Post-apocalyptic games are usually a hit or a miss. The problem is that they are a dime a dozen and not often do they do anything to stand out. Of course, there are mega giant games such as the Fallout series which seem to have done everything right up to Fallout 76. Of course, games naturally draw inspiration from each other and developers look to what they played as kids to come up with no ideas. Wasteland 2 Directors Cut comes from not only that, but it also had enough fans of the original game to crowdfund the sequel.
Wasteland 2 officially started its crowdfunding in 2012 and was met with enthusiasm from the announcement. It’s a follow-up to the original Wasteland, an RPG set in a world ravaged by a nuclear war that was released in 1988. Sound familiar to another game series we know of? Well, that’s because the developers were unable to make a sequel back then, so the developers made another little game called Fallout. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Wasteland 2 would be released in 2014. So you might be wondering why we are just now reviewing this game? The game was just released on the Nintendo Switch physically!
As far as the story is concerned, it is pretty straight-forward. You’re the next generation of Desert Ranger and the game starts off with you freshly becoming a Ranger. Nuclear war and meteor in 1998 destroyed pretty much all of society. You and your group take to the wasteland to help restore the world to a normal functioning thing again. I did not play the original game, but a quick search online shows that fans of the original Wasteland will be delighted to see a lot of familiar faces. The game takes place 15 years after the events of the first game.
I don’t want to beat around the bush, I found Wasteland 2 to be very VERY slow. Especially in the first few hours of the game. If you have no experience with the games and the mechanics, there is a LOT of information that is thrown at you pretty fast. I found that I had to refer back to the controls often as I would forget what I was doing. I can clearly see where perhaps the most comfortable place to play Wasteland 2 would be behind the old Keyboard and mouse.
Visually the game is rough looking as well. This may have been intentional so as to look more like the original game or that of the first Fallout. I felt like it didn’t have any negative effect on the performance of the game though. The game always ran fairly smooth and I never felt like I was stuck behind any long loading screens. I found that you are definitely not doing the game or yourself a service to try and play the game in the docked mode. It looked a lot better on the Switch screen.
Wasteland 2 is very much a turn-based RPG that will see you adjusting your party to come up with the perfect group. Sure, you can go out and try to defeat a group of enemies with all medics, but yeah, I wouldn’t suggest it! I found battles to be a bit on the long side as well as it is turn-based.
For being the same folks that came up with Fallout, I don’t know how I could have been less enthused by Wasteland 2. It’s bizarre considering how alike both games are but here we are. The world of Wasteland 2 felt like it was big, but nothing to fill it up. If anything, it all just felt generic. The biggest problems I have with the game are things that I have to wonder if it is the games fault, or if it is because the Switch is the wrong place to play the game. Either way, take it from someone that kept falling asleep while playing the game, this is a game that probably should’ve stayed in the past.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*