InXile’s first kickstarted classic CRPG has gotten a makeover and console release today with the launch of the Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut. Available for free for those who owned it on PC, the updated version also marks the game’s release on the current generation of consoles for those who want to play a classically styled turn-based party RPG on those devices.
The sequel to the 1989 Wasteland that was done by Brian Fargo and his team at Interplay, Wasteland was the inspiration for Fallout. As InXile began it’s new path towards where they are now – independently kickstarted classic rpgs – Fargo pitched Wasteland 2 and was able to get it crowdfunded for the tune of over 3 million dollars and a pretty successful release following Early Access. However, they felt there were still some things they wanted to do with the title, and that brings us to the Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut.
It begins with a graphical and engine upgrade as Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut takes the game to the newest versions of the Unity engine, in Unity 5. This is visible right from the start when you go to make your new party as the party creation area has seen a lot of cleanup on it since the original launch. The original’s character creation was critiqued for being cluttered as well as providing a default party to make it easier to hop right in. Character creation has also gotten a bit of an overhaul with the new Quirks and Perks systems.
There are nearly 20 quirks available and they provide a range of benefits and drawbacks. You can choose up to one of the quirks per character and they modify the character in some pretty notable ways, allowing for a lot of changes to the game play. Some examples are: Manic Depressive altering attributes randomly every 15-20 minutes, Ascetic giving extra skill points at creation but giving up trinkets, or Asshole making you automatically succeed on all Hard Ass checks but unable to select Kiss Ass or Smart Ass conversation options.
Perks on the other hand are chosen throughout game play as you level up, with every 4 levels a character gets a new perk point. There are 90 perks, and all those little stars in the skills, are unlocking skill point specific perks that you will be able to choose. Additionally to skill point requirements, some perks require previous ones to qualify for or upgrade on past ones. On NPC followers, you will find that there are no quirks so as not to discourage people from picking companions they like, however perks are gained throughout the game similar to how followers gain skills.
For those who were dissatisfied with the combat in Wasteland 2, the director’s cut is aiming to add some more diversity to that. In particular the new Precision Strikes system allows you to target different body parts during combat putting status effects on the opposition. Different weapon types are better or worse at Precision Strikes so it helps further differentiate some of the categories. New weapons have also been added in different areas but the core types of weapons haven’t been changed. Precision Strike works as following according to the InXile FAQ, although names may vary based on enemies (such as CPU instead of head for robots):
- Head: 1.35x damage, +25% crit bonus, chance of rendering the enemy confused or psychotic, causing them to attack their friends or behave erratically. Significant Chance to Hit penalty.
- Torso: 0.8x damage, reduces the enemy’s Armor. Small Chance to Hit penalty.
- Arms: 0.7x damage, reduces the enemy’s Chance to Hit, chance of destroying their weapon and causing it to explode in a shower of shrapnel. Moderate Chance to Hit penalty.
- Legs: 0.7x damage, reduces the enemy’s Combat Speed, chance of knocking them down and reducing their Action Points. Moderate Chance to Hit penalty.
Game balance also got a big look, with all the encounters, weapons, loot, and containers getting modified. This will hopefully deal some with the endgame problems that were reported with the hordes of robots in the final segments of the game. The change in the armor system will likely help here, as heavy armor and some enemies are Conductive, which means that Energy Weapons do bonus damage to them, instead of those weapons being based off of enemy’s armor value. Controller support is an obvious addition with the console version, but it hits on the PC as well, with support for Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 controllers.
In addition to the art improvement, they also significantly expanded the voice-over in the game. There are thousands of newly-voiced lines with key characters or scenes, although that is only a portion of the game’s large amount of text. The game’s manual was also updated with the new information along with some other things for those who want to check that out, it’s available on the internet to read.
The system requirements for Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut haven’t been impacted aside from one key point – the game no longer runs on 32 bit systems. The same minimum and recommended requirements are there. Additionally, your old saves won’t make the change over due to the engine changes and the large amount of modified gameplay stuff. However, for those of you who want to continue playing the old version of Wasteland 2 that isn’t an issue as the Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut has been set up as a separate file with it’s slightly smaller 15 GB download size. That means if you decide you don’t like all the changes or want to play your old save game, that option is still available to you.