Wasteland 2

Wasteland 2

Wasteland 2

inXile Entertainment, 2014

Recommended? Maybe

Wasteland 2 is probably the longest RPG I’ve ever played, and it doesn’t really have the payoff I feel entitled to after investing so many hours into play. I bet someone’s already come up with some great pun off the name, like “waste-your-life too.” If someone didn’t beat me to it, then I just did.

Still, it’s a game up my alley and I enjoyed it. It’s got tactical, turn-based combat, lots of skills and attributes, and it’s got a good immersive world to play in.

In Wasteland 2, you play a post-apocalyptic cop, one of the elite saviors of humanity known as the Desert Rangers. You’ve got a badge and a gun and you shoot a lot of “raiders.”

Why is it so important in video games that you can buy sex?

A lot of the plot revolves around the precariousness of government. If I were to ascribe a moral to the game, it might be “the only thing worse than anarchy is evil government.” The game makers understand that a government is a monopoly on violence in a given area, and one of the tough choices you make time and time again is whether or not to topple a regime and leave an area lawlessly violent or do nothing and let lawful violence carry on.

There are evil transhumanists and there are monks who worship nuclear weaponry (“the great glow.”) There’s a lesbian couple in the game and it’s not a big deal that they’re gay. I like that there’s no love interest, though I’m not going to pretend it’s great that if you sleep with a hooker in the game you’ll get a disease. Also, why is it so important in video games that you can buy sex? Or sleep with people at all? I never really got that.

There’s a little crew of anarchists in the game, too, and they’re pretty cool. A camp of runaways in the graveyard sends you on a mission to save their friend from pushers. They don’t like the drug dealers, the slavers, or the woman who runs the town. One quest reward is an anarchy patch, and you’re told it really sums up what they’re all about.

I think it’s cute we get a shoutout in Wasteland 2, and I appreciate that the game makers, while pigeonholing us a bit, pigeonhole us as idealistic punk rockers who fight the good fight instead of as mindless terrorists or as idealists for an ideology of chaos and violence.

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