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Game review: Wasteland 2

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Game review: Wasteland 2
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Rating: 8.5/10
Verdict : Great
Publisher: inXile Entertainment
Developers: inXile Entertainment, Obsidian Entertainment
Platforms: OS X, GNU/Linux, Microsoft Windows

Set in a dense post-apocalyptic world with everything from great sound to environment depth, Wasteland 2 is a treat for role playing fans looking to experience the post-apocalyptic world. You control a team desert rangers who are imperfect characters trying to do the right thing and help survivors of the nuclear holocaust that left the world in the shape it is in the game.

The story begins in Arizona as you attend the funeral of a desert ranger named Ace, who had recently lost his life and General Vargas, the leader of the rangers entrusts your team to recover what Ace was carrying and exact vengeance.

The begins with character creation, where you create a team of four characters that you can either create yourself or go with existing builds. The aesthetics are very basic when compared with many of the games but the statistical side makes up for that. Each one of your characters has both attributes such as strength and intelligence and skills like lockpicking and sniping. Emulating real life, your team cannot have all the skills available and hence makes you imagine what you would be the most useful for you if you ever landed up in a world like that.The game has an old school RPG feel to it with it's play ideas updated with modern game design which makes it appealing to gamers both old and new.

Wasteland 2 really excels at allowing people to create their own story with a world where anything logical can work, from challenges as simple as getting past a locked door, the game gives you complete freedom, you can break it down, blow it up or pick the lock, it's all up to you. Player's also feel a sense of participation in the world when their choices and actions shape not only the outcome of the story but also the journey to its conclusion. The sheer amount of choices and resulting conclusions not only ensures great re-playability but also ensures no two players have the same story.

Combat is a big part of Wasteland 2, as the world is filled with the dangers of a post-apocalyptic world, and there is no way to avoid all of them. Players new to the turn-based combat in RPG's will take time to get fully accustomed to the style, but fans of strategy will enjoy the action point system. The way the system works is, when you selected attributes for your team at the beginning of the game, those choices determined the amount of AP you have at the start of each turn and the order in which the game takes place. To enhance the quality of combat, InXile has added stealth mechanics as well, which means you can take advantage of both cover and crouching, boosting your defensive and offensive capabilities.

The combat is also challenging, as intricacies like leadership and weapon malfunctions, although great in terms of realism, add an extra level of difficulty to the game. Permanent death also influences the game in a big way, as when team members die or you face difficult situations you can add followers, to your squad and if you do not have the required leadership skill, they will be disinterested and do whatever they please. Ammo is also limited as you can imagine it would be in a post-apocalyptic world with the absence of a large military industrial complex.

Although difficult at times, the games combat can be a lot of fun. It can shake you out of your comfort zone and make you think, something that is missing in games these days. The game also takes advantage of the cloud by enabling cloud saves, so you can sync your progress across multiple computers. The game is true to it's setting but could have done with a little more improvement on it's graphical side. The only frustrating thing about the game for me is the lack of a mini-map and can make navigation confusing, if you're willing to overlook that then it's one of the best games of it's kind available right now.

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