A new approach to the stealth tactics genre: Partisans 1941 combines stealth, action, resource management and base-building elements. Take control of a group of Partisans resisting the German occupation Eastern Front during World War II. Plan and initiate combat your way. Use tactical pause, study the environment and choose the best position to set up an ambush. Build up your resistance camp hidden deep in the woods and find allies to join your cause. Form squads of unique Partisans and undertake diverse missions to undermine enemy forces and infrastructure, while securing resources desperately needed to sustain the resistance. Experience a dramatic and unique chapter of World War II and become a Red Army commander behind enemy lines. Features Fresh approach to the stealth tactics genre. A new way to play real time tactics - mix of combat, stealth, ambushes and a variety of special items to bring chaos to the enemy ranks. Choose your own way of completing each mission. Lead a squad of Partisans. Build a squad of your choice and level up your Partisans. Use your character’s strengths to find the right solution to different situations. Find and recruit new resistance members. Experience the life of a resistance group. In between missions you witness the routine of a Partisan’s life - develop your base, prepare for the next assignments, ensure you have the resources for the Partisan’s survival. Keep your troops motivated.
Steam User 55
I'm somewhat hesitating about YES or NO here. If there was a 10-score system, I think I'd give this game a 6.
As a big fan of Action Puzzle games, as I call them (Commandos, Desperados, etc.), I was quite excited about Partisans 1941. It seemed like the devs wanted to try a different approach to the genre, but after 100% the game I'm not sure that any of the core changes worked out well.
TL;DR. The game is really unpolished with dozens of small issues of all kinds popping up here and there. Also, the game provides no real challenge (I’d say no challenge at all) or incentive to combine the skill of partisans to achieve the mission goals. Instead of several distinguishable characters with distinguishable abilities, we have 8 semi-Jacks of all Trades, only three of which can be taken on a single mission at once. I can still recommend the game, but only if you haven’t played other similar games (especially the modern ones like Shadow Tactics or Desperados III). Otherwise you will most likely find the Partisans 1941 experience subpar.
The game is thematically very close to Commandos series — same theme (war vs Nazis), similar objectives (kill leaders, destroy a huge artillery gun, etc.), no complex storyline (just go kill this or destroy this), etc. The game tried to move away from a time-proven formula by introducing new mechanics, but I personally think that none of them worked out great.
- Looter shooter system. There are guns of different types and different qualities. Ammo, throwables, mines, medkits — everything is an inventory item now and must be looted instead of being usable skills. Therefore, each character has a limited amount of space. To my mind it added nothing of value to the genre other than a need to sort the inventory mess after sorting another mess while trying to pick items using an awkward and sometimes glitching UI. You can’t actually go permanent gunz blazing, so all that system seems to be applicable only under specific circumstances that are somewhat rare.
- Intermission camp. Instead of playing one mission after another, we now have a camp where all partisans sit around the bonfire and attempt Global Map tasks. There are Food and Materials resources which can be gathered during missions by looting dead enemies or various objects and then spending time sorting the inventory mess. Food is spent to feed your party. Materials can be used to construct various buildings that provide access to makeshift consumables, weapon upgrades, healing as well as additional sources of Food income. Again, I’m not sure what value this adds to the game – I’ve completed the campaign on Normal difficulty and I never ever had a situation when I needed any of the buildings except for the Food ones. And I only needed those, because out of eight people you can only take three on the main missions while others are just sitting there eating the food reserves and participating in secondary tasks that grant experience points.
- Skill Trees. Instead of a predetermined set of usable skills each character has a predetermined Skill Tree which can not be reset! As you gain experience (there is a certain incentive to kill every enemy on every map) you can move down the Skill Tree to unlock 1-2 usable skills and some passive ones (running speed, body carrying speed, melee / grenades / weapons proficiency, more inventory space, etc). And again, I don’t see any benefits here — passive skills are often duplicated between characters and even usable skills are somewhat similar (AOE damage in a circle or AOE damage in a cone, pacify with a slingshot or pacify with chloroform, etc). So instead of a shorter roster of distinctive specialists with distinctive skills and personalities, we have almost a dozen similar 3D models with different voices.
As far as other aspects of the game are concerned, they remained pretty much the same. But, man, this game is EXTREMELY unpolished. Small issues of all kinds are literally everywhere! Review limitations won't allow to mention everything that I encountered, but here are some:
Sometimes the partisans won’t complete an action, especially if you order them to place a mine — they simply stand still with the mine outline being visible.
The cones of enemy sight are really unprecise at times and they might detect you outside the visual color zone. On top of that, some of the in-game objects seem to be blocking the cones, but the enemies can still see and even walk through them (especially noticeable with truck cabins). By the way, a very useful mechanic of placing a mark on the ground to detect enemies that can see the mark is not available in the game at all.
