Through the Darkest of Times Review

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Posted: 3 months ago, last updated 6 days ago.

Author: Andy Robertson.

OverviewOverview

Through the Darkest of Times is a strategy game that conveys the sombre mood of the dark period of history between January 1933 and May 1945. With interactive drama, it tells the story and the struggles of average people living in the 3rd Reich.

You play the role of the leader of a small resistance group in 1933’s Berlin. You are ordinary people, from Jews to Catholics and Communists to Patriots who simply can’t stand aside. As the game advances week by week, your goal is to deal with small blows to the regime – dropping leaflets to spread awareness about what the Nazis are really up to among the people, painting messages on walls, sabotaging, gathering information and recruiting more followers. And all of that while staying undercover – if the regime’s forces learn about your group, the life of each member is in grave danger.

You can play Resistance mode where decisions are final and you can't revert to previous save files. If you fail you can only redo the last day. There is an easier Story mode that offers multiple save points.

The story is told through text descriptions and animated scenes. You affect the story by choosing dialogue and making decisions. You choose missions to advance your cause, each of which have different levels of risk and requires specific skills.

It's a game that aims to be historically accurate. The game plays in turns and chapters. Every turn is one week and every chapter is covering a specific period of the Third Reich: Seizure of Power (1933), Peak (1936), War (1940/1941), Collapse (1944/1945). Your small group of resistance fighters will not change the outcome of the war, nor will you prevent all of the Nazi’s atrocities, but you can still do everything in your power to save as many lives as you can and oppose the fascist system wherever possible.

DetailsDetails

Rating: PEGI 16+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 27/05/2020

Platforms: Android and PC.

Genres: Narrative, Role-Playing and Simulation.

 

CommitmentCommitment

Duration: This game will take between 8 hours and 10 hours to complete.
 
Players: This is a single player game.

CostsCosts

Does not offer in-game purchases, 'loot boxes' or 'battle/season passes'.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Rated PEGI 16 for strong language.

ESRB TEEN for Violence and Blood.

The developer extends these ratings on PC, stating "This Game may contain content not appropriate for all ages. Some scenes feature disturbing content in the form of narrative text or imagery and a sensitive general theme." It's worth noting that the swastika is censored by default.

AccessibilityAccessibility

The game tutorials are available via the Settings menu rather than in the game itself.

Difficulty

How you can adjust the challenge of play, and assistance the game offers when you fail or get stuck.

Select Difficulty: Select difficulty from a range of presets.

Cognitive Pressure

Reaction-time Not Critical: Individual game actions don’t need quick reactions.

Low Pressure: Game tasks aren’t time-limited or with a high emphasis on performance. Or there is a low pressure play-mode available.

Tutorials: There are helpful tutorials, instructions and tips.

No Unlocking Required: Access any mode, location, character, weapon or vehicle from the start.

Reading

How much reading or listening comprehension is required, and how accessible this is.

Extensive Complex Reading: Extensive reading required.

Any spoken content has subtitles: All spoken content has subtitles, or there is no speech in the game.

Some Dialogue is Voiced: Some of the game dialogue and narrative is voice acted.

Controls

How you control the game, different options for alternative inputs and whether you can remap these settings to suit your needs.

Mouse Alone: Can play with just the mouse/mouse button/mouse wheel.

Holding Down Buttons Optional: Holding down buttons not required or can be turned off or switched to toggling the action on and off.

Rapid Pressing Optional: Quick, repeated button pressing not required or can be skipped or disabled.

Image

How you can adjust the visuals to suit your needs, and offer additional information if you can't hear the game.

Visual Distractions

No Flashes: No flashing strobe effects or you can disable them.

No Screen Shake: No screen shake effect or this can be disabled.

Colourblind friendly: Game doesn’t rely on colour or can switch to colourblind friendly mode.

Audio

How you can adjust the audio of the game and whether audio cues compensate for aspects of the game that are hard to see.

Balance Audio Levels: Set music and game sound effects separately.

Play Without Hearing: No audio cues are necessary to play the game well

System Settings

Android has accessibility settings including ways to navigate and interact, although not all games support this. Windows has extensive accessibility features. Some, like colour correction, work with games. Lots of accessibility software can be used with PC games, from voice recognition to input device emulators... read more about system accessibility settings.

Supported by PlayabilityInitiative and accessibility contributors: @JonahMonaghan


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