The studio behind Northgard and Evoland are jaunting into yet another genre, this time an open-world RPG with turn-based tactical combat. Shiro Games last night announced Wartales, a game about leading a band of mercenaries in the aftermath of an apocalyptic plague. It looked like an unfatastical medieval world in the trailer until I saw a colossal crest of black fur rolling through a forest and OOH what is this. See for yourself in the trailer below.
"Wartales is an open-world tactical RPG where the player leads a group of sellswords to accomplish goals, amass fortune and embark in dangerous and thrilling enterprises," the announcement explains. "As the group evolves, they will explore the remains of the Edoran Empire, ravaged by the Great Plague."
So you'll be taking contracts, collecting bounties, crafting weapons, upgrading your camp, murdering fools, and apparently discovering some of the secrets of the ravaged land. I'm in for tactical combat and vast horrors in an otherwise-mundane-seeming setting.
Wartales is due to hit Steam Early Access later this year, with a full launch expected about a year later. They've probably earned a little trust after Northgard went through early access in good shape then came out in great shape.
Matt Cox (RPS in peace) called Northgard "one of the best RTS games I've played" in our Northgard review back in 2018, after it left early access.
"Northgard is simple in all the right ways, challenging not because of complexity but complacency - it's harsh, but rarely unfair. Every system clicks together to create tense, satisfying matches where every decision matters."
John Walker (RPS in peace) liked a lot of Evoland too. Though their last game, top-down co-op action game Darksburg, has pretty mixed reviews - can't say I know much about it myself.