Partisan 1941 is a real-time strategy game developed by Alter Games and published by Daedalic Entertainmnent. This title puts one of the gods on our hands World War II cliché, but in a whole new sauce. In fact, yes, we will shoot Nazis, but we will not be soldiers. But, as can be easily guessed from the title itself, we will be Partisans, the Resistance. Obviously, like all video games dealing with the Second World War, it is really difficult to bring back the feeling of oppression that was lived at the time, and unfortunately this title has not focused very much on the story, as it did for example. Trough The Darkest of Times, but he wanted to emphasize the "playful" part of the story. That is, about how the Partisans tried to fight and win against the Nazis, despite being outnumbered and with far fewer allies.
Partisan 1941 is not a title that gives many preambles, and after briefly summarizing that i Germans decided to attack the URRS, winning and conquering three cities, they decided to deport all those who opposed it. We will be one of them. Yes, our adventure will begin in a Gulag, or concentration camp.
Here, we will start a short tutorial mission that will make us understand what the basic mechanics of the title will be. The view will be that typical of real-time tactics, therefore, from above. We can move the camera using WASD and rotate it left or right using Q and E. While the mouse has the function of moving the character. One click to make him walk to a certain point, double click to make him run.
The experience created by Alter Games is a hybrid. Half stealth, half guerilla. Yes, because at the beginning we will have to create ambushes for the German soldiers, to then attack them and win by eliminating them all. But we will not have to worry only about this, because we will also have a "home-base" where we will have to worry about our companions and collect what they need during the plot missions, a bit like the night of This War of Mine.
Also, Partisan 1941, harks back to the classics of the genre, such as Commandos o Desperados, so to play it you need to have some knowledge of the genre. The characters own skill trees that allow to improve every single member of the Resistance. But not only that, these will have different roles, a bit as if Partisan 1941 had small role-playing components, so we will have the doctor, the medium and short range fighter.
Like all real-time strategy titles, one of the most important mechanics is certainly the tactical pause. Since in Partisan 1941 it will be necessary to organize real strategies of guerilla warfare, and the position of the characters will be everything: there is necessarily a need for everyone to be in their place and if things start to go wrong, have the opportunity to pause, taking a breather and thinking is always good and right.
All those who have played this kind of titles know very well that often one of the most underestimated mechanics by other gieneri is fundamental here: the rescue. Yes, saving the game often (via the classic F5) can avoid having to repeat entire sections of the game, or getting stuck in an endless loop of spawn and death. But be careful: it is right to save often, but with knowledge of the facts. A rescue at the wrong time it can ruin your entire mission.
A huge negative side of this very “partisan” experience are the objects. Unfortunately the descriptions are very often vague, and why should we take an item if we are not aware of what we are doing? It is also true that during the missions we act a bit like "you never throw anything", but sometimes we will have to decide whether to take object A or object B, and if no bonuses or malus are known, the choice becomes very difficult.
From a technical point of view, the Alter Games title works very well, even on very old machines. Although the graphics are not super realistic and give a very "puppet" impression, the title manages to be taken seriously. Also because, fortunately, nothing has been censored. So, get ready for swastikas, eagles and black crosses. Furthermore, also the language used it is very nice and increases the immersion. Although the Spanish language is not present, it is much more immersive to hear a German speak in his mother tongue as it did in Commandos, while insulting (unfortunately) the prisoners. Of course, the absence of our language it can push you further away who has never touched a title like Partisan 1941, but there won't be never words impossible to understand.
As for the sound, thewe found it rather anonymous, but used intelligently. It is possible to tell from the sound of footsteps whether the enemies will hear us or not. Furthermore, the VFX used for firing is exactly that used by German and partisan weapons. A small detail that allows a those who know the story to immerse themselves even more. While the music is so anonymous that it is forgotten at the close of the title, which is a shame.
We come to the most interesting part for our wallet. Is Partisan 1941 worth buying? Absolutely yes, the title is a lot of fun to play, despite its difficulty. It may seem like a wall at first, but the more you play it, the more you love it.
Obviously, if you know or like it the historical period in question, you will find some little gems (such as language, which is the most common) that could make you understand how much the boys and girls behind the project have worked hard to give gamers a unique experience, despite the argument, which we could consider "a classic" of video games.