Warsaw is a game that grabs your attention from the moment you set eyes on it. Set in the historically rich setting of the city of the same name during the Second World War, with beautiful, hand-drawn art, and what’s promising to be deep, multifaceted, and choice-based gameplay. Then there’s the combat system, which is looking like an interesting take on what we saw with indie darling Darkest Dungeon. There’s a lot to like here already, so curious as we were about what makes this game tick, we sent a few of our questions about it to developers Pixelated Milk. Read our conversation below.
"Doom may be certain, but the fate of individual Varsovians is not."
Warsaw seems to be going for a tale that’s quite personal in nature, while being set in what is obviously a historically dense setting. How is the game going to balance both those aspects? Can we expect it to tilt in favour of one over the other?
The historical framework is a background to help showcase smaller personal stories and tragedies, usually told by way of in-game text events. On a more abstract scale, the player cannot change history and prevent the Uprising from falling; at most they can try to keep it going for as long as possible. Doom may be certain, but the fate of individual Varsovians is not.
Can you talk to us a bit about the recruitment mechanics, and how extensive they’re going to be?
It’s not that extensive, mostly because the player’s party members are meant to represent individuals with specific identities. Not every recruit will join the Uprising over the course of one playthrough; those who do, however, will be unlocked through in-game events.
Will there be any character fleshing moments for the recruits? To make the players more attached to them?
In general terms, each recruit starts with only the most basic facts of their backstory revealed to the player. As the game progresses, the more the player uses a specific resistance fighter, they more they will eventually divulge about themselves. Not all of those facts are flattering; still, we aimed to have most of our characters portrayed as flawed yet sympathetic in some manner, and ultimately – for better or for worse – human.
How will the resource management function? Can you detail how much it ties into the core loop, if at all?
With each day, the Uprising consumes a certain amount of resources in order to sustain itself. Failing to meet the daily quota will cause the Uprising’s momentum to drop permanently, and if the momentum gets too low, the game ends. This process can be delayed by maintaining an appropriate stockpile of resources, which are either generated by Uprising-controlled districts or obtainted during missions. If this stockpile is high enough, you may even choose to invest some of them in your team.
Given that your encounters are primarily in a single city, how do you balance the necessity of map variation with narrative coherence?
The game aims to portray its stories horizontally, and as such, traditional vertical quest follow-ups are very rare. Instead, the games focuses on illustrating the myriad sides of the Warsaw Uprising. It’s less about pursuing some long chains of operative goals and more about portraying the wide gamut of human experiences that ensued in the Uprising’s wake.
How much variety can we expect in mission objectives?
Typically, the game offers missions related to eliminating specific units, retrieving crucial items, making deliveries, and reaching specific zones within the city. Naturally, some other objectives may also appear.
"One playthrough should take several hours to complete, but our focus with Warsaw being high replayability and allowing for multiple playthroughs."
Roughly how long can we expect Warsaw’s campaign to be?
One playthrough should take several hours to complete, but our focus with Warsaw being high replayability and allowing for multiple playthroughs.
Will the game have any co-op of multiplayer modes?
Do you have any plans to release on the Xbox One?
Not at the moment.
Was there any particular reason you decided not to launch on Xbox One along with the other platforms?
The analysis of available data on sales numbers of other genre titles and the need to prioritise development on potentially most profitable platforms for Warsaw.
Do you have any plans to launch on Stadia?
Not at the moment.