When Wasteland 2 first stepped onto the (relatively) unknown Kickstarter platform, I remember how strange it was typing that name into a headline without attaching a radioactive heap of speculation in the paragraph below. That Wasteland 2 might exist one day seemed like A Big Deal. Every now and then, as I’m writing a fresh headline I pause for thought again. Wasteland 2 is playable right now, a single playthrough of the final release will apparently take around fifty hours and Linux support has now been added. It’s important to remember, from time to time, that though the vampires of nostalgia nibble away, some meetings of past and present are as exciting as they are unlikely.
Here are the big changes:
The Titans have been released! A new area is available.
The vendor screen has been completely redesigned!
Tutorials have been added
New Mark Morgan tracks
Large balance pass on weapons and dropsets across the world
Large armor penetration pass on weapons and armor class pass on enemies
Many optimizations and compatibility fixes
Tons of new ambient tracks and in-world sounds added to all AZ levels
Ag Center/Highpool/Prison now unlocked from start
Ag Center and Highpool can both fall now
Reduced loading times across all scenes
HOTFIX: fixed infinite loading issue in certain areas
There are loads of fixes and tweaks as well, including the bleak and existentially troubling “Prison: Don’t trigger cutscene if participants are dead”.
As far as I’m concerned, Wasteland 2 is astoundingly ill-suited to Early Access. That says as much about my approach to RPGs as it does about the game and release strategy though. I’m not one for experimenting and playing through several times, trying to uncover every piece of content and min-maxing my way to power and glory. I tend to place myself in the mindset of whatever sorry stat sheet of a character I create when I’m first exposed to the game, and then live with my decisions. The idea of playing a bit of the game now and the full thing later on doesn’t suit that playstyle. I like the roles that I play to be strangers in strange lands.
That said, I’m finding it very hard to resist a quick trip to the Arizona wastes. Over 40% of the game is now in place.