Early Impressions: Wasteland 2 Beta

By Alec Meer on December 19th, 2013 at 5:00 pm.

Playing games, especially turn-based ones, at fifteen frames per second is alright for a while, but then I started to feel a bit sick, and every blink I took seemed to last an age. The fine art of pixel-flashing really can do funny things to the human brain when it doesn’t work as intended.

Wasteland 2‘s currently appalling performance (for many, but not all, players) is just one of many reasons that its ‘beta’ tag winds up sounding a little too Mission Accomplished. Which makes this another case of an Early Access game I wish I’d waited longer to play, as right now the experience is much more about trying to stomach the problems than it is enjoying what does, pleasingly, seem to be the alternate-universe Fallout 3 that Wasteland 2′s Kickstarter backers so craved.

Other than performance, the other huge bugbear with the current build is that it costs $60 (reflecting the Kickstarter tier necessary to gain beta access), which is a hell of a lot to pay for a game that currently only features 30% of the planned areas, runs like a three-legged dog and is in need of a (planned) UI overhaul. Clearly anyone who buys this version will be automatically updated to new and eventually final builds as they happen, but that price for this content does raise the barrier for entry to ‘only if you really, really, really, really care about turn-based RPGs and enjoy filing bug reports’. Apparently a lower price is planned for later, but they’re trying to sweeten the current deal with some digital books, soundtracks and whatnot. Er, none of which are available yet. So, like betting on a chihuahua cage fight, it’s a high price for what’s currently a short and rough experience. Missus.

OK, that’s out the way. What have we actually got here? Well, it’s a turn-based roleplaying game set on a post-apocalyptic Earth, where bandits, radiation, water shortages, cyborgs, warring tribes and mutated wildlife do their level best to eradicate your gang of travelling lawgivers. Many situations can be resolved multiple ways, for instance by loaded gun or by silver tongue, and character development involves a vast number of stats.

In other words, while it bears the slightly lesser-known Wasteland name, it knows full well that its diehard cRPG audience has arrived looking for the true-blue Fallout threequel that never happened. From combat to perspective to freedom to movement to dialogue that involves everyone being a bit of an arsehole and a lot of cheesy puns and sci-fi references, it tries very hard to deliver both in mechanics and in tone.

Does it work? Well, yeah, so far. I feel suitably timewarped, despite the move to 3D graphics (perhaps the terrible framerate in the current build helps evoke Windows 95 days), which leaves me with mixed feelings. I most certainly enjoy the warm cuddle of nostalgia, and the chance to see what roleplaying games might have become if Bethesda and Bioware hadn’t forcibly dragged them off in more of a BIFF! direction, but there’s a guilt to it too. I call it ‘MOJO-fear’, the anxiety that if I’m not careful I might mire myself in the past and grumpily mutter about kids today, how it’s all just noise and it’ll never get better than when I saw Dylan at the Roundhouse in ’67.

My own old man fears aside, Wasteland 2 doesn’t feel actually archaic, other than in some of its dialogue – 1973 called, it wants it soylent green gags back (and yes, I know there’s sad irony in my using the geriatric ‘year called’ meme to illustrate that, but goddamnit I’ve run out of coffee). In fact, it’s surprisingly… peppy and quietly flashy in many respects. It doesn’t jabber on for too long, it’s quick to offer flexibility, fights feel fairly fast and hard-hitting despite the staccato turn-taking, the camera’s fully-adjustable and the environments are jolly nice, pulling off a fine mix of arid wasteland and detail-packed clutter of post-nuclear civilisation. Also the trees wave in the (presumably deadly) breeze. I do like a waving tree. I also like that I start with a squad, rather than a lone hero, right out of the gate, meaning bigger fights with a broader range of tactics.

Fights are broadly comparable to Fallout 1/2s, but a cover system of sorts both ups the tactical thinking and the animation factor – this is less like a bunch of blokes standing in a line taking turns to shoot each other, as there’s more ducking and diving on show. Only a bit though: when it comes down to it, this is about hit percentages and weapon specialisms, not hiding and twitching. There’s nothing like XCOM’s slo-mo kills or over the shoulder camera switching here, which’ll good news for purists but perhaps a little sterile for anyone hoping for a turn-based game with 21st century whizzbang sensibilities. There also isn’t a huge amount of death-toys to play with, at least not that I’ve found so far, and the fact that character models aren’t visually changed by what they’re wearing is a bit deflating. As every single sentence in this piece should be qualified with though, it’s very early days for Wasteland 2 yet.

Wasteland 2 also requires some creative thinking on occasion – saving a drowning boy, for example, involves realising that a certain skill might affect a certain object. If you don’t establish that quickly enough, or none of your party members have that skill, they will literally watch the boy drown, and the game and relevant NPCs will then reflect that outcome. Clearly I can’t say how much of that sort of thing will abound in the finished game, but I like the idea that if you’re just not enough of a thinker, not enough of a hardbitten wilderness survivor, you’re going to experience very different turns of events to other players. The world also feels reasonably fat with places and people, things to do/kill and options to make an enemy out of almost anyone even at this early stage, which bodes well for the future.

Sadly it really is extremely difficult to play at the moment: the average framerate on my not-inconsiderable PC is 17, dropping to 10 if anything particularly exciting or shadow-y is happening. On top of that, quests keep going wrong – for instance, a tribe plum forgot that I’d saved the aforementioned boy from drowning, and kept angrily accusing me of leaving him to die. Savegame corruptions and crashes to desktop also blighted my attempts to explore and survive.

Whatever ‘Early Access’ really means, the game’s just not yet ready to play comfortably, and in order to save myself from stropping off and giving up on it, I keep telling myself that despite the confident ‘beta’ tag this is just an alpha and I really should come back in a few months rather than try and invest anything in it now. Indeed, apparently savegames will likely be incompatible with the next update, so it really is sheer folly to try and do much at present.

So for now I’m treating it as brief proof that inXile do indeed appear to be making the game they’d promised to make, that it isn’t cheap and nasty and that it doesn’t suffer from the disappointing perfunctoriness of Shadowrun Returns. I think it’s going to pan out how we’d hoped, presuming ‘old school turn-based RPG with a big old lick of paint’ is what we’d hoped for. I’m afraid I do have to recommend against buying it right now though, at least if your primary purpose for doing so is entertainment.

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69 Comments »

  1. chargen says:

    1.- “We would not dream of taking your maidenhead, dear feathered woman!”
    2.- Take her in turn.
    3.- Ravish her all at once.

  2. killias2 says:

    Wow, I didn’t have any performance problems at all. I’m not calling bs or anything. I’m just surprised, as I don’t really have -that- crazy of a machine or anything. I’m sure they’ll work that out.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      It worked fine on my stationary, but had low framerates and graphical glitches on my “gamer” laptop (which runs much more demanding games fine).

      They are aware of the performance problems, and have said they are very grateful if people report hardware specs if they see any issues to make troubleshooting easier.

      My current #1 annoyance is that meelee attacks doesn’t seem to work diagonally, only from the 4 cardinal directions. My meelee character always have to move and have very few action points left. I think he only has landed a single hit in a dozen fights.

    • Vasari says:

      I didn’t have any trouble until I got into the Ag Centre, at which point the framerate dropped to about 5 (And that’s with a GTX560, an i5 processor and 8GB of RAM). I was conflicted over whether to play this now or wait for the full release since I backed the kickstarter, but curiosity got the better of me. Sadly Alec is right; Wasteland 2 looks awesome but it’s just not ready yet. I’d recommend waiting for the full version to come out, and if you’re not a backer then don’t bother buying it at this price point.

    • lautalocos says:

      same here. at max settings im getting better performace, and my PC is not what you would call the PC gaming master race insignia.

    • Bfox says:

      Playing on a 560Ti the framerate is playable at around 30 everywhere I go but the GPU is always at 100% load which isn’t very healthy for a game that takes this long to play

      Shame they chose to use the Unity engine as “Expeditions – Conquistador” has the same problem of being a GPU hog

      This sort of unoptimisation will likely be killing off a few graphic cards this holiday season :B

      • Danarchist says:

        I noticed it runs like a fat kid on my gaming laptop with an AMD Graphics card, but on my desktop with a weaker processor but a nvidia card it runs just fine everywhere but ag center. I wonder if it’s an issue working with the AMD drivers?
        Also if you are on Windows 8, I stopped getting crashes when I googled how to run steam games as administrator. Save games still get dicked up, I always make separate saves so I can go back a save or 2 if i need too.

        One thing I suggest if you are going to try it out, before going to the first radio tower mission area, roam around the map a bit and see if you can find a few caches. My second or third restart I found a 20-30 damage assault rifle and gave it to Angela.

