It ain’t easy surviving the apocalypse in Wasteland 3


inXile Entertainment

When it comes to tactical role-playing games, the Wasteland series leans to the hard core. Wasteland 3 is no exception.

Developed by inXile Entertainment for PS4, Windows, and Xbox One, this game is long—the developers say 100 hours is not inconceivable—and involved. If going deep into skill trees and carefully managing loadouts for a team of characters is your thing, then Wasteland 3 is definitely your thing.

The setup of all the Wasteland games is similar. More than a hundred years have passed since Earth was destroyed by a nuclear apocalypse. A group of lawful types called the Desert Rangers try to keep order in the wilds of Arizona and California.

In this game, a group of the Rangers travel to Colorado at the request of the “Patriarch”, whose children have risen against him. You’re being asked to quell the rebellion and get those kids in line. 

Be careful with resources

It’s all presented in a third-person, top-down perspective to allow for the underlying grid to be clear, as all combat relies on it. When you’re engaged with an enemy, action is turn-based by team. So, rather than act as individual characters, you choose the movements and actions of your entire team. 

This is a post-apocalyptic world, so you need to be careful with resources like ammunition and medical supplies, and you’ll have to create and activate characters on your team so they complement each other. 

Be warned that you should carefully consider your decisions, because what you decide, and what your characters are and aren’t able to do, fundamentally shape the game you play. There are characters you can convince to join you as companions that will change the outcome. There are also entire areas that you might not be able to use depending on what you do. 

Wasteland 3 is not the easiest game to play. It requires a player who is willing to devote time and attention to its systems. The faint of heart need not apply.

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