Wasteland 2 is the latest game to be given the re-release treatment. This time around, developer inXile has beefed up their game for current-gen by adding rebuild character and level textures, revamped voice-over work and a new perk and revised combat system. So, how does it fare?
As mentioned in our original review, Wasteland 2 sees you in charge of a fresh-faced squad of Desert Rangers, a post-apocalyptic and self-appointed peacekeeping force. You’re tasked with helping to establish radio broadcast towers for the Rangers’ experimental radio network, and this sets off a chain of events that take you through a story of mystery, murder and malevolent plant life. You soon find a senior Ranger murdered by a mysterious synthetic man, and this, paired with your radio mission, forms your two-pronged story catalyst. Venturing out into Arizona, you seek to find answers about the death of your comrade, help the people of the wasteland and ensure the Rangers’ place in it as a lasting force for good.
While the barren desert is a familiar kind of locale for players of the first Wasteland and other similarly-premised games, Wasteland 2’s Arizona is refreshingly green for a nuclear holocaust. Nature is slowly taking back the world, and you’ll come across more green than other games in this genre would show you. This expands even more in the back end of the game, which sees you journeying west to the swampy world of Los Angeles. The Director’s Cut means locales look more detailed than in the original release, though the textures themselves will seem dated in comparison to similar games in the genre.
In-world, there are a lot of things for you to click on. These bits of flavour text serve a twofold purpose – they flesh out the world of a game that’s happy to keep things basic visually, and they exemplify the game’s rich and dry sense of humour. We won’t spoil anything specific, but make sure to click your way around each area. Not every caption is a gold-medal-winning wit, but you never know what kinds of gems you’ll find. inXile has also done a tremendous job taking a keyboard and mouse control scheme and mapping it efficiently and effectively to controllers.
The combat of the game is deep and complex, and slightly faster compared to the original. The introduction of precision hits is primarily a reason why, as is Director’s Cut’s new perk quirk system. Think of quirks like Fallout‘s perks, offering up new dialogue and combat options. Fights are always high stakes and exciting. Death can be permanent in this game, so you’ll want to take good care of your characters and be prepared to reload if things turn sour.
Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut is very enjoyable, though those who’ve played through the original release won’t find enough to warrant a second run-through. Combat is deep and offers a lot of reward to RPG number-crunchers, the world is well-rounded and full of surprises for those keen to dive in, and it carries a strong atmosphere. If you like your games snappy and high-paced, this probably isn’t for you – but if you like exploring every inch of the world you’re playing in, the Ranger’s badge may be a good fit.
Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut was reviewed using a promotional copy on Xbox One, as provided by the publisher. This review was based on our original Wasteland 2 review in conjunction with new gameplay.
Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut