Large thumbnail image for article
Thumbnail image for article


Wasteland 2: Director's Cut - Review

Having been the inspiration for the Fallout series and given a new chance at life with a sequel on Kickstarter, Wasteland 2 is back again with the "Director's Cut" that includes a number of new features and improvements on top of the Wasteland 2's original game.

Developed by inXile Entertainment, Wasteland 2: Director's Cut is an open world turn based RPG that sets out to improve on many of the issues players had with the original release of Wasteland 2. These improvements overall affect the graphics, gameplay, and sound design.

Wasteland 2's story begins with the death of a fellow Desert Ranger named Ace. The circumstances of his death are very suspicious, so General Vargas tasks a team of recruits, under the code name "Echo", to investigate Ace's death and figure out who was really behind it.

Nothing from the story has changed since Wasteland 2's original release, but what has changed is the amount of voiced dialogue. Over 8,000 lines of new dialogue was recorded for the Director's Cut and it shows. Not every line of dialogue was voiced, but it is still a welcome addition to hear exceptionally more line spoken. All the new spoken dialogue sounds just as believable as the voices in the original release of Wasteland, so there are no poor performances to speak about.

The visuals in the original release of Wasteland 2 weren't bad by any means, but weren't anything special either. With the upgrade to Unity 5.0, inXile were able to improve the visuals.

All the textures in the Director's Cut look much sharper and the frame rate seems to be much more stable as well. It's clear a lot of hard work went into reworking the visuals and that this isn't just a quick port job to consoles.

Unfortunately, despite the clear upgrade, the visuals for the Director's Cut still aren't anything special which is a shame because the game itself is special. Though, if you are coming off of the original release of Wasteland 2 then you are going to notice the visual upgrade and appreciate the game even more.

On PS4 and Xbox One, Wasteland 2: Director's Cut runs at 1080p 30fps and remains stable at that; for the most part. I briefly stated that the frame rate seemed to be more stable in the Director's Cut than in the original release, which isn't a lie, but there were a few time I ran into a drop of frames when enter a random encounter. They were few and far between so it wasn't anything that hindered the gameplay.

The thing I was most worried about for the Director's Cut's journey to consoles were the controls. It was going to be tough for inXile to pull it off, but they did it. These are some of the best controls from a PC ported game that I've ever seen. The face all do what you would expect (X for interacting and O for canceling), but the triggers are where the magic happens. When the left trigger is used it brings up all of the skills you can use at that given moment, and when the right trigger is used it brings up all of the combat options you can use for the given situation.

If I did have a complaint regarding the controls, it would be that the map is still somewhat difficult to navigate and I could never really tell if I was heading in the right direction when I was trying to get to a new undiscovered location.

Gameplay in the Director's Cut remains largely the same, but with the exception of one feature that makes Wasteland 2's gameplay feel even more involving.

During combat, you now have the option to bring up a "Precision Strikes" menu that allows you to pick individual body parts of your enemy to attack. If you are familiar with the original Fallout games then you will feel right at home with the combat.

There are a lot of variables to consider when using this Precision Strikes mode though. Things like weapon level, elevation, and cover can either make or break a successful strike. I just wish that this system would factor into damage a little more. Rather than, say, shoot at a raider's arm so they can't hit you as properly, the Precision Strikes mode really is only for increasing the likely hood of you connecting a shot.

To further add to the feeling of role playing, inXile have added a "Quirk" system. This system is similar to perks, but this gives your players a "quirk" that usually has a great benefit and an equally impactful drawback.

Of course, this isn't necessary and you can choose to forgo a "quirk" altogether, but I wouldn't recommend it if you are trying to role play.

The character creation also remains untouched from the original release of Wasteland 2. Being able to create your basic look and giving yourself a decent starter outfit is nice, but I can't help but feel this feature to be lacking. I suppose I've been a bit too spoiled with other RPGs and their robust character creators.

Never did I find did I find a face (or "head") that I liked and same goes for hair style. This is a game that could have really benefited from an in depth character creator since you are encouraged to make your 4 person squad by creating each member individually.

Usually, I can never get into turn based games. I want to like them so much, but for some reason, I can never just sit down and play them. Then Wasteland 2 came along and changed that for me. Wasteland 2 was already a fantastic game in it's original release. Now with the release of the Director's Cut, it could have only gotten better, and it did. Wasteland 2: Director's Cut is a truly unique experience that you won't find elsewhere in the PlayStation Store or Xbox Live Marketplace.


Login to comment