Free Wasteland 2 Add-On: Better Graphics, New Stuff

click to embiggen me. Missus.

Despite generally positive buzz, I didn’t get too far into Wasteland 2 [official site] because babies/RPGs are so long, but if there’s one guaranteed way to make me revisit a game it’s to improve its graphics. So many years of playing games, and still I’m such a moth to pixel-shaded flames. Pfft, like new graphics ever actually made a game more enjoyable, yet I choose to believe they will every single time. New graphics aren’t the only addition to the newly-unvieled Wasteland 2 GOTY Edition, however. “Major enhancements to gameplay”, apparently. Most importantly it’s free to all existing W2 owners.

Here’s how it goes on the features front:

  • A new ‘Perks & Quirks’ system to customise your squad with
  • “Precision Strike”, which is a strangely dry way of saying you can now target enemies’ individual body parts
  • Balance, more item drops, ‘reworked combat encounters throughout the game’
  • “Thousands of lines” of new voiceover.

As for graphics, Wasteland 2 has moved to Unity 5 and come up with “improved environment textures, character models, and Physically Based Rendering for more impressive lighting.” Here’s another screenshot to how that looks in carefully-staged action:

Do click on that (and the top one) for a full-size version.

Does look a little more vibrant to me. I know wastelands are supposed to be all bleached out and sterile, but I am very much down with more colour and vegetation on my monitor.

The GOTY Edition update will be free to anyone who already owns Wasteland 2, including Kickstarter backers, and is due for release some time this Summer.


  1. Horg says:

    Good, been waiting for the new perks system to really get stuck into this game. Hopefully it will give The Witcher 3 a wide berth so I don’t forget about it.

  2. Tyrmot says:

    I didn’t really have the time to get into this either – this update could present the perfect opportunity..

  3. Chris Cunningham says:

    I’ve really got to learn to stop playing games when they first come out.

    • skyturnedred says:

      I knew something like this would be coming, so I’m glad I waited.

    • draglikepull says:

      That’s certainly one way to sum up video games in 2015 in just one sentence.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      See also: Divinity Original Sin, Shadowrun, Age of Wonders 3, Endless Legend, Civ BE and probably a dozen other games. Nice to see support post-release though!

    • bikkebakke says:

      Iunno, I’ve only played it once and have meant to play (and this time I’ll use all my skillpoints right :< ) it again but never come around to it, this is a perfect way to get me to replay the game.

  4. Harlander says:

    I bounced out of W2 pretty hard, but I might give it another shot when this drops.

    • MadMatty says:

      yeah me too , some nasty difficulty spikes after a few hours in

    • LionsPhil says:

      Mm, I finished off AgCentre, went to the other of the two, kind of lost momentum.

      • Danarchist says:

        There’s something about the AG center mission(s) that just turned me off the game. After playing through that the first time I ended up throwing it on the back burner. Lately I have been thinking about playing it again, then I remember the “poof pods” I had to destroy one at a time to move around that map and find something else to do. I find the water pipe mission in hightown only mildly less annoying, but that particular area kind of turns my stomach to think of doing again. Too fiddly I guess.

        There is also a few area’s about a 20 hours in where the difficulty goes from “occasional dead party member” to “WTF! how am I supposed to beat this?” Add on the fact that you can seriously screw yourself with a single moderate mistake in character creation and you have a recipe to have to replay content numerous times. Game is charming enough that I probably will play it again, but I will be super surprised if I ever actually finish it.

    • Shakes999 says:

      I made it 40 hrs in and enjoyed my time with it but if there was ever a game that suffered from not knowing when to end, it was WL 2. I appreciate them trying to make it as long as possible but the bad game mechanics (of which there aren’t many to be fair) really start to make you grind your teeth the last half of the game. Then you realize you have another 15 hrs to go. Now the bad is overshadowing the good and the stuff that you could ignore for most of the game is starting to drive you nuts (Skills being over-used and save scummed for the most mundane items is the biggest offender). Reminds me of Borderlands 2. I had ALOT fun but good lord why won’t it f-ing end already. I doubt ill ever beat either of them cause I just can’t stomach booting em up again.

  5. Emeraude says:

    Can’t say I care about the updated graphics, but everything else ? Color me intrigued enough to schedule another playthrough.

  6. Morlock says:

    All it now needs is a more elegant user interface and less annoying world interaction. As the WIT pointed out, hand selecting a character, skill and each of 20 mines to get through an enemy camp can get tedious fast.

  7. grimdanfango says:

    I’ve always found babies to be particularly short myself.

    • Emeraude says:

      They’re not short, it’s just that non-babies tend to be taller.

      • John O says:

        Human non-babies. Pebbles, baby and otherwise, are universally small for instance. And Kaiju tend to be massive, with even Kaiju sperm and eggs occasionally way larger than a grown human specimen.

    • AngoraFish says:

      I can’t speak for yours, but according to Steam I’ve invested 58438 hours in mine so far. Truth be told, I expect that I’ll still be playing in a few decades time. So… pretty long me thinks.

