Wasteland 2 (inXile Entertainment)

Wasteland 2 (inXile Entertainment)

Like Wasteland 2 on Facebook

Follow Brian Fargo on Twitter

Check out the official
Wasteland 2 Website

Give the developers feedback on the Steam Discussion Page

Buy your Early Access copy on the Steam Store page 

Ask anyone to mention a role-playing game set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, and chances are they will reply Fallout. In truth, the original Wasteland came out more than ten years before the first Fallout title, and set a new standard for the genre. The Fallout games were great in their own right, but when the series ventured into first/third person territory with the release of Fallout 3, it left many gamers hankering for the isometric games of old.

What better game to fill that void, than the true sequel to original Wasteland from 1988. The amount of money that Kickstarter backers threw at the game proved that the world was ready for a return to the wasteland. Needless to say, expectations are sky-high, but with Brian Fargo at the helm, we were confident that inXile would be able to deliver on their promises. The Early Access version hit Steam late last year, and after a few substantial updates is already shaping up to be the game that over 70 000 Kickstarter backers couldn’t wait to throw their money at.

The Early Access beta opens with your team of rookie “Desert Rangers” attending the funeral of a fallen comrade. You get to select your squad of four from a list of preset characters, or jump straight in and create your own. The character creation already showcases how in-depth the game is, with no less than three different specializations for speech checks alone. Not many other games allow you to choose between being a kiss ass, hard ass or smart ass when it comes to talking to people!

Your first quest is to recover some vital equipment that was stolen from the fallen ranger, and then continue his mission if possible. After some chit-chat, it’s out into the wasteland, where you get to explore a chunk of Arizona. As this is an Early Access beta, only about 30% of the levels are available, but it is already enough to see that things are moving in the right direction. The game is viewed from an isometric perspective, and you can rotate and zoom the camera to your liking. Combat is turn-based, once initiated, and you can take cover instead of just standing out in the open. Cover is destructible, so it takes careful maneuvering and teamwork to take down groups of enemies. Party members can get killed, so saving is recommended, unless you want to watch someone in your group bleed out before your eyes.

The game already has a lot of well written dialogue, and the voice acting so far is superb. Conversations are in-depth, and keyword based, so if you are feeling old-school you can even type specific keywords to get answers. A printout at the bottom of the screen keeps you updated at all times about what your characters are observing, and what is going on in the gameworld. The game also has quite a dark sense of humor, which fans of Wasteland and Fallout will enjoy.

There are still a lot of things I could praise about the game, such as the original music by Mark Morgan, and the crisp sound effects, but suffice to say the game is shaping up great. The storyline is already looking good, and the game isn’t afraid spring some moral choices on you. The most recent update alone included over 2000 fixes, including changes to the inventory, UI, animations and some optimization so the developers are definitely hard at work.

The final release of the game will be priced lower than the Early Access, but if you want to play right now there are some extras to sweeten the deal. You will receive the original Wasteland, which was recently re-released on Steam, two digital novellas, an original soundtrack and concept art book. Some of these are still being added, but they will all be Early Access exclusives as far as we know. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, 2014 is going to be a great year for role playing games, and Wasteland 2 is definitely not going to disappoint.

Related posts

Organic Panic (Last Limb Games)

Set in a topsy-turvy world where the fruits and vegetables are heroes fighting back against the evil forces of meat and cheese, Organic Panic is a puzzle platformer with a healthy dollop of physics thrown into the mix. This is definitely the first time that I'm rooting for the healthy food over the tasty stuff, but the whimsical art style from Last Limb makes it hard not to like the characters.

Drifter (Celsius Game Studios)

Drifter (Celsius Game Studios)

While I never got into Elite, I spent countless hours playing Frontier: Elite II and Frontier: First Encounters. As much as I enjoyed the open world aspect of those games, the combat was really a pain, not to mention the bugs. There have been other titles, such as Privateer and Freelancer, but Drifter reminds me the most of those Frontier titles.

Hero Defense – Haunted Island (Happy Tuesday)

Hero Defense - Haunted Island (Happy Tuesday)

Grab your crossbow and put on your garlic aftershave because it is time to hunt things that go bump in the night again. This time the opportunity to thin out the freaks comes courtesy of Hero Defense – Haunted Island from Happy Tuesday. The most powerful vampire in the world, Count Necrosis, is making a menace of himself and his brethren, so you must gather your merry team of slayers to take him down. While this sounds like the perfect setup for some good old fashioned role playing, Hero Defense is actually a tower defense title.

Radial-G : Racing Revolved (Tammeka Games)

Radial-G : Racing Revolved (Tammeka Games)

The phrase “anti-gravity racing” might be synonymous with the Wipeout series, but the demise of Studio Liverpool (Psygnosis) left a void in the market. Surprisingly enough, no developers seemed very eager to pick up the gauntlet until Tammeka Games revealed Radial-G: Racing Revolved. There are some very talented and experienced individuals behind this title, so we jumped at the chance to check out the Early Access version of the game.

From The Depths (Brilliant Skies Ltd.)

From The Depths (Brilliant Skies Ltd.)

Sitting down to play From the Depths for the first time is quite a daunting experience. I followed the advice of Nick Smart, the developer, and checked out the tutorial video first, but my first few hours with the game mostly consisted of playing tutorial missions and messing about in the vehicle designer. There are a lot of hand holding and step by step instructions for the tutorials, but From the Depths is a very complicated game and it takes time, not to mention patience, before everything start to make sense.

Leap of Fate (Clever Plays)

Leap of Fate (Clever Plays)

Leap of Faith, the debut release of indie studio clever-plays, certainly isn’t lacking in ambition. With influences that range from The Binding of Isaac and League of Legends to Diablo, it is a game that aims to offer replayability, precise controls and feel-good combat. These are lofty goals, but despite the fact that the game is still in Early Access, it already looks like the developers will be able to deliver on these promises.

Leave a comment

one × 5 =