Wasteland 2: Director's Cut releases today, adds some beauty to nuclear winter

We gave our Game of the Year prize to Wasteland 2 last year, and deservedly so—but even we wouldn’t argue it was the prettiest game of 2014. It wasn’t. It was ugly.

But Tuesday’s the day the game gets a facelift, thanks to the Wasteland 2 Director’s Cut. InXile moved the game over to Unity 5 and upgraded a bunch of the assets (including the character models) in the process. I haven’t played that far in, but what I’ve seen looks a sight better. Here’s the opening of the original game:

And the Director’s Cut:

Highpool’s gotten a similar overhaul:

The differences are subtle while playing, but obvious in comparison screenshots. There are also new character customizations, like Quirks—unique (and powerful) bonuses you choose at the beginning of the game. Also perks, targeted shots (i.e. shoot this dude in the head/arm/legs), a new balance pass, and quite a bit more voice acting than was in the original release. Adorable. It’s like Wasteland emulating Fallout, the way Fallout once emulated Wasteland.

And if you click on something that requires a skillcheck the game now pops up a menu showing every character who has that skill. No more searching through six characters trying to remember who has a knack for safecracking or disarming explosives.

Basically if you haven’t started playing Wasteland 2 yet, this is the version you should play. Everyone who bought the original version of Wasteland 2 gets the Director’s Cut for free, and what I’ve played so far has been better than the original release in every way—though there is a weird issue where sometimes the new and old voice acting doesn’t sound at all similar (noticeable about five minutes into the game when you first talk to Angela Deth).

Also, this screen is still ugly and convoluted even after an overhaul:

Unfortunately, inXile has confirmed saves aren’t compatible between the two versions. Already put thirty hours into the original release You are SOL. Either keep playing the original release or redo those thirty hours. That’s a shame, and it means I’ll probably never see everything the Director’s Cut has to offer—the game’s damn long, and there isn’t enough new content to bring me back.

Should be a treat for anyone who’s held off, though. The writing in Wasteland 2’s as good as ever, and now you can experience it without causing any lasting damage to your eyes.


Hayden Dingman

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