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Wasteland 2: Director's Cut Review

The original Wasteland was released all the way back in 1988, and was heralded as the definitive post-apocalyptic science fiction game at that point. The first Fallout was even recognised as being the spiritual successor to Wasteland, which goes to show just how important it was to the games industry.

It took 26 years for an official sequel to be developed, having come about through crowd funding on Kickstarter. Its initial release was solely on PC and after receiving a positive reaction from gamers and critics, developer’s inXile Entertainment made the decision to release an enhanced edition on both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Question is how would the game fair on consoles?

For those of you that never experienced Wasteland 2 the first time around, it is a tactical turn-based RPG in which the player takes control of a group of desert rangers. The desert rangers’ duty is to help protect other survivors in a grim, post-apocalyptic America years after a nuclear holocaust has occurred. The game begins with your group of rangers having to delve in to the mysterious death of an expert ranger named Ace, which descends into finding out what caused the nuclear war in the first place. The plot itself is relatively solid throughout, never becoming at all convoluted which it very easily could have done.


One of the true standout aspects is the customisation. Creating and customising your rangers will surprise newcomers to the series, as it is a hell of a lot more advanced than you might think. While the appearance options aren’t particularly vast, you can choose your character’s religion and what they like to smoke, both of which are pretty damn rare in video games. Yet it’s when you start looking into how your rangers will play that you see the excellent level of customisation. From your attributes (coordination, luck, awareness, strength, speed, intelligence and charisma) to your options when it comes to the three skill sections; combat, knowledge (including how good your character is at repairing toasters!) and general (which includes the terrific hard ass, kiss ass and smart ass skills that reflect how you deal with people). The customisation doesn’t end there, as you can also assign quirks to your characters which are utterly insane. To name a few; manic depressive changes your attributes every 10-15 minutes, asshole makes you a constant hard ass when it comes to dialog options and delayed gratification gives you additional skill points for every level up you have after level 10 (however you receive -1 skill point for every level up prior to level 10). That is just a small percentage of the quirks available, so in short…the customisation is DEEP.

You've never seen outlandish quirks quite like these before

Now when a title like this that was originally exclusive to PC comes to consoles, there’s always going to be that worry about how it will transition. The turn based combat for the most part plays out relatively okay (in a similar yet less polished manner to XCOM); however other aspects don’t feel particularly great on console/with a controller. The camera for one can be quite a mess, with it at times being a common annoyance when trying to target enemies in combat. The interface also feels a little cluttered, which is always a risk when it comes to an in-depth PC title. There were times where I didn’t know what to actually focus on, with tips, mission updates and narrative all being thrown at me at once.

Another unfortunate issue is the size of the text, which is way, way too small especially when playing on a big screen. This obviously wouldn’t be a problem at all if you were up close and playing on a computer however in this instance, it makes reading the dialogue a chore. Yes you can increase the size of the text, but even at its highest setting, it still remains rather small.

The director’s cut also brings new features that weren’t available in the original Wasteland 2 release. Those include expanded voiceovers, a visual upgrade (which admittedly still doesn’t make the game look anything special) and the ‘precision strike’ mechanic, which allows you to target and cripple specific body parts on enemies (which sure does sound familiar, doesn’t it?).

Now Wasteland 2 isn’t a bad game, far from it in fact…however it’s definitely not going to be for everyone. Those unfamiliar with the semi-overhead camera, difficult to navigate map and overall controls will be turned off by the game early on. Simply put, if you’re a console gamer, this isn’t the easiest game to adjust to. In saying that, there are aspects of Wasteland 2 that are very impressive, whether it be the level of customisation or the world itself and its inhabitants. If you loved the world of Fallout, then you might just end up loving this too.

What did you think of Wasteland 2? Agree with the article? Let us know in the comments or hit me up on twitter - @KingKicks

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