By Al Giovetti01/01/88
Electronic Arts, Interplay and the designers of this game have struck a resonant cord with this product. Probably the most creative crew assembled to date included game designers and writers from both paper role playing, books about roleplaying, and novels on role playing. The result is a true classic, one of the greatest games ever made which stands the test of time.
Later games would never live up the standards set in this game. Interplay produced the Bard's Tale series, a game that still lives on in the minds of those who played it. The Bard's Tale was produced in 1985 by interplay and Published by Electronic Arts. Wasteland is recorded by Computer Gaming World as being produced in 1986, but my IBM copy shows a copyright date of 1987, 1988.
Company LineHot. Mean. Radioactive. It's 2087. World War III has come and gone. As a Desert Ranger, you've vowed to help rebuild humanity. . . but first you have to survive.
Las Vegas still glows. It probably will forever. Stumble into a radioactive canister and you will, too.
Master survival skills not in the Boy Scout manual, including demolitions, knife fighting, anti-tank, and 25 more skills. Look out for the Cybord Commando. Forget about magic. It takes an Uzi to stop this half-man, half-motorcycle death machine. Use your brain to survive intricate puzzles like the Chessboad of Death.
A cast of hundreds including trash sliter, desert scum, spineless ghoul, and radioactive humanoids. Everyone wants to meet you - most in the worst possible way. Surprising subplots twist and turn to a final conflict against mankind's greatest threat. Extra booklet details encounters with strange desert inhabitants. From the creators of The Bard's Tale series.
Wasteland used a top down, aerial view, interface for adventuring, where the party of adventurers moved on the map display. Two maps were used a large overall map of the entire game which encompassed Las Vegas, Needles, Quartz, an agricultural center, Highpool, a mine shaft, a savage guilding, the infamous Guardian Citadel, the sleeper base, and Base Cochise. Each of the map locations on the larger map will zoom into its own overhead map. Some maps have other maps attached such as the various rooms in Base Cohise and the sewers under Las Vegas. Some buildings can be entered and they will have their own maps that will now drill down to this new area.
Characters in your party develop skills that help them later in the game, such as assault rifle, picklock, energy weapons, slight of hand, acrobat, alarm and bomb disarm, electronics, beurocracy, and the all important toaster repair. These skills help the team get past certain areas of the game which could otherwise be deadly. The characters can study skills in libraries in the game. You start out with four characters and can add up to three more characters.
Set in the 21st century, the world has been destroyed by a nuclear holocost. The SouthWest area of the United States is spared to some extent but now it is cut off from the rest of the world which is mostly radiated Wasteland. A lone agricultural center and other areas are spared the contamination of nuclear winter and its damaging radiation. You find yourself in charge or a detachment of desert rangers who must maintain order and ultimately save what is left of humanity from complete obliteration by a fanatical group of irradiated mutants.
Paragraphs are printed in a book that are referred to in the game. You take the code from the game and read the paragraph in the book. The plot is very extensive, has a great sense of dark humor, and is very entertaining.
CombatDuring combat the display changes to one popular since the first Wizardry game. The upper left corner of the screen sports a graphic of one of the monster groups faced by your Desert Ranger team. To the right of the monster is a menu with choices of what to do next in battle, such as run, attack, etc. Below these two screen windows is a listing of the characters in your party by name with columns showing hit points, armor class, selected weapon and others. Combat is resolved in rounded fashion. Ammunition is an important factor in the game. If you run out of ammo, you will die since you cannot defend yourself. Characters will be up against radiated mutants, cyborgs, robots, humans, gangsters, and a crazed cult of pseudo religious sisters and brothers who worship the plastic visage of the VISA card.
These are very basic four color graphics mostly white text on a black background save in the map areas of the game.
AnimationAnimation is very primitive with characters mostly moving through several still pictures like a fast slide show.
Voice ActorsHuh? There are no voice actors in this game.
Sound EffectsThe normal pings and sprongs help to accentuate the action in the game.
UtilitiesYou can save at any point in the game and return to that point later to continue progress. A print utility on the key disk made it easy to keep track of your party while keeping notes offline.
Multi-player FeaturesThis is a solo game played by one player with a group of up to six player controlled characters in the party.
Cheats, Hints, WalkthroughWasteland Walkthrough
The best projectile weapon is the Meson Cannon. The best melee weapon is the Proton Axe. The best AT weapon is the RPG-7. Restrict combat since you will expend the all too important ammunition. It is a good idea to leave a slot open to new characters who can join your group from time to time with additional skills and equipment. Strip equipment before dismissing or killing off characters.
ReferencesWilliam "Biff" Kritzen, Computer Gaming World, number 47, May, 1988, pg. 28 - 29. Shay Addams, Wasteland: Ditch the Sword, Grab the Uzi, Questbusters, volume 5, number 5, May, 1988, pg. 1,4,10.
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