War Mongrels is an isometric real-time tactics game that takes you to the Eastern Front of World War II. You take control of a guerrilla group and try to thwart the armed forces soldiers, liberate civilians and sabotage the facilities of the German army. The game is based on real events, combines the controversial story of how soldiers become freedom fighters with the events of that time and puts the whole thing in an impressive scene.

In the intermediate sequences, the Wehrmacht soldiers are portrayed as true beasts.  Hellish laughter and sharpened teeth.

In the intermediate sequences, the Wehrmacht soldiers are portrayed as true beasts. Hellish laughter and sharpened teeth.

Quelle: Destructive Creations

Unadorned depiction of the Second World War

The year is 1944, Germany is in a quandary and has suffered heavy losses on both sides. The Allies are advancing on the French side and the Germans can hardly withstand the Russians on the Eastern Front. The war is as good as lost. Two Wehrmacht soldiers are also aware of this fact – Manfred and Ewald. The two are shattered inside. The war has left its scars, the Wehrmacht has committed countless atrocities and Manfred and Ewald, knowing about it and their own guilt, can no longer go on. When their camp is attacked, they seize the moment and flee. On the way back home, they recognize the full extent of the war and once again witness the unspeakable cruelty of German soldiers. Unable to evade all of this, the two begin to assemble a guerrilla group to protect the local population from the crimes of the Wehrmacht soldiers.
War Mongrels depicts the extent of the Second World War in a blunt version. Characters work profoundly through their inner conflicts, condemn their own actions and in no way represent stereotypical war heroes as we know them from other games.

Commandos meets Inglorious Bastards

Tactical approach is required.  Let's give the command, Manfred and Ewald rush off and take out the Wehrmacht soldiers.

Tactical approach is required. Let’s give the command, Manfred and Ewald rush off and take out the Wehrmacht soldiers.

Quelle: Destructive Creations

Anyone who knows real-time tactics classics such as Commandos, Desperados or Robin Hood is very familiar with the gameplay of this genre.
You control Manfred and Ewald from the ISO perspective. As with a strategy game, you can send it to any location with a click of the mouse, have the map and all opponents in view and can see their areas of vision. Manfred and Ewald you have to maneuver past them without them being discovered. If the enemy does notice you, you theoretically have the option of shooting your way free by force of arms. Although you can equip different weapons, their use is less effective as you are clearly outnumbered. A quiet approach is part of the recipe for success in War Mongrels.

All characters can also crawl to maneuver through the levels, sometimes unseen, or to sneak up on the opponents.
The latter is particularly important because you can then quietly turn off the opponents in close combat. In addition, each character has their own special repertoire to solve problems.

For example, Ewald can use bottles to kill two opponents at the same time. While he sends a soldier to the ground by throwing a bottle in a targeted manner, he grabs the other enemy from behind without being seen. He can also use bottles to attract opponents. Placed in the field of vision of a soldier, he is attracted full of anticipation for a good drop, whereupon Ewald can knock him out from the ambush unnoticed. Manfred, on the other hand, can whistle or throw his music box to attract opponents. He can also climb well to disable snipers in elevated positions.
In the course of the campaign you will unlock additional playable characters that are equipped with individual skills.
If you find it too stressful to switch between characters and their actions quickly, you can slow down time at the push of a button and plan tactically in advance step by step. In this way, for example, two opponents can be eliminated at the same time or a diversionary maneuver can be started in order to sneak past unnoticed. This offers you some tactical options and gives you a satisfying feeling when the clever plan works all along the line.

Technical problems at the end of the war

Let's push the pile over, let's bury the soldiers under the trees. & Nbsp;

Let’s push the pile over, let’s bury the soldiers under the trees.

Quelle: Destructive Creations

War Mongrels makes a lot of graphics. The surroundings are very detailed and the locations are well staged. The soundscape fits perfectly with the action. Characters comment on the action in the game and conversations give the player advice on possible tactical approaches. All of this creates a largely exciting atmosphere. There are not some playful and technical difficulties there.

Sometimes we can interact with the environment. We knock over stacked logs or cut through fences. However, since these options can only be used in the designated places, this feels very unrealistic and has a negative effect on the immersive gaming experience. The question arises: Why can I knock over a wooden pile, but a garden gate is an insurmountable obstacle for me? This shouldn’t necessarily happen in a game that wants to be halfway realistic.

Due to the early stage of development of War Mongrels, a bug-free version was of course not to be expected, but the amount of bugs was a bit surprising.
For example, characters sometimes got stuck on objects and could not be moved even after loading an earlier save. The automatic save function also has a few small bugs. It saves in the most unsuitable places, for example just before you bite into the grass. In addition, the wrong score is loaded from time to time and you are back at the beginning of the level.
The shooting position with which War Mongrels wants to stand out from the competition unfortunately does not work as expected. If you adopt this stance, you can control the characters directly via WASD. Similar to a topdown shoot ’em up, you can use the mouse to select the target direction while moving at the same time. If we have both characters switched to shooter mode, they should actually be able to move around at the same time. It didn’t work at all for us and one character stood on one point and waved his gun around wildly while we were able to control the other as it should be.

A train ride is fun, a train ride is beautiful.  We spoil the Wehrmacht soldiers' fun and blow up the bridge.

A train ride is fun, a train ride is beautiful. We spoil the Wehrmacht soldiers’ fun and blow up the bridge.

Quelle: Destructive Creations

The finished version of the game should also contain a co-op mode. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to test it yet and it remains to be seen whether it can be implemented well in the genre or whether the developers are perhaps too ambitious in their approach. Until the release, the developers of Destructive Creations still have plenty of time to devote themselves to the existing errors in order to fully exploit the potential of War Mongrels.

The release of the game is planned for September 2021 for PC and all major consoles except for the Switch. Whether the game will come close to the success of a Desperados 3 is difficult to say at the moment due to the many mistakes. In a technically clean version, at least the fans of the genre should definitely get their money’s worth.

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