        • Baines says:

          Laptop and onboard (and now on-CPU) graphics tend to come up short on shaders.

          For games that are heavily reliant on shaders, that can cripple performance. Even an otherwise more powerful laptop can perform worse than an otherwise weaker desktop.

          For example: Playing Rogue Legacy on a laptop was fine for me, right up until I hit a character with a trait that applies some filter to the screen. At that moment, the game would run in slow motion for the life of the character.

          The other issue with using Unity is that people tend to not realize that they are doing things inefficiently. The “easiest” way to do something in Unity isn’t always the best, and it isn’t always obvious where your big performance hits are unless you do a lot of profiling or research. Unity is similar to Flash in that regard, in that you can get a “working” game without much trouble, but then you find that the game runs poorly on anything weaker/different from your development machine.

          • JamesTheNumberless says:

            Most of the functionality of Unity is best fit for smallish 3D games. That’s where all the time-savers and performance optimization is. It makes working with 3D assets a breeze but if you’re actually making a game with a rich UI and a lot going on underneath the hood, you spend more time fighting against the engine rather than taking advantage of the productivity tools. E.g. If you’re making something like a 2D isometric strategy game with a heavy UI, you will find almost nothing in Unity that actually helps you. Moreover you will find doing things the way Unity wants you to, is a disaster for performance. So you rely on shaders actually quite a bit more than you would if you were making the same game with direct access to a graphics API, and that can be a problem for some graphics cards.

          • Baines says:

            It seems like shaders are becoming a go-to solution for game coders in general these days anyway. I’ve seen some other coders lamenting over it, that more stuff is being dumped off onto shaders rather than being done the “hard way”, which in turn kills performance for anyone with a shader-deficient graphics solution.

            As for Unity’s performance, there are some relatively simple things that can be done to improve performance, but Unity itself doesn’t warn the user about what is efficient and what isn’t. Worse, some of the paths to efficiency are locked behind the pay wall of the Pro license. From what I recall, the profiling tools are Pro only as well. That means that people learning Unity from the free version don’t have a way to see where their game is wasting its time, or to easily judge different approaches.

      • Davaris says:

        Bfox says:
        “Shame they chose to use the Unity engine as “Expeditions – Conquistador” has the same problem of being a GPU hog”

        That’s not good news for me, because I have a mid to lower range rig and will not be upgrading for a couple of years.

        Well I did try to warn them against Unity back when they announced it. I tried it a few years ago, but quickly moved to C4. The only reason I can think of for them using it, is if Unity require that you use their engine, if you use their asset store.

        • Davaris says:

          Just checked and apparently you can use Unity assets in other game engines, so at this point I’m all out of ideas. lol

        • tomimt says:

          I understood that one of the reasons, besides price, was that inXile got access to Unity source code. They were offered other engines as well, but Fargo wasn’t thrilled from those deals.

          • Davaris says:

            The engine I use comes with full source and I understand that getting source from Unity is not a big deal either, as all you need do is ask them.

            For that particular job they needed a BMW, but for some reason they chose Herbie. Like I said, ???! I give up.

    • LVX156 says:

      It works just fine for me too, on an old AMD Phenom II X4 940, 4GB DDR2 and a 2GB 6950. If the framerate is bad it’s not bad enough for me to notice.

      • Sharlie Shaplin says:

        I have the same GPU and 8gb DDR3 with an AMD 6350 cpu, and didn’t have any performance issues that I noticed either.

  3. benjymous says:

    Everything I’ve worked on has used “Alpha” to mean “Game is playable all the way through, and all systems are in place to some extent, but may have lots of placeholders”, and “Beta” means “Content is pretty much complete, but probably unpolished and buggy as hell”

    So yeah, definitely sounds like this would scrape by as an Alpha.

    On the price front, I guess it’s a tricky situation. If they charge less, then they piss off all the KS backers who paid extra for early access.

    • Vasari says:

      The commonly accepted definition is that Alpha means “Feature complete” – You can do all the intended actions in the game like shoot, use objects, jump, drive cars, plant trees etc. Beta means “Content complete” – All the actual game content like levels, items, characters etc. are available, and the rest of development is focused on testing, tweaking and implementing. Wasteland 2 clearly doesn’t line up with what most people would call a beta.

