PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Mac; inXile Entertainment
Colorado is a cold and violent den of outlaws in this characterful action game that gives players choices over its benighted society, but lacks a distinct hook
‘Desperate” is how I’d describe Wasteland 3. It’s desperate to find something that will get your attention, to make itself seem weird, capricious and daring, to stand out from tens of other pulpy post-apocalypses. A classically styled role-playing game, it is competently designed and adequately entertaining, with high production values and enough hours of play to keep you going until Christmas. Yet despite zany scenarios ranging from fighting Reagan-worshipping cultists to an encounter with a goat prostitute, it just didn’t do much for me.
A series that stretches back all the way to the 1988, Wasteland tells the story of the Desert Rangers, a group of self-appointed helpers of the helpless who patrol the dusty plains of Arizona in the wake of nuclear Armageddon. In Wasteland 3, the Rangers are instead stuck in icebound Colorado, having struck a dark bargain with a local dictator known as the Patriarch. Find and retrieve the Patriarch’s three itinerant children, and he’ll provide the Rangers with resources they sorely need to continue their operation.