wander around the recent battlefield. And it looks, to put it mildly, terrifying: tattered land, corpses lying everywhere, torn limbs … And as lost as you, the surviving soldiers.

The gameplay does not have a clear goal, and therefore it is impossible to “win” in The Snowfield – you just have to hold out as long as possible in the conditions of severe frost. The only thing you can do here is to help the shocked soldiers by giving them the necessary items or escorting them to a warmer place. Moreover, it does not matter on which side of the conflict these people fought just a few hours ago. All survivors share a common trauma – and it is equally clear to everyone that there was no sense in such huge sacrifices.


It would seem that how a tactical shooter with a simulation of real military operations could get into our anti-war selection? And all because the gameplay ARMA as close to military reality. There are no convenient 3D markers marking enemies, no health scale, no endless ammunition. But there are a lot of difficulties that you will have to face: one life, and it’s very easy to lose, you need a few people to control the equipment, you can carry a limited number of items with you, and from where the next enemy can come from, maybe only comrades from the squad intelligence. And precisely because of its realism, ARMA got a place in our selection.

11-11: Memories Retold

Started with the First World War – and we will finish it. Colorful quest 11-11: Memories Retold from studios Aardman animations and Digixart tells the story of two soldiers on opposite sides of the barricades of the Western Front: one on the side of the Entente forces, the other on the Triple Alliance. But there is no division into black and white: this game is not about the confrontation of two forces, but primarily about people – and about what they go through in a war.

In the course of the plot, the heroes will see the different stages of the First World War and visit several points of the Western Front. And during this brutal adventure, their ideas about the conflict will noticeably change. After all, he will encounter them with the death of his comrades, and with unjustified and simply meaningless killings, and with the fear of death, and with true friendship between people who do not even understand each other’s language.

That’s all. Have you played any of the above? Maybe your views on the war somehow changed after passing? Or maybe you yourself are ready to suggest a couple of worthy projects that we forgot about? Be sure to share them in the comments. And as they say, make love, not war.