There were multiple UI issues throughout the game: more than dozen of times I wasn’t able to loot dead enemies until I rotated the camera under a very specific angle. Inventory sometimes vanished and I needed to close the inventory window and open it again. Some of the Global Map secondary tasks always showed twice in the completion window although clearly only one was completed. There is a tooltip missing for the amount of Materials you will get from a Global Map task.
Several mission-related examples: there is a brief cutscene introducing the prison guy, where he uses a Tanuki whistle to lure an enemy into the bushes and then perform a knife kill in the face with the special skill. Well, guess what? You can’t do this sequence in the actual game! Because every such attempt will result in an immediate red exclamation mark and alarm — you can only use a knife in the face skill from behind which is pretty much useless in most cases. At the same mission Zorin explains that blowing up AA Guns is a loud undertaking, so we need to destroy the Comm Center first. This is clearly not the case, because I’ve blown up the guns before going to the Comm Center and nothing happened — nobody sounded an alarm or anything.
Or take the AOE skills of any of the four partisans who have them (the sports guy, the tough lady, the grandpa and the one-eyed commissar) — their efficiency is very questionable, because partisans can be easily wounded or killed while using these skills! It does add to the realism of the situation, but this realism takes away any practical uses (in other similar games all AOE targets die at once).
Inventory auto-sort function is awkward to say the least. It can’t automatically sort items of different shapes (you have 4 empty spaces in a straight line, but found an item with 4 spaces as a square? Sorry, please sort the inventory manually). It also can’t sort identical items close to each other, which is a real pain in arse at the Intermission camp warehouse.
Another thing that I didn’t like personally — the game provides no challenge. As I’ve mentioned a bit earlier, 80% of my playtime was controlling Zorin, the very first playable character available in the game, to eliminate everything and everyone with a knife. There is no incentive to use your characters skills in combination in order to overcome a difficult situation, because there are no difficult situations to begin with (I was playing on Partisan difficulty). Back to Battle DLC introduced those one-time missions and with all modifiers turned on, the maps became quite challenging, but unnecessary annoying because of how enemy reinforcements work.
Why do I still recommend the game in the end? Two main reasons:
1. There are only a handful of games of this Action Puzzle (ok, ok, Real Time Stealth Tactics) genre available (both from 2000s and the modern ones).
2. At the very core, Partisans 1941 is an OK game. It’s highly unpolished and has some questionable mechanics, but the game can be safely played and finished. So if you haven’t tried any of the similar games yet, Alter Games creation could be a decent acquaintance. But if you played and enjoyed titles from Mimimi Games, chances are that you will find Partisans 1941 too different and of subpar quality.
Steam User 33
Do you love Commandos, Shadows Tactics and Desperados? You don't mind mildly annoying bugs? Then this game is for you!
Unfortunately it could have been polished a bit more, the most annoying bugs are:
- You order a mine to planted, the character goes to the location and does nothing, you need to order again.
- You quick save exactly when enemies are moving away, then you're caught and quick load, the game will resume with enemy approaching each other, now you have to wait until they separate again. Quick loading again does not help.
- Picking up a body sometimes is challenging, you need to order more than once or you accidentally click on the loot button.
Setting aside those minor bugs it is game a nice, as in any WWII game it's fun to kill nazis!
Steam User 57
I've played very few games which have earned the right to mention the Holocaust in their story. WW2 games are so often indulgent, desensitizing, gentrification of the most atrocious period of European history. Partisans 1941 is such a game that deals with its subject manner in a way that's tactful, honest, inglorious, and grim, thus following through on the seemingly insurmountable challenge of merely mentioning the Holocaust within the context of an action-entertainment product.
If one gets invested in the story (not for everyone because it unfolds slowly within a very drab and solemn atmosphere), one finds that they grown sincerely dedicated to the tragic fate that the partisans find themselves in. You gain personal attachments to the characters; a little boy weilding a shotgun that's bigger than him, a busybody nurse who's compassion is a sacred blessing as well as lethal curse, a wandering assasin who's committed his life to satiating his bottomless thirst for bloody vengence, all these personalities and more become trusty companions, fulfilling unique roles and bearing unique and complex interpersonal burdons. This dark and haunting atmosphere is not for everyone. Some people will be put to sleep by it. As for myself, a huge history buff, this game scratches a kind of itch which most other WW2 games can't.
