Official Codex Discord Server

  1. Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.
    Dismiss Notice

Review RPG Codex Review: Wasteland 2

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, Nov 19, 2014.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    78,449
    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Tags: InXile Entertainment; Wasteland 2

    During the months leading up to the release of Wasteland 2, many were the unbelievers who cast doubts upon the game's quality, and the matter of who would be reviewing it for the Codex was an issue of some contention. Luckily, all that changed when the game came out and turned out to be pretty decent after all. Former RPG Codex editor-in-chief and reviewer extraordinaire Vault Dweller, formerly a sceptic of Wasteland 2 himself, was now happy to make himself available to review the game. To make things even better, he teamed up with none other than Barkley 2 developer and Shoutbox savant Eric "cboyardee" Shumaker. And review they did!

    It's now been exactly two months since Wasteland 2's release, and VD & Eric can't wait to finally show you how much they liked it. Here are their concluding remarks:

    We can analyze the design to death and rejoice finding various shortcomings, but here is a simple and honest-to-God reason why I really liked Wasteland 2.

    Like most people here, I play a lot of RPGs. Recently I played 4-5 games that shall not be named and couldn’t really get into them. Naturally, I suspected that maybe I lost my ability to enjoy games and get immersed due to age/kids/stress/etc.

    Then I tried Wasteland 2 and couldn’t stop playing. The more I played, the more I wanted to. It’s a wonderful yet rare feeling that every gamer can relate to.

    Does it mean that you’re going to like it? It depends entirely on your expectations. If you expected a long overdue sequel or a game that allows you to chart your own course, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. If you expected a game like [Fallout / Jagged Alliance / ‘best game evar’], you might be disappointed.

    Fallout was a game where you explored the setting and could kick some ass if you chose to. WL2 is a game where you kick ass (i.e. combat heavy, which is the very definition of old-school design) and can explore the setting if you choose to. If you don’t, your mileage will vary.

    Lastly, it's important to understand the context of Wasteland 2. RPGs have essentially been dead since 2005. Wasteland 2 is the second game and the instigator of what is probably an RPG renaissance. Wasteland 2 isn't just important for being a good game, it's important for being the first stepping stone on the way to Wasteland 3, Pillars of Eternity, Torment 2, countless other RPGs that would have never been made if inXile hadn't taken the risk to show that people still care about this genre. Wasteland 2 is the game that reopened the floodgates for RPG development.

    Real RPGs.

    Now, bring on that Red Boots DLC!​

    Read the full article: RPG Codex Review: Wasteland 2
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 51
    ^ Top  
  2. Irenaeus Self-Ejected Patron Dumbfuck Repressed Homosexual The Real Fanboy

    Self-Ejected
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2012
    Messages:
    1,867,980
    Location:
    Rio de Janeiro, Cidade Desespero
    PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera
    :greatjob:
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 6
    • butthurt butthurt x 1
    ^ Top  
  3. Lord Azlan Arcane Patron Shitposter

    Lord Azlan
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2014
    Messages:
    1,901
    Excellent - I was waiting for this review.

    I joined the codex to find good RPG - god damn it - and I wanted to hear your views - your considered view.

    I agree that we - as RPG patrons - need to support these guys. It ain't easy and it's hard work - and we all have strong opinions and deep memories.

    Wasteland and the various Fallouts' mean a lot to me - and I want to see more.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 11
    ^ Top  
  4. DragoFireheart all caps, rainbow colors, SOMETHING.

    DragoFireheart
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Messages:
    23,705
    Uh oh...
     
    ^ Top  
  5. Renfri Savant

    Renfri
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Messages:
    295
    :incline:
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
    ^ Top  
  6. HiddenX The Elder Spy Patron

    HiddenX
    Joined:
    May 20, 2006
    Messages:
    1,633
    Location:
    Germany
    Divinity: Original Sin Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    AI could be better indeed, otherwise a very good crowdfunded game. Thank you for the review!
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2014
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  7. GarfunkeL Racism Expert

    GarfunkeL
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
    Messages:
    15,289
    Location:
    Insert clever insult here
    Yeah, a well-written review.
     
