Indie Spotlight -1916: Der Unbekannte Krieg (A War You Never Knew)

1916 der unbekannte krieg ladder

Imagine yourself a lone survivor in the dank, dark trenches of World War 1; left alone as your friends and comrades lay dying, you thank your lucky stars to have survived one war, only to find yourself in a much more dangerous fight for survival. This is 1916: Der Unbekannte Krieg, a free-to-play independent horror game for the PC.

Not only is 1916 creepy, it never gives you time to breathe within its claustrophobic and hopeless atmosphere. And similar to Slender, there’s a relentless prehistoric hunter out to get you throughout the entire adventure. You’ll have to rely on your reflexes, adaptability, and will in order to survive this hell.

Learn more about 1916: Der Unbekannte Krieg (The War You Never Knew) for your PC after the break.

If you thought war was hell, then you’ve yet to try 1916: Der Unbekannte Krieg, the first-person survival horror game from German game studio Kriegsgraben und Stormvogel. This free-to-play title is reminiscent of first-person avoiders like Slender and White Noise because of it’s use of a monstrous and relentless hunter that will devour you the second you hesitate or make a mistake. However, it also differentiates itself from other survival horror titles by having to constantly struggle for your survival. You’ll have to brave mustard-gas filled death pits and even attempt to combat the first stages of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD (which affects your movement and sight) whilst avoiding your hunter as fast as you can.

1916 der unbekannte krieg screenshot

The claustrophobic atmosphere may prove to be too much for some.

1916: Der Unbekannte Krieg tasks you with one simple objective, to find the one ladder that can take you away from the maze-like trench. Only this won’t be an easy task; the maze is filled with corpses of your friends, enemies, and various death-traps waiting to claim your life. If that wasn’t bad enough, you’ll have to use your friends’ corpses and limbs as distraction for the one hunting you. You’ll also be able to use a rifle, but ammunition is scarce and only slows down the monster. You’ll have to use anything and everything you can to avoid the hunter before it kills you.

Technically, the game looks wonderful. The game’s look is black and white and grainy; it almost looks like a found archival footage you’ll see in the History or Discovery channels. Audio is also damn effective; you’ll hear your dying comrades call for their mothers as they take their dying breaths, the sound of artillery shells exploding around you and taking out poor souls caught in its wrath, it all adds to the claustrophobic and hopeless setting. It doesn’t help that the constant thudding of your hunter’s footsteps are always behind you, getting closer as seconds pass by.

1916 der unbekannte krieg hunter

You survived one war, and now have to fight another, more dangerous one.

If anything, I recommend playing through 1916: Der Unbekannte Krieg because (aside from it’s unreal predator) it’s one of the most realistic depictions of wartime I’ve ever experienced in a videogame. Your character’s reaction to seeing his friends dying all around him, the way he takes short, ragged breaths as he cuts off his friends’ limbs to use them as distraction, and the way he reacts to the horrors around him. It’s all quite realistic and disorienting.

It’s also one hell of a statement about the pointlessness of war.

You can find out more information and download 1916: Der Unbekannte Krieg for free at Desura and at IndieDB.

In the meantime check out this creepy trailer from the developers:

Have you played through 1916: Der Unbekannte Krieg? What did you think of the game?


About janhutchings

Canadian Game Industry Blogger / Contributor for @Sonyrumors & @ShogunGamer / Communications and PR Professional. Voice of Canadian and Indie Gaming.

Posted on February 12, 2013, in Indie Spotlight and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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