Wasteland 2 Review
Wasteland 2 is an RPG that goes back to the incredibly oldschool isometric CRPG roots that a lot of now modern RPG franchises can trace their roots back to like TES or Fallout. Wasteland 2 is without a doubt made by a lot of the people who have worked on the classic oldschool CRPGs with the obvious influence from people like Chris Avellone making it feel like modernized version of fallout1/2 with some new elements. To some this might not be something that they're looking for today and they might prefer first person open-world RPGs like Fallout3, New Vegas, Skyrim and so on. However
The gameplay is fairly standard for the kind of game that Wasteland 2 attempts to be, most of the game is played out in somewhat realtime where you have a fairly large degree of how you want your squad to move about, and the ability to move your squad either as individuals or as a group. You can attack enemies from this realtime mode or set up an attack or ambush during it, but the second the combat begins it switches to a fairly classic turn-based combat with elements such as cover and crouching factoring in to your combat stats. For people who aren't very into these kind of RPGs, similar combat can be found in the X-COM series with a fair bit of overlap in how it plays out, even down to the very chance-based attacks.
To some these chance based attacks can be frustrating or even something that makes them not want to play, but for me it adds a great element to the game, i'm personally someone who loves to play tabletop RPGs where you'd have to roll a dice to see if you'd even hit an enemy and it gives a feeling that things could go south anytime and requires you to be careful, plan your moves and have back-up plans.
The game is however somewhat forgiving, even if your squad members were to be downed they are not killed right away, you have quite some time to go and heal their wounds and get them back onto their feet meaning that even if you do temporarily lose a squad member it is not too punishing. If you however do not manage to heal them, they are lost and can not be brought back.
When starting the game you get the choice between using a default squad, probably created to simply give a new player the tools and skills required to make for a decent playthrough, i however decided to create my own squad from scratch meaning that i sometimes ran into problems i had to work a lot harder to solve, like not having a character with suffecient lockpicking skill or nobody that could bruteforce down a door with a broken lock.
This character customization was honestly pretty great, and allowed for some very diverse characters even if they didn't give you many points. A lot of the character building probably will end up having to come from leveling up your characters and getting skill points over time, which leaves intelligence to like in the fallout games be an incredibly strong stat due to it directly influencing how many skill points you get. Unlike fallout however it seems that increasing your stats can be quite difficult with just skill points and stats themselves do not directly influence skills and have their own seperate effects like if you attack before or after enemies, meaning that power gaming by dumping points into intelligence might not necessarily be the best idea.
The skills themselves ranged from somewhat generic, like the combat skills (however it is probably a bit hard to make those anything but generic) to worthwhile interesting skills like smart-ass or hard-ass giving you different options during dialogue.
In the start of the game i felt that i had built some fairly balanced characters, however i still felt that the game could at times be incredibly hard and if i didn't prepare myself properly i'd die and lose all my party members. After fully clearing my first mission (after almost 5 hours) i however felt that i made much better decisions and understood how to position my squad far better. The game also requires you to make sure that your crew has enough water and i didn't feel this was overly hard or annoying so i felt it was a fairly nice system to give a reason to explore for sources of water while travelling around the wasteland.
Story-wise the game has a fairly generic 'nukes caused the apocalypse' story going for it with it almost just being fallout minus the vaults. Raiders and mutated animals are going to be your primary enemies while you work for the desert rangers to make the world a better place and solve a newly rising problem that i wont spoil here. I don't really mind this though as it's a solid set-up for a post-apocalyptic RPG and results in obvious conflicts that your character will have to deal with and solve without it feeling dumb or forced.
Visually the game isn't anything amazing but it does the job. It's not ugly or unappealing so it's just acceptable, not that i'd expect the people who'd be interested in these kind of games to be people that cared overly much about the visuals not being super Next Genâ„¢
Overall the game is an incredibly enjoyable game for anyone who wants to play another CRPG made by veterans of the genre.
I give the game a 9/10 which is obviously an incredibly high score, but as a person who simply loves turnbased isometric CRPGs it's just an almost perfect game for me.