Wasteland 2 has considerably more to live up to than your typical sequel. In addition to needing to stay true to the first game in the series, the developer also owes quite a bit to its fans. After all, it is these fans who made the game possible by widely supporting it through an insanely successful Kickstarter campaign.
With this extreme pressure to succeed, the developers have come through for their fans. They’ve managed to deliver an RPG hybrid of huge proportions that is certain to be loved by fans of the genre and general gamers alike.
Wasteland 2 keeps the setting from the first title (post-nuclear holocast world with few upholding justice), but continues to grow the universe while using modern technology to fit in with this generation of games.
The gameplay does an excellent job of being somewhere between turn based strategy and common role playing games. The battles are turn based where you control a squad/party of characters (think XCOM), while out of combat gameplay show of enjoyable quests and interactions with the…ah, interesting, individuals that live in this sort of world.
Fighting in the game is quite enjoyable and very balanced, with all of the sophistication of a chess match. Your character’s statistics in the game will decide which abilities are available on the battle field, but these battles rely on more than just those statistics.
Each character can perform a restricted variety of activities per move. The amount of tactical choices available is really quite impressive, especially as you get further into the game. Mastering the surroundings is equally significant, although tactical movement is the secret to winning battles. Ducking behind points of cover and placing snipers on vantage points are the type of crucial strategies that can keep you from getting your head blown off.
Wasteland 2′s surroundings are a delight to go through. From its dusty deserts to its dimmest caverns, there are untold secrets concealed on almost every area, and we could not even imagine how many playthroughs it’d take to find all of them.
Although the playing field can be a bit intimidating at times, it is broken down into a number of comparatively little sections that are more inviting. While the extent of the universe is a large part of the allure of Wasteland 2, it is the degree of independence to do anything you please there that makes the game what it really is.
The plot of the game is just structured in the loosest possible sense, as players are motivated to move away from the central goals and come up with their very own. InXile immediately places emphasis on you shaping the story to something of your own when it motivates you to write your own backstory for every character during the customization stage of the game.
Having the capability to bend the rules and approach each conundrum as you please is liberating, and no two players will likely handle each scenario in exactly the same manner. For example, one person might get through a particular situation (which I won’t ruin for you here) without violence, while another might end up completely slaughtering every character involved in that situation.
The roleplaying veterans will lap up everything Wasteland 2 offers, but they may be just as confused by the convoluted leveling system in the game as everyone else. The leveling system is overly confusing, and could easily have done with some proper instruction. You see, there are a ton of skills and attributes for you to make use of when you get some experience points, but few of them explain what they do. Unfortunately this will cause many people playing through for the first time to build characters that have some ability in a lot of different things with no specializations.
This really is an unsuccessful strategy, as I personally figured out a bit too late. Playing in this manner results in your characters being every so slightly useful without being able to build a proper team with diverse specializations that is capable of handling any task.
Sure, Wasteland 2 might be a bit scary looking to those new to the series, however it definitely remains a sequel that perfectly fits with the original’s amazing strategy and darker style of humor.