The gameplay is truly engaging, immersive, and even hypnotic. When truly on a roll, the player may feel truly in touch witht that primal, hunting instinct. Looking at a map full of 80 nazis then, an hour later, seeing a graveyard full of 80 dead nazis, knowing that YOU made that happen with 3 Russians (one with a broken arm and having used around 200 rounds and a knife), you feel a sense of power that can't be accomplished through button mashing or spraying and praying. You have to get creative, take a breath and assess the situation, use your loot resourcefully, backtrack and try again, and otherwise engage in mentally engaging tactical executions. It isn't all just winding a clock though. Sometimes, timing things just right is what's needed to get out of a situation.
That said, like sex, once things get going and the stealth gloves come off, that's when the real fun begins. The action is like nothing else. It is so damn exhilarating. Firefights may last only 1 minute or so. However, in that time frame, you're still required to make quick and decisive decisions. The character animations as they duck in cover, change stances to reload, and sprint across firing lanes heightens the stakes and offers a sight for the player to behold. This cycle of silence and caution which suddenly explodes into raw, unhinged fun violence is extremely rewarding. Even more rewarding when your play unfolds perfectly and you can just sit back and enjoy as the Nazis hit the floor. What looked like 15 nazis initially turning into 15 dead ones in 5 seconds as the smoke clears is like no feeling you can get from and RTS or sniper elite.
There is a massive issue with bugs in this game. It is severe. So severe that one may lose or need to restart missions simply due to bugs. Bugs are usually just annoyances, but in a STEALTH game that requires precision at its core is irredeemable and unacceptable.
The game takes an EXTRAORDINARY amount of patience to play. Add bugs to that and you can imagine why this game will not appeal to 90% of players.
Steam User 12
Just finished the game and it was quiet interesting experience. If you like Commandos, Desperados, etc.. you should buy it and give it a try.
I believe that if devs release another game and fix the mentioned issues it could easily be a 9 or a 10.
- Interesting setting and story
- Variety of maps and objectives
- Camp system (build buildings, go to missions for certain resources,etc..)
- Hero system (skills, upgrades,etc..) - you also get to select which ones to bring into battle
- Inventory system which allows you to equip whatever you want to suit your gameplay
- More action than similar games (maybe that's not positive depending on point of view)
- Various small annoying issues/bugs that could have been easily fixed with some QoL fixes
- Inventory system has some really annoying issues and the whole "extra" stuff you find it makes game really annoying to manage at times
- Camp system although it's a nice addition compared to others, I think it could have bee really great. After you build the basic buildings there's really not much else you can do
- Weapon upgrading ; again a nice system but could have been easily improved to be even more great and offer more customizations
- Skill system; again a nice addition but many skills are similar to others
- Moral mechanism; seemed like a nice idea but you tend to forget as you progress the game. Maybe if it could have been more complex e.g. with consequences on missions it would have been better.
- You can select 3 heroes in each missions (with some exceptions) which imo is really bad, cause certain characters are left unplayed
- Last mission (wayyy too easy and small for final one) -> also it's final mission you should have been able to select the whole squad!
Steam User 12
Similar to Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun, but in WWII from a Russian perspective this time.
I quite enjoyed the game, especially the stealth missions. You will constantly cheer for your comrade to move faster while carrying a corpse with Nazi patrols behind his back. It is fairly easy to get all achievements with the base game.
More details about the game will be posted later...
I encountered a game-breaking bug. be aware while you play it:
One mission where you need to rescue a teammate stranded on an island, even though you can finish the part of the mission in stealth, you should complete it with guns blazing. (if you do not, the next objective won't be triggered. And you will be forced to replay the whole mission again)
There are a few other minor issues with the game:
Sometimes enemies and your character will get stuck on furniture in a building. Reloading the game will solve the issue.
When your inventory gets bigger towards end-game, the game will lag when you open storage in your camp. Framerate will drop to 15 FPS for a few seconds.
Overall, I recommend this game and will buy the DLC to see what the DLC offers.
Steam User 12
A game from the Russian perspective is relatively unique. Gameplay is solid, with a few overpowered abilities that make the game more fun. The dreary tone is both refreshing and a bit of a bummer. 4/5, nice job devs!
Steam User 10
I had fun with this game, it's a mix of Desperados/shadow tactics and This War of Mine. Though it is not nearly as polished as those games, and can be quite clunky with many bugs.
-the AI is a bit strong, usually can one shot characters even when mine had shot first with a +80% chance to hit.
-maps are fun and challenging. story is unique
-the base building part of the game seems unfinished. not much to do or look at and not much variety in constructing buildings
-the loot system is annoying as hell. way too many 'greyed out' supply items that are difficult to organize in the inventory.
-bad weapon stat system where it's not easy enough to compare guns with each other. bad inventory layout in general
-stealth, strategy, unique character abilities and gameplay are very fun and kept me entertained
-story, descriptions, character bios and history are all interesting to read!
6/10, more than worth my time during sale