Enter land ravaged by war in a fallen post-apocalyptic Colorado, now swept by snow and blanketed in enduring darkness whilst living in a nuclear winter wonderland. Teamed with dangers unimaginable, where the player takes on the role as the only order in this wasteland, the Rangers. Play strategically in this squad-based turn based RPG, where the players decisions not only effects them on the battle field, but also through choices made along their journey to bring just to all the chaos. Create a squad with up to six rangers in where the player will challenge themself or with a friend through online co-op on. Players will experience how each Ranger grows through an impressive skill system and also how these Rangers gain useful tools before they enter each battle. Colorado’s inhabitants will react towards their squad from the decisions they make. Will they fear them or cheer them?
As mentioned, the player takes control of a squad of six rangers in where they will need to explore Colorado and its many different settlements. The main story will take them on a journey to assist the leader of Colorado, The Patriarch. Rounding up his misfit trio of two sons and a daughter, each protected by a variety of warring factions as the future of Colorado depends on this. The player’s aim is to build their base Ranger HQ from the ruble by seeking out specialists to staff each station and new recruits to change up their squad. There will be many characters and secondary missions that the player will come across, all important in order to progress through the story in making their squad stronger and how the player’s own experience of the story unravels. The inhabitants of Colorado will react accordingly to each decision the player makes, making each play through a tailored experience.
There are five different starting duos, all sporting various perks and each having their own story background. These make up the starting base for the players squad. There is also a ‘create custom characters option’ at the bottom of the character selection menu. The player can build their own characters from the ground up, letting their creative juices flow, create a muscle bound giant or a tiny gimp the size of a rabbit. Customisation options are Identification, Appearance, Starting Weapon, Attributes, Skills and Quirks. Attributes and skills are always important in any RPG progression and how the player will proceed successfully, but the vast range of armour and weaponry also plays a vital part. As the player gains new and unique items they will push themselves to explore further into Colorado, seeking stronger weapons, armour and mods.
Moving through each settlement is made easy resembling its predecessor Wasteland 2 or other RPG titles such as Diablo or Baldur’s Gate. The player can move their squad freely in-between battles with their direction stick. Outside each of the settlements the player enters Colorado in their armour cladded snowplow sporting a giant cannon. Everything on their vehicle can also be customised through collecting upgrades, such as an array of different armour panels or cannons, even installing a turbo; are all gained through story progression. Also hood ornaments and horns can be added to strike fear in their enemies or even have the player in laughter.
Battling runs a turn-by-turn based combat system where the player automatically enters if spotted by the enemy. This is where more strategy comes into play, by the player using their instincts and directing their squad, moving each squad member at a time for an advantaged position and using the single out control option to flank the enemy or sending in their rogue sniper to inflict the first blow. This is where the vehicle can also come into play in some instances, as the player can become rushed and ambushed whilst traveling on the open road between settlements and points of interest. With the amount a unique weapons, and classes the player is spoilt for choice of how efficiently they will pass through each shoot out.
One of the abilities “Animal Whisperer” allows the player to gain animal companions, which attacks independently gaining an advantage each turn for their own benefit. Other abilities such as strength will gain an ability to wear heavier armour and inflict more damage with melee weapons. There is also a toaster repair ability. This may seem useless but the player can gain a lot of unique loot and valuable items by repair a toaster. These are just a few of the expansive selection of abilities the player can choose from in order to train their Rangers.
The player can also gain special weapons and armour through boss fights, and there are plenty of bosses. All weapons and armour can be modified adding special abilities and increasing its purpose such as damage or armour rating. Later through the story the player can even add cybernetic implants adding to their ever-growing special attack options. The other option lays out the player’s characters special weapons such as throwable or deployable killer robots.
In game menu consist of seven different pages:-
- Inventory – Access to characters inventory where the player can also equip new armour or weapons acquired nd mod their equipped items. All squad members share the same inventory so there is no getting tangled up in multiple pages of inventory adding convenience to an already complex dexterity. There are a few ways of acquiring loot, one being to pry it from the corpses.
- Attributes – Where the player can add any attribution points gained from missions or fights to increase both their characters abilities.
- Skills – Where the player can add skill points gained from any missions or fights to increase both their characters skills.
- Perks – Where the player can gain new perks for both their characters after gaining perk points from larger missions to gain even more special abilities .
- Map – Shows map of current area showing points of interest. Tracking highlights a point of interest pointing the player in the right direction.
- Mission Log – Where the player can access the primary, secondary and completed missions
- Reputation – Shows the player their reputation with different factions and fame in the world effecting the way the world acts towards the players characters
Even though Wasteland 3 is a top-down isometric game, nothing strays from its graphic detail to both the environment and items, which really draw the player in. Sound is pretty expected for the style of game but the soundtrack is interesting. The soundtrack will change to the theme of each settlement, even in some battles a patriotic anthem style song from the 60’s stands out making the player realise the battle they are in is pretty important and will become apart of Coloradoan history.
There is a lot of adult content so it is recommended for a more mature audience. Course language is rife and mature intended humour, such as a special helmet rocking two giant pink dildos as horns. As an adult, the player will find themself laughing and questioning themselves on what they are laughing at. The player is able to pause and save anytime during the game, but pausing during online co-op is not an option as your teammate can still continue to move forward.
There is an online co-op mode in where the player can progress through the story with another player limiting teams of two, so instead of controlling the initial duo in single player they will each choose to be one of these characters. The customise character option is still available at the beginning of the online co-op. It is recommended the player uses their headsets as this game commands both players to strategise and the last thing anyone wants is their teammate running into battle with their guns blazing.
Harbz for One More Game
Wasteland 3 was reviewed on an Xbox One X and is available on Xbox One, PS4 and PC now. Wasteland 3 is also currently available on Xbox Game Pass.
Koch Media kindly provided review code for this review. Our thoughts on this game are ours and ours alone.