1916 - The War You Never Knew

1916 is a game where you play as a German soldier during WWI in the trenches, and you’re only given your orders on a slip of paper: “Find the Ladder.” As you head out into the trenches, you face gas clouds, bombs and artillery shells trying to get to the ladder and go over the top. Fairly quickly, you realize you’re not alone in the trenches. What you’re facing isn’t on your side, it’s not even human.

This “first person avoider” survival-horror game is absolutely dripping with atmosphere. It’s one of the most tense games I’ve played in a while, and I’m still trying to come down from the suspense. Of course I’m a big baby when it comes to scary games, so take that with a grain of salt.

But it’s not just about being scary. This game is a game about war but, it’s not a “war game.” It’s the darkly frightening counterpoint to all the pro-war games we play in the form of Call of Duty or Battlefield. Yes, those games may have dark subject matter in their narrative from time to time, but the game is the important part to pay attention to. You win by killing enemies. Speaking from a gameplay perspective, this is propaganda about war.

1916 is the flip side; you only win by surviving. You can’t defeat the enemy. You can’t eliminate all opposition. All you can do is hope to survive just a little bit longer. In this it works beautifully. It’s a more complicated statement from a gameplay perspective, but a welcome change from the standard for the genre.

Talking Points: What is the gameplay saying about war? How does this contrast to the “darker” episodes of Call of Duty and their approach to war? 1916 contrasts conquering vs. winning by making it impossible to conquer, is this limited to the survival-horror genre? How could more traditional FPS games incorporate this approach?

[size=20]Play Now[/size]

[size=16](Win) - (Mac)[/size]

Comments

I'm really interested in this one.

I'll bite. I'll download it. I can't promise I'll play it very quickly, though. I haven't played a full round of L4D in a long time because I can't make it through the tension. I play games to relax, and I promise I'm a bigger horror game baby than you.

docbadwrench is the guy from the Amnesia video?

I like the idea of using FPS engines with non-traditional game mechanics. I'll be playing this one tonight.

wordsmythe wrote:

I'm really interested in this one.

seconded

Amnesia was a heck of a game. It was good at creating atmosphere and I would look forward to the parts where there wasn't so much tension so I could catch my breath. I'll be trying this one out.

Spoilered just in case...

Spoiler:

One of my favorite themes is actually enemies who can't be defeated. Thief was one of the games that originally made be aware of this, but most game-enemies are pretty trivial. Once you can remove them from the equation, they become something you look down on and patronize. Things you can't defeat never quite fall into that mechanical-only space; they stay anchored in an emotional relationship with the player. You can never take them for granted. They are not machines, they are alive.

is there any way to invert the mouse?
can't play like this

Okay, I'm not as bad as that guy. That was incredibly funny, though.

Looking forward to downloading this tonight after work. I also appreciate the book club/coles notes type talking points provided!

I would love to see Relic do a WWI game using the same engine used in Company of Heroes.

Sounds quite interesting... Will see about acquiring it when I get home later.

Tried the game. Can't get past the first opening sequence. How do I get past that thing?

Morgoth13 wrote:

Tried the game. Can't get past the first opening sequence. How do I get past that thing?

Spoiler:

Read the letter. Despite being in German, it is quite helpful if you can figure out the clues.

I gave it a shot, but I just keep getting hopelessly lost. The various letters scattered around had a clue or two, but going in circles because I was running away so much wasn't all that fun. The scary bits that I saw were well done without being too heavy-handed.

Morgoth13 wrote:

Tried the game. Can't get past the first opening sequence. How do I get past that thing?

I had the same issue. Eventually I tried throwing the severed hand at the dinosaur and then the game crashed. I may never know if that was the solution.

Switchbreak wrote:
Morgoth13 wrote:

Tried the game. Can't get past the first opening sequence. How do I get past that thing?

I had the same issue. Eventually I tried throwing the severed hand at the dinosaur and then the game crashed. I may never know if that was the solution.

Yes, you throw body parts to distract them. Flares also work. I don't mind spoiling this since it seems alot of people are seeing crashes

Hmm, I don't see an uninstaller.

peacensunshine wrote:

Hmm, I don't see an uninstaller.

I didn't either, so I just erased the shortcuts and the folder for it. A little weird, but I didn't see where it left anything extra around.

After reading the RPS article that showed up today, I downloaded the game. It's brilliant and has such a great concept. I'm glad they are making a full-fledged version of the game with psychological monsters instead of dinos.