Wasteland 2 Review: It’s the Fallout Fans Of Fallout Wanted


It’s time to party like it’s 1999 everyone. Wasteland 2 has seen a final release and it’s very, very good. Hearkening back to the halcyon days of yore, when men wore cobbled-together battle armor and giant, weapon-devouring toads were giant, weapon-devouring toads, Wasteland 2 is stuck firmly in the 90’s ideal of what the post-apocalyptic future looks like and that’s just the way it should be. One might be tempted to ask such crazy questions as “in what kind of world does radiation create giant, mutant amphibians, Mr. Ginger?” First, Mr. Ginger is my father. Call me Whiskey. Second,  the best kind of world, dear reader. The best kind. Here’s our Wasteland 2 review!

Wasteland 2 Review

Wasteland 2 starts with a funeral, which was very sad. For me, seconds later, it then continued with my superior officer reprimanding me for trying to rob the grave of my recently fallen mentor, Ace. I am apparently off to a great start with the Desert Rangers. You play as a recruit to the order, which are basically Fallout’s Brotherhood of Steel without power armor. Though much more badass and interested in maintaining law and order, the rangers still have a bit of an arrogant, “this is our territory” bent to them, not that there’s anything wrong with that. So, you set out, poorly armed and given limited information, to solve Ace’s murder. Of course, his murder is actually part of a much bigger series of problems around the wasteland that will take you from Arizona, back to Nevada and even into beautiful, irradiated California. It’s like a fucked up tour of the American Southwest, complete with 10 times more things that want you dead than a real trip there*.

*Unless you venture into Juarez, Mexico. Then the numbers are about the same.

The character system is both unique and slick, though one should take care to remember that death is permanent. I had to kill off my first playthrough because I forgot to include a part surgeon and bring trauma kits. The wasteland devoured me like an obese redneck family at a Golden Corral devours the ribs and brisket on BBQ night. It was not a pretty sight to behold. Wandering through the wastes the second time, I fared much better. However, those I helped generally didn’t. So far, I’ve got tribal genocide, a small thermonuclear detonation, a neglected locale full of murderous robots and a prison valley that was “liberated” in the least friendly of ways under my belt. Desert Rangers: here for your destruction protection  shit. Just don’t fuck with the goat. Whatever you do. He’s got the Devil’s eyes (+1 to perception, even).


The staggering amount of choices and consequences for actions in Wasteland are one of the greatest appeals to me. Murder the wrong NPC, thereby fucking an entire section of plot? Sorry, should have thought of that before you decided to engage in what amounts to genocide because someone wouldn’t sell you 7.62 mm ammo for your sniper rifle. The wastes are a harsh place to live, and nothing exemplifies that better than the things you will do to get ammo in this game. If there was a “prostitute yourself to get enough ammo to kill wild dogs” option, I would totally have done that by hour number three, but damn if not having ammo doesn’t make you get creative in combat. My favorite was always having my tech person run out around an active turret, then turning it against the people operating it. Killing two birds with one pre-war autocannon has never felt so satisfying.

Dog dayHaving sunk over 40 hours into the pre-release and another 10 into the game today, I can safely say that Wasteland 2 is an instant classic. It’s been a great year for the old school CRPG so far, as I said in my Divinity: Original Sin reviewWasteland 2 proves that the trend will continue for the foreseeable future. It’s tough, madcap, expansive and occasionally frustrating, but it evokes all the feelings I had of my first playthrough through the nigh esoteric Fallout. Fallout, being a spiritual successor to Wasteland, was a good place for Fargo and company to look for inspiration, and I think that the combination of Wasteland’s style and lore with the top-down third person style makes for a great sequel. Considering the first came out before I was even in elementary school, this sequel has been a long time in the making, but damn it delivers. I experienced only a few minor bugs, and most of them I attribute to using an old pre-release save when they suggested that only new saves be used after release, so your mileage in that department may very. Wasteland’s deadly deserts and overrun agricultural facilities have drawn me in and left me wanting more, much like Fallout 1 and 2 did many years ago.

About Whiskey Ginger

Whiskey Ginger is a scientist by day and comedy writer by night. Other than his passions for the nerdier things in life, he also writes for comedy sites dedicated to fraternity and postgrad humor. His parents just wish he'd write less dick jokes.

Recommended for you