      • AngoraFish says:

        To be honest, some of that was idling for cards, although cards stopped dropping after the first few hours.

        • Morlock says:

          Thanks. We pre-ordered our child in December, it will be out in late August. Pre-ordering goes against my principles (I don’t like feeling duped), but I learned that there was no other way to get one.

          • skalpadda says:

            I wouldn’t mind pre-ordering in this case (babies have a pretty reliable track record), but I have yet to find a reliable co-op partner to play with.

          • BTAxis says:

            Reliable track record? I’ve heard babies invariably require years of support from the developers before they can be called a mature product.

          • Fumarole says:

            You can find used copies if you know where to look. They’re not always in good condition though, so carpe diem.

  8. Cinek says:

    Makes me wonder what hides behind this one: “reworked combat encounters throughout the game” – cause combat in W2 was an absolute garbage.

    • deblintrake says:

      Totally agree… combat was boring, narative awful and it was all brown desert sand… hope this improves the game… character building sucked as well… hardly found a reason to have Str beyond 2 or 3, Cha on 1 always and int on 4 (4 points for just 1 skill point a level was utter crap)…

      Was really expecting this game, but got really dissapointed and bored… will definitively give it another try…

  9. Cochise779 says:

    It wasn’t until I started appreciating the textures in Pillars of Eternity that I realized the low quality graphics in Wasteland 2 contributed significantly to my bouncing off it so hard at first. So now that I’ve almost wrapped PoE, another superlong RPG is exactly what my life needs.

  10. drygear says:

    “more item drops”
    That’s one thing that this game really doesn’t need. After a certain point in the game I stopped picking up loot unless it was better gear than what I had. The thing you use most of your skills on is opening loot containers and there’s too many. I think near the end I stopped opening safes even because I had opened so many.

    I actually liked the game too. It was kind of special for me because the place you spend the 2nd half trying to get to is where I lived for a few years as a child and have happy memories of.

    • malkav11 says:

      What the blog post actually says is:
      “we’re also overhauling game balance, item drops, and reworking the majority of combat encounters throughout the game.”

      Which is not “more item drops”. It’s hopefully ones that are actually interesting and worthwhile. Because my experience has been that most loot in Wasteland 2 was vendor fodder or ammo and there was literally no correlation between the difficulty of accessing loot and its actual quality. It’s one of the game’s biggest issues.

  11. dungeoncrawl says:

    Already my GOTY last year….this is only going to make it better. I actually like it more than Pillars of Eternity…and I love PoE. More atmosphere, more consequence IMO.

    Does anybody know if they’ll be updating the very bad Character Sheet graphics? Those were so bad, they actually took away from my emersion every time I went into my sheet.

  12. John O says:

    I wonder what they did graphics wise. I’m guessing it’ll be apparent from file size alone when they release this. PBR doesn’t make the lighting more impressive, it just allows for textures appearing more realistic, provided they were crafted with PBR in mind. From those screens it looks like “4 polys and a shader”.

    • sear says:

      We are taking advantage of Unity 5’s global illumination tech, we’ve redone our character models and textures, added tons of new hand-placed details to environments, redid most of our terrain and object textures in our scenes (which includes making them PBR-friendly), and have done a visual effects and lighting pass on all our scenes. Bit more than just slapping a shader on it. Our art team has been working overtime and doing some really nice stuff.

  13. derbefrier says:

    Cool. I didnt really like the game a whole lot i may give it another shot with this update if it can make combat fun.

  14. montorsi says:

    And that’s how it’s done, From Software.

  15. Snargelfargen says:

    All they need to do is add a unit placement phase or improve the default formation so every battle doesn’t start with my rangers huddled together in a ball. Pretty sure elite ranger tactics don’t include keeping a maximum distance of 2 feet from each other, conga line style.

  16. McPartyson says:

    I’m guessing this will coincide with the console release? I wonder if InXile will include controller support in the PC GOTY version. It would be fun to see how it handles with one.

  17. teije says:

    Think I’ll give this another whirl. Wasn’t a big fan when I tried it – found it a bit of a slog frankly. Despite being the hugest all Fallout fan. And the graphics were ugly. Shallow I know.

    I’ve now moved to the wait 6 months or more approach for all new games. So many games I’ve enjoyed are improved so vastly in that time – AOW 3, Civ 5, EUIV, CKII, DOS, the list goes on. But in the past I always gave into the hype.

    So now when I’m hyped I might buy it at release, fiddle around a bit, and then put on the shelf until it matures like a good wine. Did that with Pillars for a few hours, and now I’m looking forward to playing it through around Christmas time. Always a good backlog to entertain me in the interim.

  18. MercurialAlchemist says:

    I don’t really care about the updated graphics. It’s the boring dialog and lack of characterization that gets to me.

  19. Erithtotl says:

    Perks and quirks are huge, if done correctly. The incredibly bland RPG mechanics really turned me off of the game.

  20. anonzp says:

    “but if there’s one guaranteed way to make me revisit a game it’s to improve its graphics”