Wasteland 2 Review

A post-apocalyptic journey

Access to the beta version of Wasteland 2 was expensive, damn it. Not console-expensive, of course, but paying a $30 for an unfinished game, even though we were honestly warned about it, was not only a burden for me, but even my boss was furious. And at the dawn of its Early Access, this beauty was even less complete and cost a whopping 1,600. We sing a song about the madness of fans.

Well, what can you do, Kickstarter is Kickstarter. Now, at least the game seems to be ready, and they are asking for a reasonable amount of money for it.

So, welcome to Wasteland 2, the sequel to the cult game Fallout, which became its ideological successor. The third and subsequent parts of the series, which was acquired by Bethesda at the time, are great, but hardcore fans know that the real deal is isometric view, virtual dice rolls, and solid turn-based combat. We wanted such a game, and we finally got it.

In the storyline of WL2, the player takes control of a quartet of rookie local rangers, forces of comparative good and justice. The recruits got lucky: just as they were about to take their entrance exams, serious trouble started brewing. Someone killed one of the rangers who was investigating an unusual case and getting too close to the Pandora’s box that had been opened. We need to find out who, when, and why, and if possible, punish the killer. However, since the aforementioned box is already open, the investigation of the murder won’t be the only thing to deal with, and it won’t be boring for a very long time.

The wasteland awaits

If in those very “Fallouts” you could easily wander around as a lonely terminator, capable of knowing if not everything, then a lot, then in WL2 there is absolutely nothing to do without a company. With approximately the same branching role-playing tree that was fifteen years ago, the game now gives out points, perks, and other knowledge books +5 far less generously than it used to be given to shelter residents and chosen ones. Each specific character (most of the game, at least) ideally should work as a specialist in a narrow field.

Plus, if desired, the combat group can be expanded with various companions.

Among the role-playing novelties: now, in addition to professional cards and karmic cards, racial and religious cards will also be played out in dialogues. In the release version of the client, you can create characters of nine different nationalities (for the particularly curious – yes, there are Russians, where would we be without us) and ten confessions. Different fellow travelers – just like in real life! – approach questions of race and faith differently, someone is progressive and open to communication with everyone, someone is more selective. You will have to maneuver.

Combinations of professions in the quartet can be very different, and, as a rule, there is benefit from all of them. As adventurers progress, they will mainly have to fight, but there are also plenty of “dialogue” tasks and puzzles in the rugged terrain in WL2. There won’t be much suffering from monotony, that’s for sure.

However, nothing prevents you from generating a team of four crazy fighters who break hands, legs, doors, boxes, locks, mechanisms, and everything else in the world to achieve their goal. How it will work out is a separate story, but it will be interesting to remember and tell it later.

Uncovering secrets

The only thing in Wasteland 2 that is not so much annoying as surprising is the size of the story “dungeons”. I got stuck for about three hours on the first major combat location, not counting the reloads and digging in the local dirty polygons. After clearing the first healthy sector, I quickly talked to the quest NPCs and then headed to the second sector. When everything was settled there, the game directed me to wipe out enemies in the third sector. Then, if anything, there were still the fourth and fifth sectors, and everywhere my team was mostly required to destroy everything that moves.

My quartet crawled out of the location with a deep sense of satisfaction, but still a bit worn out. I thought that if not the whole game, then at least 90 percent had been completed. Which, of course, was not the case, but the impression remained. I must admit, I have already gotten used to such a concentration of content in the same settings.

Thanks to this, it is absolutely impossible to play Wasteland 2 in small portions. In half an hour or an hour, you can’t accomplish much, and the lack of visible results from the efforts can only discourage. WL2 needs to be played in one go, and preferably seriously.

Survival and strategy

Alas, Wasteland 2, being a 3D game, fell into the same graphical trap as many other post-apocalyptic projects. While the classic pixelated landscapes of deserts, semi-destroyed cities, and radioactive waste dumps looked quite atmospheric and stylish, the transition to 3D resulted in the majority of the aesthetics being lost in the form of one big brown texture. There is nothing truly enjoyable to admire in the game.

If one were to try and recall at least one beautiful 3D post-apocalyptic game, I only remember Rage. Id Software did not disappoint with the visual aspect; if there was one thing this studio was always good at, it was creating graphics. I can’t think of anything else that comes close.

Well, at least the engine works relatively stable, and you don’t have to pull your hair out from sudden crashes and unsaved progress. At least, not yet. There was one time when WL2 seemed to freeze in the team generation menu, right at the very beginning, which was unpleasant but not fatal.

In conclusion, Wasteland 2 is an excellent, deep role-playing game, but as is usually the case with deep RPGs, it requires a lot of free time and enthusiasm from the player. So, the more of both you have, the more enjoyment you will get.

Wasteland 2
inXile Entertainment
inXile Entertainment, Obsidian Entertainment
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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