      • LionsPhil says:

        http://www.universalexams.com/general-software-testing/alpha-vs-beta-testing

        (A link provided by, and consistent with, the definitions as understood by the professional testers at work.)

        inXile seem to be correct to be calling this a beta, since it’s now out to the public, although the terms have been so amused and mangled over the years that it’s probably inconsistent with other games.

        • Vasari says:

          Sure, I guess you could use a definition based on who’s actually testing the software. You’re right though, considering how many different ways these definitions are used I suppose it’s arguing semantics at this point.

          I think if there’s one definition we can agree on for Wasteland 2 right now, it’s “really busted”.

    • WaRxXxPiG says:

      Was wondering why the early access was so expensive. Now I understand why. I’d be miffed if I paid that more for beta access only for it to be cheaper later. I’ll just wait for this one when it comes out.

  4. Emeraude says:

    If anything, should teach developers to price that early access feature lower in upcoming Kickstarters so they don’t have to artificially raise the price later on.

    After all, they probably want more paying beta testers.

    Really not sure I understand the “old man fear”. Just because a form is old doesn’t necessarily mean it is outdated… I’m pretty sure I still uses forks for one. Or still listen to modern Jazz or “classical” (what a loaded term, probably beats gamer on that front) artists breathing new life into old forms, while making them slightly evolve.

    • WaRxXxPiG says:

      Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t Steam Early access still rather newish? I don’t think inExile could have predicted this one. $60 seems/seemed a fair amount to ask for beta access at the beginning of last year.

      • Emeraude says:

        I’m not saying inXile was wrong for anything, just that I think we can probably expect the price for those early access offers on Kickstarter to be lowered from current starting practices – though by how much remains to be seen given they can still get more money from people at pledging time.

        • WaRxXxPiG says:

          I gotcha now and agreed. Going forward I’m thinking $20-25 ($15 or so for base game) for beta access at Kickstarter time. $25-30 at early access time in the future.

  5. namad says:

    you sound a bit spoiled by the recent trend for beta’s to be lies and to just be demo’s where no feedback is garnered and no real developments made….

    poor 3d optimization and a few glitches don’t sound like an alpha at all.

    • WedgeJAntilles says:

      As a developer myself, I’m really worried about this trend. “Beta” means and has always meant that something is unfinished and might be full of bugs…that’s (partly) what a beta test is FOR. Yet for some reason people have come to expect that early access alpha/beta versions of a game be practically release-quality.

      • Katar says:

        People have higher expectations of something they have paid money for then something they get for free.

        I’d say most people paying to get into an Alpha or Beta has more money then sense anyway. They probably lack the common sense to understand what an Alpha/Beta is, let alone what it is actually for.

        • kament says:

          And yet they still sell it, knowing full well what it’s actually for (testing with hired help). It’s a great business model, I’ll give them that.

      • Sharlie Shaplin says:

        Anyone who doesn’t understand this should stay away from early access. They need to put more big warning signs in the buying process, because it appears that a lot of people on Steam don’t understand it at all.

  6. Jp1138 says:

    It´s nice you can fail quests even when knowing what to do: I accidentaly killed the poor drowning boy by trying to help him so fast I didn´t see where I was clicking and hit him in the head with the bridge I was trying to build for him. No frame rates problems here, with a not no so new i7 920 and Radeon 5870.

  7. Thurgret says:

    From earlier videos I’d watched, I’d got the impression that the combat was going to be pretty tactical. Shame that it’s not quite got all the way there, but not really a deal-breaker, I guess. Admittedly, everything I read about the game was with a measure of bias towards assuming that it was a tactical combat game with a sprinkling of RPG, rather than an RPG with a sprinkling of tactics.

    • Jp1138 says:

      I was also under the impression combat was going to be way more tactical, but you basically just stand there shooting until someone dies.

      • LVX156 says:

        I’m not sure you’ve been paying enough attention if that is your opinion. This game won’t hold your hand and tell you what to do, but if you look around and explore a bit there are a few places where it’s definitely advantageous to split up the party and for instance put a sniper on high ground and flank the enemies with a small group of rangers. And attacking from the right direction seems pretty crucial to me so far (I haven’t even finished the beta yet), since I died a few times simply from approaching enemies from a direction that wasn’t suitable given cover and such.

  8. araczynski says:

    To each their own, but I never grasped the concept of wanting to pay EXTRA for a buggy, incomplete, experience ruining game.

    Guess it takes a real fanboy (not in a bad way) to do so. Granted, I assume many of those who paid for the beta did it just to give more support to the devs and have no intention of touching anything but a final build, when they can take it all in at once and not have to deal with the issues.

