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Wasteland 2: Director's Cut


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Played an hour of this tonight. I want to have one long game on the go while I play through some shorter games (although my file on Ori and the Blind Forest has passed 10 hours in two days). Wasteland 2 was the first of the big kickstarter rpgs to be released (followed by Divinity: Original Sin and Pillars of Eternity) so I want to play them in that order. This is the director's cut version of the game which was recently released on PS4, Xbox One and of course PC.

Obviously Wasteland and Fallout share the same dna so this game is very much in the vein of Fallout 1 and 2. Action points, perks, skills, scrap, looting, similar setting etc. I created a character with high co-ordination (the stat that primarily governs long range accuracy and action points in battle) with a proficiency in assault rifles. Then I picked three of the pre-made characters who seemed useful.

The game opens with you in base camp, receiving your first mission. The game explains its various systems as you go, every time something new happens, a note pops up for you to read about it. It's pretty handy. It looks nice, the game still has that isometric Fallout look, but you can zoom in and out and freely rotate the camera. Obviously it's not static backgrounds like in the old games or in Shadowrun Returns. It's a nice modernisation of the old style.

After getting to grips with the game, I headed out into the Wasteland. Exploration between points on the map is kind of similar to the old Fallout games or a Total War game. I selected the Radio Tower target and my party moved towards it. The first time, the game triggered a random encounter with a few enemies. Combat plays out like every turn-based pc rpg ever. Movement is grid based. Every action (movement, shooting, reloating etc) requires action points. When your action points are used up, your turn is over (or you can just press end turn). I'm playing on the default difficulty (I think it was called Seasoned). The fight I played was very easy. One feature of the old rpgs was that you could die on the drop of a hat, but I suspect that's not going to happen in this game. Early days though. Either way I will be running multiple saves.

Actually, after the fight and I was running around the random encounter map, the game crashed (for what it's worth, I emailed inXile the crash folder that was generated). I reloaded my most recent save and headed towards the Radio Tower again. This time the encounter didn't trigger, and I arrived at the mission location. Hopefully it was a once-off thing.

That's about it so far. Seems like a really good game.

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Alright, I'm calling in a report.

There's more to this game than I initially thought, the combat has a nice amount of depth to it - more so than Shadowrun Returns (I could compare this to older rpgs but honestly I think that this and SR are pretty close cousins). Actually, the game is not easy at all. You will die quickly if you run around like a headless chicken. For starters, ammo is not infinite (by infinite I mean cheap enough to buy) which very quickly highlights the important of other combat skills like brawling, bladed weapons and blunt weapons. But you cannot just equip these and stand next to an enemy and have a 97% hit chance (or with any weapon for that matter). Investing one point in these skills raises the hit chance dramatically (by like 30-40%), and after that in more modest increments - but those increments are actually meaningful, in terms of survival and relevance to the game. When I have skill points to spend, it feels like a meaningful decision.

Another element of the combat that I like is that in addition to the usual single/burst/aimed shot options, you can put your character in a "crouch" stance which will increase evasion and chance to hit, or "ambush" stance which may cause them to interrupt an enemy's attack or counter-attack an enemy after being attacked. It's a really nice touch.

There are other small things that I like. When you accumulate enough experience to level up, you call HQ to "report" and then your characters level up. When you are dealing with a vendor, there is a "sell junk" option which immediately sells all the items labelled "junk" in your inventory.

After a couple of play sessions, I like this game a lot. I think it's a smart, well-designed rpg.

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Found yesterday I automatically had the Director's Cut version of this sitting in my Steam library despite having the regular version already installed on my PC, nice that the Devs give out the Director's Cut to previous owners, really nice touch from inXile I must say, wish more Devs would do that kind of thing.

Keep the updates coming, Floyd, some really interesting stuff there, would love to be able to get round to playing it but I've just got so much else on my plate at the moment, the turn-based combat scares me a bit too, the only turn-based games I've liked is Pokemon and Ni No Kuni...and this is more like XCOM from the looks of it, which I couldn't get to grips with at all :lol: so I've no idea how I'd get on with this if I eventually got around to playing it, but the world and the exploration possibilities look fantastic and I'd love to at least try it out.

If I do play it, it would be on the very easy difficulty for sure (if there is one).

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There is an easy difficulty, but I think the challenge adds to the enjoyment of the game on normal (I mean the game feels balanced). I'm not sure how much fun the game would be if you unbalanced it too much in your favour. I'm not sure how large the game world is or how long the main story is, but theoretically there could be a 40+ hour game here. I'm six hours in and only on the first proper mission.

One thing I like is that the game presents you with a choice straight away, you are given two distress signals (Highpool and the Ag Centre) and can only respond to one. As I've been making progress through the Ag Centre mission I have heard radio transmissions coming from Highpool. I'm not sure whether that quest will still be available afterwards or whether I will have to wait for another playthrough. It gives the game replay value if nothing else - and given that the game has a large variety of weapon types and skill types, and seems to do a good job of making them all useful in the game, I think it already has a good level of replay value to begin with.

A few more small touches that I like:

  • When you loot enemies in a battle, you can loot all the enemies from the one menu in turn, without having to move from corpse to corpse, and you can choose which party member to give each item.
  • In combat, movement tiles are colour coded so you know that if you move to a blue square (the squares nearest you), you will still have enough action points to attack, but if you move to a yellow square or beyond, you won't have enough AP.
  • When you highlight a weapon in your inventory, it will show you a comparison to the stats of the weapon you have currently equipped, like Torchlight 2.

