Would Schindlerís List be as effective as it is if it was not shot in black and white? No doubt it would still be as breathtaking and horrifying, but would it feel as starkly bleak as the film does in its current state? This War of Mine operates on the correct assumption that black and white aesthetics, when implemented properly, lend a suffocating, oppressive feel to whatever the experience is. Technically, this isnít much to look at, but artistically, itís masterful in its minimalism. This isnít a game about seeing. Itís a game about feeling. And by removing all possible positive stimuli in the environment (including color), youíre left with the rotting prison our main characters are forced to call home.
This War of Mineís stylized minimalism encapsulates the entirety of the visual and audio design. The stark, lifeless atmosphere of the game world is matched note for note with a soundtrack that is equal parts industrial ambience and simple guitar melodies. It does absolutely everything it can to ensure that your spirits are low, just so the randomized events of the game can do their job and drive them even lower. Thereís no voice acting in the game, though the portraits and traits of each of the survivors are enough to sell them as real people Ė which, in turn, makes their plight even more horrifying and believable.