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Video Game / Warsaw

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"We were young."
"Full of life."
"Looking forward to tomorrow."
"The thing is-"
"We had to fight for our tomorrow!"

Warsaw is a World War II Dungeon Crawling RPG with Turn-Based Combat, about the heroic and doomed uprising of the Polish Home Army and Resistance movements throughout Warsaw in 1944, developed by studio Pixelated Milk, and released for PC through Steam, on October 2nd, 2019note .

August 1, 1944. W-Hour. As the Red Army pushes west and the British, Free French, Canadians and Americans advance east across France, the defeat of Nazi Germany looks certain. Poland has been occupied by the Nazis since 1939 and the Polish Home Army now sees an opportunity to liberate the Polish capital of Warsaw as the Russians approach- preparing to substitute one brutal occupying force for another. There is only one chance to create a free Polish state, and the Resistance networks have worked tirelessly these past years stockpiling supplies and building intelligence networks, waiting for this moment.

At dawn, thousands of Poles take to the streets wielding pistols, rifles, black-market submachine guns, and even home-made armored vehicles to drive out the Nazis. Men, women, and even children.

Gameplay is divided between party management at HQ and crawling through the city of Warsaw to fight the Nazis. At HQ of you manage the health and status ailments of your party and decide which districts of the city to defend and which to slowly abandon to the Nazis. Out in the field, your party navigates the maze of Warsaw a la Pac-Man, hunting for supplies and trying to kill enough Nazis in Darkest Dungeon-style combat to repel the attack on the neighborhood. It's a slow grind, and few if any of your party may survive beyond the uprising's conclusion.

Warsaw contains examples of:

