« on: September 24, 2014, 06:36:02 am »
Beat Wasteland 2.
I must say I ended up being somewhat disappointed. In case you never heard of this, it's a turn based roleplaying game set in a post apocalyptic world, extremely similiar to Fallout (the original Wasteland 1 is the spirtiual predecessor to Fallout). It offers a very good amount of content and great athmosphere. The world is well built and interesting. The story is ok (you pretty much just help local folks, the big bad only rears its ugly head every few hours for a line or two) - it's a game that is living more off the lore than off the plot, which is totally fine (see for an excellent example: Morrowind). The disappointing part is everything else. The attribute and skill system is just bad. There are only 3 viable character builds attribute wise. Attributes are completely detached from skills, so the only thing attributes concern is combat. So there are strong guys who can walk fast (melee) and guys who can shoot well and often (sniper) and intelligence chars who suck at combat but get more skills (skill donkey).
There are a ton of skills, for example lockpicking, animal whispering or mechanical repair, as you'd expect from a RPG. But the difficulty scaling of skill checks is made in such a way that you need expert characters to keep up with the skill checks. So every character just gets 2 skills you'll dump all your skill points in every few levels. There is no customization or thinking involved in building a character after it is created and you start the game. Every level is just new skill points you have to spend in the same skills every time. Terribly boring. The skill checks themselves also ultimately become boring as hell, because every single chest in the game is locked AND trapped. It just becomes an annoying chore to disarm and open it. The reward is usually just 3 bullets of ammo and a bit of junk to vendor off. You'll also constantly come across containers with only 10-30% success chance. Prepare for the exciting meta gameplay of quicksaving and then trying and reloading as long as it takes to finally open the junk. Or simply ignoring it. But at least early on, the game is balanced around you really going after every scrap. Later on it becomes irrelevant instead.
And the biggest problem, the combat system is very very bad. It looks like another take on the tried and true Jagged Alliance/XCOM formular. Only it's the blandest iteration I've seen so far. There are no skills, no classes. There is just one type of cover. At the end of the day there is nothing to do but just sit down all your chars behind a wall and keep firing at the nearest enemy until the fight is over. By the end I didn't even bother with cover anymore. I just left my guys standing in a big blob where the combat started and kept shooting. That's how dumb the combat here is. The maps also only very rarely offer interesting tactical opportunities. Most maps seem to have been made with aesthetics in mind and not tactics. Blackguards for example was WAY more inventive here, where you could clearly tell that the designers hand crafted every encounter and tried to get a unique twist out of every battle. In Wasteland it's just cannon fodder fights with a random fence you can use as cover if you want, or not, it won't make much of a difference.
Don't get me wrong, it's not a terrible game. What kept me going was exploring the world and seeing how the small surviving communities in this world worked. Still, I can't help but feel terribly disappointed over the massively wasted potential on display here. Divinity was the vastly better RPG this year.