- October 18, 2006
Rock Paper Shotgun checked out Wartales:
More information.Wartales review (early access): an ambitious and gritty RPG with real promise
"Play against type," Sin Vega advised in her well good piece on getting the most out of strategy games. I'm sorry Sin. I failed. Tactical RPG Wartales gave me the opportunity to promote a wild boar to the captain of my troupe of wandering mercenaries. I did not. Instead, I fell back into stale, boring habits like "entrusting the lives of my comrades to someone with ambitions outside of 'moar acorns plz'." Not a moment goes by that I don't wistfully consider what might have been.
I'd recruited that boar in the first place by knocking it out and tying it up with a length of rope I found on a dead bandit. Wartales did not inform me this was a possibility until the moment it happened. The game bristles with texture like this; lovely emergent gemstones that form when small details from different systems bear down on each other. Don't worry too much about all that, though. Most of your day to day worries in Wartales are about where the next bag o'coin or leg o'lamb is coming from, and whether you can get your favourite archer healed up before that nasty shiv wound contracts everyone's least favourite plague: the plague.
It's for this reason I decided to start the game again after a good chunk. To try more thievery, to play a bit less cautiously. Promote a boar or two. And it's here that I discovered just how excited I was to start again, to really clinch an optimal first few hours. Wartales nails the restart, and not all games can claim that. I could point to the depth of systems or an approach to design that trusts the player enough to let them discover things themselves. These are both true to some extent. But I think the most useful thing to impart about Wartales is that it just has, well, a certain special something. Maybe there's some cool sounding French for that that I'm forgetting. The fact that it's far from finished has me very interested indeed. Moar acorns, please.
- Oct 18, 2006