Wasteland 2 Preview
Iâm pretty sure everybody knows about the Fallout franchise at this point, or at least about its newest, BethesdianÂ iteration. Now, Fallout had to get inspired by something, right? What weâve got here is a direct successor to the first persistent post-apocalyptic RPG ever created â Wasteland 2. Thereâs a certain itch this game tries to scratch among the veterans of gaming â the people who played the first Wasteland, as well as the two older Fallout games. Since newer post-apocalyptic RPGsÂ seemingly prefer action over strategy, Inxile Entertainment will try to satisfy those who would like a modern, yet tactical take on the post-apocalypse.
Starting the game up, youâre greeted by a massive scorpitronÂ that may or may not amaze you when it finally moves. Certainly an upgrade to what they used to be. Clicking on the new game option leads you to a fairly standard character creation screen. Here, you can either choose pre-built Rangers for your party or create new ones. Itâs when you begin customizing the stats of each Ranger that a dose of nostalgia hits you. Iâm not quite sure whether itâs the interface, skills or something third that induces it, but itâs definitely there. Fiddling with the statistics, I realised that thereâs a fair number of options to alter while creating characters. Even though the skill roster is kept relatively simple and clean, Wasteland 2 already has a huge amount of stats that affect the way each Ranger behaves in combat, dialogues or exploration. Or when repairing toasters, whichever might be more relevant for you.
After creating your rag-tag bunch of wannabe Rangers, you can begin your adventure. The first sight of actualÂ gameplay will include some pretty cool graphical effects, I can tell you that. With birds flying around, rays of sunlight passing through the clouds and crisp shadows, the world of Wasteland is a much more beautiful place than one might expect. It also plays much smoother than I thought it would. All controls are very tactile and enjoyable. In most similar games I played, manipulating the camera is a jittery, sluggish experience. Not here, though. Still, itâs obvious that one more layer of polish is required before the game goes gold. Mostly in the visual department with the UI, but that will surely be dealt with in due time.
When it comes to actually playing the game, Wasteland 2 delivers again. The balance between exploration, interaction and combat is well struck. While more variety in the clothing department would be nice, thereâs a load of things to collect and you will always have something to do. Quests arenât hard to track down, and neither are goons to kill. As soon as you come into contact with hostile creatures, the game smoothly transitions from real-time to turn-based system. Itâs seamless, to say the least. When fighting, your Rangers can take cover behind objects, somewhat akin to how XCOMÂ soldiers do. There are no dynamic combat sequences here, though. Every firearm in the game hits like a bag of bricks and feels equally powerful. This is good because the ammunition isnât all that easy to come across, so youâll want to use meleeÂ whenever you can, at least until you stockpile an entire armoryâs worth of ammo.
The characters weâll come across are well realised. There are wacky, interesting and altogether insane people, as well as a suspiciously stubborn goat, prowling through the wastes. Listening to their stories makes the world seem alive and filled to the brim with stuff to do. As of now, the storyline is incomplete, but it does offer a valuable insight into whatâs waiting for us once the game is finalised. The quests are fairly interesting, too. Often will we find ourselves having to weigh out a difficult decision. One of the first missions makes you choose whether youâll save a food producingÂ facility or the compound that ensures the water is clean. And the devs made sure you know that the people you ignore will suffer a horrible fate. Itâs dilemmas such as this that make player input count, and will surely make multiple playthroughs an alluring option.
Now, you might be wondering how can we possibly discover all the interesting and wonderful (read: hopeless and terrifying) events taking place in this world. Well, as you first take off into the world, you will be contactedÂ by a Ranger agent who will inform you about your partyâs radio and its many, many functions. Using this little piece of tech, you will hear pleas for help, traders, caravans, bandits and some very, very disturbing things. After all, this is the post-apocalypse weâre talking about.
Wasteland 2 is shaping up to its promises, thatâs for sure. In the latest update, the devs added a huge new area, as well as promising even more content once the game releases. Weâre looking at a 50-hour storyline here, and thatâs without counting in all the side quests and additionalÂ areas weâre surely going to beÂ exploring. To mention one such location â the entirety of LA, packed up with its surrounding areas. And no, this isnât implemented into the beta build at the time of writing. It is my humble opinion that you cannot go wrong by investing into this game. Stay tuned for the review in a couple of months!