Wasteland 3

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Wasteland 3
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developerinXile Entertainment
publisherDeep Silver
release dateAugust 28, 2020
genrerole-playing game
modesSingle player
Cooperative multiplayer
platformsWindows, OSX, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Titleicon-WL3.pngIcon globe.png
Titleicon-WL3.pngIcon globe.png

Wasteland 3 is a direct sequel to Wasteland 2, set in the frozen wastes of Colorado.

Features[edit | edit source]

  • A party-based role-playing game, with a renewed focus on our trademark complex story reactivity and strategic combat.
  • By including vehicles, environmental dangers, and a revamped, more fluid action system, we are evolving on Wasteland 2's deep tactical turn-based combat and unique encounter design.
  • Play by yourself or with a friend in story-driven synchronous or asynchronous multiplayer. Choices open up (or close off) mission opportunities, areas to explore, story arcs, and tons of other content.
  • Your Ranger Base is a core part of the experience. As you help the local people and improve your Ranger Base, quests and narrative will force you to make decisions on how to lead.
  • The game will be set in the savage lands of frozen Colorado, where survival is difficult and a happy ending is never guaranteed.
  • Players will face difficult moral choices and make sacrifices that will change the game world.
  • Wasteland 3 will feature a deep and engaging story utilizing a newly-revamped dialog tree system from the celebrated writers of Torment: Tides of Numenera

You start the game as the sole survivor of Team November, a Ranger squad dispatched to the icy Colorado wastes. This is a land of buried secrets, lost technology, fearsome lunatics, and deadly factions. No one here has ever heard of the Desert Rangers. Your reputation is yours to build from scratch, and your choices may save this land or doom it. With a renewed focus on macro-reactivity, you’ll be picking between warring factions, deciding whether locations are destroyed or saved, and other far reaching decisions that have a marked impact on the shape of your world.

Co-op mode[edit | edit source]

For the first time in the history of the Wasteland franchise, you will be able to take a friend with you on your journey into the post-apocalyptic wastes! Wasteland 3 opens up the possibility to play through the campaign with a friend; both of you controlling your own squad of Rangers.

The core of Wasteland 3 will still be a rich single-player experience. If you play with a friend while both online together, you’ll be able to share many missions, and join up to hit key story beats, but you can also split up and cover more ground. Once a game is started, you can play Wasteland 3 while your friend is offline, and do a lot of missions without them. Be aware, however, that the actions you take while your friend is off-line are not without consequence!

By making the decision to include multiplayer early on in the process, we will be able to design a game that is true to the core principles of the Wasteland franchise and our studio. Wasteland 3 can be played as an offline, single-player game, and is built from the ground up with a focus on story and reactivity that makes no sacrifices to the multiplayer experience. At the same time, co-op players will enjoy working together to change Wasteland 3’s highly reactive world… or finding ways to destroy what their friend has worked to accomplish.

Design[edit | edit source]

Our strategic turn-based combat is core to the Wasteland experience. Wasteland 2’s rangers could use cover, flank their enemies, and attack from rooftops with deadly precision and horrific status effects. Wasteland 3 will build and polish this existing system while adding a new feature: team-focused abilities. Your rangers will have an arsenal of combat skills with special tactical effects, usually focused around weakening the enemy while protecting their squads.

Another big change this time around will be the addition of vehicles. Your ranger will use your upgradeable vehicle for travel, storing essential goods, exploration, and survival. Gear up your vehicle well enough, and you’ll be able to use it for moveable cover in combat, or – if you’ve installed a turret – deal with fools crazy enough to tangle with the Desert Rangers.

Finally, the Ranger base is a key location in all the Wasteland games, and Wasteland 3 will be no different. This time the experience will be much more involved, as you are setting up and reinforcing a brand new Ranger base to survive and even thrive in the hostile snowscapes of Colorado. Rather than the base being primarily a place to pick up new missions and replacement squad mates, we’re expanding it so that it is a full base of operations, allowing you to gather materials, do research, reach out to factions over the radio, try to set up supply lines and trade routes, and more!

Atmosphere[edit | edit source]

Looking around at the rich possibilities of our setting, it struck us how often we do return to the desolate dry desert and ruined cities. We still think that’s a great core setting, but it is also more limiting when in reality the world after mankind can encompass many different settings, from overgrown wilderness thriving on former cities (something we explored more in Wasteland 2) to the remnants of mankind trying to survive in a hostile, frozen landscape. More than anything, a solitary building or town amidst an unblemished field of snow emphasizes an overwhelming sense of isolation that is key to the post-apocalyptic story. It is this rarely found setting and aesthetic that we want to explore in Wasteland 3.

