Wasteland 3, the post-apocalyptic squad-based RPG from InXile arrived this week and what an amazing, deep, absorbing, tactical, thought-provoking and unforgiving masterpiece of a game it is…or at least that what I should be writing here.
Wasteland 3 does indeed have all of the above mentioned and a hell of a lot more. To call Wasteland 3 Game of the Year should be an easy claim to make. Hell, calling it game of the generation should be at least debatable. Unfortunately, even though every aspect of the game is amazing and deserves to be lauded the entire experience is plagued by constant crashes as well as excessive and ridiculous load times that ruin any immersion and bring the flow of Wasteland 3 to a sharp, sudden halt.
Wasteland 3 begins 150 years after the nuclear apocalypse where you take up the role of the Arizona Raiders. The raiders have just seen there citadel pretty much wiped out by the robot army and have no choice but to accept a dubious deal by the leader of Colorado, The Patriarch. If the rangers can bring in the Patriarch’s three unruly children who all have plans to overthrow him, the Patriarch can keep his stranglehold of power on Colorado. In exchange for cementing his seat of power, the Patriarch will provide the rangers with all the equipment and resources they need to rebuild their citadel in Arizona.
This isn’t the kind of job the rangers would normally take but desperate times call for desperate measures. So begins your adventure of exploring the frozen wastelands of Colorado, meeting the weird and wonderful inhabitants and seeing the effects of your decisions on the different factions and overall political landscape.
Wasteland 3 is quite possibly one of the greatest games I have played. Right from the start, you are faced with the choice of selecting a pre-made duo of characters or creating your own pair of intrepid Rangers.
The most critical advice I can give here if you do choose to create your own pair of Rangers is to make sure that the characters you create complement each other’s skills. This rings true throughout the whole game as you eventually end up with a team of 6 Rangers you want each one to have a specific skill to focus on and be the reason they are in the squad.
The turn-based battles in Wasteland 3 are sublime. The skills and stats of Each character really come into play. This helps with the immersion of Wasteland 3 as each Ranger quickly take on certain roles and personalities depending on your play style. My sniper might not have a great amount of AP which means she can either shoot or move. What she does have is amazing perception so while only having one shot per turn she can hit anything anywhere on the map with startling accuracy and damage.
On the other side of the spectrum is my medic. Almost completely useless when firing a weapon (poor accuracy and low damage) but has a ton of AP meaning he can run across the map to revive and heal about 2 or 3 rangers per turn!
Playing through Wasteland 3 on normal setting I noticed I was running out of ammo extremely quickly. Now about 50 hours in and my two big damage-dealing rangers are using melee weapons.
The world map is dark and forboding. With everything hidden and to be discovered but with wandering clouds of raditation all over the place you are gonna have tiouprgade your ride before you can reach the parts of the map without your team dying from radiation posining.
NPC’s are amazing and really bring the world of Wasteland 3 to live. The humour, personalities and language are just brilliant. Wasteland 3 has no problems about being vulgar or politically correct ( take the AI god Ronald Reagan for instance) but none of this feels forced or for shock value. It genuineley looks and feels like it belongs in the world. Some NPC’s are down trodeen and weary, Others are hopefully and most are just straight out bat shit crazy
As I mentioned at the beginning of this review Wasteland 3 should easily be in for the title of Game of the Year and should arguably be included in the conversation fo Game of the Generation!
Evrything in Wasteland 3 is perfect to the point that it is difficult to single out any paticular aspect of Wasteland 3 for credit. The entire project everything from sound to graphics, npcs to world building, mission and character creation is just so god damn brilliant that each aspect of Wasteland 3 bleeds into the other making this an amazing and glorious complete package.
If wasteland 3 is so bloody amazing why isn’t it included in Game of the Year and Game of the Generation discussions I hear you scream? Quite simply..load times. They are horrific, long and too god damn frequent.
There is really no excuse for the load times being as long and frequent as they are. Each loading screen can be 2 to 4 mins long and are so frequent it is perversive. Honestly, load times break up the flow so bad that I often found myself scrolling Facebook on my phone whilst waiting for loading to end. This is not conducive to immersion at all and ruins any kind of connection you felt to the game world.
This is review has come so late after the launch of Wasteland 3 (even though we were provided with a review code before relase) because of Wasteland 3 second issue which is stability. I played Wasteland 3 on a launch day PS4 and the game crashed, like full on blue screen error crashed, at least 3 times an hour and sometimes even every ten mins!
I understand InXile have since released a patch to improve stability issues and I hope this has worked but even if it does there is still the problem of loading times.
That is the travesty here. Wasteland 3 should easily be lauded as one of the greatest games to ever grace the PlayStation 4 but unfortunately, the stability issues and load times stop the game from receiving the adulation it deserves. I am hoping that we will get a PS5 upgrade option once the console is released and the load times will be a thing of the past. If so then get ready to see Wasteland 3 on those Game of the Year lists in December.