Coming in hot from Inxile Entertainment, Wasteland 3 is the latest and quite possibly greatest addition to the Wasteland saga and the post-apocalyptic turn-based game genre. It comes with a great story that is supposed to run 80-100 hours to complete with 120 hours of voice work. Set in the snowy area of Colorado I was faced with new challenges for these Rangers far from home trying to keep hope alive in this hostile environment. It was addicting in all the good ways.
Wasteland 3 took me away from Arizona and out to Colorado with a set of Rangers in dire straits after the events of Wasteland 2. I’ll note that even if you haven’t played the 2 previous games in the series, Wasteland 3 does a great job of filling in the lore of the world and of the Rangers and I feel you can start with this game as a great introduction to the series. The story itself had my ragtag Rangers answering the call of The Patriarch of Colorado who wanted me to solve his big issues and try to bring a sense of peace to the land. I was given a desolate base to set up in and start on my path as I saw fit. I was given the choice of some premade characters to use or being able to make my own and then fill out my team for 4 rangers leaving space for up to 2 companion characters to join me.
Throughout the story of Wasteland 3, I was presented with various ways to do what was asked of me. Sure I could sweet talk that villain into letting me get by if my Kiss Ass skill was high enough or maybe I knew about the secrets of that computer he fancied because of my high-level tech skills or I could simply start blasting and pick up the pieces afterward. It was great that such depth of choices was given to me while I played and it made me feel like there could be a good amount of replayability depending on what type of playthrough I was aiming for. There are supposed to be 80-100 hours of gameplay and 120 hours of voice work for Wasteland 3 and I believe it. Not only did I have variety in how I could go about things, but as is common with a game like this; I was given several moral dilemmas thrust upon me that could affect the way Colorado as a whole looked at me as well as certain factions. I found the story to be compelling with a lot of characters that were fleshed out and had me wanting to learn more about them. The voices added enhanced this and complemented the writing perfectly. An interesting addition this time around is the ability to play this as a co-op game with a friend (sadly I don’t have those at the time of writing this review).
Gameplay in Wasteland 3 is turn-based in a grid area with Action Points spent to move or take an action like shooting, taking cover, using a skill or an item like a grenade. Combat felt great and rewarded me for thinking ahead and cleverly using my surroundings and the various skills of my team. There were a few times I was ambushed, but even then if I took my time and used my brain; I could walk out of most situations mostly in one piece. It was great that getting hurt in combat could mean something with bleeding or long term injuries that you needed a Doctor to cure if you were taken down in combat and not revived before it was over. There were a lot of weapons and skill lines that offered me a varied way to make different characters. Do not overlook Weird Science and the Frozen Ferret Launcher.
Wasteland 3 was a gorgeous game to spend time in. The backdrop was done with an eye to detail and had me looking everywhere to find new things. My team of Rangers would change the way they looked based on the gear they wore or I could go for a cosmetic look of clothing. This really helped me get into the game and spend time looking for things (still haven’t found an eyepatch 🙁 ). My one complaint with this system is that it seems any hat will suddenly make your character bald. It detracted and made me generally not want to use hats. The world map was great to look at and explore in my Kodiak. The Kodiak is a beast of a snowmobile/truck that I can drive around in and on some overland battles will take part in the battle with me dropping down some heavy support fire. I was really pleased with how everything looked in Wasteland 3.
A free Steam key was given for review purposes.