One of the most popular things with gaming devs is the sequel and as such they are a pretty regular occurrence but just sometimes the hope for a sequel is lost. Maybe it’s because the studio went bust or was swallowed, chewed up and spat out by a larger studio. When 26 years passes from a games original release date you can forgive fans for coming to the realisation that a sequel just isn’t going to happen and the original game is destined to become a page in gaming history.
But then Kickstarter was born, there have been a multitude of games that have only seen the light of day due to Kickstarter. Last year Brian Fargo utilised this source of funding and what some say was the inspiration behind the original Fallout and XCOM gained a sequel.
Not only was Wasteland 2 born it also did pretty well, nabbing a number of PC game of the year awards last year. After the success experienced by Diablo in making the leap to consoles, it was only a matter of time before Wasteland 2 got the Next Gen consoles in its sights.
Where games such as Fallout now lend themselves to a more action based RPG environment, Wasteland 2 keeps to its RPG strategy roots and in turn makes something interesting and unique in the current gaming age. Unlike your typical post-apocalyptic world, Wasteland 2 is set in a form of the Wild West albeit with Radiation, Artificial Intelligence, giant rabbits and bigger frogs. Almost a history repeats itself but not quite due to the modern twist.
The game is based on one giant world map and within that there are towns, villages and points of interest; all of which have their own mini map and this is where the first problem begins.
Wasteland 2 offers you three different types of camera to utilise, the best and easiest to use being the free-roam camera, which allows you to scout out any areas (to a point), spring the camera 360 degrees and generally position it however you like. The mini-map however stays static regardless and quite often I spent 10 minutes staring at the mini-map trying to work out exactly where I was and where I was heading on the map.
What Wasteland does do very well however is the strategy behind battles and random encounters. Each of your team, whether taking the pre created or creating your own, will have their own weapon specialty and a set number of Action Points which can be used to move to a better position or attack the enemy. Objects within the area can be used as shields and cover adding another thought process to go through before picking a location to make your stand.
Saying that the leveling system is in-depth is a bit like saying that Daren Baldock enjoys playing with tanks from time to time. There is just so much to get your head around from your standard skills of Strength, Perception and Speed to Computer Science, Lockpicking and Demolition before you even consider the dozen weapon specialties. How ingrained these skills are within the game is hinted at when every loading screen pretty much tells you that a team of specialists will serve you well. Even leveling up Toaster Repair has benefits to the games many side quests.
The key to survival is constant saving as you WILL find yourself leveling up the wrong skill required for the next section at some point leaving you with literally nowhere to go and no way of completing your current mission. If that mission happens to be the main story mission then you are screwed and the only way around it is to pull up and old save.
Overall, Wasteland 2 gives hours upon hours of story driven strategy and if you are looking for bang for your buck you can do much worse than picking this title up. If you like old school RPG’s that maps very nicely to a controller system then again I recommend you make this purchase. If you are looking for an in your face, all guns blazing action –fest you may want to look elsewhere.
Midlife Gamer Rating: 8/10 Format: PlayStation 4 / PC / Xbox One Release Date: Out Now
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a copy of Wasteland 2: Directors Cut by the publisher for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of a week. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.