Wasteland 2 Early Access Preview
I’ve been eyeing Wasteland 2 for sometime now, since the Kickstarter went live at least. I never had the opportunity to play the first game, by the time I got into gaming there was just too much to keep me busy to look back into the past. I’d like to start by thanking inXile for making me stop and take the time to go back and enjoy a gem from the gaming days of old.
Wasteland 2 is still in early alpha, available now on Steam Early Access, and inXile is working hard to iron out any kinks discovered and complete the game in a timely manner. So far there is plenty to do in the world of the post-apocalyptic wasteland. Bandits to fight, areas to explore, and loot to uncover. Your choices affect everything, from the small stuff to the big stuff, immediate to the far-flung future.
Right off the bat I can see some things that could use an upgrade, namely character models. The world around you looks beautifully apocalyptic, everything is detailed quite well, and it’s really brilliant. But character models are perhaps the ugliest I have seen in a long time. Even if you don’t zoom in like I did, you can tell that they need some work. I really hope inXile intends to update those with a future patch.
I absolutely love having the ability to choose the outcomes of my encounters. You can experience this right at the beginning on your first mission, traveling to the radio tower. Your weapons are trash and your squad is inexperienced, but the bandits you encounter are hardened killers with vicious dogs to thrown down. My first time playing I went in guns blazing and was subsequently killed off quite easily, my tactical skills are a little rusty it seems. The second time I talked my way through the opposition. I bought my way past the initial guard and walked on through without so much as a scratch. Having the chance to do this included is a smart move and one I will utilize more often. You have to use your head to survive in the end of days and that is captured here.
The developers have included a set of AI for you to control while building your squad for the first time. The portraits are beautifully done and each one is unique. They all have their own abilities and roles and you need to capitalize upon these in order to make an effect team of Rangers. Of course you can always build your own as well, if you’d like to. The amount of options to create your own survivor is quite impressive. The choices in skills, traits and even portraits are nice. I can see people spending quite a bit of time in this feature alone.
The only gripe I could come across here so far is the character models, as said before. Everything else was just as I was hoping. A turn-based, tactical RPG set in a post-apocalyptic world with more detail and story than constant shooting and explosions. Though the option is there to shoot you way through everything, and it will be the right choice for many.
InXile has built a world to be remembered here, and it is still in early alpha. I can just image the types of content we may see post-release and throughout the development cycle. This type of game, story, and world is ripe for fleshing out.
As far as Early Access games are concerned, Wasteland 2 has surpassed my expectations. There are few noticeable bugs; at least none that I came across, and the story is being fleshed out enough to keep me interested for quite some time. Keeping my interest nowadays is quite hard for most games, I am constantly moving to newer release titles.
We’ll have to wait and see how Wasteland 2 goes as its development continues.