    • SominiTheCommenter says:

      I’m on this camp.
      Even though I paid for many Kickstarter betas I won’t really play them until after release.

    • WrenBoy says:

      For a normal early access game it makes sense to be charged less than someone who buys the game on day 1 as you are a) taking a risk by buying blind and b) essentially helping the developer testing the game.

      For crowd sourced games though it makes sense to charge significantly more for early access. All backers are buying blind so all are taking the same risk with the game. The devs need some backers to be much more generous than others in order to raise funds and therefore need to offer such backers something extra. Early access is a cheap but meaningful reward to give to higher tiered backers.

      Kickstarted games will therefore always have expensive early access. And they should always have expensive early access.

    • LVX156 says:

      1. You are supporting the developers.
      2. You get a say in how the features of the game are modified.
      3. You stop the developers from getting away with stupid bullshit. Imagine if Aliens: Colonial Marines had a couple thousand beta testers who all started posting on Reddit and YouTube about how the game looked and played nothing like the in-game footage they showed to the public.

    • JohnnyPanzer says:

      Depends on the game.

      This one I bought simply because I knew I was going to buy it anyway, and I just wanted a quick peak to make sure they were on the right track, and what I saw stilled my beating heart and now I can relax and leave it on the backburner untill it’s done.

      For games like Kerbal Space Program, it’s a no-brainer for me. Even though it’s still in alpha, it packs more features and polish than 99% of the finished products out there, so why wouldn’t I buy it early? I get a fully playable game ready for thousands of hours of pure fun, and then they keep adding stuff every other month untill I’m more or less convinced they’ve struck a deal with the devil or something. Once it’s released I’m likely to allready sit on close to 5k hours of the best gaming I’ve ever had and I simply can’t see how that could ever be a bad thing.

      What bothers me is the way a lot of people (this is not directed at you) try to portray Early Access as some kind of scam. Steam are going to great lengths to make sure they spell out exactly what to expect from an Early Access title, and anyone feeling tricked only have themselves to blame. You pretty much have to be illiterate AND mentally retarded to get ripped off by an Early Access game on steam, and I refuse to accept a world where the developers are held responsible for the stupidity of some of their customers.

      • qrter says:

        To be fair, Early Access games tend to differ quite a lot in regards to how much they offer – you’ve got yer Kerbal Space Programs and yer Prison Architects that offer a lot, and then you also have yer Spacebase DF-9s, that seem to offer a lot less.

        I do agree that any prospective buyer does have the personal responsibility to do some forum- and search engine based research before purchasing.

  9. undr337 says:

    John`s blurb is cool, I just bought a gorgeous Subaru Impreza from earning $5396 thiss month and would you believe, $10k this past munth. this is certainly the best work I have ever had. I started this four months/ago and pretty much straight away made myself at least $79, per-hour. more information http://ho.io/Freelance

  10. epmode says:

    I’m also getting very poor performance. ~15 FPS regardless of my graphics settings.

    Aside from the technical issues and the fact that barely anything is finished, it really feels like this game could become something special.

  11. Master Realtor Marklew says:

    Is that a Topekan there?
    I thought I had extinguished their whole tribe, from the Topekan Elders all the way to the Baby Topeka, which had threatened me with a 9mm pistol…

  12. Geebs says:

    Seriously, stop calling it “early access”

  13. SimulatedMan says:

    Why is it that games that rely heavily on text, especially RPGs, tend to insist on using fonts that are either low resolution or plain difficult to read. There is no reason that in-game text should be less readable than that of a word-doc.

  14. LionsPhil says:

    …a tribe plum forgot that I’d saved the aforementioned boy from drowning, and kept angrily accusing me of leaving him to die. Savegame corruptions and crashes to desktop also blighted my attempts to explore and survive.

    Ah, so it’s like the Adytum area of Fallout 1, mixed with New Vegas.

  15. konondrum says:

    Maybe this isn’t the place to complain about it, and maybe it too late to put the cat back in the bag…. but I seriously can’t stand this Early Access trend. Why in the world would anybody be willing to pay actual money to play a broken mess of a game? Especially if it’s a game that truly interests you, wouldn’t it be better to wait until the thing is actually complete? $60 for something that plays like a dog and will spoil most of the enjoyment that you get once the thing is actually done? This entire phenomenon baffles me.

