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Wasteland 2 Gamescom Preview at Wasteland 2 Guru

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Wasteland 2 Gamescom Preview at Wasteland 2 Guru

Preview - posted by Infinitron on Tue 27 August 2013, 01:08:20

Tags: InXile Entertainment; Wasteland 2

The folks at Wasteland 2 Guru have posted their preview of the Wasteland 2 demo at Gamescom. Unlike all of the previews that have been posted at other sites until now, this one doesn't suck! Here's an excerpt:

The demo demonstrated both types of interaction. Dialogue is handled through a keyword system, which displays the full text of the Ranger's response on mouse-over. New keywords can be gathered just by talking to other characters, but can also be entered by hand. As mentioned earlier, this allows to have some fun with the game if you know the original Wasteland, such as asking Bobby of the Red Skorpion Militia about his dog, Rex. The system is quite fluid and easy to use in practice, as demonstrated in the interactions between the Rangers and Fred, Anne, and the Assessor.

Combat is an entirely different pair of shoes. Conflict resolution in Wasteland 2 is turn-based, using a square grid for movement and determining ranges. The focus of the team is to make combat open-ended and allow the player to use different tactics, skills, and equipment to help them on their way to victory. Weapons are divided into several categories based on skills, with different applications. A sniper rifle is a dedicated long range weapon that can't even be used if the enemy's too close. For this purpose you have the submachine gun, perfect for close range engagements, but wasting ammunition on longer ranges. Weapon damage is determined by a variety of factors, from weapons used, through the target's armor, to ammunition. The latter is particularly significant, as each ammunition type is determined by two statistics: penetration and expansion. Penetration is compared against the armor class of the target. If the latter is lower, then all expansion damage is applied, potentially leading to devastating results, especially with a weapon that has a good range and good base damage. In case you were wondering, yes, melee weapons have their niche, against enemies that would be tough to crack with firearms, such as robots.

An integral element of combat is terrain and the options it offers. In the demo, inXile demonstrated a larger encounter with several Red Skorpion militiamen in a kennel. The tin-walled area had several entry points and an elevated ridge to the side. A Ranger with a sniper rifle was deployed to provide fire support and overwatch, while the rest of the team carefully bunched up near the entrance and entered the area, engaging the militants. As the sniper was in an elevated position, she had a bonus to accuracy and evading enemy attacks. The Rangers behind cover enjoyed improved chances of avoiding enemy attacks. Of course, the same applies to the enemy. Accuracy bonuses are very important, as weapon ranges are a crucial part of determining whether you hit your target. inXile chose to avoid the miss-enemy-at-point-blank-range debacle common to turn-based games. If it stands next to you, you will have an excellent chance of hitting them, unless their Evasion is very high or your own skills scrape the bottom of the barrel. That's why keeping the enemy away from you and reducing their chances of hitting the Rangers is crucial.

Of course, this might be hard to do. One of the reasons for this are support bots, which can completely change the combat situation. In the demo, this was showed off with the Disco Bot. This type of robot is essentially a disco ball of tracks that rolls up to the Rangers and deploys a fancy lightshow accompanied by a bass disco tune. It's hilarious. And then it becomes mortifying, once you realize that the bot gives a flat accuracy bonus to Skorpion militants, making it much easier for them to hit you. The worst part? It has a high armor class, meaning you have to unload plenty of ammunition into it, send up your melee specialist, or just step up the killing of the militants. The support bot category is going to include other types of robots, including jumping ones, chasers, and others. The intent is to not only provide another type of enemy, but also to force the player to vary their tactics, adapt them to the situation, and simply provide another level of challenge and tactical decision making.

In case cards don't play your way, the Rangers might end up knocked down. In the originalWasteland, this meant they became Seriously wounded and without medical help, they'd only worsen as time went on. Wasteland 2 will mark a return of this mechanic. Characters gunned down will eventually bleed out if they are not saved by someone with medical skills.​

Good job, Wasteland 2 Guru staff. We forgive you for the unfortunate implications of your site's name. The Codex's own official preview should be arriving Real Soon Now.

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