Wasteland 3 Review

Wasteland 3 was everything I didn’t expect. Coming from somebody who has never played a previous Wasteland title I was expecting a serious tactical RPG. Instead I received an innovative game where your decisions actually affect the way you play. After the first 30 minutes of playtime I could see why this game was hyped up.

If you couldn’t guess from the name, Wasteland 3 is set in a post apocalyptic world where you control a squadron doing whatever you need to do in order to survive the wasteland of Colorado. The game starts off after finishing the tutorial in the care of a patriarch who sends out to fetch his kids “alive” due to them trying to overthrow their father.

From then on every decision is yours to make and that’s what’s so great about the game; you play it exactly how you want, you run your group however you please. You can either be a complete scumbag or a good Samaritan, the choice is entirely yours. In most scenarios you’ll find yourself pausing the game, wondering if you made the right choice. I was really surprised when I saw how many decisions you’ll be constantly making in the game – some that can even turn members of your party against you. Unlike me, hopefully you’ll be prepared if that ever occurs to you. Having your most powerful gear used against you isn’t all that great. 

Character creation is an element in the game which again for a tactical RPG I was not familiar with. The maximum number of created characters you can have on your team is 4, while the other two slots are saved for characters you may encounter in the story if you want to recruit them onto your team. It’s best to look at their skills before you just go adding people though. All characters in the game have a unique set of combat skills and social skills.

While preset characters can only improve their current stats further, your created characters are fully customizable to how you see fit. If you want them to be a huge nerd that can hack robots and use sci-fi guns, go for it. How about a tough beefy brawler that can be a tank for your team? Their social skills don’t play too much of a role on the battlefield but once the smoke clears those social skills are going to become critical when it comes to exploration and decision making.  That’s why it’s best to have a team with a great variety of skill sets. An optional way to play is to give your characters traits which come with a downside along with a positive effect. Some are more drastic than others but like I said, completely optional. 

Gameplay wise the combat will take some getting used to. Not saying it’s difficult necessarily, there’s just certain things you need to keep an eye out for, such as action points. Depending on your skills action points are something you need to tactically plan out. They can be used up by moving and shooting so you have to be mindful. The consumables and throwables are where the combat shines the most. There’s just so many options to choose from and one of those options is a “yellow snowball”. It’s all fun and engaging but just takes some time to get used to.

All the characters in the game are unique, have great personalities and voice acting to go along with it. From the ravenous cult leaders and their followers to the strict and determined patriarch leaders and their crew. 

For a tactical RPG the graphics are pretty solid. They fit the whole post-apocalyptic aesthetic. The music however is barely noticeable in the game. The custom characters have voice lines that go with them but you also rarely will hear them say anything. Loading screens also were longer than they should be. Fast travelling was often a pain because loading time would take up to 3 minutes.

Conclusion

Wasteland 3 is overall a great tactical game to play. Add some realism to the game and put yourself in the game, then go off and make your own decisions as you see fit. Aside from the loading times you’re sure to have a great time like I did. 

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This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by the publisher.
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Good
  • Branching decision making
  • Voice acting
  • Good character designs
Bad
  • Loading times
  • Music is drowned out
7.5
Good
Gameplay - 8
Graphics - 7
Audio - 6
Longevity - 9
Written by
My name is Varno Harris II. I currently attend school at Miami University double majoring in journalism and professional writing. My dream is to create and develop a popular video game media company and shape the future of journalism.

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