Wasteland takes place in the future after the nuclear holocaust of World War III. You guide a band of Desert Rangers from town to town, gradually uncovering a sinister plot that threatens what's left of mankind.
The game makes use of a skill-based system in conjunction with traditional character attributes to achieve goals and get past obstacles. It is this skill-based system that set Wasteland apart from most other role-playing games created up until then.
Wasteland is a post-apocalyptic RPG made in 1988 by EA Games. It is a really good game in it's own right and is also the game that Fallout was modelled after. It contains much of the same story, the battle system of a Final Fantasy game, and a whole different skill-based system not seen in any other game. In the skill system, the players earn EXP. points, but these skills they learn are needed to get past obstacles in the game safely.
In the story, you control a band of desert rangers, which you can make yourself, through a desert wasteland after the nuclear holocaust called World War 3. The land has become barren, and there are many evil mutants and humanoids running about who would like nothing more than to destory you. There is the unique possibility of being able to hire one of the enemies during a conversation or battle. You wander from town to town, eventually uncovering a conspiracy that threatens the remnants of the human civilization.
In the battle system, you come across a mutant or other creature of some sort, from mutants to evil little sleeping creatures, that want to kill and rob you. Nice concept, huh. So let's teach these little buggers a lesson. The picture of the enemy will pop up in a window next to the list of fighting commands. Under these commands is a window showing your party's health and names. You have a choice of battle commands that include: Run, Attack, Recruit, Evade, Load/Unclip, and Use. The Use command pops up another window showing the commands: Heal, Skills, and Attributes. The skill screen shows different skills that can be used. Once one is selected, you go back to the map, where you must choose the direction to use the skill. Heal heals a player, and attributes shows each party members attributes. After something is selected for each player, the screen that shows the commands turns into a scrolling message, telling you how the fight is coming. Once a fight is won, you gain EXP. and gold to spend.
The graphics in the game are not great, but are good for the time the game was made. The player's movement screen, or map, shows where the player moves from town to town. It is strange looking though, as the player seems to be larger than the mountains and houses on it. When a location or dungeon is entered, a popup comes up asking if you want to enter this location. Then the map becomes a bit more realistic as far as size, and you can walk around easier. In dungeons, some puzzles require that you have certain skills for each player. The same goes for the map. For instance, if you don't have a swimming skill, wading through a river will take forever and cost your team health. The music in this game is pretty bad, but I can't really blame the creators, as there wasn't really good music to be made back then.
I enjoyed this game a lot, just like I enjoyed the third game in the Wasteland series: Fallout. I think that this is an awesome game, and the terrible graphics do not take away from the gameplay at all for me. I will give this game a straight 5, because for back then, this was awesome. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have.
Wasteland is a top-view, turn-based RPG, where you control a group of characters and set out to stop whatever it is that threatens the world on this occasion.
Yet in my opinion, Wasteland is more than this, I consider it the best RPG ever developed, and there is now doubt that the game was groundbreaking in its time. Instead of using a rigid class-based system ("you can't do that because you're a paladin, not a fighter") Wasteland used a skill-based system, meaning your character can do anything you like, providing they have the necessary skill. This allows you to create flexible characters and truly ROLE-play, your characters develop a persona based on how they develop under your command, as opposed to a pre-determined path chosen at the start of the game.
But skills are not the only item of interest in Wasteland; for what sets the game apart from even some modern games with better graphics and systems is the colourful world the game is set in. Wasteland is set in a post-apocalyptic world where you control a party of 4 "desert rangers", vigilantes who try to maintain order in the chaos following the fall of modern civilization. The game's many and varied locations are both engaging and imaginative, and you will be further and further drawn into the world the more you play.
As with many other games (like Bard's Tale), the current owners of Wasteland are sitting on the rights, and the sequels being developed for Wasteland were never published, and no more can be created. The game does however have spiritual successors in Fallout 1 and 2, both of which draw many elements from Wasteland.
Overall, Wasteland is a well-designed and engaging game, not to be missed by any who consider themselves RPG fans. Find it and play it!
My most favorite RPG ever, and one of the very few games that earned a permanent place on my hard drive since the first time I installed it, Wasteland is an epic post-apocalyptic RPG that set new standards for the genre that arguably have not since been matched. Set in the California after World War 3 nuclear holocaust, the game casts you as a band of Desert Rangers, a vigilante group intent on bringing some order into the bleak, chaotic society. from town to town, gradually uncovering a sinister plot that threatens what's left of mankind. Just how good is the game, and why does it deserve to be in every RPG gamer's collection? George Shannon's eloquent review for MobyGames says it much better than I could: "Even with outdated graphics, the setting sets one's imagination aflame, using familiar elements from life and including them in the game, but overlaying the horror of nuclear war on top. While some of the darker elements aren't as evident, it's still very obvious throughout the game that there is a detailed, thoughtful, and even meaningful post-apocalyptic theme everywhere.
Another element that makes Wasteland such a great game is the character development system. Most RPGs have a player select a class for a party member - but what IS a class? Does it let YOU role-play? No, the class tells you what and how to role-play. Does it enhance the game? Perhaps, but once the class is defined there's no real development OF the character - A level 1 knight has the same desires, goals, and value systems as a level 18 knight. Wasteland uses a skill and attribute based system, periodically giving a character 'points' to use on attributes and skills, as well as having skills increase through use. But moreover, the character development doesn't stop when you use up the points - many places in Wasteland allow a character to separate from the rest of the party and engage in some solo activity - maybe hooking up with a prostitute, or venturing into a cat-and-mouse game within the mind of an android. Stuff like this builds the character individually, and thus, the party. By the end of the game, I look at my characters and not only see what they are (level 20 Corporals, demolitions dude, charismatic leader, tech expert...) but what they went through... their individual victories and tribulations. This makes for a very powerful gaming experience.
In other areas, Wasteland does quite well. Graphics are average to outstanding. The play balance is nearly perfect - the advancement from one area prepares you quite well for the next, neither too hard nor to easy. Not many sounds are included, fortunately they are simple and do not get repetative. Overall, even without the character development, Wasteland is just plain fun.
With such a positive personal slant on Wasteland, it's hard to define problems with it. In some places, the appearance of enemies is too 'generated' (they pop up out of nowhere, Bard's Tale style) and are seemingly endless. Some enemies and situations are a little too 'weird', but Wasteland isn't supposed to be about realism. Some plot elements are a little cliche, but most are handled quite well.
Wasteland is an amazing ROLE-playing game. The setting is thorough and detailed, your characters can get into all sorts of trouble, as individuals and as a party. This makes Wasteland a unique experience every time."
It is too bad that the official sequel Mean Time was never made, and Fountain of Dreams, Electronic Arts' "unofficial sequel" is extremely disappointing. With a unique skill-based system that lead to many excellent adventure-style puzzles, intriguing plot with tons of '80s references, and a truly epic scale full of many hidden surprises and subplots that guarantee hundreds of hours of play and replay value, Wasteland is simply a must-have. If you wonder where Fallout came from, this is its true predecessor (and a game I infinitely enjoy more than Fallout series). A classic in every sense of the word.
People who downloaded Wasteland have also downloaded:
Pool of Radiance, Dark Sun: Shattered Lands, Wizardry 7: Crusaders of the Dark Savant, Bard's Tale 1, Dark Sun 2: Wake of the Ravager, System Shock, Spelljammer, Bard's Tale 3: Thief of Fate
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