    ^ Top  
  8. Morkar illiterate

    Morkar
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    Messages:
    5,392
    Location:
    Germany
    Good review. I can agree with almost anything here.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 4
    ^ Top  
  9. naossano Cipher

    naossano
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2014
    Messages:
    1,232
    Location:
    Marseilles, France
    I am not sure there was zero RPG between 2005 and WL2 but i agree that it gave it a new birth. I am enjoying that fact far more than WL2 itself. Thanks InXile.

    On a side note, i don't think scientologist & gangster are out of place in Fo2, but they should probably made that a bit less obvious.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
    ^ Top  
  10. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Messages:
    15,021
    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Heh, I had the exact same thing with D:OS. Played it for 100+ hours and just couldn't stop, to the point of pushing back/aside some job-related thingies - even though prior to that I thought I'd completely lost interest in isometric RPGs.

    The starting areas of W2 felt kinda boring to me, but I'll persevere. Good review as always, VD.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 15
    ^ Top  
  11. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    78,449
    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    • Brofist Brofist x 30
    ^ Top  
  12. Zorba the Hutt Arcane Weasel

    Zorba the Hutt
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,865,663
    :lol: Tough love and all that, Mr Fargo...
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  13. Poos Arcane

    Poos
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2014
    Messages:
    3,123
    Location:
    New Zealand
    was prepared to give this one a miss because of a few dissenting voices but since the official word is good ill be putting this on my list next to d;os
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  14. ghostdog Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    ghostdog
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Messages:
    9,980
    • Brofist Brofist x 14
    ^ Top  
  15. Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis

    Darth Roxor
    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,872,068
    Location:
    Djibouti
    As much as I liked this game myself, there are a few things that really need to be addressed.

    Except it doesn't work well, because, for starters, your "positioning" choices are almost always non-existent. You either have a bunch of suspiciously conveniently placed barrels and crates that make rushing for them a no-brainer, OR you are given a place with no cover whatsoever, OR you are given a place with no cover whatsoever that is also painfully cramped (like that fucking side-quest brothel with God's militia invaders).

    It hardly gets tedious in blobbers or in other oldskoolers that had 6+ party members. To make it non-tedious, giving the player a bunch of choices that he would consider using only in spectacularly bad outcomes or in specific situations would be enough. Atm, the only form of a 'choice' like this are explosives, and these are also no-brainers because they can't fail.

    Furthermore, it would also be non-tedious if every of your decisions was important, but, on the flipside, the enemies wouldn't be so horribly HP-bloated (FUCK YOU HONEY BADGERS), which for some bizarro reason you are actually applauding here as "true oldschool design".

    "A lot of different guns", maybe, but "with a lot of different stats" is almost borderline fallacy considering the ridiculously linear progression of weapons. You almost never have to choose between two guns of the same class. There is hardly any curve or options to be had - there is always one clearly superior gun for your current 'power level', and you won't change it until you come across a new group of dudes with bigger stats.

    "Most of your characters will have secondary weapons" is also hardly accurate, as there is rarely any reason to have that. Off-speccing a dude with energy weapons into something else is a good idea because they aren't good against everything. But for a shotgun dude? I just kept using one shotgun all the time and only picked up a 2nd gun when I found the jackhammer (apply open choke, clear rooms as if you had a flamer). My two melee dudes had back-up pistols, but they used them only once every blue moon. SMG dude had a back-up heavy machine gun that he never used because of the stupid jamming rates that can't be reduced on heavy waffen (only started using the heavy gun all the time when I made it to the final level and got my hands on that delicious x15.0 crit damage minigun.). Sniper rifle? Get anti-materiel rifle, never worry about anything else.

    I'm also surprised that you don't mention the absolutely stupid armour mechanics that force you to run around naked for the entirety of the endgame.

    That would be true if it was true, but unfortunately it mostly isn't. There are a handful of really well-made and memorable fights, that I can agree with. The CotC ambush at the farmhouse, the Red Skorpion farm, Tinker in Damonta, the final fight and a couple of others immediately come to mind. But then I remember all the obnoxious fights against scorpitrons, nearly the entire (!) early game, the pod people bulletsinks, the side-quest brothel, all the grinding inside the CotC HQ, honey badgers and many, many more, and I get PTSD. All of those fights are simply infuriating because there is *nothing* to them other than 'ok let's just shoot the shit that bumrushes us...' without any tacticool thinking or options present - some of these are above all so half-arsed that it makes me wonder whether they are an actual effect of "handcrafted design", or whether someone was just dropping them at random.

