Video games - a reflection of our reality. No wonder that violence in one form or another is present in almost every toy. One of the most popular genres of our time is a shooter, where the ability to send opponents to the world as soon as possible is the determining condition for victory. Strategies, RPGs, even such seemingly peaceful quests at first glance or sports simulators are not far away - and there is little opportunity to spite your neighbor rarely. It is not surprising that in the center of many plots there is a war (it does not matter, really happened in the past or invented in some fantastic world), and the main characters are soldiers or military leaders.
But the projects, even indirectly affecting the issue of the survival of civilians during the war, is almost impossible to find. However, there is an exception that only confirms the rule - many will remember the magnificent This War of Mine , where a small handful of ordinary people are simply trying to survive in a city engulfed in war.
Displaced began to compare with the creation of Polish developers from the very announcement, and not for nothing - these two games have enough in common. But did St. Petersburg studio Gamexy achieve the same heights - now we find out.
After a certain unnamed country plunged into the chaos of the civil war, a small group of the most ordinary civilians decides to set off to leave their homeland in search of a happier share. Who will be among this small group of refugees - to decide the player. The squad can consist of only five people, but the characters are much larger. However, not all of them are available from the very beginning - someone unlocks as certain accomplishments are carried out. Thanks to this, the second and subsequent passages make it possible to form the detachment differently. At the first time, the choice is very small - six heroes for five slots. Everyone has their own peculiarities: someone has a well-hung tongue, which allows him to knock down the price at barter, another is a skilful fighter, and the third is a good doctor or cook. You can achieve the goal in several ways - to get to the border post, to have time for the still operating airport or sea harbor. But border guards require documents on migration, which must be obtained somewhere, a place on the ship costs a lot of money, and in order to leave the country by air, it is necessary to acquire aviation fuel. In any case, the path to peaceful life will be difficult: refugees are ordinary people and are unlikely to be protected from armed compatriots, be they military or bandits who, with the outbreak of hostilities, have felt freedom and impunity. Enough of other dangers - all the "delights" of the civil war, ranging from lawlessness, shortage of food and medicine, ending with the possibility of going crazy about what is happening in their own country, will not bypass our heroes side. And when one of the three chosen destinations is reached, the game does not really end, it's just the end of the first chapter, which is only three. However, even full passage does not take much time - you can literally test all three ways of escape in one evening.
The main thing in Displaced is the choice. Choose often and in a variety of situations. For example, along the way one meets a wounded man, who is doomed to death without assistance. What to do? Leave it, taking all the more or less valuable? Or help by giving the last medicine cabinet? But what if this trap and accomplices' accomplices are sitting in ambush and waiting for a convenient moment to attack? As a rule, in all similar situations (and there are enough of them), there is a choice between helping others and using their group. However, sometimes the chosen option, for all its obviousness, can turn into somewhat unexpected consequences - in response to seemingly noble and disinterested actions, one can get a shot at point-blank range.
Sometimes you need to pick up weapons yourself - bandits of different suits are met quite often, and they have to fight off in all available ways. And you can become yourself "bespredelschikami" - nothing prevents from attacking the same groups of refugees who have something that we so lack, such as food or medicine. However, the line between the civilian and the bandit, as is often the case during the civil war, is very blurred, and sometimes it is necessary to shoot first (or first get a bullet) before you know who in front of you is an honest man or a murderer and rapist. After the battle, the more you can not figure out - corpses do not know how to talk. Anyway, it is unlikely to remain clean - if it strongly presses, it will be necessary to take the last piece of bread from defenseless children, otherwise it will be possible to die a hungry death somewhere halfway to the goal.
Technically, the game is very simple, if not more. A two-dimensional and rather carelessly drawn map, on which the icons indicate various "points of interest" - from quests to places where you can get something useful. Our group, like other groups of people, from journalists to bandits, is the same badge, only moving on the map. Initially, the neighborhoods are hidden by the "fog of war", so you have to explore the terrain to see something useful or find a safe path to the right place. The same choice, which is mentioned above, is realized in the form of small text dialogues-quests. No, for the thoroughness and scale of these stories and do not expect: often all that is waiting for us - is a couple of replicas, besides, and sometimes recurring. It is the small depth of development of such events, constantly occurring with refugees, and low complexity negate all attempts of developers to tell a truly fascinating story. Yes, with a high level of stress, quarrels and even fights between heroes are possible, but, as a rule, this development of events is possible only by deliberately ignoring the needs of the characters. If the stress indicator is in order, then our group almost does not react to what is happening - do not wait for fatal quarrels among the heroes because of internal contradictions over the decision or some other surprises. A couple of phrases, abandoned for all the passage - and only. Almost always there is an opportunity to fill full pockets of supplies and money, especially if you do not bother about the moral side of your actions. The latter is not at all difficult, given the authors' unsuccessful attempts to awaken at least some feelings for action on the screen. Apparently, the developers expected that the player will always try to be "good" - in this case there is a ghostly hint of complexity.
For the mechanics you can not see the characters - these are just pictures on the screen with their simple needs. Health, hunger and stress - if everything is normal with them, then there is nothing to worry about. It would seem that the example of the same Darkest Dungeon shows how you can skillfully beat this very stress, but there is no such thing in sight. No need to sympathize with other refugees who were awarded only a couple of lines in the dialogue - they even regretted the normal picture. It's no wonder that soon you begin to look at what is happening on the monitor with a pragmatist's eye. The main thing is that these three strips of needs should be in order, and all the rest - only annoying obstacles on the way to the goal. But there is not only an experience for the heroes: inventory and trade systems, character skills, battles - everything is just as primitive even from the point of view of pure gameplay. Fights generally represent step-by-step fights (with the traditional for Displacedawful graphic execution), where the participants strike one by one until one of the detachments is completely destroyed. The player is only an observer, after choosing the starting position and one of the three tactics for each hero, the only way to intervene is to give the order to retreat. Although why flee? The death of an individual character is unlikely to touch anyone - he died, and the devil with him. However, not one fight for me did not end in defeat. Maybe it's some kind of bug, but it's a feeling that under my control are not former clerks and workers who do not know which side to take on the machine, but the elite spetsnaz squad, sometimes cracking down on the enemy with their bare hands.
Displaced could be forgiven and completely wretched creativity of artists, and the primitiveness of the game process, and everything else, whether there is at least something that would "cling" to the passage. If the authors wanted to achieve the same sensations that this War of Mine causes- anxiety for their wards, empathy for them, new impressions from looking at the horrors of war on the other hand - then they did not get it in any way. And even the small cost of the product can not serve as an excuse - if you take on a similar theme, then the game should be created precisely as a work of art. Well, instead we got a hastily crafted hand-crafted item, consisting of primitive gameplay and a plot a couple of millimeters deep, devoid of any style at all.