    • JohnnyPanzer says:

      A matter of taste I suppose. To me, your question is as hard to understand as the question “Why on earth would anyone want to spend time on the set of their most anticipated movie? Why waste time on getting an inside look of the creative process of something you’re really interested in?”

      Besides, some of the Early Access games are so polished it’s almost silly. During the last year I have logged more hours in Kerbal Space Program and Prison Architect than all my other games combined, simple because out of the 30+ games I’ve bought this year, they are the most solid, engaging and perfected games I’ve encountered, and they’re not even close to being feature complete. Had I refused to buy Early Access games, I would have missed out on more than 1000 hours of the best gaming I’ve experienced since I loaded my first game on my C64 back in the 80′s…

      • Runs With Foxes says:

        Minecraft and Mount & Blade are also good examples from before this current Steam early access trend. It’s a good way for independent developers to fund the project instead of running out of cash and leaving a promising game half-done.

  16. paddymaxson says:

    After savegamne eating bugs and restarting a few times to get a better understannding of character stats I eventually gave up having submitted about 10 bugs I spotted in my 6 or so runs of the game’s first 2 areas (up to the end of the radio tower). I noticed tonnes of encouraging stuff (I got a bit further on my final attempt) but ultimately I agree it’s not quite ready and franlkly, I don’t want to spoil the final product for myself anyway.

    It’s a lot of fun, but I can wait.

  17. Shadowcat says:

    another case of an Early Access game I wish I’d waited longer to play

    Wait, what, you keep doing this?? Why? Do you need someone to hit you repeatedly until you stop imagining that playing unfinished games is a sensible idea in any way shape or form?

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      Perhaps your tongue was in your cheek when you wrote it, but it is kind of his job to play games that people might be thinking of buying…

      • Shadowcat says:

        I have to disagree. I don’t believe it’s a game reviewer’s job to review unfinished games, simply because an unfinished game cannot be properly reviewed. I don’t believe it is anybody’s job to play unfinished games other than the developers and their paid testers.

        If RPS is forcing its staff to play unfinished games, I would suggest that they stop doing so immediately. If it wasn’t already instinctively obvious, Alec’s comments should make it clear that doing so only spoils the experience for the reviewer, and I don’t believe it benefits the readers. Any time wasted reporting on an unfinished game could instead be usefully spent reporting on some other finished game.

  18. JohnnyPanzer says:

    I agree with pretty much everything written apart from the performance. I have no framerate issues, but on the other hand most of my friends do, so I think it’s safe to assume that it’s a real, actual problem at the moment.

    The four hours I spent in the game left me with pretty much the same conclusion as the author: I’m putting this on hold untill it’s been patched a bit. But overall, I’m very, VERY happy with my purchase. I’m extremely fond of the early access concept, and I don’t think this game is “too alpha” to be released as EA on steam, since the whole point of the EA system is to allow those who are interested to pay for an unfinished product in order to follow it’s progress.

    In it’s current state, I consider this game to be a distant cousin to the old tech-demo: a concept-demo. And I guess that’s why I liked it, even though I didn’t feel like spending more than four hours in the game at this point in time. The concept is solid, and the center will hold. The first thing that went through my mind as I exited the game was: “Phew. I can relax now, they clearly know what they’re doing.”

    Art, feel and concept are all perfect. The technical stuff is what’s missing, but I would have been MUCH more worried had it been the other way around.

  19. grimloki says:

    This is a sequel to Wasteland. Its not Fallout.

    Its quite good already, but not a) worth $60 and b) close to finished.

    Don’t buy it yet. You’ll be disappointed. Wait a few months, when its released and pick it up for less, and in a better state.

  20. Runs With Foxes says:

    Alec Meer is the reason early access games have started splashing the “DON’T PLAY THIS UNLESS YOU REALLY WANT TO GET INVOLVED IN THE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS, WE MEAN IT” disclaimer all over the place.

    You wouldn’t recommend buying it purely for entertainment at this stage?

    Yeah. No kidding. The developers already told us that.

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  22. malkav11 says:

    It’s definitely pleasingly old school in all the right ways, so far, with enough newfangled thinking to not feel like a relic…except of course where it does, like having noncombat skills with a percentile chance of success that you can just try repeatedly until you succeed, and rewarding character-specific XP for use of such skills. Setting it up in the former manner makes skill raises mostly just save repetition and makes for tedious play, and setting it up in the latter manner makes for unnecessary disparities in level and actually makes your combat specialist(s) the ones that lag behind, unusually, because combat experience is awarded to the whole party. But it’s beta. They have time to rethink both decisions. I hope they will.