    But I think the prime fucking example of why the lack of complex mechanics often nearly killed the game for me and left me on the brink of ragequit was arriving in the ruined AG Centre structure. I am talking about the evil scientist dude who goes 'mwahaha!', stands up and starts shooting your dudes. I remember very clearly that I had to reload that piece of shit like ten times because of how terribly set up it was - first the dude gets up and because of his powergamed initiative goes first. Starts shooting with a pistol, 4 shots a turn. At this early point in the game, those 4 shots can be enough to waste 2 of your characters in one turn. Meanwhile, his 100 hp means you have to *pray* for the gods of dice to be on your side so that you can kill him with all your dudes in one turn, lest he begins his shooting spree anew.

    So I'm just looking at this dude standing up and shooting my bros, and I'm left wondering about one thing: why is just shooting him the only thing available to me? Why can't my kung-fu brawler grapple him down? Why can't I disarm him? Why can't I interrupt his shooting spree? Why can't I cripple his arms? WHY? WHY? GOD, WHY?

    The simple fact of the matter is that combat-wise Wasteland 2 feels to me as if it was growing up in some sort of a weird vacuum. Turn-based RPGs have actually been going through a sort of renaissance recently (yeah, that's what I actually think, blow me if you disagree, whoever is reading this), and while most of them have been full of options (EVEN if their combat systems or scenarios were flawed in one way or another), Wasteland 2 takes nothing of this. I don't think I would be writing this wall of text if I hadn't played SRR, Blaggardz, D:OS and even fucking MMX in the last year, but with all that competition around, WL2 just goes ahead and ignores it, falling back to a "sort of" Fallout-like approach, and stripping even THAT of fucking called shots!

    Moving on,

    Praising those all the time, but not mentioning some of the very obvious stinkers is also strange to me. Namedropping Hollywood is almost cheating as an argument because of how buggy it is, but it had one of the most glaring oversights in the game for me. Okay, so you run around the map subverting God's Militia everywhere, and each time the radio caller denounces you as devils incarnate for it. But then you arrive in Hollywood, and NOBODY mentions all this even ONCE. You can go through all those trials, become a God's Militia BRO, and finally even meet the very same radio caller, who will now say 'Hallo, rain jerks, I heard so many goods things aboot you, let's bro-up! \^_____^/ '. Being unable to stop the dog plague in the RSM HQ no matter what you do is also another thing that is just retarded.

    And here I disagre again because the writing ranges from abysmal to great, like a fuckhueg sinusoid of writers of various competence.

    One of the recurring things that really pissed me off when it comes to dialogues was the overuse of the 'I'll never trust you!!!! Okay maybe this once' / 'Whoa you assholes!!! Iz okay I understand' line. It literally happens every single time you negotiate with someone. Danforth says that when you have the dog cure. The mutant leader in Darwin says that when you waste the feral muties. The DBM leader does that too, IIRC, as well as the whoring preacher in Hollywood. So does someone in Damonta. And the Rail Nomads leaders. EVERYONE. IT'S STUPID. GET A NEW WAY OF INTRODUCING MISTRUST ALREADY, FFS.

    I also have to mention the Titan Canyon here when it comes to the ridonk sinusoid. You have the entire backdrop and powerplays in the region, okay, that's very cool and well-made.

    And then, there's Father Fucking Enola, the laziest plot device in this entire game.

    And I'm not even talking about the "you suck!", which is so terrible it escapes words. No, everything else about him is completely stupid as well. First, the quest he gives to stop the renegade monk? WOW! Such a brilliant fucking idea to give it to a complete band of strangers, instead of taking some of your fanatical gunmen, moving out and wasting the dude on the spot before he even gets to talk. And as if that wasn't bad enough, the whole backdrop crumbles completely once you say 'goodbye!', and then Enola has this idiotic slip of the tongue as a goodbye message that tells you the truth about the Titan. Because, hey, why have it as some sort of a hidden message somewhere that you can investigate, right? No, better to just handwave it off like this and shatter the entire mystery and moral dilemma concerning the fucking region.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 38
    ^ Top  
  16. Visperas Savant

    Visperas
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Messages:
    372
    It's a good review but I expected harder criticism in the weak areas of the game, I think some of them deserve it. And I don't agree on the encounter design.

