REVIEW – inXile surprised pretty much everyone with Wasteland 2 last year on PC, especially after the successful Kickstarter campaign. This game can easily be labeled as a modern age retro Fallout. If you have played the first two games of that franchise, you know what to expect in this game, which is now available on the PS4 too in the Director’s Cut form!
Let’s be honest: if Interplay wouldn’t have made Wasteland in 1998, then Fallout wouldn’t have been developed nine years later either. And now, Brian Fargo, the founder of Interplay and now inXile Entertainment, has come home with his latest work, Wasteland 2. Don’t expect a first person
shooter this time around, you seriously have to be on your tactical edge, and to be honest, beginners will definitely find themselves hard pressed to play in the early hours.
Why do I say tactics? Well, Wasteland 2 is a flat-out strategy game, when it comes to combat. Where to move? Where to attack from? Who to attack? Is our gun jammed and it needs to be fixed? You do have to spread these attack points (APs) out perfectly to succeed. You can see something similar in XCOM: Enemy Unknown, so if you know that system, you will be mostly okay with this one.
However, if your characters are out of health, you better quickly get to them to help, or they are gone forever and you will be screwed. Director’s Cut brings in a new addition into combat called Precision Strikes, where you can attack certain body parts and maybe even earn a stun, or maybe even a broken armor on the enemy! It’s similar from Fallout, isn’t it?
The game will punish beginners, but slowly, you can get the hang of the combat, learning to control the grid maps, and then, kills will come at your way: learning how to spread out your team, to put a sniper here, to put your medic there, and so forth. But for impatient players, be warned: the battles are slow, this will take time.
Between the missions, two dangers will be present on the map: radiation and dehydration – the former can be avoided by finding a suit, and the other thing can be fixed by finding some oasises. OF course, these two can wear your characters down, so make sure to treat these!
Although it’s not really that important because of the isometric view, you can still create your character and of course, customize the looks as well – hair colour, body type, head, and so forth, the usual thing. You can make four of them to create your team, and they can even have their own background story, if you wish.
If you are impatient, you can even pick premade characters, but even then, you should consider making your own guys and gals, especially because of the new addition, the quirks. There’s even one of them that can be considered as a Russian Roulette – your character can plonk out a quite powerful lightning bolt. The problem is, it can hit anyone.
If it hits an enemy, you’re good, and if it hits a team mate, then several thousands of Volts are served to the wrong person, lol.
The story is playing in an alternative history, where Arizona and another certain area in the United States will be the places we’re in… after a nuclear holocaust that happens in 1998. After the Texas and Arizona Rangers (insert obligatory Chuck Norris joke here), Desert Rangers is getting formed to help the humanity.
We’re 15 years after the happenings of the first Wasteland game. The protagonist of that game, Ace gets killed and a new team (this would be us) has to find out who’s behind this, while also having to find out the meaning of this: man and machine becoming one. To get to that point, you’ll need eh… roughly 35 hous, and I’m not exaggarating. By the end of the game, you will also find out who triggered the nuclear war as well!
Graphically, the game isn’t that powerful, although the Director’s Cut version has replaced the 4.5 Unity engine with an up-to-date 5 one. I can forgive that, because this game isn’t meant to be a great looking title: we’re in a decaying, post-apocalyptic United States, and for that, it looks okay. But still, I found the game having some framerate issues at a few locations. It can be a bit annoying. For the audio, there were over 8000 new lines recorded for the DC version, and the voice acting is really good. I swear we could keep listening to just the audio for several hours! Nicely done.
Why doesn’t this game get a 9/10?
I honestly don’t want to use a magnifying glass to read the text. At some points, they are so goddamn small, it’s ridiculous! These should be resized, because it can hurt the experience and the ambience as well. Also, the AI seems to have some pathfinding issues. I totally needed to get used to this, because it was somewhat annoying. However, the menus and the interface are okay – and are developed further compared to the original. Still, it’s not good enough to save the game from an 8 rating and these flaws make the game not recommended for everyone.
Still worth a shot!
Wasteland 2 is not an easy game, but it revives a genre now on consoles too. Thinking. A post-apocalyptic strategy with a ton of strategy involved with a nice story, decent audio and with a slightly outdated visuals. There is no multiplayer, but you might get hooked on this genre by the time you finish the game. Porting the games successfully to the consoles with a nicely done button mapping and the lengthy, enjoyable campaign might convince unsure players to grab Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut…
+ Improved in every possible way compared to the original version
+ Not an easy AND not a short game
+ A brave, bold move: it brought a genre into this generation which requires thinking
– Small fonts
– AI and pathfinding: they don’t always mix!
– Graphically a bit outdated, plus it’s lagging at some points
Publisher: Deep Silver
Developer: inXile Entertainment
Genre: Turn-based strategic RPG
Relase date: 13/16 October, 2015 (US/EU, PS4)