Wasteland 2: Director's Cut
Hands-On Preview
Jeremy Harnage Jeremy Harnage

PC, Xbox One, PS4

Deep Silver

InXile Entertainment

Traditional RPG


US 2015

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Things look better than ever on the new engine.
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I'll have some a grilled Frank... get it... he's Frank.
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Bombs away!
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This is what we do with our future... we grow giant shrooms.
"If you're a hardcore RPG player who just can't get enough of Fallout and Planescape: Torment type titles, this is a great time to jump on board."

The team at InXile Entertainment have a commitment to the old-school. Beginning with one of the most successful crowd-funded initiatives, they've followed up the original Wasteland 2 with a newer, more refined Director's Cut Edition. Amongst all of the hustle and bustle of E3, they were gracious enough to give us a hands-on look at this new version. Upon walking into their booth, I was immediately asked if I was a fan of the original Fallout. Now, to anyone that's played the game, this is a very fair question. The game plays and controls in almost the exact same manner as Fallout, and could even exist in the same world (or at least a similar one). However, this ended up becoming a theme for my entire time with the updated Wasteland 2.

The improvements made to Wasteland 2 are numerous, and you can tell a great deal of elbow grease has been applied to the already massive game. The most immediately visible update is the switch to the Unity 5 engine. This has provided some much needed detail and graphical oomph, which Wasteland 2 was in desperate need of. The problem is that... well... Wasteland 2 had already set the bar pretty low. The characters, even in their upgraded forms, were still bland and failed to evoke any real depth. Of course in a game with permanent deaths, maybe being attached isn't the best thing, but it's hard to justify these visuals while other monoliths on the market dwarf them in excess. Most of the money and additional work has gone into the new dialogue and voice acting, which is a welcome addition to the original version. While already a strong suit of the series, it's something of a silver-lining that fans can easily rely on to deliver. The new voice-overs all sound terrific, and the writing consistently caused me to smirk and even laugh out loud.

Some additions were made in regards to combat, but I was unfortunately unlucky to experience several glitches during my play-through. The devs assured us that the demo itself was bugged, but it was certainly frustrating to hear about the changes and not be able to implement them. Regardless of the glitches, I was still able to peruse the Perks & Quirks section of the character builder. I was pleasantly surprised by the options presented, as well as the humor that accompanied them. This was a great theme throughout the original game, and it's nice to see it continue to be carried over. It was at this point that one of the devs made sure to remind me that this system was "just like Fallout." But it didn't stop there. We were then advised on the Precision Strike System, which, you guessed it, is "just like Fallout." Players can focus on specific body parts in much the same way that you'd expect from a Fallout inspired game.

Various other tweaks and changes were mentioned, but I really couldn't get away from the constant comparison to Fallout. In a sense, it's great, because hardcore fans of that genre know exactly what they're getting, but it's hard to be excited for something that still can't seem to stand on its own. On the plus side, fans who already own the game on PC will automatically be given a free upgrade to the DC edition. So, if you're already a fan or already own the game, definitely look forward to a more tweaked and enhanced version. If you're a hardcore RPG player who just can't get enough of Fallout and Planescape: Torment type titles, this is a great time to jump on board. But if you're a casual player looking for a fun game to give a shot, you may want to look elsewhere.

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