The variety of objectives was one of the things I enjoyed the most about Partisans 1941; to reach your goal, you’ll typically have to find keys to locked doors, distract large groups of enemies, or set traps. The game encourages you to think outside the box by including plenty of things in the environment that you can make use of; I had characters hide in hay stacks, cellars, and outhouses, use cigarettes to distract sniffer dogs, and kill enemies by dropping loads of logs or barrels on them. This, combined with the rich variety of objects you can use on enemies during a mission – bottles, rocks, grenades, or traps – definitely makes for a thrilling ride.
Combat-wise, Partisans 1941 is pretty standard for a real-time tactical strategy game. Similar to games like Wasteland or Gears Tactics, you’ll have to position party members strategically on the battlefield and make sure they’re behind some form of cover. Once combat starts, you’ll be able to hover over particular enemies to see your chances of hitting them successfully. Each character also comes with a special ability; while some characters have stealth abilities – like being able to move longer distances without being detected – others have specific abilities that can be used in combat. Alexey Zorin, for example, has the ability to throw knives and take out enemies from a short distance away.
While here and there I found that things stuttered – characters not moving immediately after a click, or the AI sending characters on a really convoluted path when I wanted them to go from A to B – overall I found Partisans 1941 an engaging title. While some aspects of the game could benefit from a little more polish, overall Partisans 1941’s gameplay mechanics make for a dynamic experience that will appeal to fans in the tactical strategy genre. And if you’ve got a penchant for history, then the gorgeous graphics are a nice bonus.