War Mongrels is a pretty good combination of stealth action and an arcadey top down shooter. It feels pretty good for the most part although there is a learning curve that can be frustrating, mostly due to my own incompetence if I’m being completely honest.
The game has two main components, a stealth mode and combat mode. The stealth has the common staples you see in most other stealth action games. For War Mongrels, you start the game with two German soldiers defecting from the front lines after refusing to comply with orders to shoot innocent civilians.
Manfred is the more limber of the two and can climb vines and use a pocket watch or whistle to attract patrolling soldiers away from their posts. Ewald prefers brawn over finesse and can distract soldiers with a bottle of moonshine or break the bottle to use as a shiv and take out all enemies in a small area at the same time.
The stealth sections seem a bit more flexible and less of a puzzle than other similar titles. For example, in other stealth action games, you usually have one or two key enemies to take out first. Once they are out of the picture, the entire formation of the enemy troops crumbles apart and it’ll be much easier to take them out without being caught. In War Mongrels, the distraction abilities such as the whistle, make it much easier to approach the level in different ways.
If you want to, you can completely ignore stealthing the game and engage in the combat mode. In the combat mode, you have direct control over one of the characters and move them around with the WASD keys and shoot with the left mouse button. It is definitely harder to go guns blazing right away at the start of the level so I would recommend attempting to stealth at least part of the level before going for a more conspicuous approach.
One of the things that stuck out to me was how smooth the action felt when it worked. The movement and actions felt incredibly smooth and satisfying. There were some parts when it didn’t work out, and they were incredibly frustrating, but mostly due to me making some mistakes. For example, you can queue up actions for both of your characters and execute them at the same time. You double click a target to make your character run up to them. It’s pretty easy to click on the ground instead of the target so sometimes your character will just run up next to the enemy and stand there. When you do it correctly, however, it feels amazing.
The game looks pretty gorgeous as well. The levels are pretty detailed and combined with the audio and voice acting, work together to create a more cinematic feel.
Overall, War Mongrels is a smooth stealth action game with the option to approach the levels in a distinctly not so stealthy manner. The game looks, sounds, and feels great for the most part. There are definitely some frustrating moments, mostly due to the learning curve as well as a general bugginess to the game, but not enough to deter one from enjoying the game.