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Wartales: The Tavern Opens DLC Review – Interesting Side Hussle

Wartales: The Tavern Opens is a DLC expansion for the open-world RPG Wartales with a twist, by Shiro Games and released on April 18, 2024. This second DLC, following on from Pirates of Belerion, offers a change of pace and a unique blend of mercenary life and tavern management. While you continue to lead your band of adventurers on quests and contracts throughout the lands, you can now establish your own thriving tavern, adding a new layer of strategy and passive income to the core gameplay.

The expansion starts with you acquiring a rundown tavern in the main town of Stronkapp. You are first tasked with cleaning the tavern by removing cobwebs and other rubbish items. Next you need a woodcutter in your group to do some repairs, and finally you need to hire staff to keep it running smoothly. This includes recruiting a tavern keep, cooks, brewers, and even guards. Each new hire brings unique skills that affect your establishment’s success. As a result, the base game welcomes a new profession in the Brewer, as well as the ability to leave companions in reserve which is a very welcome feature.

The core gameplay of The Tavern Opens then revolves around managing your tavern’s resources and reputation. You’ll put together a menu with various food and drink options, balancing customer satisfaction with profitability. There are 15 factions in the game that can visit your tavern, each with preferences in food, drinks, music, and decorations. Keeping your patrons happy through good service and a lively atmosphere is key to building a thriving tavern. Once you are initially set up, you can go back to the core gameplay of Wartales and send your troops out on missions.

Initially I had concerns that I would constantly need to be returning to town to check on the tavern, restock and rehire etc. However, and to my surprise, you can access and manage your tavern from your camp, regardless of your location which is awesome. This allows you to assign tasks, check reports, and upgrade your tavern as your wealth grows. The tavern isn’t just about making money and it provides a place for your companions to gain experience in their assigned roles.

As your tavern gains prestige, you will unlock new equipment and even the opportunity to relocate to a grander establishment. It can also unlock new recipes, grant access to exclusive bounties, and offer other benefits that enhance your mercenary adventures. But it’s not just your tavern you need to worry about. You are competing with other neighbouring taverns, and you can send crew members to rival taverns to steal gold and soil their prestige or instruct cooks and brewers to pilfer secret recipes to bolster your tavern’s offerings. There is a large amount of strategy and management here if you are willing to engage with it.

Wartales: The Tavern Opens is a worthwhile expansion for players who have sunk their teeth into the base game and Pirates of Belerion DLC and are looking for something a little bit different. It offers a fresh layer of strategy and allows you to experience a different side of mercenary life. If you enjoy juggling resources, crafting menus, and building a successful business, then this DLC will surely add a unique flavour to your Wartales experience. Players who solely focus on the combat and exploration aspects of Wartales might find the tavern management a bit tedious.

This review utilised a key provided by Stride PR and Wartales: The Tavern Opens DLC is available now on Steam.


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