[PS4 Review] Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut


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Welcome to the Wasteland. Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut is a no holds barred RPG that focuses on players’ choices, making it feel really unique when compared to everything else currently on the market. What about the original Wasteland? How come I haven’t heard of that? That’s because the original came out in 1988 on PC. The team went on to create a game I’m sure you have heard: Fallout was the spiritual successor of Wasteland. The team behind Fallout 1 and 2 are now back… are you ready?

From the Producer of the original Fallout comes Wasteland 2, the sequel to the first-ever post-apocalyptic computer RPG. The Wasteland’s hellish landscape is waiting for you to make your mark… or die trying. With over 80 hours of gameplay, you will deck out your Desert Ranger squad with the most devastating weaponry this side of the fallout zone, test the limits of your strategy skills, and bring justice to the wasteland. Features: – One Size Does Not Fit All: Don’t feel like finding the key for a door? Pick the lock, bash it down with your boot, or just blow it open! – Decision Making… with Consequences: With both short and long term reactivity, your choices ripple outwards, changing the game’s events and forever altering the lives of those in the wasteland. – Huge & Customizable: Hundreds of characters. Thousands of variations on your Rangers’ appearance. Over 150 weapons. No two players will have the same experience.

Wasteland 2 | ‘Welcome To The Wasteland’ trailer | PS4

Wasteland 2 was successfully Kickstarted back in 2012 , and thanks to the support of thousands of fans it was finally launched on PC last year.
Now PlayStation 4 owners are getting a treat as a reworked version of the game is being released in Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut! This new version includes controller support, new perks, and even new dialogue! As someone who still owns both Fallout 1 and 2, and who plays them religiously, I’m super excited to see Wasteland 2 on PlayStation 4.

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Assembling Your Team

I’m very used to creating my own character to use in RPG’s and have been doing it for years. Wasteland 2: Director’s Cur did something very different to me that I haven’t had to do since Icewind Dale many years ago: creating a party from scratch. When you start up Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut, you are given the option to either use pre-determined character builds or create your own party of four unique individuals.

This sounds easy, but it’s not. The immense amount of choice given by the game is a bit overwhelming. Every stat you change makes changes to the character in how fast they move, how many action points they get, and even how many extra skill points they get when leveling up! It’s not easy to make a party, and it may take you up to an hour to get it just right. After playing for a bit, you may actually want to start from scratch again as you have gotten a chance to see what works and what does not work in the Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut.


Let’s look at the attribute points first. Your character gets points in Coordination, Luck, Awareness, Strength, Speed, Intelligence, and Charisma. Coordination will get you more action points in battle, Luck will help increase the chance of critical hits, Awareness helps your combat initiative (when characters attack), Strength increases your Health and Carry weight, Speed helps your action points and combat initiative, Intelligence helps you get more skill points when leveling up, and finally Charisma looks at your leadership and how people will follow you.

It’s difficult to figure out where to dump the points to create the best character. I would suggest toying with them for a while until you get where you want. Look at the end results underneath, as you adjust the points, you will see how that will affect your character. If it doesn’t make enough of a change, don’t put the point there.

Next up are your skills that have points that need to be distributed as well. They are divided into Weapon Skills and Non-Combat Skills. Surprise Weapons skills focus on your proficiency with different types of weapons (duh!), and you can pick what weapons your character will be skilled in, from Assault Rifles and Shotguns to even bladed and blunt weapons. My recommendation would be to focus on one weapon type and build up your skill with it. If you really want to then as a second specialty look at the melee options as ammo is scarce, and it doesn’t hurt to have a good backup.

Finally, you have your Non-Combat Skills. As you have four party members it is important you distribute these skills around. You won’t be able to cover every skill right off the bat, so think about which ones will be important to you and how you want to play. Also, I found that at the start you don’t need to dump a lot into the skills because you can balance things out as you go thanks to the points you get after every level up. The skills range from Leadership, Perception, Outdoorsman, Alarm Disarming, Computer Science, Field Medic, Lock Picking, even Toaster Repair. All of these skills will be needed throughout your journey, but as I’ve stated before, you really can’t be a jack of all trades and still stay alive.

I spent over an hour creating what I thought was the perfect party but then went back to square one since I wasn’t getting great results. Take your time, because character creation is highly important. If you want to hit the ground running, do some research, as there is a lot of info online about building great characters depending on what challenges you’ll take on and what road you’ll take.

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Exploring the World

In the game, you are given your marching orders pretty quickly and set foot into the wasteland. If you are familiar with the old-school Fallout titles, then you will be right at home, but if that’s not the case then Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut will give you information as you go to help get you familiar with the world. The game starts with a funeral, and you leave the Desert Rangers Citadel right away to avenge the death of Ace. To help you not get lost, the game juxtapositions between two maps for the world map and the local maps you are exploring. The world map is a big overhead of the world, using a marker as you move around it. Along the way you will find Oasis’s to refill your canteens, as you need to watch your water supply while exploring because water is as vital for you in Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut as in real life. You will also have a chance for random encounters, which you can try to avoid. There are hidden supplies and shrines on the map, too, so take your time to explore because an extra stash of supplies can make a huge difference.

