There are times when the best thing you can do for a game is to log off and exit out. This is our Wasteland Survival review.
Wasteland Survival is a fairly basic game with intuitive and very simple controls. It features WASD movement, E interaction, and space bar for combat. Your intro is largely undemanding, starting you on your home map, which is helpfully populated with a few starting resources, a handful of zombies and some animals. Your base is partly constructed, with parts that need repairs or rebuilding, and some storage containers for dumping extras in.
The graphics aren’t bad, but definitely not cutting edge by any means. The maps are small but straightforward and the animations are smooth. I was disappointed the character creation didn’t exist at all – you’re stuck with a skinny white boy with a growing in goatee vaguely reminiscent of a chocolate milk stain around his mouth – but I can understand that cutting models down is a pretty common way to keep production costs down.
The first ten levels serve largely as your tutorial, giving you directions on what to kill, how to get around and some starting gear and goods. Every day you’ll receive a free lucky chest and log in rewards, to help you on your way. Like most mobile to PC ports, you can always head to the store and buy whatever you feel you need. That’s where the trouble starts.
When you begin, you have the stamina and coins to manage along rather well, however, by tenth level, both of those become significantly more difficult to obtain. Stamina, the resource you use to run to maps regens at 1 per hour. Not a problem, except all of your quests, will be on other maps as well as most of your resources for progression. Those handfuls of resources on your base map? They do respawn, but slowly and only enough to get you a piece of starter gear, like a club or a pick for mining. The zombies on the base map don’t. It should also be noted, at this time, that your equipment breaks and breaks fast. So even if you get a great drop, you might have it for a dozen fights, if you’re lucky.
Your quests are how you get coins without spending money, though in a daily login you might get a handful. Coins being used for additional talents, refreshing stamina to travel to maps and for resurrecting with gear are fairly important, but without the stamina and gear to finish questlines, your only option is purchasing them.
The in-game store. Oh boy. When I first logged in I was greeted with a pop-up advertisement for a deep dive sale. If you’re not familiar, a deep dive sale is when something is advertised at a very high price and slashed down to a fraction of that. The first deep dive you’ll be greeted with boasts that it is a value of two hundred and ninety-nine dollars-it includes a pet and some resources. Yes, I didn’t miss a decimal, that’s almost three hundred dollars. Their sale promises that you can receive this for a fraction of the actual value, but only if you buy now.
Generally, I’m ambivalent about microtrans, despite my gaming history. Yes, I prefer an upfront sub, but I don’t mind that devs try to get paid in microtrans for your free to play offerings, after all, we’ve all got bills to pay. I do mind, however, when the microtrans have been placed as a barrier to actually playing the game, making it nearly impossible to progress without spending. To me, that’s disingenuous to the entire free to play label. When you can’t progress without buying, it’s no longer free to play, and shouldn’t be labeled as such.
I also have a general problem with the label pay to win, since it’s thrown around so liberally, but if any game qualifies, this would be it. With enough coin purchases, you can buy gear, stamina, talent points, companion pets, and pretty much everything you’d need to breeze through. This isn’t cosmetics and xp potions, it’s literally game progress you’re buying.
Instead of free to play, if pay to win isn’t an attractive label for Joyloft Co., they should have relabelled it paid progression because when you log in, that’s exactly what you get.
COMPARE TO: Last Day on Earth: Survival, Ark: Survival Evolved