InXile Entertainment the developer of the Kickstarter hit Wasteland 2 announced the next installment to the predecessor of Fallout, Wasteland 3, which it’s bringing simultaneously to Windows PC, Xbox One, PS4, Mac, and Linux, this time using crowdfunding site Fig.
Like its predecessors Wasteland 3 is a party based RPG. In Wasteland 2 you’re put in the hands of Ranger team Echo-One to help the hot wastes of Arizona and the humid Los Angeles from all that might terrorise it. This time around you’re put in the shoes of the only survivor of a Ranger squad called Team November, that was sent to Colorado, in the announcement InXile Entertainment explained more:
“This is a land of buried secrets, lost technology, fearsome lunatics, and deadly factions, no one here has ever heard of the Desert Rangers. Your reputation is yours to build from scratch, and your choices may save this land or doom it. With a renewed focus on macro-reactivity, you’ll be picking between warring factions, deciding whether locations are destroyed or saved, and other far-reaching decisions that have a marked impact on the shape of your world.”
InXile Entertainment deliberately shied away from the more commonplace post-apocalyptic settings in favor of a frozen Colorado, a very interesting take on an otherwise stapled genre where we expect deserts and dust, they went on to explain:
“More than anything, a solitary building or town amidst an unblemished field of snow emphasizes an overwhelming sense of isolation that is key to the post-apocalyptic story, it is this rarely found setting and aesthetic that we want to explore in Wasteland 3.”
Beyond a new setting, Wasteland 3 introduces some major new features. While it’s still described as a “rich single-player experience,” it introduces a new co-op mode. You can play with a friend in real-time, joining together to take part in missions or splitting up to do separate things. Alternatively, each of the two players can play while the other is not online, getting things done that the other player can come online later to discover, InXile Entertainment said:
“By making the decision to include multiplayer early on in the process, we will be able to design a game that is true to the core principles of the Wasteland franchise and our studio. Wasteland 3 can be played as an offline, single-player game, and is built from the ground up with a focus on story and reactivity that makes no sacrifices to the multiplayer experience. At the same time, co-op players will enjoy working together to change Wasteland 3’s highly reactive world… or finding ways to destroy what their friend has worked to accomplish.”
Wasteland 3 also introduces team based abilities and upgradeable vehicles, these can be used for travel and transportation, but also serve a function in combat. It can function as movable cover, and InXile Entertainment mentioned that it can be equipped with a turret to attack enemies.
Which might mean more than we think, in Wasteland 2 we only saw an overmap of the area the squad traversed, what if this time we travel in engine, inside of that vehicle. It also gives more thought to combat encounters and the way you engage them along with how tactics will be effected knowing you can have a vehicle mounted gun at your back.
Also the Ranger base returns, though InXile Entertainment said this time it’s “much more involved” as you’re helping to set up a new base. In addition to grabbing new missions and squad mates, you can use to it to do research, set up trade routes, contact factions over the radio, and gather materials, among other things.
This means we will be more around our Ranger base making it into more of a hub rather than in Wasteland 2 where it was more of a place to go sell all your weapon parts among other things. This is much needed addition to Wasteland 3 and something the previous title missed, having a personal touch to the cold wastes of Colorado so you feel like you are impacting it and making a difference, be that a good or a bad one.
A release date for the game was not given, but the Fig campaign launches on October 5. Fig being the crowdfunding site that allows backers to make money from their investment. Wasteland 3 will allow for traditional backer rewards, accredited investment, and unaccredited investment. It will be interesting to see how this will effect the sell of the game, if at all, I for one will be giving what I can to one of my favorite games of 2014.