Become a bandit in the medieval tactical RPG Wartale

Surviving in the medieval period is often synonymous with living through insurmountable cycles of violence. Not only is the Middle Ages often portrayed as being besieged by plagues of all sorts (A Plague Tale: Innocence), but it’s also a period when unscrupulous outlaws and lawless bandits prey on the innocent (Mount & Blade), and where petty warfare and political backstabbing take place perpetually, much to the chagrin of its starving populace (the entire Witcher series).

Wartales is no different; it looks like a punishing open world, tactical RPG where you lead a group of hired blades in search of riches, and where resources are extremely scarce. This means that resorting to banditry and etching a living as a common criminal—like ransacking a tavern or pillaging a village—may even be necessary, if you were to keep your gang of mercenaries well-fed and alive. Or you can take the moral high road: take on contracts from lords, seek work at taverns, and purchase supplies from the local smithy—rather than sending a burglar to pilfer their wares. That said, if you don’t make enough gold, you won’t be able to afford the wages for your troops, who can desert your company or even stage a mutiny.

Combat in Wartales, too, captures the harsh brutality of medieval battles. Similar to the XCOM series, these are isometric, turn-based events where you will move your troops—made up of standard medieval classes such as foot soldiers and archers—around the map, as you make strategic moves to flank foes and strike enemies from the back. And if you lose a mercenary in battle, chances are you don’t get them back. 

Wartales will be seeing an early access release this year, but you can try its demo at Steam. For now it’s a tad undercooked, but there are hints of a much more extensive and rewarding game when it’s released.