And a couple more examples of the depth and random nature of the game. All guns have a chance of jamming which is very low (3 or 4%) but requires high AP to fix (basically, it's the only action you can take in a turn). But you can alter the stats of weapons by attaching upgrades. These upgrades can by found in the environment and bought from shops like everything else, but they require a Weaponsmith skill to attach, which is a skill that isn't in the Fallout games (Fallout 1-3 anyway). The combat skills in Wasteland 2 pretty much mirror the Fallout games (except that melee is divided into Brawling, Bladed and Blunt Weapons) but there are more non-combat skills. Another random element is that followers you acquire in the game (not the original four man team you create) have a chance every turn of going rogue. The chance is pretty high (the default for the two followers I have picked up is 20%) so you see it a lot. But you can reduce this chance by improving your Leadership skill, another new skill.

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Up to 9 hours now and I've finally finished everything in the Ag Centre. As I partly guessed, it looks like I can continue on to the Highpool mission after all so the game wasn't limiting me to one or the other. Right now 17 hours is the minimum required to make it into my top five most played games on Steam, but Wasteland 2 will shoot past that. FTL is number one with 33 hours.

In terms of achievements, well, if Defense Grid shits them out, Wasteland 2 is the opposite. I've got one achievement after 9 hours. I have a rolling counter for several achievements - books read, mechanical repairs, weapon smithing, charming animals (using the Animal Whispering skill) - I think that's it so far.

In terms of negatives or limitations, well the game looks nice but you wouldn't say it was beautiful. The soundtrack is very minimal, there's no radio chatter or golden oldies to listen to like in the more recent Fallout games. The camera can be a bit quirky sometimes with walls not fading away when you enter small rooms, but it's nothing major. And one amusing quirk I've noticed is that when you move the cursor to target an enemy, the actual point where the game registers you are targeting an enemy is slightly above the ground, so if you are targeting a small enemy like a worm, you might actual have to point the cursor above the enemy in thin air. You'll probably notice this within the first couple of fights. But it might trick you into thinking that you character cannot attack this turn for some reason. But the latter two are only very minor complaints.

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Up to 13 hours now.

Correction - the game does force you to make a choice between saving the Ag Centre or Highpool. I was able to visit Highpool, but only to see the aftermath of the battle.

I cleared out a few random places and then headed back to the Ranger HQ. I was allowed in to the Ranger Citadel (which is locked at the beginning of the game) which is a really cool area. Most importantly you can buy vastly improved weapons. I had enough scrap to buy new weapons for 3/6 of my party members.

A couple more points about the nuts and bolts of the game. If a party member dies in combat it's not a cause for instantly loading your previous save. This is because they don't actually die but enter into an inured state. Any character that has points in the Surgeon skill (as opposed to Medic) can revive them. But if a character is not treated in the injured state, they will eventually die permanently. If a character is revived from injury, they are in a "Bleeding Out" condition for a short period of time which makes them more vulnerable. As well as using the Surgery skill on your own characters, you can also occasionally use it on NPCs in the game world, outside of combat.

Certain areas on the world map are marked as having high levels of radiation - 1,2,3 etc. When I came to the Ranger Citadel I bought a radiation suit which allows me to pass through level 1 radiation unharmed. Actually, all that happens when you walk through radiation is that your characters start losing health. There doesn't seem to be any kind of long lasting radiation status. I walked through an area of radation that went from 1 to 2 to 3 and back down to 1 again, and when I had passed through it my characters had lost very little health. So it's not that big of a deal. Although I guess if you came to a large area of high level radiation, it would probably kill you.

In terms of areas you can actually enter and explore, the game has two types, "Settlements" which appear to be the large areas which have quests, and everything else is lumped into a second category. So far I have five or six settlements marked on on my map. I guess it is the number of these that will really determine the length and size of the game.

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  • 5 years later...

Giving this another run though (PS4) having completed it back in 2016.


It'll be interesting to see how far I go with it, since I recall some branching storylines, where I'll try to pick different options that first time around.


I do recall it use to crash to blue screen quite a bit, but it downloaded a patch (v1.03) so hopefully it might be a bit more stable this time out 

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's seems so much easier this time around, I guess I've just made a better squad, with a couple of field surgeons/medics, and remembering the importance of buying ammunition on a regular basis. Most importantly, remembering, as needed, to 'bank' level ups until health is low (for a free full heal).


The RNG still feels a bit 'quirky' especially when it comes to out of combat skills. i.e. routinely failing at lockpick, safecracking & demolition when each skill is at 78% success - but there's usually a workaround.


Thoroughly enjoyable, even dare I say it, a bit more so than the Divinity RPG games.

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  • 5 weeks later...

What's great about playing this again is the ability to tackle the issues in a different manner for a different outcome (and an occasional trophy popping up).


Predominantly this is because my team is much more balanced than first time around, making sure I'd maxed out certain skills, that open up dialogue options. 


Now deep into the second half of the game, around the Hollywood area, and thoroughly enjoying it.

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Not yet, got it the other week for <£10 on a Amazon deal, but being deep into W2 wanted to finish it off (now at the New Citadel, Seal Beach).


I'll then play something different, SotTR has been in the pile for a while, then W3 in a few months time (unless I go for Pathfinder Kingmaker first).

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Finished it this morning, so glad I quick saved after the 'final' fight:


Completely forget about the timed countdown bit at the end, and where to go/what to do, took me 4 retries to set off the bomb & escape. Didn't save Vargas, he goes down too easily in the fight, maybe could try pre fight reload & protect him, be he split off to the right with the other allies whilst my party went left.


Great game - did crash to blue screen more once I'd reached California though 


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