A tactical history lesson
One of my first stops at PAX East 2019 was checking out Pixelated Milk’s tactical WWII game, Warsaw, due out on PC, PlayStation 4, and Switch later this year.
Set in Nazi-occupied Warsaw, you play out the days of the Warsaw uprising which saw citizens taking a stand against the occupying German soldiers. Speaking briefly with one the producers, Krzysztof Paplinski, he informed me that the dev team wanted to leave the history of the real world event in the game without forcing it out in front of the player.
To that effort, everything from the guns used to the sorts of characters you’ll see fighting against the Nazi forces is historically accurate. Paplinski also noted that although the story does follow a few key characters, they’re all fictional and not based on real-life people.
The demo I played featured one in-game mission that involved taking out Nazi search parties in one of Warsaw’s four districts. You move about the city via a top-down overworld map and use action points to engage in events. Some are simple text events where the correct choice can lead to anything from finding more ammo or accidentally injuring your squad.
For my mission, I had to engage in three different combat encounters. Combat is turned-based and plays out a lot like Darkest Dungeon. Each character has their own class and specialties. Riflemen are better suited for powerful single target hits while grenadiers can deal damage to multiple enemies. Combat medics are also vital to keeping your squad alive.
Warsaw requires two levels of strategy as you have to both manage your squad’s health and available action points for combat on top of moving and interacting with points of interest on the map.
You’ll also need to manage resources at resistance headquarters, the base of operations you manage within the ruined city. You’ll need things like medical supplies and ammo to keep the insurgency’s momentum going day to day. If momentum ever hits zero, it’s game over.
Warsaw‘s bleak and historical tale resonates with the nerd in me, but the brutal Darkest Dungeon-inspired gameplay is at odds with my inner perfectionist. If I can convince myself to power through losing half my squad, I’m looking forward to checking it out later this year.