Review

Wasteland 3 Review – A Cold Day in Hell

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Wasteland is a series about survival. As one of the Rangers, your journey takes you to frigid Colorado, where the Patriarch needs your help to reunite his incredibly messy family in the city of Colorado Springs. Are you helping the highly questionable despot for the sake of the people? Maybe you recruit some of his kids and crush Daddy’s legacy. Hell, maybe you kill everyone and take over the city yourself, the Rangers creed be damned. Wasteland 3 is about constant and meaningful choices. The story takes place in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic world, and over the course of one game I both loved and hated my decisions, which reverberated from character to character and faction to faction. The combat is clean, smooth and easy to understand in terms of movement and action – an improvement over Wasteland 2. It all comes down to the action points. Shooting with a rocket launcher costs you more effort than shooting with a pistol, for example. Performing a special move costs more than moving a tile. Cover is essential in defending yourself against the endless hail of bullets and rays, so choosing where to end your turn becomes an important tactic. Your effective range is well highlighted in the UI, so you know exactly where to move and still have the resources to attack with an 88% chance to hit. You can cry when you miss and the enemy cuts you in half with a giant machete, but hey, that’s what the save files are for. You can create four playable characters to use and also recruit two NPCs, which you can also customize – but they have their own morals and allegiances. If you push them too hard, they can bail out your crew. You have a solid pool to recruit from, but if you’re like me, you’ll bond and balance your behavior to meet their needs. Determining how to approach each situation is important, both in and out of combat. I had a diverse team of experts ready for all kinds of situations. My character Duck is a mallet master, can walk mines and launch rockets with the best of them. Another allies of mine is an expert sniper who can target specific body parts and talk about incredible junk – scaring enemies into subduing them and ending fights before they even start. And this is just the beginning of the choices available to you. Eventually, I created a master ace with guns that could fry the circuitry of any robot I’ve come across with expert CPU hits, turning them against their masters. Skills that don’t involve fighting can save your life, allowing you to skillfully handle everything from son-in-law to drunken bar patrons. Whether it’s crocheting, talking nicely, sneaking around, and even fixing toasters, every stitch you allocate matters, and it’s a ton of nerve-racking fun for every skill point you place. . The world is mostly open and you are free to roam around in your Kodiak vehicle to find random encounters, loads of side quests and places of interest, as well as other random stores and map pop-ups. You can even use your vehicle in combat when situations allow and find a ton of upgrades for it, both functional and aesthetic. If you are a cheeky explorer you can push the limits and probably end up being buried in snow a few times, but this is also how you find some interesting and powerful upgrades. Random encounters are mostly boring, but you can take them out using the survival skill. Upgrading your Ranger Headquarters is one of the most satisfying parts of the adventure. Unlocked almost immediately, your base is a ramshackle heap of garbage that you turn into an incredible stronghold, full of functional and important services like a medbay and arsenal while housing tons of characters. Your interactions with the people there have significant and subtle effects on how things play out in your final ending. Wasteland 3 makes you feel the weight of your actions in a ruthless world. No good deed goes unpunished and sometimes no choice is the right one. The post-apocalyptic world is shattered, as are most of the people in it. Sometimes you won’t feel the impact of your actions for many, many hours, when a questionable decision can come back and change everything. The characters you befriend in the early hours might turn into enemies as your journey draws to a close, and dumping a bloated plasma cannon into one of your trusted friends is scarier than snow. endless covering the ground outside. Wasteland 3 is sometimes a bit rough around the edges. I brought out several characters and refused to interact with me without restarting the game, skipping audio and looping, and massive slowdowns in combat which also required a restart. Considering the scope of all you can do, these issues are mostly forgivable and don’t cause irreversible damage to the experience. Wasteland 3 is a solid CRPG, tasking you with making both painstaking and massive decisions as you carve your Colorado legacy. Are you going to serve the Patriarch for the greater good? Do you want to join forces with her psychotic son? His rebellious daughter? Or will you just ride in the snow looking for some Scorpitron fights? They’re all worth making, so dress up and roll out for some wild times in the wasteland.

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