There are various ways to make a war game realistic. Battlefront do it with blue-chip ballistics and subtle spotting mechanics, Panther Games with plausible AI and plenty of command friction, Eagle Dynamics with sophisticated flight models and painstakingly reproduced avionics. We Are Muesli built Venti Mesi with the help of real Milanese memories and the free WW2 ‘narrative docu-game’ is incredibly powerful as a result. I regularly suggest, nudge, and cajole in Flare Path and but almost never urge or entreat. Today is different. Venti Mesi, a creation inspired by 20 stories from post-Cassibile, pre-Caserta Milan, is a haunting masterpiece, a game teeming with war’s dreadful dilemmas, random cruelty and unsung acts of courage. If you haven’t already played it (the English translation has been available for over a year) you really should. Don’t expect much in the way of interactivity. Do expect to be treated as an adult. Sometimes harrowing, occasionally amusing, always vivid, it never resorts to clichés or clumsy emotional manipulation. The game’s power stems from people and situations too human and messy to be fabrications. A little boy more afraid of the dark than the bombers overhead chats to his knitted guardian angel. A German sentry and an Italian… Read full this story
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