Warsaw is a strategy RPG set during the Second World War. The gritty comic/cartoonish graphics coupled with the over usage of dark colours like brown, dark green and black complement the mood the game is trying to set. The background music tries to replicate a record played on a gramophone but it tends to loop which becomes tedious after a while.
Although the horror stories of World War 2 have been told many times from different angles, Warsaw sets itself apart. Instead of being about the downfall of Hitler and the success of Allied forces this shoots for a different vibe. Warsaw, being the capital of Poland, was one of many places that suffered greatly during this war. You play the part of the resistance forces who have gathered in their numbers in an attempt to fight back those that have invaded their homes. The odds are heavily stacked against you and it will be tough to survive, but using every tactic and skill possible you have to give it your all to try.
The gameplay is split into 3 sections, each unique in their execution. The first being the camp screen here you see all the members of your camp in their own sections and this is where you plan each of your missions. You can try to recruit more members of your attack squad if you have enough resources. You can see who needs healing from your squad, buy and sell resources you may need for your next mission, and you can open up the mission selection screen. This is important in digesting all the information on hand to plan which area needs the most help. Each area has a Morale bar and an Attrition bar. You have to keep the morale high for the area to send war assets to your effort. But you can only help one area at a time and every other area loses morale by the amount that is in the Attrition bar. This is a tough plate-balancing act and you have to make tough choices in the name of survival. You have to choose the mission by deciding what assets you could receive, the rewards you could receive or to restore the morale of a badly affected area.
The second section is the map. Once you have chosen your mission, squad, and resources you set out on patrol. The missions do vary but each usually has an objective of finding multiple things or battling multiple enemies. This section is quite weak as there is not much instruction given and it can be hard to work out where to go. You are represented by a disc on a map and you move it alone to find your objectives. Occasionally arrows will form around your disc to inform you of nearby events which could be an enemy, a loot box or a random event. A golden arrow steers you to your objective but you have to move about the map and hope the golden arrow appears. If you encroach an enemy disc or they spot you within their visible radius you are sent into battle. The loot boxes are straight forward and contain much-needed supplies. The random event usually contains gambles in a chance of good experience or loot. Moving around the map costs action points and you only have a small amount with which to complete the mission so you need to move carefully. You can use items to aid you in your mission like a compass to slow down the rate the action points are used as you move, camouflage to allow you to pass enemies undetected or a flare which will show all events around you in a set radius to help you find loot boxes and evade enemies.
The third is the main section and that is the battles themselves. This sits in the middle of the turn-based strategy battlers in terms of difficulty and complexity. Some parts look simple enough but there is so much consideration in every move that you almost play at a pro chess pace. Positioning is key in both offence and defence. In offence, you need to be in a certain position before you can use some of your skills. But you also want to consider defence and maybe place your more vulnerable members behind cover.
Every skill consumes ammo and stamina so you cannot just abuse your strongest skills. Knowing when to heal up and use buff moves will be key to survival. Each battle has a few mini objectives to complete for more experience which can be used to upgrade your squad but you cant always sacrifice your team to hit those objectives. Every battle it is likely your team will get wounded as the enemy is usually better equipped. The more wounded your squad are, the less health and impact they will have in other battles until they can rest up after the mission. So at times, you will need to make sure you choose your battles wisely or will lose people in your squad.
So it is difficult to complete some of the missions without a lot of luck and resources. But if you complete them then you will be rewarded with experience and loot. The experience can be used either to increase your soldier’s stats or to purchase new skills. The loot goes back into the pool which can be assigned to the next mission. Sometimes you can find broken weapons which can be repaired at a cost to the resources but it may be worth the gamble for a better weapon.
Warsaw is a tough and gritty strategy battle game. It wants to capture the hope and spirit of those struggling through the real historical events of the Second World War in Poland. But I am not sure there is enough of a detach between that theme and the fact you’re playing game. I struggled with the mood of the game and I think was down to the historical era and setting. But fundamentally it is still a tricky and challenging strategy battle game which should appease fans of that genre.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.