Pointless Nonsense

Posted in video games by Bill on June 24, 2016

wasteland2Wasteland 2 is the sequel to the game to which Fallout is the spiritual sequel, which has been on my wishlist forever, until it was finally on sale in June. It’s a kickstarted project directed/produced by the executive producer of the original Fallout. It takes place in post-apocalyptic Arizona where you control a new squad who are members of The Desert Rangers, an organized peacekeeping group. This is a bit of a return to Fallout 1-2 style tactical turn-based combat, and an overhead view. And unfortunately, I found it really disappointing.

One of the problems is that it’s no longer 2D isometric, it has the 3d camera rotation. Which a lot of these games like to do now, but I consider it to be an unquestionably negative development. Your team is standing right next to a box with ammo, but you can’t see it, because there’s a wall between the camera and the box. In order to see the environment, you have to constantly rotate the camera. And the map isn’t smart enough to rotate with your view… so you’re constantly rotating back to north. There’s no key to rotate 180 degrees, which would be helpful as a toggle to just quickly get a view facing south and then switch back to map orientation. It’s kind of infuriating.

The combat has also gotten a lot more tactical in nature, which I don’t care for. Combat was my least favorite part of Fallout 1/2, and this emphasizes it even more. Still turn-based, but you spend your time crouching to aim and orienting yourself to avoid friendly fire and trying to be distant from the pod person who explodes in a cloud of toxic gunk when he dies.

I really love the idea of the game (right off the bat, you make a decision that has consequences… sure you have no idea why to pick one thing or another, but it has immediate impact), but unfortunately I find the mechanics of playing it too frustrating to continue. Annoying because with TV being mostly not-new, I was looking for a game to get into. But less annoying because the Steam summer sale just started, and my library is already growing. Borderlands 2, Antichamber, and Tomb Raider (the reboot one) are the first ones up, because they dropped below the magic $10 mark. And I have to try them all out because I only have 2 weeks/2 hours played for the return policy.

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