Hands-on Preview – WARSAW

Experience History Through This Tactical RPG

Set in 1944, WARSAW is a tactical RPG that places you in a Nazi-occupied Polish city. Utilising the skills of a group of people that make up the resistance force, WARSAW will have players pushing back against the Nazis in strategic combat and uncovering emotional snippets of story, all while discovering some of the lesser-known facts about the Second World War.

Players will be able to assemble a team of heroes, each equipped with unique skills that make them useful in specific situations. Our starter team consisted of three roles: a medic, tank and DPS (damage per second). WARSAW uses turn-based combat, meaning that you’ll have to spend your action points in order to perform moves each turn. Every action costs points, whether you want to use your medic to heal a character, or simply move a character to another tile. Offensive actions such as shooting a gun will display the probability of the shot actually landing, as well as the range of damage that the shot might inflict. Each combat is also littered with a few obstacles that can be used as cover and can absorb some of the damage from incoming attacks. As a result, this makes each combat feel slightly unpredictable as not all of your attacks will land, encouraging you to play carefully and anticipate every possible outcome.

As we mentioned before, enemy encounters are set across a number of tiles, and each of your heroes will have actions that may only reach certain tiles. For example, we found that our tank’s attacks could only be used at close range, whereas our DPS could focus on the further tiles. We were also able to experiment with other compositions, with one of the younger characters, a small boy, using a pistol and another female character using a grenade launcher. After a few missions, some members of your team will likely need rest and may have to visit the infirmary at the HQ to recover. For this reason, it’ll be worth making yourself familiar with all of the characters in the game to learn their strengths and weaknesses. Pixelated Milk as made a conscious effort to include “people from all walks of life.” spanning soldiers and civilians, young and old to demonstrate how the uprising affected everyone in the area.

Do you have what it takes to survive a hand-painted retelling of the Warsaw Uprising?

WARSAW’s events unfold over sixty-three days – the same length as the real Warsaw Uprising – and if you manage to get your entire team killed while out on a mission, your death will be permanent, forcing you to begin a new run. We spoke to Krzysztof Paplinski, the game’s producer, who explained to us that you probably won’t complete the game on your first run and that each attempt should be a learning experience that helps you to improve your strategic thinking for your next try. This will certainly pave the way for significant replay value once players get to grips with WARSAW’s mechanics. From what we’ve experienced so far, we’d say that a good place to start any run is by selecting your squad carefully, ensuring that you have a balanced team that can bail you out of trouble.

We found that early missions were quite short, lasting a day or two, although we imagine that as the difficulty ramps up over time, these could grow considerably longer. Each mission will have one or more objectives, but you can also run into random events as you traverse the streets of Warsaw. While it’s interesting to explore what’s occurring outside of your encounters with the Nazis, you’ll want to keep an eye on how often you wander away from the main objective as you only have a limited amount of stamina to use navigating the map each mission.

Overall, we really enjoyed checking out WARSAW and are looking forward to revisiting it on September 4th, when it’s due to release on PC. The developer also has plans to release it on consoles, although we’re still awaiting a solid release date for that version. One thing that really stuck with us at the preview event was how Pixelated Milk has managed to weave historically accurate information into WARSAW, without it feeling awkwardly sandwiched in. If you’re a fan of tactical RPGs and consider yourself to be a bit of a history buff, you’ll want to add this to your wishlist and watch The Making Of WARSAW trailer.