  23. Kalran says:

    To me, so far, it delivers. Well, sure it’s a Beta and I needed to do some xml editing like to fully pass ag center but … it’s a beta so I knew what I was getting into. Anyway it’s not like I didn’t enjoy running ms dos games on a win 98 back when…

    It feels like Wasteland in a Fallout 1/2 engine, I really love what they’ve done. Only thing I don’t like so far is the inventory, the 3d rendered model is just ridiculously resource consuming… Dialogs are witty and well written, voice acting is good (what’s been done anyway) and the storyline seems nice. I like how you can botch a quest by being stupid. Like, hey let’s go talk to this guy again, “hey, have you found my medicine ? no ? god I’m dying!” then he dies. How stupid you feel after that! Love it, I think there’s kind of a “mature” feel to games which allow you to “fail” quests utterly. And also, I love the fact that you get hard choices.. Hope the whole game will feel that way in the end !

    Btw, for all those with performance issues here’s a fun thing to know : running the game in “fast” quality instead of “fastest” actually makes it run faster. Fast disables shadows while fastest just makes them bug a lot ^^ Went from 10-12fps to a nice 35.

  24. razzafazza says:

    i dont have alpha/access but i m a WL2 backer and after reading various forum impressions and watching videos i m worried this will be the 2nd kickstarter disappointment after shadowrun returns. i mean i know for wasteland 2 its still time to fix a lot of issues and i also aknowledge that for its price shadowrun returns is an okay game (nice art at least!) and wasteland 2 probably will be as well
    ….
    but at the end of the day i was hoping for these two projects to have GOOD turn-based combat, not just any kind of turn-based combat. SRR was awfully simplistic and Wasteland 2 looks even worse – not sure if rebalancing some numbers alone can make it anything aboie at best mediocre.

    For all the hate new xcom gets around some parts of the internet (i disagree, i like it alot although its no classic like the original ) i found it offers WAY, way deeper turn based tactics than either SRR or wasteland 2. progressing your soldiers skils and equipment is also (not perfect but) more interesting than in either game (put skillpoints into guns! get weapon with better numbers! see SRRs IPADification of an otherwise good PnP system…), more interesting enemies and the cover system makes alot more sense if cover is actually meaningfull and destroyable.

    oh well, at least blackguards and divinity original sin show some promise on the turn based combat front.
    really hope wasteland 2 will turn things around but i guess from the state of the beta its at least half a year before release…so maybe not all hope is lost.

    • EBass says:

      Yea agreed, I haven’t played it but the combat does look terribly boring as is.

    • grimloki says:

      It seems to be the combat system from Wasteland… same skills, sameish tactical options. Same healing more or less.

      Which I dig. This is Wasteland 2.

    • bill says:

      It is an isometric party-based cRPG. They all have crappy combat. Baldur’s gate – crappy combat. Planescape – crappy combat. Fallout – crappy combat with violence.

      Admittedly, a few Japanese-style tactics rpgs have more tactical combat, but then you usually have to suffer the rest of the game attached to them.

      So, your choice seems to be: good game with crappy combat, or good combat with crappy game.

      X-com being an exception, though it’s not really an RPG.

  25. flazza says:

    I just want them to fix the damn crashing :)

    I have graphics settings on ‘gorgeous’ and AA set to x2, so far the frame rate has been solid.

    machine spec in question:
    8350 4.6ghz
    32gb 2133mhz ram
    club3d 7970 (1.1ghz core clock, 6ghz mem clock)
    ssd gubbins

    so far it has most of the spirit of fallout… BUT i do miss the ‘perks’ system (faster rate of fire and fast shot being my favourite combo)… in fallout 2, nothing says bad ass like being able to fire twice with a mini gun AND still have time units left over to reload.

    UPDATE

    i can see what the fuss is about

    ran the game with hardware monitor open in the background and the temps were shocking (cpu & gpu)

    battlefield 4 and crysis 3 don’t tax my machine as much as this, it’s crazy

    dont really notice it much mid gaming as I have a good case (antec 1100) with really really good airflow (extra low rpm fans) and a watercooler for the cpu on top of that it was only through the comments on this page that I even thought to test the gaming temps with hardware monitor.

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