Adventure in Post-Nuclear America
Just on a week ago, inXile Entertainment released a beta of their upcoming game, Wasteland 2 – the long awaited (25 years!). The original was a post-apocalyptic role-playing video game developed by Interplay, and released in 1988 for the Apple ][, PC and Commodore 64.
The game is set in an alternate history timeline, mirroring that of the original classic game, in which a nuclear holocaust has decimated the planet, reverting society into one of primitive technology and anarchy.
On the day of the cataclysm, a company of U.S. Army Engineers were in a remote desolate desert building bridges. The soldiers sought shelter in a newly constructed prison, expelled the inmates and invited nearby survivalists to join them shortly thereafter. Years later, together they formed “the Desert Rangers, in the great tradition of the Texas and Arizona Rangers”, to help other survivors in the desert and beyond it.
Taking advantage of slightly-more-than-8-colour graphics, inExile’s re-imagined game is built on the Unity platform – a cross-platform 3D game development framework rapidly gaining a foothold as a standard within the game development industry.
Brian Fargo returns as director of the new game, keeping the feel and attitude of the original subtly yet stylishly.
The game so far, released as a ‘beta’, may be better described as a teaser or sneak peak, as the overall story arc is incomplete and not all content has been completed. inExile have cleverly released this beta not only to entice more future sales, but also to ‘crowd-source’ testing of the application – a great opportunity for fans of the classic game (such as myself!) to jump back into a familiar world whilst contributing bug reports and suggestions at the same time.
One of the most unique features of this game, a top-down 3D RPG, is the classic balloon-style dialogue that pops up whenever you encounter non-playing characters. A homage to the original game, these add an entertaining break to the action whilst providing fast and concise story detail – saving the storage and development required for the highly detailed cut scenes we seem to expect these days.
Early users of this beta may be disappointed by the lack of NPC’s, even thought the playing world seems vast. The game certainly shows promise, although as yet there is no release date for the final game.
Check it out at http://wasteland.inxile-entertainment.com/