Wasteland 2 PC review

Wasteland Wallppaper

Great top-down style role-playing games are becoming quite scarce in the gaming world, and ones that deal with the post-apocalyptic future aren’t as numerous either. We all know what kind of a hold the Fallout series has had on that genre since the beginning, and I’m glad the team at inXile Entertainment decided to tackle it too.

Role-playing games that let you create your own character, or let you customize the protagonist(s) from their looks to their skill sets at the start, always get a very big thumbs up from me. Not only does this make the character dialogue more interesting, but it also makes the storyline seem a bit more uniquely personal, because the characters I create are usually myself.

Wasteland 1-1

I don’t take kindly to bullies.

If you’re looking for specialized classes in this game, there aren’t any. There are no Fighters, Mages, or Clerics in this game; just a close facsimile that fits those classes. Because of the customization on the character skills, you can create a character to whatever mold you want them to fill. I personally created my first four characters to try and cover every possible situation (with the given skills available) that we might encounter: I had a sniper who had outdoor survival abilities. I then created a hand-to-hand melee bruiser (me) that had access to dialogue where he gave absolutely zero f**ks about anything. Following this was our medic/surgeon who could could also disarm bombs and had a smart-ass mouth. The last character was our leader who could crack any safe and was as charismatic as Robert Downey Jr. As I said, you can create ANY type of combination of skills to your characters.

The gameplay involving the combat is also very fun. Your skill set with weapons will have adverse effects on your characters being able to hit them with their weapon, or having your character being able to dodge the opponent’s attacks. When you do encounter enemies, the environment does play a major factor. Like most tactical RPGs, your positioning on the battlefield will either help you escape with your lives or have you end up with a dead character. You can use cover behind walls, cars, building corners, etc. If you do get hit by a bullet or melee weapon, you might get a status ailment that won’t bode well for your character. One of my PCs got shot up pretty badly and almost bled to death during a combat encounter. If you don’t have a medic handy, your party could die in one encounter if you’re not careful.

Wasteland Skills

I went over this briefly at the beginning, but the dialogue is also a big plus in this game. Your charisma score coupled with skills related to banter can open up other reactions (positive or negative) with the game’s NPCs. I’ve always liked this about skill-based dialogue because it makes the interactions with NPCs a bit more interesting and dynamic; this is what gives your characters their “personality.”

As great as this game is, there are of course the cons to it. One of the main ones that bothers me is the ability to not play this game in “Iron Man Mode.” If you don’t know what that mode is, it’s where you can’t constantly reload saved games during gameplay; you only get one save game slot and you can only save when exiting the game. If your character dies in battle, you’re out of luck and have to live with the consequences and move forward with the storyline. The absence of this option would make for additional challenging and realistic gameplay.

You cannot sneak around in this game. Why? I have no clue. Apparently everyone is a beacon of light in the post apocalypse and will eventually be seen by someone. I like sneaky characters – in fact, I’m a huge fan of stealth games as well. This tactical RPG not allowing me to sneak around only makes me scratch my head. In past tactical RPGs, such as Jagged Alliance, I was able to max my stealth to the point where I could sneak up behind anyone and do massive sneak attack damage by knifing them in the back. Perhaps they needed to tweak the perception skills in order to add the stealth ability in this game – we’ll never know. I’m just sad I couldn’t create a team of post-apocalyptic ninjas.

Day and night and weather cycles are also missing from this game. For a post apocalyptic survival game, why is it always sunny? Sure there’s an encounter that occurs at night, but it’s always at the same location for me (this is also another one of my gripes). Why can’t it be night time or raining in the other recycled random encounter levels? I guess it’s forgivable since it is a Kickstarter game, not like Dragon Age 2 who had backing and still got lazy and used recycled levels, but I’m not going to get into that. Let’s get some scenery diversity in here!

Wasteland Battle

This is the ONLY level that I kept running into at “night”.

How many is too many skills? I do love customization, but sometimes skills can get redundant. They could consolidate the skills shotguns, submachine guns, and handguns to just “small arms.” Some people might disagree with me at this point on the skills, but I felt that they didn’t need to separate all these types of guns into different skills.

All in all, Wasteland 2 is great for what it is. It’s got a solid storyline, fun combat, character creation (my favorite), and dialogue. Even though there are small things here and that would irk some people, I feel this game is pretty solid as a tactical RPG. I highly recommend people picking it up!
Rating: 4/5 Atoms

NR 4 Atoms - B

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