  • A.I. Roulette: The Nazi opponents often don't act very tactically. In particular, the targets for buffs are chosen entirely randomly, and it's possible to see Officers and Paramedics wasting multiple turns on buffing themselves, when there are nearby allies much more in need of assistance.
  • All Deaths Final: Characters killed during the battle will never come back.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Downplayed. You are always limited to four people in a squad, although the in-game justification is that larger groups would have even harder time avoiding the patrols. However, the Nazi patrols may possess a maximum of six soldiers, which makes for some truly brutal engagements.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Averted with the Nazi Officers, who look sharper and more intimidating than the grunts under their command, but possess 65 HP, which is on the lower end compared to Riflemen with 70, flamethrower troops with 80 or Dog Handlers with 90, and deal mediocre damage with their pistol. Their main tactical value is in making the other combatants harder to kill through Rally Troops (which raises this game's equivalent to armor, Resilience), although it's possible that they'll just use it on themselves, or someone due to bleed out/burn to death on the next turn.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted for the player. All the opponents, however, appear to suffer from no such shortages. Moreover, you currently do not get to loot any of their ammo, either.
  • Child Soldier: True to history, some of the troops you lead are literal children.
  • Combat Medic: Jadwiga is your first healer and shows how healers in the game are effective at both combat, and medicine. She's as good with a pistol as she is with a suture.
  • Concussion Frags: Potato mashers thrown by the Nazi Grenadiers generally deal less damage than most firearms to compensate for their area of effect. Even then, they only target a couple of rows, and cannot those at the very back.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Played straight for all the combatants. Weirdly, losing stamina from performing too many actions in a row actually inflicts debuffs on your troops' accuracy and resilience, while being nearly dead from multiple bullet and shrapnel wounds apparently has no effect on these.
  • Downer Ending: Historical accuracy of the failure of the Warsaw Uprising aside, a majority of the named soldiers who survived have a bittersweet ending at best Jadwiga, Anna, Wanda and Karol. Most of the other survivors Krzystoff, Franek, Toropek, Martin and Kazimierz don't survive long after the uprising, ending up dying at the hands of the new Soviet regime or in prison.
  • Dungeon Crawling: Navigating the maze of Warsaw's streets presents the player with moral quandaries, difficult battles, and the psychological fatigue of constant battle.
  • Elite Mooks: Some of the opponents are specifically marked as Elites by the game, and are most notable for possessing increased HP (90 or more, when the Red Shirt Insurgents start with 50 HP, while named ones + basic Nazi soldiers have 60-70 at the start), and for being able to move twice a turn.
  • Everything Fades: Unlike Darkest Dungeon or Vambrace: Cold Soul, the bodies of fallen fighters immediately disappear from view.
  • Frontline General: One of your first recruits is a Major from the Home Army. You're able to lead him into battle alongside your other troops or leave him at home base.
  • Guns Akimbo: Dirlewanger Soldiers carry a pistol in one hand and a carbine in the other.
  • Historical Badass Upgrade: In Real Life, the so-called Dirlewanger Brigade was an SS unit composed of hardened murderers, rapists, etc. who were judged more useful on the battlefield than in prison. They were absolutely notorious for massacring civilian populations during the "anti-partisan operations", to the point of feeding scores of people to packs of starving dogs and beating hundreds of children in a daycare to death, and were despised even by the other SS regiments. However, they suffered extreme casualties against anyone who could actually fight back, losing 315% of their original unit size over the course of Uprising. In the game, however, Dirlewanger Soldiers are Elites that have 20-30 more HP than the normal Wehrmacht soldier types, carry a pistol and a submachine gun at the same time, and act twice a turn.
  • Hopeless War: If you know your history, you know you're not fighting to see who wins, but to see who is left.
  • Molotov Cocktail: One of the character classes throws these as their heavy attack.
  • Obvious Beta: The release version of the game is infamous for randomly corrupted saves, and a plethora of smaller bugs. Beyond that, most players agree that major balance changes are required, and the developers have implicitly agreed by committing to a schedule of updates that would introduce substantial changes with the first few months, such as the addition of new weapons, characters, enemies and even a melee mechanic, thus making the launch more like an Early Access release.
  • Optional Stealth: During every mission, there are multiple Nazi patrols played on the map, with their detection ranges highlighted in red, and there are generally too many of them to take them all on, so it's often best to pick your battles and avoid the engagements outside of the quest objective.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The troops available to you range from girl scout leaders, veterans of the original Nazi invasion, black marketeers, to literal boy scouts.
  • Red Shirt: This is invoked as an actual gameplay mechanic. While you start with a squad of three named characters, and will get additional ones through the text ones, you'll sooner or later need to substitute them with literally Generic fighters of the Resistance.
  • Shoot the Medic First: Downplayed. While the German Paramedics are often present as part of the Nazi patrols, their buffs are often applied too haphazardly to help their allies much, while the attacks from their pistol are both weak and can sometimes outright help you by moving a vulnerable target further back, behind cover.
  • Shovel Strike: RONA Grunts are worse equipped than the proper Wermacht troops, and only carry pistols and sizable shovels, but they aren't shy about attacking with either.
  • Take Cover!: Pretty much every engagement will randomly spawn a couple of pieces of cover on your side, and that of the enemy. Fighters located behind cover see most attacks targeting them get two rolls for accuracy; one for hitting the cover, another for actually hitting them, and a reduced damage even if it hits. Both your characters and the enemies with long Rifles (most notoriously the actual Snipers) possess attacks that can ignore cover, however.
  • Truth in Television: Majority of events depicted in the game happened, although some had to be cut or depicted in not-so-straight way.
    • The counter appearing on each loading screen depicts number of Warsaw's citizens still alive. While on first three days it might fall slowly, around August 5 it will drop very sharply - this is because of Wola Massacre happening on that day.
    • Players might be shocked to see that they can recruit and lead children into battle against the Nazis. This is partially true: among the Polish fighters, there were many members of Szare Szeregi (Gray Ranks), underground scouts organization; however, only the ones from Grupy Szturmowe (Assault Groups), aged 17 and up, were permitted to fight with weapons - younger ones were explicitly forbidden by High Command to do that (although you can guess there were rare exceptions) and "fight" by helping in aid stations or transport mail instead.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Strangely, your insurgents do not get to pick up the rifles, submachine guns and such from the defeated patrols, even if your squad contains cheap generic fighters who entered the fray with mere pistols.
  • Videogame Flamethrowers Suck: The flamethrower used by the Germans inflicts no damage on the first turn of the attack whatsoever, being completely reliant on the Damage Over Time, which can get outright resisted as well. Like anything else in the game, though, they can still pose a threat, as they hit your insurgents in both front rows, and being burnt doesn't just inflict damage over time, but also drastically slashes accuracy. Their 80 HP also allows them to stick around for a while.
  • Walk It Off: Averted. Much like in Darkest Dungeon, the fighters that come back wounded need to spend a few days in a resistance hospital to recover.
  • War Is Hell: The graphics may be cell-shaded cartoons, but the Nazis cruelty and the gut-wrenching decisions you're forced to make during battlefield events make sure you know this isn't a War Is Glorious game.
  • Where Are They Now: After the uprising fails, some managed to escape while others were captured. While some of the resistance members managed to find some sense of normalcy back to their lives after the war's end. Others were not so fortunate and end up dying or imprisoned by unfortunate circumstances.