Wasteland 3: Reagan Cult, Deluge of Blood, and Snow Cowboys

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Kevin Ha, '21

After crowdfunding and an eventual Microsoft buy-out, Inxile Entertainment finally released a sequel to their 2012 role-playing game (RPG) “Wasteland 2.” On August 28, 2020, InXile Entertainment released its third installment to the “Wasteland” series titled “Wasteland 3.” The new installment features gameplay changes, graphical changes, and of course, a new story.

“Wasteland 3” continues where “Wasteland 2” left off with Arizona in shambles after dealing with the Cochise AI and its cybernetic army. With their base gone and desperate for help, the Desert Rangers located a signal from Colorado claiming to be its leader and offering the Rangers aid in return for dealing with his kids. After surviving an ambush while traveling to the Patriarch—the de-facto leader of Colorado and source of the radio signalthe players and their faction have three routes to choose from: establish their dominance in snowy radioactive Colorado, work with the Patriarch, or pick a road in between. Either way, players have a say in how the ending turns out. 

Also, players may want to refer to their US history textbook in making decisions about the future of Colorado and their home state of Arizona. There are many parallels that can be seen with the development of the US and the establishment of a nation in this nuclear wasteland. 

Some notable gameplay changes include the removal of the inventory weight limit, so players can carry around as much wasteland loot as they want. In normal combat scenarios, teammates do not die, even if they get knocked down. So there is no need for “save scumming” and making sure that absolutely all squad members survive to the end of the game. However, teammates can go down more easily in comparison to the bullet-sponges of “Wasteland 2,” a couple of shots to a player’s most heavily armored characters can bring them down. Be sure to stock up on medical supplies throughout any adventure.  The game gives players more freedom and less direction. Therefore, the experience is less linear, unlike its RPG counterparts. There may or may not be clear indications of where to go via waypoint. Instead, payers must infer and pay attention to dialogue or their logbook to find hints of where to go next. 

In comparison to “Wasteland 2” on PC,  “Wasteland 3” includes many more graphical options to choose from. Like any other RPGs, using the stock Xbox One hard drive and a 5400 RPM hard drive resulted in average load times of one minute. From what has been observed so far, crashes occurred quite frequently in the Xbox One version, so be sure to save frequently. On PC, crashes were rarely experienced, although some moments of the game could freeze the screen. But after waiting, the game will function as normal. 

“Wasteland 3” is currently available on Xbox One, PC (via Steam or the Windows Store), and PS4. InXile Entertainment plans to release “Wasteland 3” with Linux and Mac soon. In addition, “Wasteland 3” is also available with 100 other titles through the use of the Xbox Games pass.