Partisans 1941 Review
Reviewed on PC
You can read my preview of Partisans 1941 in the link provided.
Jumping back into Partisans 1941, I was excited and looking forward to the challenge of completing the game. I had so much fun with the preview version and it was really shaping up to become a very good real-time tactics game and that is still very much the case today. What this studio has produced is a very interesting and thorough game, it provides challenges where time and thought are imperative to completing objectives.
The gameplay of Partisans 1941 is a simple point-and-click style and with the perfect balance of timing and tactics, you can master this game in the first few levels. However, do not get fooled into thinking this is a breeze. The levels may start off simple enough and somewhat easy to complete but as the story progresses the levels become more complex, requiring patience, trial and error and sometimes what I found, a good old fashioned bit of luck.
When I played the preview of Partisans 1941, I did come across a few errors that would require patching. I had times where I could stealthily kill an enemy within a certain radius and none of his fellow armed pals would bat an eyelid. They would happily let me put a knife in his throat, loot the body, pick him up and throw him into a hay bale all while this was in plain sight. Playing this time around, it seems like this 'please don't see me' moment has been fixed and now such obvious acts will get you caught. In fact, a lot of bugs that I found in the preview have been fixed and the game is shaping up to be quite a seamless experience.
What I do love about Partisans 1941 is the desperation of scavenging for rounds of ammunition to take back to your base that will hopefully aid you in the next mission. But, what is also brilliant, is that unless you've completed the mission before, you don't know what soldier, weapon, grenade, or skill set is required. It is all about adapting to the level and not having the game wrap itself around you. Managing resources and setting out tasks for your remaining troops is vital to your success further into the missions. Not having enough rounds for your rifle or pistol, you could end up sending people in with a knife to fend off enemies.
Not only is picking the right weapons important but choosing when and where to utilise them, too. It is crucial you level up your Partisans the right way too. All of them have their own skill tree, with each member having special abilities. Managing them the right way can give you an edge in any mission you play. But if you do end up having a trio who are not that skilled, it could mean that the way you wanted to approach a mission has to be altered.
The levels are built up well and show a war torn environment with its dark greys and murky browns. The developers do a great job of getting that rustic feel of the era and really bring it to life. Most gamers will see it as an obstacle to cross or a hindrance on their own progression, but when you are hiding in a bush waiting for an enemy patrol to pass by, you really do take it all in and use the environment to your advantage.
As I mentioned in the preview, everything in Partisans 1941 is English subtitled with either Russian or German being spoke by the characters. All other elements including the menus and user interface are all in English as well. I feel the having the characters speak their native tongue instead of a dodgy accent gives the game a true representation of what it should be like on the eastern front of World War Two. I personally wouldn't want it any other way and I admire the effort that went in to doing this when most would have used dodgy accents over the subtitles.
In terms of things I am not too keen on, there aren’t many. Sometimes I feel the game does the dirty on me in terms of firefights or using stealth. At times, I would get frustrated when I have outnumbered the enemy, have a better weapon selection and plenty of rounds of ammunition, yet I’m the one with two men down and having to battle on with a sole survior. This will result in me reloading the scenario nine times out of ten.
Stealth is done well and the game allows you to right click on enemies to see their vision 'cones'. It is handy when moving from one area to another. However, I have noticed times when I am outside the cone and I have still been caught. It has happened in a play through once or twice and felt the rage that follows when you forgot to save before that interaction.
These small issues do nothing to take away from this great indie title. It does a great job of representing the genre and I am happy to have it in my collection. I look forward to my third play through, and with the developers updating regularly on the build up to launch, I look forward to the future of Partisans 1941.