Developer: Pixelated Milk
Publisher: gaming company
Genre: Tactical turn-based, Indie, RPG.
Age Rating: N/A
Release Date: Out Now – 17/11/2016
Price: £29.99 – Rapid Reviews UK were very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
Set in the midst of 1944 during World War II, Warsaw focuses on the Warsaw Uprisings and how the Polish underground resistance forces caused as much chaos for occupying Nazis as they could; by whatever means they could. Developed by Pixelated Milk, Warsaw is noticeable for its great art style and for some of the detail the developers went through to make this particular title stand out.
Beginning Warsaw, I immediately noticed the wonderful art and was pleased with the quick set up allowing me to get straight into the tutorial. Upon starting the game you are assigned some units and invited to make your way through the city of Warsaw. Throughout the tutorial, you’re introduced to the key mechanics of the game and the turn-based combat, as well as movement through the city and the role of different units and weapons. After a brief starting mission, you’re returned to your headquarters where the player will make key decisions throughout the game.
Exploring the Head-quarters was a fun addition as there are a variety of characters and actions to perform, yet I started to feel a little overwhelmed with dialogue boxes and tutorials and so, naturally, I skipped those and went straight in for a mission. My limited patience soon caught up with me as I entered a mission with the incorrect ammo and team and this led to an early loss and my team was wiped out. Undismayed, I reloaded and took some more time before embarking upon a mission. Exploring the city is great and gave me a feeling that I had to pick my way through street by street.
Based on historical events, Warsaw does a compelling job at convincing the player that your time, resources and people are valuable and you need to preserve, retreat and question each decision to maximise the outcome. Random events, fights, and looting are a great combination in turn-based strategy games and having the option to avoid combat is also a great alternative and brings me back to the days of Pokémon (trying to get around trainer battles.) However, some of the battles are unavoidable and this means combat is a prevalent result in many encounters. By the end of my first mission, I had barely touched upon some of the more strategic layers the game offers but nevertheless, I was happy that my group survived and we had captured the required resources needed to prolong the uprising.
One area this game really excels in is the visuals. Great artwork and a visceral art style lent itself well to the genre and the theme of this title. I particularly enjoyed the animations when engaged in combat or when completing an action. Each of the characters is hand-drawn and the level of detail on character uniforms, weapons and props is amazing. The hand-drawn art extends throughout the game and works well even when traversing the world map or navigating around the HQ. All in all, Warsaw is visually striking and it is a great element of the game.
In terms of audio, Warsaw has a good soundtrack that is suitably matched to the title’s gritty theme, however, I found that it was somewhat repetitive and I quickly grew bored of the same sounds and background music. This is also true for the sound effects, which quickly become tiresome as characters tend to use the same action many times in an engagement. Although I felt the music and sound effects weren’t of great quality I will say that I barely noticed this at the beginning of the game, yet the further you delve into this title the more noticeable the audio is.
Warsaw is a turn-based game that centres on building resources and using characters to complete a range of missions to further the uprising within the city of Warsaw. I found its gameplay similar to titles such as XCOM 2, simply because it gives the player a sense that this is going to be a slog and not an easy victory. It also forces you to think about your supplies and taking calculated risks throughout. Like other games within its genre, Warsaw suffers a similar flaw; late-game boredom. Once I had made my way through a few engagements and notched a couple of completed missions, I couldn’t help but feel like the shine had worn off. This, coupled with the increasing difficulty and the feeling that no matter what I do I would lose the overall uprising, made the game feel more like a grind.
Not to detract from the elements of this game that make it a good game to pick up for tactical turn-based gamers, the style is fairly unique (particularly moving around the world map), and I found the range of options and choices fresh and interesting. In addition, the developers clearly have a passion for this historical time period and have done a good job of bringing the small details into this title. The gameplay for Warsaw is split mainly between three parts, headquarters, world map, and combat. Each of these areas is unique yet anyone familiar to this game genre will feel welcome. Although I enjoyed the gameplay of Warsaw, I do feel that it lost its shine a lot quicker than other titles.
Whilst playing through Warsaw, I thought about the replayability of the title and felt that some of the elements that would require me to play through the game again. This was a question that relied on a few key areas; engaging combat, compelling story and a thirst to play the game in a different style or direction.
Firstly, the combat. Whilst Warsaw’s combat was intriguing I did also find it illogical at some points and it is not highly tactical or exciting. This for me was an area that I felt needed more options or at least needed to be clearer and more concise. Secondly, the story. The story was interesting, the characters are good and the idea is something that is engaging. In regards to the story, I felt that the developers did well but once I had got to a certain point of the game I could see where the story was going and it did not hold many surprises. Lastly, a playthrough in a completely different way to my first time.
In this last point, I felt that Pixelated Milk failed to really provide another way for the players to play through the game. Yes, you could sneak past and yes you can fight instead but most of the time enemies are stronger and there are far more of them which forces you to fight weaker opponents and sneak past harder battles. Therefore you are forced to play in a set way. This last point above all else made the replayability of Warsaw something that I would change as the game became a process of rinse and repeat. This provides very limited options and strategies for gamers to adopt. This, in my opinion, minimalises the replayability of the title.
In conclusion, Warsaw is a good title from Pixelated Milk. It is set during a great era of history and it is something I have not seen in many turn-based titles before. However, the game fails to break any ground and therefore becomes a title that can become tedious and more of a grind in the later stages. Although I personally enjoyed the visuals and the style of the game, I’m not sure that it would keep the attention of a gamer who wishes for more tactics and more excitement. In spite of these shortcomings, I rather enjoyed my time with the title and it would be a game I would place on my wishlist.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Warsaw from Steam below.