As part of our improved presentation, we’re updating the way dialog is built and presented. Wasteland 3 will feature a complex dialogue based on the ideology behind Torment: Tides of Numenera’s branching system. Players will choose lines of dialogue that lead them through branching conversations. Choosing certain skills for your character may spell the different between success or catastrophe. And last but not least, in key conversations the camera will pan in to show a closer shot of person you’re talking to.

We’re very fortunate to have concept artist, Andrée Wallin of Wasteland 2 and Star Wars: The Force Awakens once again on hand to help us establish the look of this game, providing key art pieces that we’ll be used for inspiration and reference throughout the game’s development.

Additionally, we’ve been working closely with Christopher and Nic Bischoff of Brotherhood Games, the team behind the widely celebrated STASIS and Cayne isometric adventure games. In fact, they’re responsible for the beautiful prototype screenshots and video you’ve seen so far!

Story[edit | edit source]

In 1998, the world ended in a storm of mutually-assured destruction. Those who survived were left to pick up the pieces. Some, like the Desert Rangers, chose to bring law and order back to the irradiated wastes. To rebuild civilization one brick at a time. They proved to be the exception rather than the rule.

Wasteland 1 told the story of a band of Rangers dealing with the murderous artificial intelligence Cochise, the architect of the end of the world. To get the weapons and equipment they needed, the Rangers were forced to take on the Guardians of the Old Order, an isolationist army of technology- hoarding fanatics. When the smoke cleared, Cochise was defeated, and the Guardians were dead. Or so the Rangers thought.

Wasteland 2 confronted the Desert Rangers with the cost of their victory over Cochise and the weight of old sins. Violent factions with old grudges dogged the Rangers’ heels. Mechanical assassins built by vengeful Guardian survivors hunted and slaughtered them. And despite the Rangers’ efforts and all their sacrifices, Cochise rose again, infecting the networks of Ranger Citadel. Only by destroying their home were the Rangers able to stop Cochise from ending the world a second and final time. The years since have not been kind to the Desert Rangers. They attempted to regain their footing but could find no adequate base of operations to replace Ranger Citadel. Despite their heroic attempts to protect the communities of California and Arizona, they were outgunned or outnumbered by enemies old and new. The Rangers barely had enough resources to defend their ad-hoc base of operations, let alone venture out into the wastes.

Years passed since the destruction of the Citadel. Then the Rangers received a call. With his health dwindling and his state on the verge of collapse, the Patriarch of Colorado Springs heard whispered legends of the Desert Rangers, who were ruthless enough to nuke their own headquarters to stop a powerful threat. He radioed Ranger Command, asking them to establish a base in his city, train a new force of Colorado Rangers, and prevent his nation from falling apart. In return, he’d provide them with all the resources they desperately needed to rebuild their organization.

Team November was dispatched to Colorado and ordered to establish a working relationship with the Patriarch at all costs. The survival of the Desert Rangers depends on it.

Characters[edit | edit source]

Factions[edit | edit source]

There are several factions that inhabit Colorado who each have their own goals relating to being in-charge of Colorado.

Beta[edit | edit source]

The Fig backer beta released on March 20th, 2020 gave players their first look at what players might expect from Wasteland 3 upon release. This included a revamping of core mechanics such as Attributes and Skills, and the introduction of Backgrounds, which provide your characters with unique bonuses based on their life before joining the Desert Rangers.

Backgrounds[edit | edit source]

New to Wasteland 3 are Backgrounds, short biographical excerpts about your Rangers' early years that can also influence their attributes and skills. Here is the full list as of May 21st, 2020:

