|Brian Fargo, arguably the "face" of "Wasteland 2".|
As I had believed/hoped would happen, "Wasteland 2" did use its funds well, continuing to gain supporters post-Kickstarter through InXile's website, but never groveling for more money by declaring they had made the game too big for the amount they had received, or other such nonsense. The game did get delayed a tad due to its size requiring more testing, but the release of the Beta helped quell too much anger at that. Then, on September 19th, "Wasteland 2" was officially done and released as a completed title, albeit with a, "Day-one," patch to fix-up some issues. I backed at a level where I get a snazzy physical boxed copy of "Wasteland 2" that is in the process of shipping to my home, but to InXile's credit I also got a full digital version I have been playing and enjoyed. What have folk besides me thought, though?
Love It or Leave It
The exploration is well-done, with you clicking where you want your squad to go, and them traveling there. There is a ton of dialogue to read, and unlike some games where you can ignore the plot this is a title where you actually want to look at the text as the combination of story and dialogue creates some solid reading from what I've played so far. Combat flows well too, operating as a turn-based affair with your various characters and whoever/whomever you are up against taking their turn too, firing off a weapon or running behind cover. It's good stuff, and other than people maybe disliking the combat system (some folk prefer a real-time kind of battle) I haven't seen complaints about those aspects of the game. One thing that has split people and which I can take a side on is the difficulty of sorts.
"Wasteland 2" can be brutally unforgiving and is a game I would encourage you to save often with, even on an easier difficulty level. Should a teammate die for example, that's it. No resurrection serum, they're just dead. If you have a character with the surgeon skill they can help someone close to dying who is collapsed and bleeding out, but should it be your sole surgeon who is incapacitated and close to death you're basically out of luck.
|Look upon this might skill-sheet and tremble!|
"Wasteland 2" is so determined to make it clear you can't, "Do it all," as in other games, that very early on two locations will radio-in a distress signal and you can only save one, no matter what. Depending on which you choose to help the other place will fall to its threat, and you'll lose the possible allies you could have gained in one location along with making a bunch of enemies in the Wastes due to your actions rippling out and causing an effect (Oh, and you can just ignore both places too and really make the world angry). These elements make "Wasteland 2" a game you will probably want to re-play even if it is so huge, just to see how different things could be. I admire the game being as cruel as it is in this era of games often letting players recover from any injury, fix any problem, and otherwise be perfect saviors in the world they're playing.
You're not a savior in "Wasteland 2", you're a squad of four people (and up to three other people who you've met that wanted to join-up) trying as hard as you can to help a mostly-barren wasteland, but you'll never do it perfectly. People will hate you, people will love you, and often there will be little you can do to change their minds, you'll just have to hope that in the end you're doing more good than bad--and that makes for something awesome.
There Are Downsides
|Get ready to click on weapon modifications a lot.|
This same problem applies with buying or selling items from non-player characters. Should you have a character with the Barter skill you need them to do all the buying or selling, lest you lose out on the discounts. Therefore, instead of getting ammo or items right away for a character who needs them, or selling something valuable one character has, you have to dump everything on your "trading" character besides junk items you can auto-sell so that they can get the best deal, and then trade everything around among your characters--click, click, click goes your mouse.
Other issues can arise too, from big problems such as the game suddenly crashing without warning to small annoyances such as all of your squad switching their weapons when only one member of the group should do so. As the game currently is however, the clunky way of moving around items is probably my biggest complaint, and something that could possibly even be fixed in future patches. Any other issues are again moreso opinions. For example, some folk have complained the game is ugly, even with the graphics quality turned-up, but I would say the ugliness fits the theme of a ruined world quite well, and when the gameplay is (generally) so good it doesn't matter if the looks are a bit on the homely side.
Overall A Great Game
I wouldn't say my score is a true "review" because for all I know once I finish in the Arizona location of the game and make it out to California (which is about another 50 hours of content or so) I could end up hating "Wasteland 2". I doubt that though, as I've even read some people saying they don't think the game truly becomes amazing until you get out there! From what I've played though, and as the game currently is since its first big patch and another recent one, I think a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars is appropriate. Considering how much enjoyment I have gotten from "Wasteland 2" and how just some small issues hold it back I think that high-mark is very appropriate. So yeah,..
4.5 out of 5 stars.