While Wasteland 3 still is in development, the developers from inXile Entertainment decided to bring Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut to Nintendo Switch. Unfortunately the port doesn’t include any new content for the hybrid console from Nintendo, but who’d have expected this post-apocalyptic RPG to be playable on a handheld console one day? We took a closer look and didn’t get disappointed.
You are in control of a Desert Ranger squad, that has to bring justice to the wasteland. One of the veteran rangers died and you have to find out who did this and why. During your adventure you’ll have to make tough decisions and live with the consequences. Wasteland 2 always provides you with several options to solve problems, meaning that every player will have a unique playthrough of the game.
Over 80 hours are promised by the developers for a complete playthrough of Wasteland 2. You’ll get to know hundreds of characters and can customize your rangers while choosing between a variety of over 150 different weapons. This might seem a bit overwhelming at first but as soon as you head out into the wasteland, everything will start to make sense. Step by step you develop your rangers and you’ll often find yourself in the position to decide between several skills that you’d like to spend your points on. The management of the squad allows you to specialize the different characters and for me this made great sense during my playthrough. It’s better to be really good at one thing than to have a bit knowledge of everything. In the end this might close some doors for you but opens some at the same time. Just imagine you want to open a specific door and you know that one of your rangers is specialized in picking locks. Wouldn’t this automatically be more satisfying?
A huge part of the game are of course the dialogues. Prepare to read a lot and interesting stories about the survivors you’ll meet in the world. Keep in mind that these always come together with decisions and consequences. In handheld mode on Switch it was a blast to follow the stories and I’d encourage everybody who’s interested in Wasteland 2 to check it out. You’ll not find any touch controls as there are certain objects that might just be too small and it would probably cause quite a chaos. During combat the controls work really well and you can easily command your rangers. Tell them to get cover or choose a weak point to attack. Also for combat I can only repeat myself and say that it makes great sense to think about specializations and then use the chosen skills effectively against your enemies.
Minor problems started to appear with the camera and user interface of Wasteland 2. As this is a port, you’ll notice that the game was made for PC and the camera sometimes is not really helping you out in combat. Sometimes even the user interface is covering a big part of the screen and this can be quite annoying over time. As the inventory and squad management plays an important role, gladly there are no real issues here. You’ll modify your weapons and equip new stuff from the wasteland and prepare for the next encounter. Make sure to explore the areas a bit so you won’t miss out on useful things for your squad. You can always follow your current objectives, but sometimes it’s worth to walk the other way and be curious.
Visuals & Audio
The Director’s Cut from Wasteland 2 comes with over 8000 lines of new voice-overs and the complete graphics overhaul brings the environment and characters to life. This changes made a lot of sense and now deliver a great experience from the visual side. In combination with the voices of the characters you’ll get drawn into this post-apocalyptic world very quick.
Wasteland 2 on Switch might not be the best version of the game if you already own it for PC, but it allows you to play literally everywhere in handheld mode. New players should remember that it will take some time to get into this, but later on you’ll slowly discover the depth of the game and hear interesting stories that can be influenced by your own decisions.