Wasteland 2 – Review
Follow Genre: RPG, Turn-based, Strategy, Adventure
Developer: inXile Entertainment
Publisher: inXile Entertainment
Platforms: PC

Wasteland 2 – Review

Site Score
Good: Well-plotted, immersive storyline, sound design is well executed
Bad: Map view is poorly designed, not enough points to tackle the skill-tree decently at start
User Score
(3 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (3 votes cast)

Wasteland 2 is the direct sequel to 1988’s fan-favorite Wasteland which also served for inspiration of the Fallout-series. While developed by inXile Entertainment and not by the original developers, the team behind Wasteland 2 did include several of the original Wasteland designers to provide a link between the two games. Many fans waited for the sequel and now that it is finally here, I can say that the game has gotten a positive modern revamp while remaining true to its genre down at its core.



You find yourself in the confinements of a prison, based in the deserts of Arizona, wearing mismatched clothes you’ve managed to scavenge over the years. The group of survivors that you’re with have dubbed themselves “The Rangers”, providing protection to those in distress. When one of your own gets murdered while on a mission, you and your team members are tasked to unravel the mystery of the murder while completing the mission the previous Ranger failed to succeed. However, while you venture through the deserts of Arizona, you’ll come across madness, left by the nuclear holocaust that has wiped the earth. This nuclear disaster has brought forth a group of mutants who’s named themselves “The Wreckers”. Their bodies deformed, arms like jackhammers, have left them in an aggressive state, causing havoc to villages that are crucial to your mission. That’s how I see Wasteland 2 in my head and it is roughly the story you are given to begin with.

The quests and dialogues are well written, although the dialogues tend to be quite lengthy. They’re easily skip-able but this also means that you missed crucial details of how to complete a certain mission.


The visual design is a normal standard in the genre. It’s not overly realistic but it also doesn’t have an overly comic-book styled visual design. The post-apocalyptic atmosphere is certainly present. As for the camera positions, there are three notable ones. Players can zoom in and out, switching between camera positions. The most commonly used one is the classic top-down view but you can also have a more perspective view of the world.

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The UI interface is yet another normal standard in its genre and it does resembles some of that of Fallout and Jagged Alliance, although the design is far more polished and easier to understand at first glance. The usage of icons cleans up the clutter that used to be present and these are all easy to understand. Most of the designs resemble tech that has been out-dated which perfectly fits the storyline of the Wastelands. The map view however is poorly designed and it can be hard to figure out what is what on the map once at a location.


The sound design and voice-overs are well executed, although the dialogues are fairly lengthy. Skipping these allows the player to abruptly stop the voice-overs perfectly. As you are met with different choices throughout the game, you will have to hear about the consequences over the radio. A good example is right at the start, where you have to choose between saving the villagers of Highpool or the AG Center. I ended up going to Highpool, only to be radioed in from the people at AG Center, having to listen to their horrible demise. As each weapon has their own distinctive sound, it makes the gameplay to much more enjoyable overall.


Those who have played Wasteland or its spiritual sequel Fallout will have a good knowledge of how the gameplay works. For those that are not familiar with the games, nor their genre, Wasteland 2 is a post-apocalyptic tactical turn-based combat video game. While the core gameplay is still present, there are a few notable features such as a cover system, crouch and headshot options during combat. Each of these options can be vital to surviving and should be used accordingly.

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Let’s take a step back and take a deeper look at the characters though as they are the biggest part of the gameplay. You can create your own characters or you can load preset ones. Making your own characters is advisable as the points you receive are quite low compared to the amount of skills you can choose from so you’d need to pick carefully, whereas the preset ones have overlapping skills. When creating your own character, you can add additional information such as their age, their cigarette brand and even their biography – a great feature for those who enjoy role playing.

Let’s get back to the gameplay now. As there are so many skills, having almost none of them overlap is rather crucial since you will need several skills. Luckily, you are given exp per mob when you’ve successfully cleared the path. After you’ve gained enough exp, you can call in with your radio and your characters will earn a promotion – giving you additional points to spent in the utterly huge skilltree. Certain skills can provide bonuses, such as extra skill points gained, items from the trade vendors cost less, etcetera.

Whenever a character has died, it will remain dead unless you managed to save the game slightly before his or her demise. You can continue with a party member gone but it will be harder to advance since the opponents you have facing will be stronger each and every time. During your trip, you can recruit characters (NPCs) that will help you along the way but these characters are prone to desert you after some time. In the meantime, while they are still by your side, you can use their skills and level up skills that don’t overlap your own to help you advance further in the game.

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The combat system is turn-based as I mentioned earlier. Who’s turn it is can be easily seen via the UI interface as it will show a grid of which character is up next. This makes making tactical choices somewhat easier. However, every action you perform costs Action Points, which we will from now on refer to as AP. The bigger weapons require more AP, for example a sniper rifle can cost 6 to 7 AP while a regular handgun only requires 3 AP. Since your characters will mostly start out with 8 AP, you will need to carefully choose your actions as moving costs AP as well. A grid will be laid under your character to easily view where you can move while having enough AP to shoot with the weapon you have currently equipped. However, weapons also have a chance to jam during combat and often enough they need to be reloaded. Unjamming and reloading weapons costs a fair bit of AP as well. You can equip a new weapon during combat but this weapon will need to be reloaded so making a correct choice can be rather critical.

As the game is also an RPG, you are tasked with missions and several side missions. Most of these missions are straight forward but certain missions can be a tad difficult to complete, especially if you’ve skipped through the dialogue. During these missions, you are also given choices such as which location you will visit first. The choices you make are your own but so are the consequences which can change the landscape in which you venture in.

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I have to confess that I have never been fond of the genre nor its gameplay but Wasteland 2 has really surprised me in a positive way. The storyline and gameplay is so immersive that it will pull you right in and before you know it, you’ve lost track of time. Since I’ve grown to love the game myself, I can honestly say that those who are not familiar with the RPG turn-based combat gameplay will be able to play the game without issues and learn the ropes quite easily via the well-explained tutorials. Therefore, I can only imagine that the real die-hard fans of the genre will utterly love the game. While I do think the price is fairly steep, you will get over fifty hours of gameplay in return which makes up for it. All-in-all, I’m impressed with Wasteland 2.

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Rating: 9.0/10 (3 votes cast)
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Wasteland 2 - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

Hi! I'm Jess and I’m a writer, dreamer and gamer at heart since the early ages. I primarily game on PC but occasionally also on PS4 and Xbox One. I have a tiny obsession for World of Warcraft and caterpillars but you may also claim I have a devoted passion for the gaming industry in general. If you want to hit me up, find me on twitter!


  1. Radioin
    March 17, 2015, 06:29

    Absolutely outstanding game, you should try it, really, do it now.

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