Wartales is an open-world sandbox game with an extended RPG system and turn-based tactical battles developed by Shiro Games. The player has to manage a group of mercenaries, the composition of which depends on the units that will be selected at the start. The game is made in the spirit of the Middle Ages, it is quite challenging and will no doubt appeal to players who want to test their mettle. I decided to give you a look at how Wartales is played now and how it has changed since it was released from Early Access.
And most recently, a new update for Wartales, Pirates of Belerion, was released on December 14. We’ll also take a closer look at it, but in the meantime, check out the trailer.
- Developer: Shiro Games
- Publisher: Shiro Unlimited
- Release Date Wartales: April 12, 2023
- Release Date Pirates of Belerion DLC: December 14, 2023
As such, the game has no goal and no plot, only tools. The player is free to choose the difficulty of combat, survival and save mode.
The player can trade or rob caravans. The squad is represented by several fighters with different types of weapons. Wooden sticks, swords and bows, hastily made shields and a pack animal – this is a description of the poor equipment of the novice mercenaries.
In order to survive in a world full of dangers, the squad will have to take on tasks of varying degrees of difficulty, earning themselves equipment and food. As a rule, these NPCs are located in taverns.
There the player can recruit new members of the squad, the main thing is to have enough influence and money to pay the wages.
You can’t just hire anyone. Characters have their own specializations, and you can’t make a blacksmith swing a sword or solve messages in caves. Hiring should be done with the utmost care.
The training system in the game is built as unobtrusively as possible. You are not forced step by step to pump weapons or perform some tasks. Questers themselves will explain what you need to do and where to go.
Anyone and anywhere can attack a squad. Even lawmen can do it, if the player will rob caravans and attack castles.
Before the battle begins, you can place your units on the battlefield, choose which characters attack first, and then use the others in the desired order. You can also use battle prowess points, basic attacks and special abilities, mixing any combination of them.
A character’s combat effectiveness is affected by a wide range of factors, such as their class, skills, unlocked skills, even the specific weapon they are armed with. You can choose how your units recover the valor points used to use special abilities. They can recover them by killing an enemy, engaging in combat with them, or ending their turn by standing next to a friendly or enemy unit.
Despite this variation, battles are rarely easy. Your units can only take a few hits before they risk being killed, and your team’s valor points add up, so you need to think hard about how to minimize losses.
The ambush system is well implemented. You can attack the enemy with a well-defended unit, and then strike from the rear with the most heavily armed units.
The first, obvious plus of the game is the most elaborated pumping. The player will have to improve not only fighters, but even animals. There are even specializations for moles and spiders, which the player can tame.
In total, there are three areas of improvement: equipment, specializations and test log. To pump, for example, research, you need to go down into the caves, and for blacksmithing will need to fill your hands, working with a hammer and anvil.
When completing quests on one or another branch of pumping, the player is awarded achievement points. Achievements are not just beautiful interface elements, but directly improve skills.
Building a base, an integral part of the pumping, especially if your squad is actively developing. To be precise, you develop your camp. Tents for rest, a place to sleep or a fire with a vat for cooking – all this is an integral part of medieval life.
In addition to the strategic aspect, there is also an economic one. The game’s trading system requires active interaction with the “non-people”, especially in the early stages. You will often have to return to villages to make contracts, buy food and equipment, or sell items to earn money and lighten your inventory. It should be noted that the player will not always be welcome, which only increases the variation.
Separately, it is worth touching on the types of research. You can choose a fixed (as the complexity increases), regional (each region has its own level of complexity) variant of research or adaptive (the world is adjusted to the player’s squad). This will make each passage unique and unusual, eliminating the routine.
So, yes, Wartales even in 2024 will definitely be relevant for connoisseurs of such genre.
Wartales is the perfect game for those who like turn-based action and minimal pumping of their characters. The progression system is well designed to keep you busy as you explore each map. Combat and crafting are two other complementary systems that add additional levels of strategy.
The lack of a full-fledged story is perhaps the only thing Wartales sins with, but so do Battle Brothers and other similar games, so it’s not a major problem. The visuals and soundtrack are consistent with an open-world RPG, but I would have liked to be able to zoom in a bit more.
Now let’s talk about DLC.
In December, Wartales received its first major DLC. Pirates of Belerion will add a huge new region and interesting mechanics.
The add-on will primarily interest fans of sea travel and pirate atmosphere. It introduces a completely new and at the same time huge region in the game – the Belerion Archipelago. This is a fallen kingdom, from which traders prefer to stay away, as its inhabitants have started to engage in piracy. Besides inhospitable people, Belerion is full of other dangers, including dangerous reefs and scaly beasts.
The add-on offers a new way to get around in the form of naval navigation. With this mechanic, players can build and upgrade their own ship. The ship is used to travel the waters of the archipelago, as well as to fight battles with pirates.
It will also be possible to board other ships. In this way, your team will gain valuable treasures and advance in the “Lord of the Seas” ranking.
Take charge of these troubled waters, teeming with Guardians, unscrupulous pirates, and other dangers. Challenge your opponents to duels using new game mechanics only available in Belerion’s naval conflicts. Increase the rank of the Lord of the Seas on the leaderboard by defeating foes, capturing ships, and claiming treasure.