  • Bookworm: [Experience Bonus +10%] "You grew up in the Ag Center in Arizona, raised among scientists, which means you know how to do research. It's not hard/ People just aren't in the habit of picking up books anymore. Which is good, because no one knows all your clever jokes and pick-up lines are completely stolen from dead twentieth century authors.
  • Desert Cat: [Perception +1] "You know how to track in the desert. You spent years learning to read the line of sign. You adapted to the heat. The desert is your home. Of course the squad would relocate to the coldest place they could find. You've started acclimating, learning to read stride and transfer in snow, but still... fucking snow!?"
  • Disciple of the Metal: [Fire Damage Bonus +15.0%] "The world was burned in fire, and what was left was the Metal. Across the wasteland, Disciples like yourself were born to carry the song of Metal into battle. As the song falls upon them, the Metal transforms the wretched and powerful alike into howling furies, be they *RAIDER! RANGER! MASTER! SLAAAAAVE!*"
  • Explodomaniac: [Explosive Damage Bonus +15.0%] "Let's be honest. You're in the Rangers because you love bombs. If you could join an outfit with access to bigger ordnance, you'd be there. But the Rangers supply you with explosives and targets to blow up, so you can't complain. They also tend to yell a lot, which is good, because you don't hear so well anymore."
  • Goat Killer: [Critical Chance +5%] "Nobody believes you, but you know what you saw. A giant red goat, standing over your mother's body, freaky golden eyes glittering in the night. Goats aren't normal, just listen to 'em. You're going to kill every goat you can, draw out that Monster Goat, and this time, you'll be ready. Bleat, bleat, motherfucker."
  • Grease Monkey: [Bonus Damage to Vehicles +10%] "There aren't many folks these days who can rebuild a transmission or put a refrigerator back together. Fortunately, you grew up in a machine shop. The Desert Rangers appreciate your skill and have taken good care of you. Maybe one day you can retire and build that '86 Fiera you've always dreamed of. For now, you're okay with "disassembling" other punks' rides."
  • Lethal Weapon: [Melee Damage Bonus +10.0%] "Old posters make it clear - the 1980s were a good time to be an out-of-control cop. They were taking out bad guys and they didn't care if they did it by the book. You don't either. You've been taking the fight to slavers and crime bosses without back-up since you joined the Desert Rangers. The only thing that would make it perfect is if someone called you a loose cannon."
  • Mannerite: [Kiss Ass +1] "You grew up in Los Angeles, in the *right* part of town. Your parents taught you culture, etiquette, and "refined taste", as they liked to say. You've since adapted to life among the ruffians, curtailing almost all your sophisticated habits. But one habit you simply cannot break: wherever you go, you always make time to sample the local culture."
  • Moneybags: [Barter +1] "Your family had money and a comfortable home. But comfort attracts attention, and some folks decided it was time for a redistribution. Your family was wiped out, but you escaped and found safety in the Rangers. Who knows? With a little luck, you may still end up comfortable after all."
  • Mopey Poet: [Evasion +5%] "Everyone looks back at their adolescence with embarrassment. Some wore ridiculous clothes; others were awful to their parents. Some believed that their personal sadness was unique and important enough to vomit into the pages of tiny leather journals that never did anything to anybody. Congratulations, you were all these things."
  • Paladin: [Crit Resistance +10%] "People talk about shades of gray, but the brave see only black and white. You know right from wrong and you've got the conviction to do something about it. You're going to bring some good back into this world if it kills you. At least you'll know you filled a lot of graves with scumbags first."
  • Raider Hater: [Bonus Damage to Humans +10%] "You tried to like raiding. Everyone else loved slitting throats and tormenting captives, but it just didn't work for you. When you left to join the Rangers, somehow the story got twisted, and now everyone thinks you used to be some kind of psycho marauder. You could set 'em straight... or you could just kill anybody who might remember otherwise."
  • Sex Machine: [Combat Speed +0.1] "People hoard money, power. They kill each other, steal, all for one thing: getting laid. It's biology. It's the reason we do everything. You know it, you don't hide it, and you do it better than anyone. We're animals, and if we're being honest, it feels good to be an animal."
  • Stoner: [Status Effect Resistance +10%] "The world is, like, super messed up, and people are hurting. So, the Rangers, are like, a really, really good thing for everyone. They just want to help people, you know? If everything is hellacious, just be chill, inside you, and then breathe it back out. For everyone. Cool."
  • The Boss: [Hard Ass +1] "You've been told that you don't consider people's feelings. Unfortunately, THAT CRAP DIED A HUNDRED YEARS AGO IN A GODDAMN NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST. We're not going to make it holdin' hands and singing Kumbaya. If people want to survive, they've got to SHUT UP AND FOLLOW ORDERS."
  • Vicious Avenger: [Penetration +2] "You didn't survive the slave pen because you were the most clever. You didn't endure the lashes and heat because you were the strongest. You survived that hellhole because of your hate. Hate choked your captors to death and hate set you free. And thanks to the Desert Rangers and their mission, you're putting that hate to good use."

Video[edit | edit source]

  • E3 Trailer
  • Brian Fargo interview
  • Factions of Colorado trailer