Set in a post-apocalyptic universe and expanding from the original released in 1988 Wasteland 2 is the 2013 addition to the franchise which sets players on a new tale of survival and role playing which originally inspired the Fallout adventures. Following a successful Kickstarter campaign Wasteland 2 released on Windows, Mac and Linux before being expanded with an enhanced edition (Director’s Cut) for the console platforms of PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. With a huge amount of potential customisation and pathway options Wasteland 2 thrives when players take the time and potentially multiple playthroughs to explore each fork in the road.
Set 15 years after the original Wasteland adventure the game is set in the same gloomy post nuclear holocaust game world which has seen little in terms of conflict de-escalation in the last decade as hope and community for the surviving humans continues to be low. That being said there are still plenty of survivors scattered across this landscape with a mixture of friend, foe and neutral characters to trade, talk and battle against as you solve the main story line and explore hundreds of side missions as well at your own pace.
This main story line follows the journey of your ranger recruit squad as they try to solve the mysterious murder of experienced ranger Ace while completing his original mission, to investigate the strange radio signal that talks of machine and man joining together. With the ranger squad being descendent from military survivors in the original global nuclear war the Desert Rangers are well armed and operate on a mantra of helping other survivors in the area.
As a result Wasteland 2 is a game which is heavily based around your party of rangers that are highly customisable right from the start both in terms of stats and appearance. With the range of stats and skills available in the game players have all the choice they need to create characters for their intended playstyle. From melee brawlers to snipers, surgeons and energy weapon experts your team of rangers is truly your own creation. Given the amount of combat you’ll encounter each of these rangers generally needs to be able to hold their own in a fight which is derived from both the character attributes you assign (coordination, luck, awareness, strength, speed, intelligence and charisma), the specialty skills and perks acquired over time.
The combination of these RPG mechanics allows players to get that true sense of developing a junior ranger squad in Wasteland 2 as you take their base stat values and lean into a speciality for each to ensure your team has options at all times. This could be developing one of your natural leaders through leadership, crafting an explosives expert, a capable lockpick and someone that is a specialist repair person.
Each of this skills will serve a role in the exploration which takes place in real time allowing you to easily move across the vast landscapes on offer to players. Once combat is initiated though the game changes to a typical tactical interface where you can command your individual rangers, use cover and launch strategic attacks against the variety of enemies you’ll encounter. Combined these create a great game flow akin to the early Fallout games which the original Wasteland inspired as you move quickly when not in danger while having the ability to slow gameplay down when tactics are crucial to survival.
- Explore a ravished post nuclear environment that has progressed 15 years from the original.
- Customise your ranger squad with stats and skills which develop further with perks as you progress.
- Tactical combat across a vast number of environments and enemy encounters where tactics are critical to survivor.
- A rich game world full of content waiting to be found that leads to new quests.
- Builds on the original Wasteland experiences several decades after the original release.
- Buy Wasteland 2 (GOG)
- Buy Wasteland 2 (Humble Store)
- Buy Wasteland 2 (Microsoft Store)
- Buy Wasteland 2 (PlayStation Store)
- Buy Wasteland 2 (Nintendo Store)
Review Platform: PC