Wasteland 2 Director’s Cut (Mini Review) – Revisiting the Apocalypse

After being one the first big successful Kickstarter games, Wasteland 2 has returned in a new and improved edition (a “Director’s Cut”) as it makes the jump to consoles.

Those who already own the game get the benefit of a free update (not a patch, a separate version of the game) that brings the PC version in line with the Xbox One and PS4 versions. The result of this is a title that is not massively different to its original release but has been polished up enough to warrant another play through.

The world of Wasteland 2 Director’s Cut centres around the Desert Rangers; an organization of self appointed lawmen who’ve taken to providing assistance to those in the Arizona desert after a nuclear holocaust. If it sounds familiar take note that the original Wasteland was a source of inspiration for Fallout and its sequels.

I'm still a huge fan of the game's opening cinematic. It sets exactly the right tone for the game.

I’m still a huge fan of the game’s opening cinematic. It sets exactly the right tone for the game.

Visually the game is an slight improvement over the original but to be honest if it’s been a while since you last played you may not even notice. Those playing it for the first time will find the art design fits well, especially in comparison to the great opening cinematic.

Best visual comparison I’ve seen so far is via this great YouTube video that does really well in highlighting the changes between versions. I will admit that the differences do become more obvious when seen side by side:

Audio has been given a boost with additional voice over work while tweaks to the gameplay give me the impression enough has been adjusted to make the learning curve much friendlier. To me it feels like a much nicer game to get into from the beginning than it did the first time.

One thing the PC version has over its console counterparts is control options. Not only can you use the familiar mouse and keyboard combination but there’s also controller options for both Xbox and PlayStation. Right now there seems to be some slight issues with movement on an Xbox 360 controller but that is something that can be fixed with an update.

Would you want to switch to controllers? Though serviceable enough, my opinion is that nothing else beats the mouse for getting things done in this game – it is a lot faster to move around the map and interact with things than it is with a controller. An annoyance is that control options can only be set in the main menu and not in the middle of a game so you will be forced to choose one over the other; it would have been nice to be able to try both at once to see what works.

If you’re new to the world of Wasteland 2, now is the best time to try it out and enjoy some old school post-apocalyptic rabble rousing before the end of year rush of big titles arrive. You might even surprise yourself and find this game to be one that’ll keep you occupied when others fail. A good RPG can do that for you.

Wasteland 2 Director’s Cut is available now on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Reviewed on PC.

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