Wasteland 2 is a game developed by InXile Entertainment, with some of the previous developers of Fallout, and who could be known for their older game The Bards Tale. Wasteland 2 is the sequel to the previous game that was released back in 1988 and definitely holds a lot of similarities to the early Fallout games. Can this blast from the past reboot leaves it’s mark in the post-apocalyptic Genre, or will we leave it to the Ghouls?
Since its pre-release build after it’s almost tripled Kickstarter fun, Wasteland 2 has been updated, tweaked and balanced all the way up to its eventual release. With added cutscenes and new features Wasteland 2 has finally been fully released.
In this post-Apocalyptic world, there was a nuclear holocaust in relation to a cluster of Meteors back in 1998 which spared a Global nuclear war, creating the dust and radiation filled world it is. To pick up the pieces a collection of US citizens grouped together and started to offer protection and safety to the survivors of the war and soon became the new law of the world, and they called themselves The Desert Rangers.
You are one of these Desert Rangers, leading a group of 4, yourself included, you start off as trainees and are sent off on your last test, Find Ace’s Repeaters and complete his mission. From this point onward the Wastes are your oyster, with settlements to discover and Aid, oasis’s to refill your water supplies and bandits to put down. Since release you can also refill your canteen at towns and the Ranger base, as well as Bandits occurring slightly more often with more maps to spawn on.
The entirety of the Story is available now and it will last you over 50 hours for the main story, with side-missions and Squad management thrown in to increase your game time.
The gameplay is very familiar of the first Fallout games and Xcom, where you control a squad of people with differing skills and abilities with varying weapon types and advantages in battle. The four base characters can be moulded to whatever you want, within the skill point allowances, so you can make a team of a Sniper, Pistoleer, Shotgun lover and Laser gun pro, or something completely different.
There are several components to the gameplay in Wasteland 2, the zone spaces, the overworld and the dungeons. The Zones are basically any area you enter from the overworld, like cities, towns or dungeons and are where you spend the majority of your time, either trading items or hunting for a killer or objective. The overworld is the main map of the wastes, where travel requires water and there are hazardous areas full of radiation, you use this to navigate between your main base, other towns and areas of note. The dungeons come in varying types, some are basic canyons, caves and open areas while others can be decrepit towns where you hunt and kill any enemy in sight.
Wasteland 2 uses a grid based movement system, similar to any tactical game like Final Fantasy Tactics. You select a squad member and then choose where they will move to on the screen, either in plain sight or behind cover, then select if they will shoot, reload or ambush incoming enemies. Each member has a certain amount of Action Points per turn for them to use, which is consumed on any action they take, whether it be moving or shooting.
While the game does give you 4 starter members you can acquire more side NPCs to join your squad who have a tendency to do what they want in battle. You can have a Maximum of 3 NPCs to join you at a time, equalling 7 Squad members, and having that amount of people to back you up can be very welcoming in the later stages of the game, especially when they are above your level.
There is still the conservative feel in this game as when I was playing I was constantly checking my ammo supplies and stocking up when I reached a town as there is little ammo in the field and some ammo types are quite expensive from vendors. Though the further you get into the game the more money you save up so it feels easier in that side of things, but with the addition of armour and new guns and even upgrades you will feel the Scrap Sack get lighter.
Overall Thoughts and Feelings
The sound and music in Wasteland 2 is superb and fits the theme really well, with wind and dust affects that make you feel as if you really are in a wasteland, explosions and bullet fire that immerses you in combat and atmospheric music to keep you in the suspense of exploration. There are times when the music becomes too backwater and can be ignored but entering in combat or new zones can ease these feeling.
I found it hard to find any major bugs or glitches in the game; it has been polished quite a lot since pre-release. There are nit-picks here and there but they are to be expected, like some Z-Fighting meshes or an AI taking an extremely long way to reach you.
Overall I give Wasteland 2 a 4/5 it has that nostalgic feel of games passed with the quality of the games of nowadays. Fans of Fallout or tactical RPGs will love this game and fans of survival genres will also enjoy the scavenging and scouring it takes to win in this game. There are some annoyances with the game, mostly technical and some characters can be very boring or cliché.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.