    Edit: More or less what Roxor said.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2014
    ^ Top  
  17. Darkzone Arcane

    Darkzone
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    1,890
    VD basically what i have said considering the "A.I.". If you have read my 3 x 10 questions, then you would perhaps understand which problems i did addressed, at least concerning Arizona.
    But there are a lot of things that are not so easy. Let us take a look at the letter delivery quest with its different solutions:
    Show Spoiler

    You can buy the weapons, which in current version is nonsense, but solves the money problem for the brother.
    You can smart ass talk the brother into solving his family problem.
    You can deliver the letter, without asking why.
    You can ask the sister about the money problem.
    You can kill Bulldog.
    You can pay Bulldog.
    You can let Bulldog take the sister.

    All this things lead to different outcome, but i have to admit, that i did not check all the results and its tails. This quest may look simple, but also its depends on your wanted result. And not the act of delivering is important, but the desired result.
     
    ^ Top  
  18. Turok Erudite

    Turok
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,053
    Location:
    Venezuela
    I just love the game... Nice review.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  19. StaticSpine Arcane Patron

    StaticSpine
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2013
    Messages:
    2,944
    Location:
    Moscow
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Nice review, thanks:salute:

    This. Cali is much better than Arizona. I aggree with Crooked Bee that starting areas were rather boring, because they felt like small peaceful part connected by huge boring combat corridors. California feels different.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  20. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Messages:
    27,348
    [​IMG]

    Spare a brofist?
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 112
    ^ Top  
  21. Irenaeus Self-Ejected Patron Dumbfuck Repressed Homosexual The Real Fanboy

    Self-Ejected
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2012
    Messages:
    1,867,980
    Location:
    Rio de Janeiro, Cidade Desespero
    PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera
    I didn't feel that at all.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    • butthurt butthurt x 1
    ^ Top  
  22. Carrion Arcane Patron

    Carrion
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2011
    Messages:
    3,226
    Location:
    Lost in Necropolis
    I agree with most of your post, but not really about this. For one, secondary weapons are good for optimizing your AP use. If your sniper has 10 AP per turn, he might be carrying a 6-AP-per-attack sniper rifle and an SMG that takes 4 AP per shot, which allows him to be more effective each turn and also makes him less vulnerable in close quarters. Shotguns have a limited range and may cause collateral damage, rifles are less accurate if the enemy is standing right next to you, energy weapons are ineffective against certain enemies... All of my characters have some kind of a secondary weapon. There's the Assault Rifle / Explosives guy, the Sniper/SMG gal, an Energy Weapons / Melee guy, an Energy Weapons / Pistols guy, a Shotgun / Heavy Weapons guy, an Assault Rifle / Blunt Weapons guy... Even Pistol Pete uses two different pistols and has a bunch of points in Bladed Weapons. At the start of the game secondary weapons are also useful because your weapons tend to jam pretty often and it's good to have some kind of a plan B.

    As far as positioning in combat goes, I think the review didn't really mention the negative aspects. Although positioning is one of the more important aspects about the combat system, you can't change your formation, so if you're attacked, all of your characters will be in a small cluster within a couple of feet of each other, which is pretty much the worst possible formation to start the combat in: you're incredibly easy to hit, and it's very likely that your characters will just shoot each other in the back unless you spend your first turn moving them around. Better hope that your didn't create or recruit your shotgun guy last... Manually moving your characters further from each other before every fight gets very tedious very fast.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  23. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Messages:
    27,348
    ?
     
    ^ Top  
  24. Grunker RPG Codex Ghost Patron

    Grunker
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    21,639
    Location:
    Copenhagen
    Codex 2012 Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    George Weidman touched on the same thing in his review. Seems plenty codexers agree in the main thread as well. Already a consensus I think.
     
    ^ Top  
  25. Surf Solar cannot into womynz

    Surf Solar
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Messages:
    8,550
    Guess I am getting old or too demanding, I can't understand the praise this game gets on here...
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 4
    ^ Top  

(buying stuff via the above buttons helps us pay the hosting bills, thanks!)