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Step into the captivating world of Wartales, a tactical role-playing game developed by Shiro Games in 2023. Prepare to embark on an exhilarating adventure where you, as a player, assume the role of a skilled leader of a mercenary band. Navigate the treacherous landscape of a low fantasy realm that a devastating plague has mercilessly ravaged, fight against the odds, courageously striving for survival, and spearheading the arduous journey towards recovery.
A hundred years after the downfall of the Edoran Empire due to a devastating plague, the once noble land has transformed into a breeding ground for mercenaries, bandits, and thieves. Honor has faded into obscurity, becoming a nearly forgotten virtue. Now, brace yourself to guide a group of morally questionable individuals through a vast open world where survival, combat, and an insatiable desire for wealth will dictate your everyday existence. You are not the protagonist destined to bring about a peaceful era; your sole objective is to endure and prosper in this unforgiving and antagonistic realm, employing whatever methods are necessary.
- Discover: You have the freedom to make pivotal decisions that shape your journey. It's up to you to determine your destinations, assemble your team of recruits, devise strategies to earn wealth and decide on the ideal camping spots for the night. The game firmly puts the power of choice in your hands, allowing you to forge your own path and experience the consequences of your decisions.
- Fight and build strategies: It features a turn-based combat system. Before each battle, you can position your troops across the battlefield, choosing which unit launches the initial attack and subsequently utilizing the remaining units in any desired order. The game grants you the flexibility to employ movement points, basic attacks, and special abilities in various combinations, allowing for the seamless integration of tactics. You can continue to mix and match these actions until all resources are depleted, enabling you to craft unique and dynamic combat strategies tailored to each encounter.
- Survive: Staying alive and healthy is an important part of your journey as you will have to gather the necessary food and resources to craft items and get some rest to avoid falling exhausted. Ensure everyone in your pack is considered, or they may desert and put the whole group at risk.
- Build your crew: Assume a mercenary leader's role and seek wealth and renown. Along your journey, assemble a diverse band of comrades, each possessing distinct specializations, skills, weapon preferences, and vibrant personalities. Expand your team by recruiting new members who bring unique strengths to your group's dynamic. You can customize your mercenaries' progression, refine their abilities, equip them with specialized gear, and even personalize their appearance. Unleash your creativity as you tailor your team's skills, ensuring they are well-prepared for the challenges that lie ahead.
- Forge your path: In Wartales, you are immersed in a world where narrative choices abound. Each region within the game offers a unique storyline for you to delve into and explore. However, unlike traditional games with a central quest or overarching story, Wartales takes a different approach. It incorporates elements of an economic simulation, requiring players to strategize and discover means to finance the expansion of their mercenary company.
- Diversify: The capabilities of your mercenaries extend beyond their fighting prowess. Each character within your crew has the option to select a secondary profession, providing valuable assistance to the camp in various ways. For instance, you can assign one to specific fishing spots scattered throughout the map and increase your food supplies, and Cooks can transform foods into nourishing meals, stretching your rations to their maximum potential. As another example, Blacksmiths lend their craftsmanship to forge superior weapons and armor for your troops, empowering them for battles ahead. Choose wisely and take advantage of the varied secondary professions to maximize your advantage in this challenging world of Wartales.
- Choose your experience: There are two ways the game's difficulty changes, either you let it by default and so it keeps levels region-locked and increases the difficulty as you push toward the edges of the world, or you activate level scaling, and the game tries to match its challenge with your capabilities.
Graphics and sound
Wartales boasts visually stunning graphics for a tactical RPG game that successfully brings this richly detailed and immersive world to life. The various and numerous environments and biomes, from sprawling landscapes and ancient ruins to dense forests and menacing dungeons, are meticulously crafted, showcasing remarkable attention to detail.
In addition, the soundtrack depicts the seriousness of this journey with atmospheric and rhythmic tracks, making you feel your life is at stake and fueling your courage when the balance of power is shifting. The finely-crafted audio effects faithfully transcribe your actions and the states of characters.
Duration and game modes
The game offers quite a long experience as focusing on the main objectives to finish the game will take at least about 38 hours, but taking the time to discover everything it offers will entertain you for over 50 hours.
Wartales offers a single-player and cooperative multiplayer experience where you can play as a band of up to 4 players to plan tactics and play as a more robust pack.
What do the reviews say?
Wartales has a Metacritic score of 80/100 and has been rated Very Positive by over 15.000 players on Steam.
"All in all, Wartales offers enough variation and strategy layers to make the journey not just enjoyable but also challenging and rewarding. If you liked Battle Brothers, you're going to love Wartales." (KeenGamer)
Despite no official age rating, Wartales is considered suitable for an adult audience.