I never have. By the time that shameful picture of Geoff Keighley surrounded by Doritos advertisments and reading lines for a commercial spread like wildfire two years ago, I was so desensitized by similar events that I barely reacted to it.
I was already tired of game journalists being flown to five star resorts or being pressured to the point of firing to give games a different score. Seeing another well-known figure sell his integrity on live TV was not so much a turning point as it was additional proof that something was rotten in game journalism.
This War of Mine is an insult. Implicitely set during the Siege of Sarajevo, it turns a still-fresh tragedy into little more than window dressing for a generic game of “survival”. Its uncaring depiction of civilian life during armed conflict trivializes the horrors of the Bosnian war and its shallow, nihilistic sense of morality not only makes the game uninteresting to play, but results in unintentional whitewashing.
After the decade-long Ōnin War (1467-1477) ended without a clear victory, Japan fell into a state of constant war and conflict. With the power of the shogunate in tatters and the emperor relegated to a purely ceremonial role, local warlords known as daimyos fought over land and influence, hoping to reunify the nation under their power. It’s a romantic age, an era of change and turmoil in which a newly found meritocracy subverted a social order previously seen as untouchable. Amidst the might of tradition, the chaos of treachery and the smell of gunpowder, laid the opportunity to forever define a country and set its future for centuries to come.
Sphere of Influence, the fourteenth entry in the Nobunaga’s Ambition series, let’s you revive that opportunity.