When you enter new locations on your map, you will then see your entire team and be able to start exploring the area. As you wander around you will run into people to talk to or fight depending on how you want to play the game. You will find doors to unlock, safes to crack, people to heal, computers to crack, and much more. The map also allows you to review landmarks that will help you know where you are. Even after a ton of hours played I still run into a “where am I?” moment now and then, but every new area I find helps me to get more familiarized with the Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut universe.

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Fighting the Enemy

The game’s battle system is where you will spend a lot of your time since the world is full of conflict between Men, Animals and Machines. Each character is equipped with different amounts of action points, depending on how you setup your stats earlier. These points are used for shooting a gun, healing or moving around the battlefield. The area is set up as a grid, and you can move your cursor around to select what enemy you want to attack or what square you want to move too. The game will show you how many action points everything will take so that you can plan accordingly.

When selecting what enemy you want to attack there will be a percentage of how likely you are to hit said enemy. At first in Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut your attacks will miss… a lot. It gets better once you learn how to do better with the different gun types because each has a range at which it is better, so you have to treat each gun type differently. Shotguns and handguns are better up close, Assault Rifles give you the best percentages at medium range, and Sniper Rifles give you the best chance at long distance. Make sure you keep this in mind when in battle so that you don’t end up wasting a turn as well as the valuable and scarce ammo for each gun.

You can also assume cover, and this provides you with different defensive bonuses that you’ll want to take advantage of at every chance you can. You will also have to attack enemies who are taking cover to their advantage, so be ready to find a route to circle around them to catch them off guard.

Protip: Make sure you switch your guns for better ones when you get the chance. I was stuck at a point where I kept dying because I neglected to upgrade my weapons. I went out and got better guns and made quick work of the enemies that were causing me trouble. This will make your journey through the wasteland a lot easier.

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A World Full Of Choice

The world of Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut is full of small and large choices. They can range from what option you want to use to open a safe or as big as deciding who lives and who dies. Depending how you selected out your team’s skill sets you will come to different choices throughout the game. For example. I found a door that I needed to get through to keep the quest going. You can use your locking picking skill and, if you’re good enough, you can successfully unlock it. If it’s at around 70%, you will probably unlock it, but there IS a chance that you will fail, and the door lock will not work. But that won’t be the end of the quest. I needed to get through that door, but Brute Force wasn’t an option as I hadn’t selected that skill. I spent a while trying to figure out what to do and then realized that I had an explosive on me. I equipped the dynamite and threw it at the door and blew it up! There is always a way to keep going, and you can solve every problem in more than one way. You just need to be creative and think outside the box!

Those are some of the small choices that you will regularly be making in the game, but Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut does have bigger choices that really change the game and what you will get to do.



***Small spoiler alert***



Very early in the game you have to go to two different settlements and complete tasks in them. However, on your way there you get radio messages from both saying they are under attack! You have to make a choice immediately and select which one you are going to save. After you have made a decision, as you save the settlement, you hear the distress calls over the radio from the other settlement as they are being mascaraed and killed. It’s unsettling but shows how real the world is. It also adds some extra replay value to the game as on a second play-through can allow you to make the other choices and see what happens.


From PC to Console

As mentioned earlier, Wasteland was released on PC last year. Thankfully they managed to take a mouse and keyboard control scheme and aptly rework it to a controller in the best possible way. I won’t go into the specifics, but every button does something, and you need to learn all of it to survive. No button goes to waste, and you even use the touchpad and the L3/R3 buttons! It feels really good, and they accomplished something that I didn’t think could be done.

There is a big graphical jump as well when taking the game to console as they moved the game from Unity 4.5 to Unity 5.0. This allowed the devs to create a better looking game on PlayStation 4 that shines on my big screen TV. Another thing I liked was all of the voice work throughout the game. The voice work is great, making me feel worse for the inhabitants of the world, encouraging me to resolve the conflict at all cost.

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Humor in a World of Despair

Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut is different from other titles as there really is no hope. In Fallout, you are searching things that bring hope and can make your lives better, but in Wasteland 2 you are barely surviving. There is no hope… but this doesn’t mean that you won’t laugh at all of the Easter Eggs throughout the game. There are a ton of things you will pick up on here and there. For example, while exploring the World Map, I found a secret location. When I opened it up there were thousands of Atari Cartridges with no value to them. On another instance, there was a plant research center and in there I found some plant specimens: one was an 8-bit Piranha Plant and the other one was Pikmin. This is why you want to take your time and explore everything, as there are little things hidden around the game that will make you appreciate what the devs have done this release.

Final Thoughts

Wasteland 2: Directors Cut is one of my favorite games of the year. This feels like a different successor to Fallout 2 than what we got with Fallout 3. It’s not to say I didn’t like Fallout 3 – I loved it – but this is a closer extension of the old-school games. I’m glad we are in a world where both can coexist, because being able to play Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut and Fallout 4 (which will be releasing next month) makes this one of the best years in gaming for me. This game is worth playing and exploring. Your purchase will provide you with dozens of hours of fun, and you should definitely take your time a you explore every corner of the wasteland.

Review

ProsCons
Great Combat
Huge World
Choices that affect the game
Lots of replay value
Takes quite a few hours to fully understand everything
Rating
95%

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Cost: $39.99

You can purchase Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut from the PSN store

Disclaimer

This review is based on a PS4 copy of Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut provided by Deep Silver.

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Written by: the_nmac - News Contributor


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