REVIEW : Through the Darkest of Times (PC/XBOX One)
Welcome back guys to another review, today we are going to talk about through the darkest of times. It’s a narrative stratergy game that makes players incharge of a small group which is leading a resistance in Nazi germeny right in the beginning of the rise of Adolf Hitler in power in the year of 1933 all to world war 2 in 1945. You will be in the front seat to watch all the horrors that were followed in the rise of hitler. This game is developed by paint bucket games and published by Handy Games . the game has somewhat of an interesting dark art style that many people will find intriguing.
So let’s start with. So the game gives a brief backstory of the year 1930 when Adolf Hitler was appointed as chancellor in berlin. The introduction is really impressive and quite close to the real history of Germany. The intro of the game is narrated in the voice of a women who says “ that we knew times will be bad now but those people meant what they said” so the line that are said n this narrative really paints a clear of what you have to do in this game and that you will be making really tough decisions in order to do so. This is the whole back story of the game and rest story moves along as you play the game.
You will be making a lot of tough decisions as you are trying to oppose fascist regime as best you can with quite limited resources. As a game I think through the darkest of times is quite a risky take because of how little power in pamphlet games is given to players. The game is a work of historical fiction in which you will be leading the resistance against Hitler in Germany in the year 1930 and 1940. The game aims to be accurate to the German history. Players will not be getting any guns or and an endless supply of faceless Nazis to gun down on a murder field nor you will be a solider. You will be an ordinary citizen who gets caught up in extreme conditional events after which you will decide to do something about this dictatorship of hitler. You won’t be changing history with your actions but this game focuses more on broader goals. It’s a traditional world war 2 game but it focuses more on the personal story of surviving the difficult time. The game isn’t holding back, it is set in a much broader period of time than most of the other fiction set during this year. The game is not just about war, this is the game that will make you interested by showing how the world got to the 2nd world war. It’s as much about the rise of Hitler as how the nation started following his beliefs as well as the unavoidable final conflict. The game will take you through many important historical events like the Berlin Olympics, the massacres and many more. So if your history is weak guys I think it’s going to get a bit brushed up.
What this game does really well is that it makes everything personnel as you will be seeing them as someone who was trying his heart out to live through that time. You will converse with many citizens. For example there is an old lady who lives in your building and bakes cookies for kids who are being sent to a concentration camp for guard duty and many more. The personal perspective that creators have chosen makes the game more effective in a way simply reading the abstracts you will get the feeling that you are learning something. Most of the events in the game are tragic and will horrify you at times but the idea of placing the player in the shoes of someone who has lived through, as a person who knows other people converse with them all of this is just mind blowing I really liked the idea it’s really intimate. Many of the choices that you come across in this game will give you chills down your spine they are just horrifying. They are torturous balancing act between making sure you and your fellow resistance members are safe and trying to do what is right. For example you will be given a choice to save a Jewish man who is being beaten by police which will uncover you as a member of resistance or you yourself might get injured or even death.
You will be spending most of your time by staring at map painting missions. There is a sprawling design to how the strategic elements of the game work. Each member of the team has stats like empathy, propaganda, literacy etc. They do have a special perk usually related to their backgrounds, both of these will have an effect on how good they are at doing something. The main motive of the mission is to raise money, recruit support and keep your morale up and get much needed supplies. Completing of such mission will provide foundation for larger actions which finally aims on over throwing Nazi rule. These missions are much longer and are in stages, with each stage having its own difficulty and risks. The main thing that most people will ignore at the start is to not be seen, if you are seen by any witness you will become recognizable which will result in failure of your mission. You also get options to abandon, hide or push on missions when you run into trouble.
Coming on to the conclusion the most fascinating thing is how futile your actions seem in the grand scheme of things as mentioned you can’t change history no matter how good you do Hitler will rise to power and he will do horrific things. So like typical ww2 games in which you win by overthrowing the ruler it’s not the case in this one you win by surviving the game and doing whatever you can do to resist. The writing of the game is just excellent which will keep you motivated and make the game more meaningful.